Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Off-season moves: Rating the Compensation Free Agents

Ok, the Indians have holes to fill:

1. A first baseman with power would be nice.

2. A left fielder with power would be nice.

3. Bullpen help is always welcome.

Let's start by looking at the available free ageints.  We will start with the free agents who might require compensation.

Josh Willingham OF - It seems a lot of the internet want the Indians to sign this guy.  He hit .246 with 29 HR and 98 RBI.  He is a LFer who DHed 40 times.  He is a career .262 hitter who has a career high in HR last year and will be 33 when the season starts and his OPS was only .810.  Unless he comes cheap ($6 million or less and willing to accept only a 2-year deal) my vote is no.  I understand he is the best of the lot available but I don't like the spike in HRs in his walk year.

David DeJesus RF - Not enough HRs, not enough RBI and not healthy enough.

Magglio Ordonez RF - Only if he is healthy would I even consider it and, then, only on a cheap, incentive-laden, one year deal.

Carlos Pena 1B - No BA but a lot of walks, HR and sufficient RBIs to bat him somewhere in the middle of the order.  His problem is he hits LH.

Michael Cuddyer OF - Like Willingham, a part-time DH and 33 next season, he is another popular internet favorite to be signed by the Indians.  He has power but his RBI total is low.  Again, if the price is right he is an improvement in the offense but probably hurts the defense.

Carlos Beltran OF - Again, if healthy and cheap, maybe worth a look.  Probably both won't be true.

Jason Kubel OF - Not healthy, a part-time DH and hits left-handed.  Only a last ditch guy for me

Derek Lee 1B - I don't see this guy as an upgrade over the 2012 version of Matt LaPorta.

Ryan Ludwick OF - The last choice in the FA OF sweepstakes, to me.  He is back to the mediocrity he had when he played for the Indians that one year.

Now, for the way out there guys:

Jose Reyes SS - Sign this guy to hit leadoff, move ACab to 2B and Kipnis to LF.  He is my prime target as I think he will be a cut above Phillips and Ramirez, but more expensive, too.  I think this may help our IF defense and bringing in Lowe, our IF defense needs to be better.  We can't give the other team 4 outs an inning with our starting pitchers.  Reyes/Cabrera is better than Cabrera/Kipnis defensively.

Brandon Phillips 2B - Move Kipnis to LF

Aramis Ramirez 3B - Move Chisenhall to LF.  He is the guy I target if the Reyes thing is too expensive.  Look, Chisenhall is NOT a sure thing. 

Not only will these three guys be expensive, but they will require position switches by other guys.  Still, any of them would make this team better.

Then we have:

Prince Fielder - Too expensive and, even if we wanted to take the plunge, he hits left-handed meaning while he helps this team immensely, he causes us to dump LaPorta and have an even more LH hitting lineup.  Good pickup but not worth the price given the above..

Albert Pujols - Everyone's #1.  He makes our lineup...and breaks our if he would come to Cleveland anyway.

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