In a little under an hour, the MLB Free Agency period will begin. Amidst the millions and millions and years and years of contracts, (hopefully) one lucky fellow will be called upon to serve in the Rays army as the designated batsman. After taking a look at the players available in the market, I put together a list of "DHs" and their respective Bill James' projections. I also added wOBA, so RJ doesn't beat me over the head for not using properly sanctioned statistics.
Here's a table showing the projections sorted in descending order by wOBA:
Obviously, some of these guys will cost more than others, as well as be more desirable than others. So, let's take a look at a few that I think would be good signs (for whatever that's worth).
- Adam Dunn/Milton Bradley: These two players are the best we could hope to afford. They are very similar in that they both have a perceived negative value due to "attitude" or "character" issues. Additionally, both can play the field but shouldn't. Dunn's horrid defense and Bradley's injury issues should force them both into DH roles. Maybe their predetermined roles, coupled with their "character flaws," could land them in the Bay area for a discount. Both are on-base machines that could really add some pop to the lineup. Bradley is preferred, though, because of his status as a Type B free agent.
- Giambi/Thomas: These two old sluggers should never, ever see the field for any team of the living. They both man the easiest position in baseball like the undead at this point, and they have definitely seen better days. They are both power bats with great eyes. If they can give us 120 games you can expect an OBP approaching .380 with 30 bombs. I love Giambi for the fact that he is a type B.
- Juan Rivera/Raul Ibanez: These two soon-to-be-former-AL-West-Rivals are both butchers in the field (notice a theme). Neither get on base like the aforementioned sluggers, but they do hit for power and SHOULD hit for decent averages. Ibanez will likely net a bigger contract when some foolish team thinks he can play RF (cough..Mets..cough). He's also a Type A, and older, so I am really warming up to Rivera.
- ATTENTION BARGAIN SHOPPERS (Blake, Millar, Casey, Kent, Norton, etc.): These players all have flaws. That's why they'll likely be cheap. One of them, however, may be the F.A.T. that RJ so dearly craves. A few are type A, so I'd stay away from them, but there may be some real value here.
- Everyone else that I did not notice or think worthy to mention may also come into play. I might have mentioned Hinske last year, but probably not. Pena the year before? Doubtful. So who knows what F.A.T. the RFO may bring in that will seem unexciting at first? Who knows, they may win a Silver Slugger a la Pena two years ago.
Let's discuss, and count the names as they get signed up!