Last winter we saw many free agents sign at a discount following injury-plagued seasons: Milton Bradley, Randy Wolf, Kerry Wood, Jason Jennings, Matt Clement, Bartolo Colon, and Mark Prior are examples. Let’s take a look at members of the ’09 free agent class who might be signed at similar discounts.
- Nomar Garciaparra, IF. Nomar has been a respectable hitter in 114 plate appearances this year. He’s dealt with a knee sprain, calf strain, and broken hand while earning $8.5MM.
- Orlando Hudson, 2B. Though Hudson will miss almost two months with a broken wrist, not much of a discount is expected. He should get more than $10MM per year.
- Rafael Furcal, SS. Furcal is an interesting case – easily the best available shortstop, but he only managed one torrid month before hitting the DL with a back injury. He prefers to re-sign with the Dodgers before other teams have a shot at convincing him otherwise.
- Hank Blalock, 1B/3B. Blalock will hit the market if the Rangers buy out his $6.2MM option. He’s had shoulder, hand, wrist, back, and hamstring problems this year. He had shoulder surgery back in October of ’06.
- Joe Crede, 3B. He was off to a decent start, but hasn’t played since July 21st due to back stiffness. The Boras client had back surgery in June of last year.
- Rocco Baldelli, OF. Baldelli’s options were declined, so he’ll be a free agent after the season. He’s dealing with a mitochondrial disorder.
- Frank Thomas, DH. Thomas missed all of June and July with a quad injury, and so far hasn’t rediscovered his May form. No word on whether he’s mulling retirement.
- There’s a group of starters who have pitched very little this year: Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Kris Benson, Matt Clement, Jason Jennings, Mark Mulder, Carl Pavano, and Mark Prior. These eight pitchers were paid a total of $25MM for 62 big league innings. They’ll all be signing cheaply for ’09.
- The injured reliever pool includes Eric Gagne, Todd Jones, Joe Borowski, and Tom Gordon.