Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has a well thought out column up today regarding the possible market value of Jake Westbrook, Travis Hafner, and C.C. Sabathia. Westbrook would hit free agency after this season; the other two after ’08.
His take on Westbrook: four or five years at $12.5MM annually. Westbrook’s agent has yet to speak with Mark Shapiro. Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon-Journal weighs in at five years and $15MM annually.
You can bet Travis Hafner wouldn’t be underrated on the open market, even as a DH. Pronk could hit 50 HR this year. Hoynes thinks it would require five or six years at $12-17MM annually for him. I think he would get at least $15MM for the AAV. Teams that might need a DH in 2009: Baltimore, Toronto, L.A., Seattle, and Texas (where it all began). Of the three, Hafner probably makes the least sense for Cleveland to sign long-term. Ocker sees him getting 100/6.
Sabathia is another guy whose best season could be 2007. Carlos Zambrano’s deal, whether reached now or after the ’07 season, could serve as a framework. Sure, Sabathia is heavy, but he’s also young and very good. I’m thinking five years, $75MM. Ocker counters with $135MM over seven seasons.