Best Minor League Deals Of 2009

If you're looking for free agent bang for your buck, you can't go wrong with minor league deals.  Let's take a look at the best of 2009.

  • Garrett Jones – At .302/.368/.613 in 261 plate appearances, Jones is in the mix for NL Rookie of the Year.  He didn't show this kind of power playing at Triple A in the Twins' system.  Jones has played first base and the outfield corners for the Pirates.
  • Ryan Roberts – The Diamondbacks picked up Roberts after the Rangers cut him loose.  Playing left field, second base, and third base, he has a .285/.381/.427 line in 287 PAs.
  • Kevin Correia – The Giants non-tendered Correia last year; an oblique injury may have contributed to his lousy '08.  This year he's been the Padres' best starter with a 4.30 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 169.6 innings.
  • Juan Uribe – Uribe's power returned with the Giants in the NL, and he's contributed defensively all around the infield.  Dave Cameron of FanGraphs has more.
  • Adam Kennedy – Kennedy gets an asterisk, as he signed his minor league deal with the Rays and was traded to Oakland on May 8th.  He's been solid offensively and a strong defender at second and third base.
  • Chad Gaudin – Gaudin signed with the Padres in mid-April after being released by the Cubs (they'd have saved some bucks if they'd non-tendered him earlier).  He racked up 105 Ks in 105.3 innings for the Padres, and the Yankees acquired him in August.
  • Scott Podsednik – Playing left and center field for the White Sox after being released by Colorado, Pods surprisingly racked up 504 PAs with a .303/.355/.405 line.
  • Kiko Calero – When healthy Calero's been dominant for the Marlins – a 2.09 ERA and 62 Ks in 51.6 innings.
  • Brian Sanches – A Nationals castoff, Sanches has a 1.45 ERA with 47 Ks in 49.6 innings for the Marlins.  Couple of cheap, quality bullpen pickups for the Fish.
  • Jonny Gomes – We discussed Gomes here; he's been a pleasant surprise for the Reds.
  • Laynce Nix – He's been useful in left field for the Reds, slugging .484 in 307 PAs.
  • Ronald Belisario – He didn't do much at Double A for the Pirates, but Belisario has a 2.07 ERA and 54 Ks in 61 innings for the Dodgers.
  • Mike MacDougal – 14 saves in 15 tries as the Nationals' closer is impressive, but a 25:32 K/BB ratio shows why the White Sox let him go.
  • Honorable mentions: Sean White, Livan Hernandez, Omar Vizquel, Matt Palmer, Andruw Jones, Omir Santos, Jeff Weaver, Tyler Walker, and Josh FoggBrad Penny and Vicente Padilla have impressed with their new clubs.  Did we miss anyone?

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