Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Baseball Free Agents – Third Base

Eleven free agents – eleven comments and observations. (Last year's team in parentheses.)

Aaron Boone (Indians) 33-years old – just 7 HR in 354 AB last season. Not much power anymore from a player expected to provide power. I don’t expect Boone to garner much interest this off-season.

Aramis Ramirez
(Cubs) – just 28 and coming off a season in which he hit 38 HR (his 3rd straight 30-HR season). Ramirez will probably get one of the biggest contracts this off-season and my guess is that it will be from the Cubs.

Rich Aurilia (Reds) – hit .300 with 23 HR last season. At 35-years old he’ll be a risk. He had a $2 million option so obviously he thinks that someone will pay him north of that. Rumor has it that the Giants are interested in bringing back Aurilia who started out with the Giants in 1995. Of course chances are just as great that he comes back to Cincinnati when all is said and done.

Wes Helms
(Marlins) – 30-years old and pegged as a back-up. Can play 3rd or 1st – so look for someone to pick him up as a cheap insurance policy or for a small market team to take a flier on him as a starter.

Aubrey Huff
(Houston) – played his entire career with Tampa Bay before being traded to the Astros mid-season. He’s listed as either a 3rd baseman or an outfielder but he’s really a DH. Huff’s HR and RBI’s have decreased each of the last 4-years yet some GM will make the mistake of giving him a multi-year contract. Huff is my early leading candidate to be the biggest bust player with an albatross contract.

David Bell (Brewers) – 34-years old and only 10-HR in 504 AB. Wes Helms had 10 HR in half the at-bats and Helms will be lucky to get a back-up job. If you pick David Bell as the answer to your 3rd base problem – then it’s time for you to take a remedial course on being a General Manager.

Jeff Cirillo
(Brewers) – Jeff Cirillo is Spanish for “the cattle are dying.”

Joe Randa (Pirates) – he filed for free agency but as he said, “that was just paperwork.” Randa plans to retire and enjoy what remains of the almost $23 million he earned over the course of his career. What a country!

Scott Spiezio (Cardinals) – released by Seattle in 2005 and a World Series hero for St. Louis in 2006. Now a free agent. Will anyone take a flier on Spiezio? My guess is that he stays put with the Cardinals as insurance for the oft-injured Scott Rolen.

Geoff Blum
(Padres) – at games Geoff thinks people are shouting “You’re a Blum” but he can’t explain the booing. Don Padro – tell Mr. Blum what lovely parting gifts we have for him.

Pedro Feliz (Giants) – the Giants last year paid Pedro Feliz $4 million to hit 22 HR when they could have paid Rich Aurila less for the same results. Don’t look for the Giants to make that same mistake twice.

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