Free Agent Stock Watch: Jose Contreras

After an ugly outing against the Yankees on August 29th of last year, Jose Contreras' record stood at 5-13.  He had a 5.42 ERA on the season and was well overpaid at $10MM.  At the August 31st deadline, the White Sox shipped Contreras to Colorado for minor league pitcher Brandon Hynick plus cash in a salary dump move.  The 38-year-old Cuban pitched well in his Rockies debut but suffered a quad injury in his second start.  Contreras returned from the injury as a reliever and did a good job in five appearances.  

The Phillies signed Contreras in January to a $1.5MM deal.  He's been lights-out this season, and has already ascended to second in line to close if Brad Lidge struggles or isn't available.  Contreras' dominance is no fluke – as a reliever this year his average fastball has jumped up to 94.7 mph and he sports an 11.6 K/9 with a career-best 54.2% groundball rate.  The relief sample is growing – since his Rockies role change Contreras has a 0.95 ERA, 10.4 K/9, and 2.4 BB/9 in 19 innings.

Contreras appears to have found a second baseball life as a reliever.  Admittedly, the 2010 season has just begun.  But if Contreras' excellence continues until free agency, he'll be positioned for a two-year deal or even a closing job.


7 Responses to Free Agent Stock Watch: Jose Contreras Leave a Reply

  1. This is looking a great sign from Ruben. He has been down right flithy this year. to my surprise he has been touching 98 MPH on the gun with a nasty split. Its good to have a power arm like his coming out the pen and he is looking like a good insurance policy in case headcase lidge decides to implode this year.

  2. danks50 5 years ago

    Good role for him, he’s shown so flashes of domiance over the past couple of years however he’s just too widely inconsistent to start every 5th day.

  3. jwsox 5 years ago

    The reason he is a beast now is because he only has to go out for at max 3 innings. Last season with the whitesox he was god like one turn though the line up. Alot of times having a no hitter or a shut out untill the line up turned over and the guys got a better look at him. I wanted the sox to do this to him last season, make him a reliever, but they didnt. ANy time you can have a plus fast ball and a ++ split finger one time through the line up your going to be unhittable

  4. philliesfan27 5 years ago

    cmonnn we (phillies) already got one soon to be free agent tearing it up in werth we dont need more publicity about a relief pitcher having a hell of a free agent year

  5. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Anybody that gives Contreras a 2 year contract is asking for it, or for that matter most middle relievers without a proven track record.

  6. Prior to the season, I had him penciled in on my prospective off-season roster as the Mets longman. Oh well.

  7. Trious 5 years ago

    I just don’t see why any winner would want Jose who could implode at any time

    His upside is there but his downside is much more prevelant

Leave a Reply