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.

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7 Comments on "Free Agent Stock Watch: Jose Contreras"

5 years 3 months ago

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.

5 years 3 months 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.

5 years 3 months 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

5 years 3 months 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 years 3 months 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.

5 years 3 months ago

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

5 years 3 months 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