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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23 Comments on "Best Minor League Deals Of The Offseason"


RichMahogany
5 years 5 months ago

I would be pretty surprised if Veras gave the Marlins 70 quality innings. He’s a fine minor league signing, sure but his innings high is 57 and he gives out a lot of free passes.

howie_n
5 years 5 months ago

Yeah… as a Yankees fan, I would be shocked if he gave the Marlins 70 quality innings. Seven, perhaps.

Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Never doubt a Marlins minor league signing.

5 years 5 months ago

Ramon Ortiz might end up a better deal than Jeff Weaver for Dodgers; he’s looked very good so far (admittedly in Spring training; so, fwiw). And does Garrett Anderson count or is that not a minor league deal?

Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Agreed!

RiverKKiller999
5 years 5 months ago

I don’t think Mitch Jones will ever make it out of the Minors and into the Majors.He strikes out way too much and I can see why Tim didn’t put him on this list.

RiverKKiller999
5 years 5 months ago

Oops my bad yeah he is on the list.

Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Dodger fans wanted him on the squad last year. Hes 4A for life.

eedwards027
5 years 5 months ago

You gotta like Benoit and Blalock for Tampa Bay. They are always good with minor league deals.

Taskmaster75
5 years 5 months ago

You can probably scratch Rich Hill, he’s gotten shelled in the spring. His curveball is utterly fantastic, but everything else can’t find the strike zone. If he fixes that, he can be damn good, and he’s got the best guy to fix it for him.

5 years 5 months ago

Chris Shelton, Astros. Guy has been posting ridiculous AAA numbers the past few years and Berkman’s injury makes signing him look downright prescient.

Guest
5 years 5 months ago

This is a perfect thread. I think

Kiko Calero
Joaquin Benoit
Will Ohman
Jose Veras
Rich Hill

wil end up paying off. All 5 look really good this spring.

I would add

Cedric Bowers
Marcus McBeth
Joey Gathright
Clay Hensley
Enrique Gonzalez
Francisco Rosario
Josh Rupe
Angel Sanchez
Gary Majewski
Josh Barfield (met Jesse over the weekend. Great guy. Great family.)
Jim Edmonds
Tony Pena Jr.

will also benefit their respective teams. At least sometime during the season we should see Bowers.

R_y_a_n
5 years 5 months ago

What are you talking about? Rich Hill looks terrible this spring.

Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Statistically he does but he is at least healthy.

R_y_a_n
5 years 5 months ago

Yea, see “healthy” doesn’t qualify as looking really really good. Otherwise, I’d put together a damn nice spring training.

Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Come on man, you know what I mean. Rich Hill has one of Baseball’s best Curveballs. When he’s healthy, he has high upside.

R_y_a_n
5 years 5 months ago

He has one plus pitch, I don’t think he should be on this list.

Steve_in_MA
5 years 5 months ago

There’s one guy that’s partially on the list who shouldn’t be. Shouse is about to flunk out with the BoSox. Both he and Dustin Richardson have been so marginal in camp that we called in a washed up Alan Embree to come compete for the left-hand specialist role.

5 years 5 months ago

Gomes isn’t on the list.

Steve_in_MA
5 years 5 months ago

Yeah, Tim, I caught that after the fact of starting to post. The inference that the first sentence applied to the 2008-2009 signing season was somewhat camouflaged. I caught it and amended my post just before you replied. Sorry for the confusion and any inconvenience.

basemonkey
5 years 5 months ago

The only reason Rich Hill is mentioned here is because he was a former Cubs prospect. He hasn’t shown one iota of performance that might suggest a repeat of ’07. His walks and control were terrible last year. His Spring has been more of the same. Technically he is coming off a significant shoulder injury, so throw that into the mix of concerns around him too.

There’s a better list of high potential guys than Hill at this point, guys who you at least don’t have to worry about health.

5 years 5 months ago

Alright, rattle off the guys signed to minor league deals who are better high potential guys than Hill.

5 years 5 months ago

What about Hasinori Takahashi? His control over 4 different pitches is beyond impressive w/ the ability to throw countless strikes. He’s probably the most consistent pitcher in terms of having the best control on the team behind Santana. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t make the team out of spring.