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2007 MLB Free Agents: Moises Alou

I've recommending that about ten teams should look into signing Moises Alou this winter.  I think all of the praise for him warrants a closer look.

Alou will enter his age 40 season in 2007.  All sorts of injuries limited him to just 221 games with the Giants for the life of his two-year, $13.25MM contract.  Despite making only 378 PAs this year, Alou was the 9th best RF in the game according to VORP.  He played left field in '05, and his offensive output ranked 6th at the position.

The Fielding Bible described Alou's work in left as adequate, as his speed, range, and arm do not impress.  I can only imagine what they'd say about his work in right field, a tougher position.

It seems clear that Alou would benefit from designated hitting.  It'd be his first time with an AL team.  Alou's .571 slugging percentage in 2006 was best among all free agent hitters with 300 PAs, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano included.  The beauty of Alou is that his deal would probably be for just one year.  Low risk, high reward, just like Frank Thomas was entering this season.

Almost any AL team could make use of Alou at DH.  The only teams I'd rule out for sure are the White Sox, Devil Rays, and Royals.  The latter two because they're not a few pieces away from contending, and the Sox because Thome can't move to first.  It follows that the Red Sox and Indians are unlikely suitors, as Hafner and Ortiz are pretty well entrenched at DH.  I'd still leave those two in the mix as Ortiz and Hafner could still be used at first.

If we take those five teams out we have the Orioles, Blue Jays, Yankees, Tigers, Twins, Angels, A's, Mariners, and Rangers.  I've yet to find whether Alou has made any indication on whether he intends to play in 2007; maybe some Giants fans can help out. 

On a mildly related note, here is Matt Cain's face on a tortilla.

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I'm like 95% sure he intends to play. Towards the end of the year he was talking about how good he felt he finished (he probably raised his slugging pct 70 points in the final two weeks of the season) and it gave him confidence he could sitll play at a high level.

I really think he'll be back and with his dad shown the door it certainly won;t be with SF, where he was fairly unhappy.

He's a very streaky hitter as many hitters are, but obviously he can still be a force when he's in a hot streak. His ability to hit Brandon Webb alone should make him of interest to a team like SD.

Injuries are obviously a problem for him because unlike Bonds (and Drham to an extent as wel) he hasn't learned to conserve energy to keep healthy. At age 40, it's unlikely he ever learns that lesson. He still plays extremely hard and that led to his various hamstring and calf injuries.

I really don't see him becoming a DH. It is the ideal situation, but he seems to have too much pride to take that kind of role. His defense isn't very good, but it's not that bad either. He has a better arm than most people think (at least in terms of arm strength) and while his range is minimal, he catches pretty much everything in diving range. But obviously the biggest attraction to the DH would be to keep him off the DL.

I think the Mets would be a good fit to sign him (they almost did in 2004) and he could do a good job for them in LF. That would also address their "vs LHP" problem. Then again, they might try and spend on their money on starting pitching if they fall short this year.

Yankees are probably hoping to keep Giambi at DH next year. and if your purely going to run the bat against bat Giambi beats Alou by a mile.

I agree with basically everything Neifi said, except that I think it will be 100%. Early in the 2006 season, he said that he wanted to play in 2007 but that it would be difficult to play in SF if his dad was not there. Plus, as noted, his dad thinks that he's still a great hitter, which he is when healthy and not recovering from his latest injury - he seems to be cold for a long while after returning, or so it seemed to me.

I know he takes pride in his defense, but he has certainly been frustrated by his health problems, so I wouldn't automatically dismiss him being a DH. I think it is a matter of degree: degree of playing in OF, degree of team winning, degree of how much he is being paid. He should most definitely be offered more money by AL teams, which can see him playing 120+ games as DH, whereas any NL team has to look at his last two years with the Giants to see what they are getting into and probably offer a "Frank Thomas" type of contract, though probably not that low a base salary, probably somewhere in the $3-5M range for base, plus incentives for games played that can push him up to $7-8M, maybe more if he can play a full season. I think money can sway him to go AL, he knows his days in baseball are numbered, he's already gotten his ring, so he's looking to provide for his family long-term, so it'll be hard to turn down the extra $1-2M that AL teams will probably offer above NL teams, unless Mets really want him that badly and match AL offers.

As we all know, Moises' health is the main reason for concern. He knows this too. Yes, he takes a lot of pride in not only his hitting production, but he also takes a lot of pride in his overall game. He expects nothing but the best from himself, and that's the way Moises plays. That being said, I don't think the DH position is out of the question at all. I agree that if a team could sign him as a DH, that would be the best thing for everyone involved.
He's still a dangerous and very productive hitter when he's healthy, so, as is the case with Thomas, it's really a great idea to keep him away from the fielding aspect of the game and anything that might cause muscle tightness/joint injury. Because of knee and other leg problems, it would probably also be a good idea to keep him off of an arificial surface. Thus, I would rule out Toronto and Minnesota. Also, I'm not sure his hitting strengths could be fully taken advantage of in parks such as Yankee Stadium, Comerica, Safeco, McAfee, etc. Out of the teams mentioned, the Orioles and Angels might be a fit, but I think there would be a great fit with the Rangers. I don't expect them to keep Lee (hopefully he'll be a Cub next season), but, if they did, a lineup consisting of Young, Texiera, Blalock, Lee and Alou would be downright dangerous.

Hey Roto who do you see as a "surprise" trade candidate? Is there anyone that you think will be traded that no one i thinking of?

As for you saying that the Red Sox may not have interest I wouldn't Rule them out at all especially if they trade Manny or Coco.
If Coco goes then Pena back to center and Alou back to Right?I wouldn't be surprised....bad outfield defense!

I would be all for the Mets signing Alou. Sadly, Cliff's time in NY is done, unless he's willing to sign on for a diminished role. I don't see him starting anymore.

As good as Endy has been this year, I just don't think he is capable of putting up solid numbers over 500 ABs. He is incredible valuable coming off the bench. Sign Alou for LF.

Reyes
Lo Duca
Beltran
Delgado
Wright
Alou
Green
(second baseman not named valentin)

he wouldnt fit with the padres... we're either going to sign Roberts or we will bring in the Japanese 3rd Baseman... i dont see alou as a fit in San Diego considering his age and how limited he would be on defense. unless of course he was a back up...but i doubt someone like Alou would want to be a backup in SD.

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