Here’s MLB.com’s official list of all the players who were non-tendered. These players are all free agents now. Any interesting names?
Josh Towers can at least eat innings for someone. He’ll be 31 in February. His control is incredible, but in turn he’s very hittable. Throw him in a big NL park with a strong defense, he could post a sub-4.00 ERA.
Mark Prior, just 27, is one of the more intriguing names out there. He was drafted by the Yankees in ’98 but went to college instead. Back in August, he was talking about being ready for Opening Day following April shoulder surgery. However he was supposed to be thinking about throwing around late October and I haven’t heard anything about that. Four league months might from him might be the best case scenario. But he could be solid in 2009 if the shoulder is truly repaired.
Kiko Calero turns 33 in January. He was lousy in ’07, but he had shoulder problems for much of the year and expects to be healthy for Spring Training. He was a solid reliever from 2003-06. 32 year-old Matt Wise isn’t dominant but you could do worse for your sixth inning guy.
Akinori Otsuka turns 36 in January. Last we heard, he was throwing pain-free. If his elbow looks good upon review, he could be a nice late-inning addition hopefully on a one-year deal.
Emil Brown will be 33 years old soon. He never found his groove in ’07 and may never again. But he had over 1,000 ABs of an OPS over .800 from 2005-06 and deserves a shot.
Kevin Mench, 30 in January, still owns lefties. With the right platoon partner, say, Shawn Green, they could do some damage.
Adam Everett, 31 in February, may be the only somewhat viable free agent shortstop now. His .299 career OBP is ghastly, but he’s among the best defensive shortstops in the game.
Miguel Olivo and Johnny Estrada are the two viable free agent catching options. Both have shown the ability to be above average hitters for their position. Olivo gunned down 33% of attempted thieves, but Estrada was the worst in the game at 13%. Olivo, however, cannot get on base to save his life.
Morgan Ensberg, 32, hit 36 home runs in 2005. He’s had injuries and plain ineffectiveness since, but he’s worthy of consideration in a weak third base market. Another former Astro, Jason Lane, turns 31 soon. He can play all three outfield positions and socked 26 HR in ’05. Maybe there was something in Houston’s water that year.