2012 Free Agent Class Analysis

Our 2012 MLB Free Agent list has just been posted.  Since that post will be a permanent addition to the sidebar, comments on it are closed.  Leave comments here instead!

The 2012 list shows players who are eligible to become free agents after the 2011 season.  My system is to allow a player to only be on one list at a time, so those on the 2010 or 2011 lists are not on the 2012 one.  The 2012 list is for players who are signed through 2011 (some may have '12 options) and also for those who currently have between four and five years of service time.  Part of the latter group will be non-tendered after the '10 season, at which point they'll join the '11 list and be removed from '12.  Now that you're sufficiently confused, let's analyze this group!


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36 Comments on "2012 Free Agent Class Analysis"


AmericanMovieFan
5 years 5 months ago

Depending a number of factors, I could see the Yanks picking up Swisher’s option because of the small, almost insignificant differential between his value as a Free Agent and the cost of picking up the option. I could also see a 1-2 year extension in the $8-12MM per range, again depending on a number of factors. Girardi LOVES Swisher and Cashman loves Girardi, so between the three of them it wouldn’t be unrealistic to see this happen.

I also think Matt Cain will get 6 years/$90MM if he stays consistent.

ronny9
5 years 5 months ago

Well this class is not significantly deep after pujols, fielder and Adrian Gonzalez as far as great players. However, there are alot of guys that could be big help to teams looking for those particular positions.

Someone that is looking for a Shortstop could certainly find one for 3 years 30-35 million:

I don’t see Rollins getting much more than that after two more years of wear and tear; and Jose Reyes will be absolutely lucky if he gets himself back to that type of value. If he can stay healthy and play a total of 270 or more games in the next two years combined he could get 3 years but probably not much more than that.) That should be very interesting.

Teams can fill their closer hole during the winter of 2011/12 as well. It will probably cost much much more than most teams can afford or will be willing to pay for a guy who pitches 80 innings a year if that. (just so we realize thats an inning every two games) If i were running a team i wouldn’t be paying Papelbon, Broxton etc. 13 million or more a year to close, but hey there’s always the Yanks Paps! (i’m as big a sox fan as they come and that would suck but he or any other closer is not worth more than 10 million in my opinion)

If you need a middle infielder who can’t hit this is your class.

You can also fill the #4 or #5 spots in your rotation for pretty cheap.

Well as a Sox fan i have to admit, when i heard of the John Lackey signing i was sort of blindsided; I remeber thinking.. wait, why did they just pay that much for Lackey when Beckett is going to be a free agent after next season.. But now after analyzing the starters in the 2011 and 2012 class, it is my opinion that they absolutely got the best value for the price they paid that was going to be available in the next 2 or 3 years. 2011 has (besides Beckett b/c i believe he is going to be resigned for a few mill more than lackey and the top three of Lester/Beckett/Lackey will be together for the long haul) is going to be very expensive b/c yes it has a couple good pitchers but they are going to get contracts that are either A. more than Lackey w/ less of a LONGSTANDING resume (lee) or much more of a risk (webb). Then in 2012, there really isn’t much at all. Good move Theo, i must say.

The_Thrill_22
5 years 5 months ago

I think Cain stays in SF. The Giants need to keep Cain and Linececum together if they want to stay competitive

bomberj11
5 years 5 months ago

Just looked at the class for 2012. A lot of nice closers out there. By the way, how the hell does Yuniesky Betancourt have a $6 million option?

redsandyanksfan
5 years 5 months ago

Was it bavisi who gave him that contract or dayton more im pretty sureit bavisi Seattles former gm but anyway both of them are as dumb as they come along with ed wade and jim hendry

jwsox
5 years 5 months ago

that could be one of the first years when the yankkes are simply not that involved. They wont deal with the closers as we all know joba is the next closer for them. Cano will get extended, he will be an idiot if he goes any where else. Although I cold see the yanks go after rollins or reyes and move either one of them or jeter to 2nd…I could see them go after one of the big 1st basemen and move either them or tex to DH..and maybe yadier molina at catcher but there are internal player they actually are really high on so maybe the pin stripes will be quiet

Yankees420
5 years 5 months ago

No way does Cashman pay top dollar for one of the 1B’s only to put them at DH, that would be a big waste, C is going to be filled by some sort of platoon between Romine and Montero, with Montero probably seeing plenty of time at DH so to sign a full time DH would be stupid. I think they’ll extend Cano (he does have a 14MM option but I think they’ll just extend him anyway) and evaluate where Joba is at this time, if he proves that he cannot handle starting then yes, I think he’ll be the heir to Mo, but if not I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go after Broxton, whom I like better than Paplebon.

NomarGarciaparra
5 years 5 months ago

Well it’s possible if they want another big bat…perhaps sign a 1B with poor defense…say Prince Fielder? And then keep Tex and his glove at first.

0bsessions
5 years 5 months ago

To expand on what Yankees420 was saying…why?!

I’m no Yankees fan, but looking at it from their perspective, signing a top dollar free agent first baseman in 2012 would be a disastrously stupid idea. Their top prospect, Montero, is projected by most scouts as more of a first baseman/DH in the big leagues. Him aside, both Jeter and A-Rod aren’t going to be able to play the field a few years down the road, much less at more demanding positions like third and short. If the Yanks extend Jeter to 42 (As most people expect) and sign another first baseman to a big, long term deal (Which is what it’ll take to get any of the 2012 big guns), come 2014, they’re going to have four 1B/DH’s signed to a combined $100+ million and a fifth one closing in on arbitration. I don’t care how deep the Yankees’ pockets are, unless the next CBO expands MLB roster sizes to 30+, the Yanks would be in pretty big trouble.

NomarGarciaparra
5 years 5 months ago

Yeah that makes sense. You make a good point about 2014…I didn’t think that far down the road.

Yankees420
5 years 5 months ago

Like Obsessions said it makes zero sense, the Yankees plan is that hopefully Austin Romine’s bat is able to be league average so he could be the defensive catcher, while Montero’s bat will play in the majors, but it’s unsure that he can stick behind the plate (I’m still holding out hope, if he doesn’t improve this season then yeah he’ll probably be a DH, possibly and emphasis on POSSIBLY a LF’er) so signing one of the big 1B’s is not a smart move nor one I see the Yankees making.

jhd5787
5 years 5 months ago

Yanks are gonna get reyes and move jeter to second? Yeah cano will get extended for big bucks. then get pujols to play DH? then Get yadier molina too? if this happens then the yankees payroll will be 300 million. Come join the rest of us in the real world.

4 years 7 months ago

that is so stupid they would never sign someone other than cano for 2B. plus they would never move tex he is a gold glove winning 1B so i highly doubt they would pay for a 1B who doesnt want to play DH which most of them wanna be in the field.

jwsox
5 years 5 months ago

brox has to prove that his body, much like price, can hold up. Both are big big big dudes, i know fielder is more fat and brox is more of a giant but still big body guys tend to not last in sports. As for joba i think with joe saying phil hughes is the 5th starter and joba is the set up man is proof that they are getting ready to move joba to the 9th…i think he will be the most effective there…His stuff is nuts, he has no hitter stuff the only problem is he throws sooo hard that he can only handle 1-2 turns through the line up because he throws so hard. but with a +++ fast ball and hard sharp curve and slider he wold be a great closer and a hall of fame closer if he can get a + change up

jhd5787
5 years 5 months ago

throws so hard? he threw hard in 07 out of the pen. Then he had shoulder trouble and was shut down. Since his move to the rotation he has had a fastball in the low to mid ninties. Not exactly gonna blow someone away with a 93 mph heater. Lets see how he does this year before we clear a spot for him in the HOF

Yankees420
5 years 5 months ago

I agree that it’s very premature to mention Joba and the HOF, but the reason his velocity dropped as a starter is because he had to conserve, knowing that he’d be throwing 80-100 pitches rather than 1 or 2 innings worth, so he couldn’t let it all go, out of the bullpen I see Joba’s velocity going back up to the 97-99mph range.

jacobjackson
5 years 5 months ago

The lack of starting pitching and elite outfielders in the ’12 class is part of why I think the Yanks will make a strong run at Crawford and Cliff Lee next year.

They have smartly adopted a new free-agent strategy of completely eschewing the middle-tier free agents and instead focusing on only the very top-tier guys. If those top-tier guys don’t fill a strong need for them, they have the discipline to avoid them.

If we look back on them in a few years, I suspect we’d see this pattern for the Yanks:
2009 FA class: Sabathia, Teix, Burnett – huge, historic investment
2010 FA class: Basically the Yankees punted on it entirely, save Nick Johnson. Internal promotion to fill vacancy (Gardner).
2011 FA class: Crawford, Lee, as well as bringing back Jeter (and Mo?). Huge investments.
2012: FA class: Once again, punting entirely. Internal promotions (Posada retires, replaced by Montero and Romine/Cervelli; DH becomes a floating position, filled by Montero and the aging Jeter/A-Rod, as Nick Johnson is allowed to walk after playing out his 2011 option year; Mariano retires, replaced by Joba).

jhd5787
5 years 5 months ago

So the new strategy is every other year, just go out and buy the 2-3 best free agents on the market? That is the pattern i see in your post.

Yankees420
5 years 5 months ago

If those FA’s fill a glaring need and there’s really nothing else the next year for that need, it’s better than giving top dollar to guys like Pavano just because they can.

jhd5787
5 years 5 months ago

Were sabathia burnett and tex really a need or a luxury?

Yankees420
5 years 5 months ago

Posada will probably be a DH most of the 2011 season, so I don’t think Johnson’s option will be picked up.

jhd5787
5 years 5 months ago

All these yankee vets are gonna start getting real costly real quick. jeter, mo, posada will all get extended until they want to stop playing. All three are the highest paid at their position and all will be getting raises. If Sabathia opts out and somehow strong arms the yanks into giving him more money (see a-rod) the yanks will have A TON of cash lined up on those guys. Not to mention the 50+ mil a year tex and arod got them for. I cant wait for it all to come crashing down

Yankees420
5 years 5 months ago

Posada won’t be getting extended, hopefully he retires because I don’t want to see him in another uniform, but pretty much all of the Yankee’s top prospects are catchers, so they’ll fill Posad’s void from within, and use the money that he was getting paid to help lower the payroll after extending Jeter, Mo, and getting some other top FA.

jhd5787
5 years 5 months ago

still didnt answer my question. You said they were legitimate needs. Are the
top 3 free agents really needs?

jacobjackson
5 years 5 months ago

I’m amazed that you’re even asking that question. The Yanks went from missing the playoffs to dominant WS champs partially on the back of the contributions of that trio.

Those 3 guys filled needs. Just like how Cliff Lee will fill the void left by Pettitte, and Crawford will fill a speed/top of the order/left field void.

jhd5787
5 years 5 months ago

The yankees went from missing the playoff to winning the world series BECAUSE of those three guys. Buuut you said they were legitimate needs, and I do not totally agree with that. After giambi left, the yankees signed Nick Swisher to play first base. Problem taken care of, they have an everyday firstbasemen. Then they sign Tex. Was there a legitimate need to sign him? Nope since they already filled that void in the line-up. I guess they did need starting pitching since theirs was beyond horrible in 2008. so when the yankees sign carl crawford next year where is the need? They have gardner (first on their depth chart) to play left, swisher to play right and granderson to play center. Crawford would be a luxury.

mantistoboggan47
5 years 5 months ago

I dont quite understand what you are saying.. By your logic no team should ever need anyone as long as they have a AAAA bench guy who is first on their depth chart to fill the spot.

NomarGarciaparra
5 years 5 months ago

No I think what he’s saying is that for many teams, they don’t need to shell out big bucks to fill every void. For example, as you said, Lee to replace Pettite. It’s only the Yanks that have the luxury to acquire every top FA out there.

Yes I am a Sox fan. But if you look at the Yanks roster, it IS filled with top dollar stars.

mantistoboggan47
5 years 5 months ago

Was Lackey a luxury or a crucial need?

Ferrariman
5 years 5 months ago

thats not the point. this isn’t a yankees vs red sox thing. why does cliff lee need to fill the void left by petitte? why can’t it be someone like jorge de la rosa or kevin correia or another one of those midlevel starting pitchers.

he’s trying to say its not smart spending to just get the top dollar guy every time as the past will come back to haunt you.

mantistoboggan47
5 years 5 months ago

It can be someone like them if you are willing to give up a game or two. Giving up a game or two in the shark tank that is the AL east might not be something they want to do however.

Billy bean is always lauded for his smart baseball moves but when was the last time the A’s won anything? The whole point of this thing is still to win baseball games. They wont just hand you a division title cause you invented a new defensive metric equation.

Also just for the record i am not on the yankees must sign lee next year bandwagon at all.

Ferrariman
5 years 5 months ago

thats not the point. this isn’t a yankees vs red sox thing. why does cliff lee need to fill the void left by petitte? why can’t it be someone like jorge de la rosa or kevin correia or another one of those midlevel starting pitchers.

he’s trying to say its not smart spending to just get the top dollar guy every time as the past will come back to haunt you.

NomarGarciaparra
5 years 5 months ago

Honestly, I think Lackey is somewhere in between. But Theo looked at the FA market for the next couple of years and realized the starting pitching market is thin…and considering what happened last year with the rotation, they definitely need depth on the rotation.

In addition to that, it’s not like they signed many big names. They signed Lackey after they realized they were unable to keep Bay, and used the money for Bay to sign Lackey.

Unlike the Yankees who were able to sign Tex, CC, and Burnett all in the same offseason! Now I’m not saying that that was a bad move. In fact, they were in desperate need of starting pitching, so signing CC and Burnett was a great move for them. But Tex? Was he needed? And even if you think yes they did need him, how many teams out there have the luxury of signing 3 top FA in ONE OFFSEASON? For other teams, it would be prioritize, but for the Yanks, they have the cash to acquire every luxury they want.

NomarGarciaparra
5 years 5 months ago

Honestly, I think Lackey is somewhere in between. But Theo looked at the FA market for the next couple of years and realized the starting pitching market is thin…and considering what happened last year with the rotation, they definitely need depth on the rotation.

In addition to that, it’s not like they signed many big names. They signed Lackey after they realized they were unable to keep Bay, and used the money for Bay to sign Lackey.

Unlike the Yankees who were able to sign Tex, CC, and Burnett all in the same offseason! Now I’m not saying that that was a bad move. In fact, they were in desperate need of starting pitching, so signing CC and Burnett was a great move for them. But Tex? Was he needed? And even if you think yes they did need him, how many teams out there have the luxury of signing 3 top FA in ONE OFFSEASON? For other teams, it would be prioritize, but for the Yanks, they have the cash to acquire every luxury they want.

Ferrariman
5 years 5 months ago

thats when soriano comes off the books.

bomberj11
5 years 5 months ago

Hopefully that’s the year Favre retires. (Please, please, please…….)