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2007 MLB Free Agent Market: Middle Relievers

Updated 1-9-07

Is there anyone useful left among the free agent relievers?  At this point, it's a mixed bag.  Take a look at the available free agents.

Mike DeJean - He had shoulder surgery in June and barely pitched in 2006.  He was useful in 2005 so someone will bring him aboard.

Dustin Hermanson - The White Sox declined their $3.65MM option on him after his back limited him to less than seven innings with the big club this year.  The Yankees took a look at his medical records earlier this month.

Dan Kolb - Despite two full seasons of lousy pitching, the Cardinals, Marlins, and Rockies have been on his tail this winter.

Brian Meadows - Another guy who fell into some save opps when no one else was left.  He could be decent in the NL for a million bucks.

Arthur Rhodes - To his credit, Rhodes was used in high leverage situations this year.  He had a poor season in Philly, which ended with a strained elbow in September.  If he can come back healthy he might be worth a look.

Scott Schoeneweis - He's left-handed, and he did good work in 15 inning stint with the Reds.  Maybe the Tigers will bring him aboard.

Rudy Seanez - Seanez had a rough year with the Red Sox and Padres, but his strikeout rate remained strong.  He's approaching 40 but may have a little bit left.

Jorge Sosa - Under 30, won 13 games in 2005?  Why hasn't Jim Hendry thrown $10 million at this man?  He doesn't really have any skills to speak of.

Ron Villone - He didn't accept the Yankees' offer of arbitration.  The lefty's stats look ugly but he was excellent in the first half.

A laundry list of projects.  I left Kent Mercker and Eddie Guardado off the list, as the Reds plan to invite them to spring training. 

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Comments

I can think of a pretty good one your forgetting Justin Speier.

Most of the contracts given out will be bad. Teams have shown they'll consistently overpay for a small sample size ERA, and regret it time and time again.

Walker's the perfect example. He's been a good MR the past few years - enough to warrant a contract maybe for 1-2 years and $1-2M per. This year he gets lucky with his BABIP and now he'll probably get $7-9M over 3.

In general, predicting MR performance is an exercise in futility. The ones that truly consistently dominate become closers. The rest are judged on misguided stats like ERA and even WHIP which is misleading over 70IP.

I firmly believe that only the truly dominating MR (i.e. those that potentially could close) should be given multi million/multi year contracts. There's just not enough evidence to suggest that giving anyone but those guys a big contract.

Lefties certainly have their place (no coincidence that your high leverage list is filled with them), but not every team can afford to pay Mike Myers $2M a year.

In general I'd prefer to see teams put struggling starters with good stuff in the pen and see what they can do - it's worked for many guys so I don't know why they don't try it more often.

I have trouble believing Bradford won't be resigned. The Mets will hardly be short of cash and he's a very reliable reliever.

Roberto Hernandez and Darren Oliver would be TERRIBLE signings above the 800K-1M range. Bert is shot and Oliver is having one helluva fluke season.

Trever Miller won't be on the market next year.
Take a look at this...
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/bb/4161346.html
He had an option that if he reached 50 appearances that he would be resigned to $1.3M which is his current salary.

Yep. The market is looking thinner by the minute.

Good catch Matt...he's having arguably the best season of the group.

You have to remember Jaimie Walker is more of a lefty specialist. Hence his low era. He has also had problems in clutch situations. Did you see the tigers get sweept by the Royals the last week of the season. Two of those games they jumped out to a least a 6-0 lead...

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