Best Minor League Deals Of The Offseason

Garrett Jones, Kevin Correia, Juan Uribe, Scott PodsednikKiko Calero, Brian Sanches, Jonny Gomes, Ronald Belisario – all were signed to minor league deals and had productive 2009 seasons.  Candidates for the best minor league deals of the 2009-10 offseason:

  • D.J. Carrasco, Pirates: Carrasco led all of baseball in relief innings in 2009, so maybe teams think he's worn down.  He's capable of an ERA around 4.00, and could fill a swingman role.
  • Joaquin Benoit, Rays: Benoit had rotator cuff surgery in January of '09.  He'll be a big asset if his '07 skills return.
  • Kiko Calero, Mets: Despite whiffing 10.4 per nine in '09 with a 1.95 ERA, concerns over Calero's shoulder prevented a big league offer from coming in.
  • Shelley Duncan, Indians: Duncan hit 30 home runs in Triple A last year and could hit 20 for the Indians.  The Braves' Mitch Jones and Pirates' Brian Myrow, also signed to minor league deals, are cut from the same cloth.
  • Will Ohman, Orioles: Ohman had a lost 2009 due to a shoulder injury, but he dominated lefties in '08.  Also keep an eye on Brian Shouse, a lefty reliever signed by the Red Sox.
  • Endy Chavez, Rangers: The Rangers didn't risk much to see if Chavez's world-class defense will hold up after surgery to repair a torn ACL.
  • Rich Hill, Cardinals: Hill's walk problems have continued in Spring Training, but the prospect of another '07 makes him intriguing.  The Cards also snagged infielder Ruben Gotay, who posted a .429 OBP in Triple A.
  • Jose Veras, Marlins: Who would be surprised if Veras gives the Marlins 70 productive innings this year?  Jesus Colome (Mariners), Seth McClung (Marlins), and Erick Threets (White Sox) are other relievers signed on minor league deals who work in the 93-94 mph range.
  • Hank Blalock, Rays: He hit 25 home runs last year, and could be useful if he stays healthy.
  • Jose Arredondo, Reds: Arredondo is an investment for 2011, as he'll spend '10 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
  • More decent veteran arms inked to minor league deals: Scott Proctor (Braves), Rodrigo Lopez (Diamondbacks), Jeff Weaver (Dodgers), Guillermo Mota (Giants), Todd Wellemeyer (Giants), and Justin Speier (Rockies).

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