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.