FanPost

Non-Tendered Free-Agency: Let's Go Dumpster Diving



So tomorrow, at 9 am PDT, dozens of players will find themselves without a team and hit the free-agency market, as they will not be tendered a contract.  This group of players offers an excellent opportunity for GMs with good talent evaluation (like, say, oh, I dunno....Jack Zduriencik) to find some diamonds in the rough to fill out some roster spots and be valuable additions.  I am sure MLBTR will run a constantly-updating list, but for now, they've highlighted some candidates here.  Here are some initial takes I have on the list, who might be of interest to the M's:

RHP Taylor Bucholz (COL): Looks like he could be a perfectly serviceable reliever, perhaps as some insurance in case White's injury is really bad and that rule 5 pick (Texiera) doesn't work out. EDIT: Apparently he had TJ surgery and can't pitch til after the ASB, so maybe not so much with this one.  He posted a 7.6 k/9 / 2.44 bb/9 line, with an xFIP of 3.93 and a WHIP of 0.95 (!) in 63 innings of work in Colorado.

C John Buck (KC): Could be a cheap backup-backup catcher to enter into spring training with.  Doesn't have any patience at the plate (career OBP ~.300), but he does have some "pop", slugging .484 last year.  However, his arm is a bit iffy, throwing out only 16% of base-stealers last year.

RHP DJ Carrasco (CWS): Another RHP, Carrasco won't be tendered thanks to the recent signing of J.J. Putz.  He had a bit of a down year in 2009, but still posted a 4.26 xFIP despite an unsually-high BABIP.

1B Conor Jackson (AZ): A cheap 1B in the mould of Adam LaRoche, Jackson provides an average bat (~.360 OBP/~.440 SLG in his healthy years) with an average glove for cheap.  The reason he is available is because he came down with Valley Fever last year, rendering him sluggish and fatigued.  He is currently hitting .415 in the Dominican League with 2 homers.  If the M's use their money on other positions, Jackson could be a good, cheap stopgap at first.

C Dioner Navarro (TB): Like Buck, Navarro could be a servicable backup catcher with potential upside.  After an average 2008 campaign (.349/.407) , Navarro plummeted back to earth in 09 (.261/.322).  Odds are Navarro's true talent lies somewhere between these lines.  Unlike Buck, Navarro has a decent arm, throwing out 30% of stealers in his career.

RHP Chien-Ming Wang (NYY): Getting non-tendered after being injured and homer-happy in 2009, Wang would be the ultimate low-risk, high-upside signing.  Wang relies heavily on ground-balls, and thus could really benefit from playing in Seattle with the Mariners defense behind him.

Anyways, these were just some names that jumped out at me.  Howsabout you?

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