Contracts & Free Agents
Breaking up the monotony of my daily fantasy baseball Player Profiles, I thought it would be a good thing to take a look around the league at some of the players who have signed deals or who are looking for a new home for the 2013 baseball season.
Jonathan Broxton received a 3-year deal, with a club option ($9 million), for $21 million to stay with the Reds. This means two things. Aroldis Chapman is headed to the starting rotation. It's a risk after his magnificent season – 38 saves, 1.51 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and 15.32 K/9 – but I think it's a risk worth taking. In my opinion, and we see this every year, you don't have to be an elite talent to have success in the 9th inning. Plus, Aroldis has to be more valuable pitching seven innings 30 times than just 71.2 innings out of the bullpen like he did last year, right (note: Reds' pitching coach Bryan Price said Chapman will be on an IP count in '13 but would not mention what the number is)? That is if the team has a viable 9th inning option to turn to. Broxton may not be that guy. I'm a big fan of the 2.22 GB/FB ratio he posted last season, and that 2.48 ERA is also a solid mark, but I'm still greatly concerned. Broxton's heater is down three mph from his heyday, and his K/9 mark of 6.98 last season was four full batters below his career average. Four. He also walked fewer batters than even before (his BB/9 was down a full batter), and there is little reason to think he will be able to keep the number that low again. I see trouble ahead with Broxton working the 9th.
Zack Greinke is gonna get paid. Oh is he. Buster Olney of ESPN suggests that a source told him there might even be chance that Greinke will be able to better the record $161 million deal given to CC Sabathia. Even if he doesn't get there, a deal of six years and $150 million seems immanently possible.
Jair Jurrjens is not likely to be back with the Braves. Who can blame them. He posted a 6.89 ERA and 1.86 WHIP last season in 11 outings while spending a large portion of the year in Triple-A where he didn't exactly stand out (4-6, 4.98 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 4.85 K/9). He's nothing more than a 5th starter in the big leagues despite the success that he has found in the past.
Francisco Liriano is now talking with the Twins who literally have one pitcher in their starting rotation – Scott Diamond. Apparently they haven't gotten enough of a guy who has gone 15-22 with an ERA over 5.00 the past two years.
Wilton Lopez has been dealt to the Phillies (the deal isn't official yet). Jonathan Papelbon is obviously locked into the 9th inning for the Phils, but Lopez will be an able bodied setup man. Coming off his best season (career bests in ERA 2.17, K/9 7.33 and GB/FB 2.60), Lopez should be an excellent setup man as well as a positive own in NL-only leagues.
Russell Martin is looking for a 4-year deal for $36-40 million. I think he's been huffing paint. Still, it seems like he'll get at least three years and $25 million from someone (John Heyman reports that the Pirates are likely to go that high). Martin last hit .250 in 2009, hasn't stolen double-digit bags since 2009 and has watched his OBP go down 4-straight years to last seasons career worst .311. That's a lot of junk to pay $8 mil a year for just to get 20 homers (13 of his 21 homers were at home last year where the ball flies out of the yard with frequency).
Andy Pettitte will pitch for the Yankees in 2013 after agreeing to a one year, $12 million deal. Pettitte is coming off a fantastic 12 start season that saw him post the second best ERA (2.87) and WHIP (1.14) of his career. Given that his career marks are 3.86 and 1.35, and that he is 40 years old, you'd be foolish to expect him to be as effective next season as he was last season.
Mark Reynolds seems unlikely to remain in Baltimore. Someone will pay the slugger even though he's coming off a down season of .221 with 23 homers and 69 RBIs. Don't forget that the previous three seasons (2009-11) that this guy averaged 38 homers, 91 RBIs and 87 runs scored a season.
Finally... Carlos Ruiz is a moron. Ruiz was suspended for 25 games for using Adderall (a medication for ADHD that is often used illegally by players to help sharpen their focus). Ruiz is an idiot for cheating, but there is also another layer of idiocy here. The first positive test for amphetamines results in further testing but NO suspension. That means that Ruiz failed the test – twice. I'm just gonna say it flat out – there is no doubt that Ruiz is a cheater.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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