Top 111 Free Agents: the non-tender edition

Leave a comment

With the batch of non-tenders helping to repopulate the ranks, it seemed like a good time to present an updated top 111 free agents. Players are listed based on how I think teams view them, rather than any personal feelings.
The original list can be found here.
1. Matt Holliday
2. John Lackey
3. Jason Bay
4. Adrian Beltre
5. Johnny Damon
6. Joel Pineiro
7. Aroldis Chapman
8. Jose Valverde
9. Mike Cameron
10. Jason Marquis
11. Mike Gonzalez
12. Ben Sheets
13. Fernando Rodney
14. Orlando Hudson
15. Mark DeRosa
16. Adam LaRoche
17. Jarrod Washburn
18. Marlon Byrd
19. Nick Johnson
20. Felipe Lopez
21. Jermaine Dye
22. Jon Garland
23. Hideki Matsui
24. Bengie Molina
25. Vladimir Guerrero
26. Carlos Delgado
27. Doug Davis
28. Vicente Padilla
29. Garrett Atkins (NT)
30. Octavio Dotel
31. Miguel Tejada
32. Brett Myers
33. Russell Branyan
34. Orlando Cabrera
35. John Smoltz
36. Erik Bedard
37. Matt Capps (NT)
38. Hank Blalock
39. Kelly Johnson (NT)
40. Pedro Martinez
41. Xavier Nady
42. Chan Ho Park
43. Rick Ankiel
44. Chien-Ming Wang (NT)
45. Randy Winn
46. Darren Oliver
47. Justin Duchscherer
48. Aubrey Huff
49. Troy Glaus
50. Coco Crisp
51. Jim Thome
52. Jonny Gomes (NT)
53. Miguel Olivo
54. Jack Cust (NT)
55. Kevin Gregg
56. Yorvit Torrealba
57. Braden Looper
58. Ryota Igarashi
59. Juan Uribe
60. Scott Podsednik
61. Joe Crede
62. Kiko Calero
63. Rod Barajas
64. Marcus Thames
65. Todd Wellemeyer
66. Ryan Church (NT)
67. Mike MacDougal (NT)
68. Scott Olsen (NT)
69. Craig Counsell
70. Rocco Baldelli
71. Randy Johnson
72. Reed Johnson
73. Jamey Carroll
74. Austin Kearns
75. David Weathers
76. Jose Contreras
77. Adam Kennedy
78. Ronnie Belliard
79. Gabe Gross (NT)
80. Alfredo Amezaga (NT)
81. Ryan Garko (NT)
82. Jerry Hairston Jr.
83. Guillermo Mota
84. Kelvim Escobar
85. Khalil Greene
86. Mike Jacobs
87. Fernando Tatis
88. Endy Chavez
89. D.J. Carrasco (NT)
90. Chad Tracy
91. Jose Arredondo (NT)
92. Livan Hernandez
93. Melvin Mora
94. Bob Howry
95. Gary Sheffield
96. Russ Springer
97. Jason Giambi
98. Tim Redding
99. Seth McClung (NT)
100. Garret Anderson
101. Eric Hinske
102. Ron Mahay
103. Brian Anderson (NT)
104. Ramon Castro
105. Shelley Duncan
106. Danys Baez
107. Jeff Weaver
108. Clay Condrey (NT)
109. Mark Loretta
110. Frank Catalanotto
111. Chris Duncan
Saturday’s non-tenders are listed with an (NT) next to their names. John Buck and Anthony Reyes would have made the list, but they’re already gone. Craig Counsell apparently is as well, but since he deal to stay with the Brewers isn’t official, he comes in at No. 69.
The cutoff for players likely to get multiyear deals is right around No. 30, though some of the catchers and relievers in the middle of the list will get two-year deals. Several guys in the bottom 20 may have to settle for minor league contracts.
Atkins comes in as the top non-tender. He’d probably prefer a one-year contract so that he can rebuild his value, and the Orioles might be willing to give him $5 million or so. The Twins are another team that figures to have some interest.
It might be that Arredondo has already agreed to a minor league deal to stay with the Angels, but he makes the list anyway. There should be several teams interested in stashing him away while he misses 2010 following Tommy John surgery.

James Shields lasts only 2 2/3 innings, gives up 10 runs to the Mariners

SEATTLE, WA - MAY 31:  Starting pitcher James Shields #33 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on May 31, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
3 Comments

James Shields has had better afternoons. The Padres’ starter couldn’t make it out of the third inning on Tuesday, ultimately serving up 10 runs on eight hits and four walks with one strikeout in 2 2/3 innings. The Mariners plated one run in the first inning, six in the second, and three in the third against Shields.

The runs came via, in order: a Kyle Seager RBI single, a bases loaded walk to Robinson Cano, a Nelson Cruz two-run single, a three-run Seager home run, and a three-run Seth Smith home run. Things continued to get worse once Shields left, as reliever Luis Perdomo gave up a two-run home run to Franklin Gutierrez in the fourth to make it 12-0. In the fifth, Smith homered again with the bases empty, and Adam Lind later drilled a three-run shot, pushing the score to 16-0.

The White Sox were reportedly discussing a trade involving Shields with the Padres as recently as Sunday. Shields entered Tuesday’s start with a 3.06 ERA and a 56/23 K/BB ratio in 64 2/3 innings. Presumably, a team wouldn’t let one start affect its interest in a player, but Shields’ outing certainly doesn’t help.

Atlanta Braves trade reliever Jason Grilli to the Toronto Blue Jays

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 28: Jason Grilli #39 of the Atlanta Braves throws an eighth inning pitch against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field on May 28, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
5 Comments

Multiple reporters including Robert Murray of Baseball Essential, Mark Bowman of MLB.com and David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution report that the Atlanta Braves are trading reliever Jason Grilli to the Toronto Blue Jays for a prospect. Murray says the prospect is minor league reliever Sean Ratcliffe

Grilli is having a subpar year but was a more or less effective closer last season. For 2016 he’s got a 5.29 ERA in 21 appearances and has a K/BB ratio of 23/13 in 17 innings. Nice strikeout total, but oof those walks. Last year he saved 24 games for a bad Braves team and posted a 2.94 ERA, struck out batters at the same rate and walked many fewer. Maybe a change of scenery and an adjustment would do him good.

Ratcliffe was an 18th round pick in 2013 for Toronto. He has only played in rookie ball and low A. He hasn’t pitched yet in 2016. Nothing in his previous three seasons shouts “great prospect” but you never know.

Jose Bautista: Rougned Odor “tried a hundred percent to hit me in the face.”

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 15:  Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers holds Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays after being punched by Rougned Odor #12 in the eighth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 15, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
10 Comments

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is still convinced that Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor was “looking for a fight” on May 15, when the two teams butted heads at Globe Life Park. Bautista also believes he deserves credit for not hurting Odor.

Ostensibly, the Rangers were still salty about Bautista’s bat flip during the ALDS last year. In the last game of the series — and the clubs’ last regular season meeting — on May 15, pitcher Matt Bush hit Bautista in the ribs with a fastball. When Justin Smoak hit a ground ball prime for a double play attempt, Bautista slid hard into Odor receiving the feed at second base. Odor then punched Bautista cleanly in the face, and the benches emptied.

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated has the quotes:

“Was [Odor] out to play baseball that day? Maybe partly,” Bautista told Verducci. “Part of me also thinks that he was looking for a fight.”

[…]

“I could have hit him,” Bautista said. “I could have hurt him. I chose not to. My cleats were down. I slid through the bag. Was it late? Yes, a hundred percent. But what can I do after they hit me? Should I ask my manager to let me pitch, which he is never going to let me do? Like, what am I supposed to do? Just sit there and take it?”

[…]

“I’ve been playing baseball for a long time,” Bautista said. “I know exactly what he was trying to do when he threw the ball. He tried a hundred percent to hit me in the face. And it’s not the first time he’s done it against me or some of my teammates. And there’s video to prove that.”

Bautista received a one-game suspension which was upheld upon review. Odor’s eight-game suspension was reduced to seven games which Bautista believes was “unfounded” and “unfair.”

What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: Starting pitcher Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets works the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 25, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Welcome back to normalcy. Most of us were treated to a three-day holiday weekend for Memorial Day. Hopefully you spent it doing what makes you happy.

We have two afternoon starts today between the Astros and Diamondbacks, and the Padres and Mariners. The focus tonight will be on the fading White Sox, losers of seven consecutive games. They lost three out of four to the Indians, were swept by the Royals in heartbreaking fashion, and lost Monday’s series opener to the Mets behind seven shutout frames from the struggling Matt Harvey.

In tonight’s 7:05 game at Citi Field, the White Sox have to contend with Steven Matz, who has been nothing short of brilliant in eight starts this season. The lefty owns a 2.36 ERA with a 50/9 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings. In a rotation that has heavy star power in Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom, it’s easy to overlook Matz. Meanwhile, the White Sox will counter with Mat Latos. Latos got off to a great start, putting up a 0.74 ERA over his first four starts. In the five starts since, however, has a 7.09 ERA. The advanced stats made Latos’ fall to earth easy to predict — overall, he has a rather unimpressive 26/18 K/BB ratio — but he was giving the White Sox rotation longevity after Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis) @ Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber), 6:10 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez) @ Baltimore Orioles (Kevin Gausman), 7:05 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Joe Ross) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola), 7:05 PM EDT

New York Yankees (CC Sabathia) @ Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ), 7:07 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Gerrit Cole) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez), 7:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy) @ Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Scott Kazmir) @ Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta), 8:05 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Mike Leake) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta), 8:10 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly) @ Kansas City Royals (Dillon Gee), 8:15 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Jon Moscot) @ Colorado Rockies (Jon Gray), 8:40 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Anibal Sanchez) @ Los Angeles Angels (Hector Santiago), 10:05 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Tyler Duffey) @ Oakland Athletics (Eric Surkamp), 10:05 PM EDT