This is my first time reviewing free agency since Season 1. I don't have nearly the time as I used to, but I think this will be a neat segment to give some commentary on how free agency went. You'll notice that I reviewed them by the team that signed them. This is also for fun and based on my biases. Everyone looks at ratings differently, so please don't take anything personally!
New York Red Storm
Adrian Kendall - I like this signing to a point. Pretty economical for the results Kendall has provided. Not sure if it was the best decision to include a no trade clause, but if mamidu is sure he is going to keep him it wouldn't hurt. Something that would have helped here would have been a mutual or team option to protect against Kendall declining significantly by the start of next season.
Gus Martin - I like this signing. Not a lot of money, only for one season, a type B so the Red Storm didn’t surrender a draft pick. Nice complementary piece to the bullpen.
Vin Horton - Damn you Horton! Actually, this is partially my fault as I should have extended him last season, but since his patience rating is over 70, I figured he'd still be open to re-signing after rollover. I was wrong. Horton gives you a ton of production, however...giving him a 5 season contract is a little ambitious as Horton has already started to decline, albeit only a bit. Nashville countered this by giving him a de-escalating contract, but those last couple seasons might be tough. A mutual/team option would have helped.
Ronald Berger - The Commodores continue their spending binge by selling out 45 million over 5 seasons for Berger. I’m not typically a fan of committing so much money to a reliever, but at least Berger can pitching 100+ innings if utilized correctly. I’m also bitter because this signing booted the Horton signing out of Nashville’s first round pick.
Harry Minor - Minor is coming off the worst season of his career, but that didn’t scare away Nashville or a number of other suitors. Nashville upgraded its offense considerably with the additions of Minor and Horton. Although he is already in decline, his makeup is great and there is a good
Texas Horned Frogs
Patrick Lamb - Not a huge fan of this deal. 30 million is a lot to shell out for a career 4.96 ERA and 1.51 WHIP. To get the most value out of this deal, Texas needs to utilize Lamb like Charleston did in Season 11 where he pitched 120+ innings and hope for better production. In my opinion, he is not worth giving up the 24th pick for.
Chicago Blue Demons
Guy McMasters - The Blue Demons are trying to capitalize on their surprising division title last season by shoring up the top of their rotation. It’s a good move since even though they won the title, their record assured them of the 15th pick and could sign a Type A without giving up their first round choice. Two season deal limits their financial risk and even though he doesn’t have great pitches, his other ratings have made up for it. Nice Deal.
Dan Russell - Interesting case. His stats haven’t seemed to match up with his ratings. Also, how did he only get 23 AB’s last season? It doesn’t look like he was injured or spent anytime in AAA. Either way, its an upgrade for Louisville who is spending some money this season in an effort to get better quickly. However, I don’t think his production deserves approximately 26 million.
Dernell Cameron - Cameron was one of the big targets this offseason and his decision went to the wire. Owner, gerald007 has already admitted he overpaid, but is committed to bringing some more W’s to Louisville and Cameron will certainly help. That last season of the contract might hurt a bit when Cameron is 36.
Iowa City Hawkeyes
Darrell Dyer - My favorite deal of free agency so far. Dyer is one of the top hitting catchers in NCAA and I am shocked the Hawkeyes were able to grab him for only one season. Part of me thinks the Hawkeyes should have locked him up for a second season since he was a type A and had to give up their second round pick for him.
Jolbert Rosado - The Hawkeyes continue to solidify their lineup with a longtime vet to roam CF. 10 million seems like a lot to pay, but the Hawkeyes need to hit 70 wins this season or the owner will fire the GM so they are not messing around.
Bernard Townsend - Another great deal for the NL North. I am surprised that Detroit let him walk. He is still extremely productive even at the tender age of 37. 48 saves last season! No financial risk at all for the Buckeyes in a one season deal. Nice work.
Haywood Young - Has been a pretty solid reliever for the Hawkeyes, but couldn't pass up the large pile of cash the Buckeyes threw at him.
Huntington Thundering Herd
David Cordero - Raise your hand if you are shocked that Huntington signed a big name FA. Cordero was one of the top hitters on the market and actually comes a bit cheap considering some of the other contracts we have seen been thrown around this offseason. The Herd will have to hope that Cordero doesn’t decline too much going into next season, but he should provide a lot of pop in Huntington’s bandbox.
Dusty Johnstone - Quality signing. Still has pretty solid ratings for being 40. Only committed to this season so they can re-evaluate at seasons end depending on his production. He should slot in nicely at the back end of the rotation.
David Cox - Hopefully Cox didn’t sell his home as he makes his third stop in Huntington. He was ran out of town after season 12 where he posted a 2.01 WHIP in 60+ innings, but hurricane loves giving guys second shots…and third shots…and sometimes fourth shots.
Ismael Rios - Rios is coming off his worst season which scared some teams away, but the Bearcats locked him up for one season at 5.2 million which seems fair considering his production if you take away last season. His ratings suggest that he’ll bounce back and the Bearcats don’t need to worry about decline since they aren’t committed to him for next season.
Corey Sheffield - Allright identified the bullpen as a hole and has moved aggressively to fix it. Sheffield is coming off one of his best seasons and parlayed that into a nice payday. The Bearcats will hope he produces closer to last season than other seasons.
Alex Lopez - Yet another bullpen signing for the Bearcats. I am biased as Lopez pitched a bunch of seasons in Charlotte, but I think this is a great deal and better value that several other reliever that were signed this offseason. With his DUR/STA combo, Lopez can pitch 100 quality innings if given the right opportunity.
Vic Redmond - Another nice piece to the puzzle for Syracuse’s bullpen. Like most bullpen guys, his seasons go from one extreme to another, but it’s a nice gamble.
Eddie Sanford - Nothing too exciting to see here. Contract seems to be in line with production although he kind of fell off the map last season in Huntington. Not a big gamble.
Flip Carter - Aggressive move here. I like the usage of bonus money to keep the per season average down. The major issue here is his range. It has already started to decline slightly and since he is lefty, he can’t be plugged in at 2B. So the Wolverines will have to decide next season or possibly season 3 if they want to live with a sub par range CFer or average bat at a COF position.
Little Rock Razorbacks
Darren Caminiti - Another type B relief pitcher. They grew on trees this off season. Not to mimic what I wrote earlier, but this is another player that will slot in nicely in the bullpen that didn’t require a huge outlay of cash.
Al Johnson - This seems like a lot of cash to guarantee to a 33 year old with 57 makeup. He is coming off two of his best seasons, but that contract may hurt a bit in a couple seasons.
Hamish Reynolds - I’ve noticed that its not easy to find quality defensive 3B that have some pop and Reynolds fits that mold. He won’t hit a ton, but he plays quality defense at third with enough pop to warrant this deal. Good signing.
Dan Russ - Another ex Tar Heel. He can be extremely productive if he gets regular playing time. I think he has a great chance to out perform the 10 million over three seasons contract the Trojans awarded him.