Posts Tagged ‘Mark DeRosa’

Starting Nine: National League West

January 16, 2010

Last but least in our Starting Nine series, is the National League West. Usually known as being the worst offensive division in baseball, the NL West has improved offensively this offseason.

The San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks have added offensive pieces this offseason and as long as the young Colorado Rockie hitters continue to improve, they will always be dangerous.

Here are the lineups for each team in the National League West as presently constructed today.

Colorado Rockies

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Carlos Gonzalez, LF

3. Todd Helton, 1B

4. Troy Tulowitzki, SS

5. Brad Hawpe, RF

6. Ian Stewart, 3B

7. Chris Iannetta, C

8. Clint Barmes, 2B

9. Ubaldo Jimenez, P

Quick Take – This lineup is the class of the NL West. This lineup has everything you want–speed, power, and patience. Look for Carlos Gonzalez to have a breakout year and become everyone’s mancrush when it comes to fantasy baseball.

San Francisco Giants

1. Freddy Sanchez, 2B

2. Edgar Renteria, SS

3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B

4. Aubrey Huff, 1B

5. Mark DeRosa, LF

6. Aaron Rowand, CF

7. Buster Posey, C

8. Nate Schierholtz, RF

9. Tim Lincecum, P

Quick Take – It’s hard to make up a lineup when every guy in that lineup is the same. This lineup has very little power, very little speed, and not a single person that scares an opposing pitching.

Los Angeles Dodgers

1. Rafael Furcal, SS

2. James Loney, 1B

3. Manny Ramirez, LF

4. Matt Kemp, CF

5. Andre Ethier, RF

6. Casey Blake, 3B

7. Russell Martin, C

8. Blake DeWitt, 2B

9. Chad Billingsley, P

Quick Take – I originally had Ethier in the two-hole and Loney in the six-hole like the Dodgers had in the NLCS last year. I didn’t like that lineup then, and I don’t like it now. Ethier is better served in a RBI position in the lineup.

Arizona Diamondbacks

1. Gerardo Parra, CF

2. Stephen Drew, SS

3. Justin Upton, RF

4. Mark Reynolds, 3B

5. Adam LaRoche, 1B

6. Conor Jackson, LF

7. Miguel Montero, C

8. Kelly Johnson, 2B

8. Dan Haren, P

Quick Take – With the addition of LaRoche and a healthy Jackson, this lineup all of a sudden looks very deep. Upton is only getting better and he will be a MVP candidate in 2010.

San Diego Padres

1. Everth Cabrera, SS

2. David Eckstein, 2B

3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

4. Kyle Blanks, lF

5. Chase Headley, 3B

6. Nick Hundley, C

7. Will Venable, RF

8. Tony Gwynn, CF

9. Chris Young, P

Quick Take – Kevin Kouzmanoff was traded to the Oakland A’s less than 24 hours ago, so now there is zero reason to pitch to A. Gonzalez in 2010. With Kouzmanoff gone, this is a big year for Headley. Look for newly acquired Scott Hairston to platoon with Gwynn in center.

Well that’s it for our Starting Nine series. I hoped you enjoyed it. I will update this series as the regular season approaches.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Giants Continue To Add Mediocre Offensive Players, Sign Aubrey Huff

January 13, 2010

Even the most casual baseball fan knows the San Francisco Giants need offense. The Giants–and in particular GM Brian Sabean–have tried to address this need during this offseason.

However, they are going about things the wrong way.

Signing mediocre or non-impact players is not the way to go. I’ve made the comparison before that the Giants are like a college basketball team after their star player leaves for the NBA. All that is left are the role players.

Huff signed with the Giants

That is the Giants right now. They have and are a bunch of role players. The team that is left with just role players can’t take things to the next level because nobody is left to make the big shot or in the Giants case, the big hit.

The Giants needed to add an impact bat this offseason and signing guys like Aubrey Huff doesn’t qualify. The Giants signed Huff yesterday to a one-year, $3 million deal. Huff, 33, is expected to play first base for the Giants in 2010.

Not only is Huff not the impact the Giants need, he isn’t even better than what they already have. If you compare the stats, Travis Ishikawi is coming off a better year than Huff is.

In 2009, Ishikawa hit .261/.329/.387 with nine home runs in 120 games. Huff on the other hand, hit .241/.310/.383 with 15 home runs in 150 games in 2009 with the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers.

Why not just go with Ishikawa for 2010?

My guess is Sabean is hoping Huff returns to his 2008 form where he hit .304/.360/.552 with 32 home runs in 2008. Playing in a ballpark where it is death valley for left-handed power hitters, I doubt Huff comes anywhere close to his 2008 numbers.

I am obviously not privy to the Giants’ financial records, but signing someone like Adam LaRoche or even Carlos Delgado would have made more sense for what the Giants need than Huff.

The one thing I am learning about Sabean as the years go by, is that his eye for talent–at least on the offensive side– is usually off. A GM can use stats all he wants, but he also has to use the eye test and try to figure out which players are on the decline and which players are capable of having a bounce-back season.

Sabean consistently misjudges talent on offense. The perfect example of this would be Aaron Rowand. Rowand is a classic role player or glue guy on a good team–not a star player, who can carry a team.

Sabean paid Rowand like a star player and he clearly is not one.

Despite their additions of Huff, and DeRosa and the re-signings of Juan Uribe and Freddy Sanchez, I still don’t think the Giants have enough on offense to win the NL West.

Huff is a career .282 hitter with 203 home runs and a .340 OBP in 10 seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros, Orioles, and Tigers.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Juan Uribe The Starter?

January 6, 2010

When the San Francisco Giants re-signed Juan Uribe to a one-year, $3.25 million last week, many envisioned Uribe becoming a super-utility player for the Giants in 2010.

As the great Lee Corso always says “Not so fast my friends.”

In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Giants’ GM Brian Sabean suggested that Uribe could be the Giants’ starting third baseman in 2010. The move would allow the newly signed Mark DeRosa to play left field and Pablo Sandoval would shift to first base.

Uribe should not be starting in 2010

This suggestion stems from the fact neither Sabean or manager Bruce Bochy feel comfortable with a Eugenio Velez and Andres Torres platoon in left.

Despite Uribe having his highest batting average in 2009 since 2001 (.289) and his highest OBP (.329) of his career, Uribe can’t be the Giants starting third baseman in 2010.

Uribe is a career .257 hitter with a .298 OBP. There is a better chance of Uribe doing that in 2010 than him hitting .289 again. Some guys are just better suited to be a bench player and Uribe is one of them at this point in his career.

Like Sabean said in the interview, the Giants have until opening day to figure things out. If I was Sabean, I would figure things out by finding a scenario where Uribe is not my everyday third baseman.

There are plenty of low-cost options out there like Xavier Nady, Aubrey Huff, and Russell Branyan that would allow the Giants to maximize their roster. I think someone like Johnny Damon might be out of the Giants price range, so signing someone like Branyan would be a smart move.

Now some of you might be saying “Hey Adam, the Chicago White Sox won a World Series with Uribe as their starting shortstop in 2005.”

While that is true, the White Sox also had a very deep lineup that year. Paul Konerko hit 40 home runs, Jermaine Dye hit 31 home runs, Scott Podsednik stole 59 bases, and even “Crazy” Carl Everett hit 23 home runs. Uribe was an afterthought in that lineup.

The Giants’ lineup is so mediocre that Uribe would be exposed in 2010. He would be counted on to provide offense and I just don’t see it happening.

The Giants should exhaust all available options before deciding to hand over the starting third base job to Uribe in 2010.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Red Sox Go On The Defensive Again, Sign Adrian Beltre

January 5, 2010

Theo Epstein looked at the defensive statistics and saw his team was one of the worst–if not the worst defensive team in baseball last season. His goal this offseason–to improve the Boston Red Sox overall defense.

First he added Marco Scutaro to play short, then he added Mike Cameron to play left and now he has added another superior defensive player.

According to Peter Gammons via Twitter, the Red Sox have signed 3B Adrian Beltre to a one-year, $9 million contract with a player option for $5 million for 2011. The deal is pending a physical.

Beltre is the latest free agent to join the Red Sox

This a great value signing by the Red Sox.

Beltre is one of the best defensive third baseman in the game and completely fits with what Epstein is trying to do defensively. Over the last three years, Beltre ranks fourth amongst all major league third baseman with a 23.7 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating).

Beltre replaces Mike Lowell as the Red Sox starting third baseman. Lowell was a statue last season. Lowell’s UZR last season was -10.4. Beltre’s was 14.3.

To say Beltre is an upgrade defensively is an understatement.

This move also allows Kevin Youkilis to concentrate on being the full-time first baseman rather than having to worry about shifting back-and-forth between first and third. Casey Kotchman’s reign as Red Sox starting first baseman lasted about three weeks.

With the moves Epstein has made this offseason, the Red Sox should be one of the better defensive teams in baseball next season.

Offensively, there are some concerns about Beltre. First and foremost, let’s get something out of the way–he is never, ever, ever going to have a year again like he did in 2004.

His .334 average and 48 home runs was the aberration of all aberrations. He is just not that good of a player. He is a guy who is more likely to hit .265 with 20 – 25 home runs, which is what he has done over the last five years.

While he has been consistent over the last five years, his OPS has dropped three years in a row, which is a little concerning. However, moving into a hitter friendly ballpark and hitting in a very solid lineup should help Beltre’s numbers.

It wouldn’t shock me if Beltre hit around .275 with 25 – 30 home runs in 2010.

With every signing there are two sides–the team’s side and the player’s side. And for the player’s side in this deal, this has to be considered a loss.

At the beginning of the offseason, Beltre was reportedly seeking a four-year, $40 – $50  million contract. He essentially priced himself out of the range of the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, and maybe even the Seattle Mariners.

Now two months later, he signs a one-year deal not even worth $10 million a year. That has to be a little disheartening for Beltre’s agent.

However, this is not a total loss for Beltre. Beltre and his agent realized he wasn’t going to get the money he wanted, so why not sign what is essentially a one-year deal with a team and a ballpark that gives him the best chance to succeed in 2010.

If Beltre has a big year, he can test the free agent market again in 2011 with better stats and perhaps a better economy behind him. It’s not such a bad strategy.

And while we are on the subject of strategy, how bad does the Phillies strategy of rushing to sign Placido Polanco look right now? Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr. looks like a complete buffoon right now.

Mark DeRosa signs for two-years and $12 million, Beltre signs for one-year and $9 million, and Polanco signs for three-years and $18 million? That deal is looking worse and worse every day.

I would rather have both of those guys than Polanco.

Beltre has a .270 average with 250 home runs and a .779 OPS in 12 major league seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

San Francisco Giants Add Offense, Sign DeRosa

December 29, 2009

In desperate need of some offense, the San Francisco Giants added a bat last night.

According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, via Twitter, the Giants have signed Mark DeRosa to a two-year, $12 million contract. DeRosa is expected to play third base for the Giants in 2010.

I’ll get to the Giants part of this in a second, but for DeRosa and his camp, this has to be considered a loss. I know it’s hard to fathom someone losing when they just made $12 million, but it is.

DeRosa is headed west to San Fran

At the beginning of the offseason, DeRosa and his camp were reportedly asking for a three-year deal and $18-$19 million. To get one-year and $6 million less, is something I don’t think DeRosa was hoping for.

But I think it was a smart move by his camp to get a deal done now. The longer he held out, the more likely he would be forced to accept a one-year deal. A road Adam LaRoche seems destined to travel.

For the Giants, this is a good deal, but it doesn’t solve all of their problems.

DeRosa can play third, second, first, left, or right. He is one of the most versatile players in the game. As I mentioned earlier, for the Giants he will most likely play third in 2010.

This move will allow current third baseman Pablo Sandoval to move to first, where he is much better suited. I expect DeRosa’s power numbers to decline a little playing in AT&T Park, but the Sandoval/DeRosa combination at first and third is a definite upgrade over the Sandoval/Travis Ishikawa/Ryan Garko combination of last year.

The Giants offense right now reminds me of a college basketball team after their one super-star player leaves for the NBA and all that is left is the supporting cast. Sure the supporting cast can compete, but they are not the powerhouse team they were the year before.

The Giants are like Oklahoma without Blake Griffin.

The Giants are missing that one dynamic hitter in the middle of the lineup that makes all the role players around him better. DeRosa, Freddy Sanchez, Aaron Roward, etc…are good players, but they are role players.

They shouldn’t be the focal point of the offense, but in the Giants’ offense they are. In order for the Giants to take the next step–not only in the NL West, but in the National League–they need to find their Blake Griffin or really their Barry Bonds.

And one last thing, as I think out loud here. If you are the Philadelphia Phillies, don’t you have a little pie in your face this morning?

They rushed to sign a second baseman to play third for three-years and $18 million. If they would have just waited two months, they could have had DeRosa for one-year and $6 million less.

I personally would rather have DeRosa play third for my team than Placido Polanco.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

It’s Official: Philadelphia Phillies Ink Placido Polanco

December 3, 2009

After declining the option on Pedro Feliz, the Philadelphia Phillies were in need of a third baseman. Today, the Phillies found their man.

According to various sources, the Phillies have officially signed Placido Polanco to a three-year, $18 million deal with a mutual option for 2013. Polanco, who will be 35 at the end of next season hit .285/.331./.396 with 10 home runs for the Detroit Tigers in 2010.

I got to be honest, I am very torn on whether or not I like this move for the Phillies.

Polanco is making a return to Philly

On one hand, despite on only playing 322 games at third base in a 12-year career, Polanco is an upgrade over Feliz at third. Polanco was at 2.7 WAR in 2009, while Feliz was just at 1.3.

I don’t question whether or not Polanco can play third on a full-time basis in 2010. I think he will make the adjustment very well.

Also, signing Polanco to an $18 million deal is probably more cost-effective than signing Chone Figgins or Adrian Beltre. I am assuming both Figgins and Beltre will sign contracts in the $40-$50 million range.

Spending only $6 million on Polanco might allow the Phillies to pursue perhaps a pitcher (Brandon Lyon, Fernando Rodney, JJ Putz) or an upgrade to their bench for 2010.

Now on the other hand, giving a soon-to-be 35-year-old, who’s OPS has declined three straight years a three-year contract is a little questionable. I highly doubt Polanco is going to be worth $6 million a year at the age of 37.

Plus the Phillies have a “Polanco type” player in Shane Victorino. Do the Phillies bat Polanco second and move Victorino down in the order? If so, wouldn’t Mark DeRosa be a better fit for the Phillies in the seven hole than Victorino?

I am more of a DeRosa fan myself and thought he would have been a better fit for the Phillies overall. It will be interesting to see what type of deal DeRosa gets now that Polanco has signed.

This will be Polanco’s second stint with the Phillies. Polanco played with the Phillies from 2002-2005 hitting .297 and had a .791 OPS–the highest of his career with any team.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Arbitration Roundup

December 2, 2009

For those of you who are not aware, yesterday at 11:59 pm est was the last day at teams could offer their free agents arbitration. Once a team offers arbitration to a player, that player has until Dec. 7 to accept.

A team would offer arbitration to a player–especially to a Type A or a Type B free agent because that team then would receive draft compensation as a result of that player signing with a new team.

A great example of this is what we saw this morning.

Since Billy Wagner signed with the Atlanta Braves and he was a Type A free agent who was offered arbitration, the Boston Red Sox will receive the Braves’ first-round pick (20th overall) and a supplemental pick in 2010.

Here is a list of the players who were offered arbitration by their current clubs. This list is courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors.

Type A Free Agents (10 players)

Chone Figgins

Figgins was offered arbitration by the Angels

John Lackey
Jose Valverde
Marco Scutaro
Mike Gonzalez
Rafael Soriano
Matt Holliday
Billy Wagner
Jason Bay
Rafael Betancourt

Type B Free Agents (13 players)

Justin Duchscherer
Rod Barajas
Joel Pineiro
Mark DeRosa
Adrian Beltre
Ivan Rodriguez
Marlon Byrd
Brian Shouse
Gregg Zaun
Jason Marquis
Brandon Lyon
Fernando Rodney
Carl Pavano

Yesterday was a good day for guys like Bengie Molina, Jermaine Dye, LaTroy Hawkins, and Kevin Gregg, who are all Type A free agents. Since these players were not offered arbitration and will not cost a first-round draft pick, they become much more attractive for teams to sign.

My predictions are that Molina ends up with the New York Mets and Dye ends up with the San Francisco Giants.

Yesterday was a bad day for a player like Rafael Betancourt. With him being a Type A free agent and offered arbitration by the Colorado Rockies, he is going to have a hard time finding work.

It’s hard to justify giving up a first-round pick for a middle reliever, who has been up and down for much of his career. My guess is he ends up back with the Rockies in 2010.

After Dec. 7, we will start to see the dominoes start to fall in the free agent market.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Dustin Pedroia Moving To Shortstop?

December 1, 2009

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

According to ESPN’s Peter Gammons, the Boston Red Sox have asked 2B Dustin Pedroia if he would be willing to move over to shortstop.

They’ve asked me if I think I could play shortstop,” says Pedroia. “They’ve put it out there and I’ve told them I’m all for it. I can do it. I can’t wait for Tito [Terry Francona] to call me and ask, ‘Can you do it?’ I can do it. I really want to do it.”

Why don’t the Red Sox just hold open tryouts for shortstops at this point?

You know how Texas A&M has the tradition of the “12th Man Kickoff Team” where members of the student body get to try out for the football team? The Red Sox should do that to fill their shortstop need in 2010.

Pedroia could be fielding balls at short in 2010

The Red Sox should just go to Boston College, Harvard, Providence, and UMass to find a shortstop in 2010.

Now if anyone can make the transition from second to short it could be Pedroia. After all, he was an All American shortstop at Arizona State University.

And like Gammons said, moving Pedroia to short would allow the Red Sox to pursue one of the top-tier second baseman on the market this winter. There are better options at second base via trade or free agency, than there are shortstops.

Orlando Hudson, Dan Uggla, Brandon Phillips, and even Mark DeRosa are all second baseman, who can be had this winter. If Pedroia does move to second, out of the group above, Brandon Phillips might make the most sense.

Uggla can’t play defense, DeRosa is more of a third baseman at this point in his career, and Hudson seemingly gets hurt every year. Phillips is a great defense player and is a player that could thrive in the deep Red Sox lineup.

I wrote about the pros and cons of trading for Phillips last month.

The more I think about, the more I think this has a very good chance of happening. Pedroia is the ultimate team player and will do what ever it takes to win. If that means moving to second, then so be it.

“When the idea of moving back to shortstop was floated to me, I welcomed it,” says Pedroia. “I’m excited. Tell Derek (Jeter) to enjoy the gold glove and silver slugger awards while he can. Obviously, I’m not serious about the fun I have with Derek, but I’m never stopping believing in the goal. I believe I can play shortstop and help get the Red Sox back where they belong.”

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Free Agent Primer: What To Look For This Offseason

November 19, 2009

At 12:01 tomorrow morning, the free agent signing period begins in baseball. Will you see players signing with teams at 12:05 like in the NFL and NBA? No, you won’t.

This will be a very long offseason in baseball. Just like last year, you will see some quality players still available going into the month of February. And just like last year, you are going to see GM’s try to wait out players hoping to get their version of a Bobby Abreu deal.

With the free agent signing period just a mere 12 hours away, here is a free agent primer on this year’s batch of free agents.

Best Free Agent Starting Pitcher: John Lackey. The same people who are concerned with Lackey being “injury prone” are the same people who thought Adrian Peterson was “injury prone” coming out of Oklahoma.

Kind of silly.

Best Free Agent Hitter: Matt Holliday. Holliday is the best hitter in a weak free agent hitting class. I am not sold on Holliday being paid like a franchise player, but he will be.

Best Free Agent Relief Pitcher: Rafael Soriano. Soriano is only 30-years-old and is entering the prime of his career. 12.1 K/9 in 2009 is very impressive.

Biggest Free Agent Hitter Bust: Marco Scutaro. I am sorry, but I just don’t see it from this guy. He has been a scrub all his life and now at 34-years-old he is worth a mutli-year deal? No thanks.

Biggest Free Agent Hitter Bust II: Chone Figgins. This is Juan Pierre Part II. Some team is going to give this guy a four-year, $42 million deal and regret it from the first day. In the third year of this deal he will be a pinch runner off the bench.

Biggest Free Agent Starting Pitcher Bust: Joel Pineiro. Back in August I wrote about how teams should stay away from Pineiro. My feelings towards him haven’t changed. He has Jeff Suppan and Kyle Lohse written all over him.

Biggest Free Agent Relief Pitcher Bust: Brandon Lyon. If a team signs Lyon as an eighth inning, set-up guy, I have no problem with that. But if a teams signs him to be their closer, all bets are off.

If you go into 2010 with Lyon as your closer, you are pretty much telling your fan base we have no shot to win in 2010.

Perfect Match Most Likely To Happen: Mark DeRosa to the Philadelphia Phillies. When you look at the Phillies team and then you look at the type of player DeRosa is, this is a perfect match. DeRosa is a “baseball player” and on a team filled with “baseball players,” DeRosa fits in perfectly.

Perfect Match Most Likely NOT To Happen: Orlando Hudson to the New York Mets. Hudson wanted to play for the Mets last year and it didn’t happen. He wants to play for them again this year and it won’t happen again.

Hudson is just what the Mets need, but since Luis Castillo and his horrific contract are holding down the fort at second base, Hudson will need to look for work somewhere else.

Biggest Free Agent Surprise: Jason Bay will not be back with the Boston Red Sox. As I told my buddy Odie, Bay is like the girl in high school who appears all sweet and innocent, but has slept with the entire football team.

Bay won't be a Red Sock in 2010

Everyone thinks because Bay is a soft-spoken nice guy and has thrived in Boston, he will just accept whatever Theo Epstein offers him and money doesn’t matter–not the case. I think Bay gets a five-year deal from another team and takes the years and the money and runs.

And I wouldn’t fault him for that.

Player Who Will Make The Most Money Who You Never Heard Of: Aroldis Chapman. Chapman is the 22-year-old Cuban defector, who is a starting pitcher and just happens to throw 100 mph. It looks like it will be a two-team race for Chapman’s services–the Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

This is Jose Contreras Part II.

Best Low-Risk, High-Reward Hitter: Xavier Nady. Last year, I correctly predicted that Russell Branyan would be the 2007 version of Carlos Pena–a journeyman guy, who finally gets a chance to start and has a big year.

Nady is that free agent this year. Let a small market team sign him to a one-year deal, let him play 1B/DH and watch him hit 30 home runs.

Best Low-Risk, High-Reward Hitter Part II: Troy Glaus. Glaus is relatively young at 33 and just two years ago hit 27 home runs and had an .856 OPS. Can he play third at this point in his career? Probably not.

But he can probably play first or DH and still be a power threat at a very low-cost.

Best Low-Rick, High Reward Pitcher: Ben Sheets. Sheets missed all of the 2009 season because of flexor tendon surgery. But Sheets should be 100 percent healthy by the start of spring training and I think could have an impact in 2010.

Remember, Andy Pettitte had the same surgery in 2004 and he has fully recovered from the injury. A team like the Texas Rangers would be wise to sign him to an incentive laden deal.

Pitchers Who Have To Stay In The NL In Order To Be Successful: Randy Wolf and Brad Penny. American League teams should really stay away from these guys. Hopefully both of these guys know where their bread is buttered and won’t pull a Jeff Weaver after the 2006 season.

Bedard won't work in New York or Boston

Big Market Teams Should Stay Away: Erik Bedard. Bedard just strikes me as a guy who would rather pitch in Kansas City and not be bothered than pitching in a pennant race in New York of Boston.

Worst Pitcher To Be This Offseason: Kevin Gregg. Gregg is a Type A free agent and he stinks. Very bad spot to be in.

Worst Hitter To Be This Offseason: Jermaine Dye. Dye is a Type A free agent, is 37-years-old, and can’t play a lick of defense. He is a DH in a strong DH market. I think it will be a while before a team looks at Dye.

Hitter Who Should Get More Love, But Won’t: Mike Cameron. Despite being 37-years-old, all Cameron is going to do is play a Gold Glove caliber center field, hit around .265, and hit 20-25 home runs.

Something tells me because of his relationship with CC Sabathia, Cameron signs with the Yankees on a one-year deal.

Pitcher Who Should Get More Love, But Won’t: Jon Garland. Why Garland was sitting the bench, while Hiroki Kuroda was starting playoff games for the Los Angeles Dodgers last year is beyond me.

I know wins for pitchers are overrated, but all Garland does is win. That does count for something. He is going to win games and pitch 200 innings. Teams could do a lot worse.

The Milwaukee Brewers would be smart to sign him.

Best Utility Player: Jamey Carroll. Great club house guy, who can play second, third, left, and right. Every team could use a player like Carroll on their roster.

Non-Tender Candidate Sleeper: Kelly Johnson. On December 12th, hundreds of players will not be tendered contracts. The sleeper out of this bunch–Kelly Johnson.

Johnson was put in Bobby Cox’s doghouse in Atlanta in 2009, but in 2007 he had an OPS of .831 and in 2007 he had an OPS of .795. He is a classic change of scenery guy.

You can find a full list of this year’s free agents here.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Phillies Decline Option On Pedro Feliz

November 9, 2009

The defending National League Champions will have a new starting third baseman in 2010.

Yesterday, the Philadelphia Phillies declined the $5.5 million option for 2010 on Pedro Feliz, thus making him a free agent. Feliz hit .266/.308/.386 last year, while playing gold glove caliber defense at third base for the Phillies.

This is why the Phillies are going to be good for years to come. Instead of being satisfied with what they have and picking up Feliz’s option, they decline the option and look to improve themselves.

Pedro Feliz

Feliz will be on a new team in 2010

Because the Phillies are in the “have’s” class, they should have their pick of third baseman this winter. Adrian Beltre, Chone Figgins, Mark DeRosa and even Miguel Tejada are all free agents and all would be an improvement over Feliz in 2010.

There is a lot of speculation that the Phillies will go after Beltre this offseason.

As for Feliz, this has to be disappointing for him. For one, he is leaving an extremely successful franchise in the Phillies. And more importantly for Feliz, he probably won’t get $5.5 million on the open market in this down economy.

The Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and St. Louis Cardinals are teams who need a third baseman and could be possible destinations for Feliz.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @theghostofmlg