2006 MLB Free Agents: Part 2
Since our July 25th article "Likely Trade Targets: 2006 Free Agents" has been overwhelmingly popular, The Roto Authority would like to touch on some additional free agents that didn't make it into the original article. Today we'll analyze the possible fantasy effects of additional 2006 MLB free agents who may end up signing elsewhere.
Despite the occasional hiccup this season, B.J. Ryan is among the more reliable closers in baseball.
A closer job will be secure this offseason when Ryan signs for about three years, $21 million. The Diamondbacks might be the team to pony up the cash. Beyond saves, racking up 120 Ks and an ERA below 3 adds nice value to your team. Still, star position players and starters will always have more value. If you're in a keeper league, retain Ryan if he's at a reasonable salary. But don't be afraid to entertain offers for Bobby Abreu and the like this winter.
2003 aside, Paul Konerko has been a dependable .270-30-100 guy at first base. He's returned to his career norms after a frigid start this year. If Konerko can just keep up his July pace, he's due for a four-year deal in the neighborhood of $40 million.
As we mentioned earlier in reference to Jim Thome, such a deal would not be wise. You shouldn't be thinking long-term about Konerko either, but he should have around two or three good seasons left in him. His numbers aren't hard to come by from a corner infielder, so try to spin him into a solid young shortstop like Bobby Crosby. If the White Sox don't bring him back, look for the Los Angeles Angels or the New York Mets to make a move. That is, assuming those teams don't consider Konerko to be a "Gi-normous Jerkpod."
Tony Armas Jr. toiled in Expo purgatory for many years, and he may not stick around to reap the park effects of RFK Stadium. Armas has never pitched 200 innings in his six previous seasons in the majors. As the player traded for Pedro Martinez, Armas has always hinted at potential but can't stay healthy. Surprisingly, Armas has been somewhat durable this year, but he hasn't been good. His strikeouts are way down, and his walks are near 5 per 9 innings. There are better gambles than Armas in 2006, no matter where he ends up. Expect a two-year, $10 million deal nonetheless.
Roto Reading: If you're as fascinated by the business side of baseball as we are, check out Jerry Crasnick's 2005 book License to Deal. It's a fun chronicle of baseball agent tactics. From Dontrelle Willis's dedication to a tiny firm to superagent Scott Boras's empire, it's definitely worth a read. Our own full review will come later, but in the meantime swing over to SportsBiz to read an honest, informative review.
Check out all the Roto Authority MLB Free Agents 2006 articles. You'll find speculation and rumors concerning Johnny Damon, A.J. Burnett, Trevor Hoffman, Brian Giles, and more.