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Monday, August 24, 2009

The Projected 2009/2010 Free Agent Class

Matt Welch notes the Angels will likely have five type A free agents this offseason: Bobby Abreu, John Lackey, Vlad Guerrero, Chone Figgins, and Darren Oliver. Of that list, I would make a serious run at Abreu (up to two years), Vlad (ditto, but with the understanding that his days in the outfield will be severely curtailed), and Oliver (on a one-year deal, as he's been said to be contemplating retirement). It's hard to imagine how the Angels could compete with the Yankees for Lackey's services; he and Josh Beckett will likely headline this offseason's free agent starting pitcher class.

Since this is based on a reverse engineered free agent Elias rating, the Dodgers' type-A class free agents will be Manny Ramirez (if Ramirez fails to exercise his 2010 option), Orlando Hudson, and Randy Wolf. I would be inclined to re-up Wolf and Hudson, and hope Manny's late slump isn't 'roids-related (as in, their absence).

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I'd love to hear the reasoning behind your selections. For example, I'd come to completely different selections: Abreu, Figgins and Lackey.

I think the Angels can field competitive offers for all three. Just take the money we're paying Vlad this season, divide it in three, and add to what each of the above players is currently making.
In the case of both Abreu and Vlad, Abreu gets the years because he continues to produce offensively, stays on the field, and the Angels have a DH slot they can use him at. Vlad will probably command a two-year deal with an AL team but not an NL team; he can't play the field and stay healthy. If he insists, have a nice career, Vlad -- it was fun while it lasted.

Figgins' skill set starts with his legs, and those kinds of players don't tend to age well. Lackey will be a premium starting pitcher, injury problems in the last couple years or no, and I doubt that the Angels will be able to outbid the Yankees. That isn't the same thing as saying the Angels shouldn't make a competitive bid, but you don't want to get into a bidding war with the Yanks, especially on starting pitching.
I would much rather have 4 first rounders next year than re-sign Hudson and Wolf.

If Wolf is re-signed, it would have to be a one-year, incentive-laden deal, but he could easily get a 3-year-deal from a team.

DeWitt is worse defensively than Hudson, but I'd rather let him or Abreu have a shot at 2nd. Higher ceilings, similar floors (offensively - maybe defensively for Abreu as well), given a full year and 500-600 plate appearances.

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