Favorite Free Agents

While the votes continue to pile up in the Rate the Free Agents booth, I thought I’d take some time now to list my personal favorite free agent targets, by position.

Catcher

Oh, crap, that one’s already filled. That was quick.

Second Base

1. Luis Castillo
2. Luis Castillo
3. Luis Castillo
4. Mark Loretta
5. David Eckstein
6. Tadahito Iguchi
7. Kaz … just kidding!
8. Anyone other than Miguel Cairo

It’s imperative that the Mets re-sign Castillo, but four years may be tough to swallow for a 32-year-old with bad knees.

Starting Pitcher

1. Carlos Silva
2. Livan Hernandez
3. Jason Jennings
4. Jon Lieber
5. Bartolo Colon
6. Matt Clement
7. Kyle Lohse
8. Freddy Garcia
9. Wade Miller

We’ve been through this — the Mets need innings-eaters, and Silva and Livan fit the bill. I like Jennings on a two-year deal. Lieber, Colon, and Garcia were once workhorses, so they have the intestinal fortitude (Colon simply has the largest stomach), and I’d offer one-year flyers to them as well. Clement has wicked, wicked stuff and could be worth a gamble. Lohse is the premier enigma — looks unhittable one day, awful the next; maybe he’s the next Kelvim Escobar. Wade Miller probably has nothing left by I always like him, so call it an emotional choice.

Relief Pitcher

1. Mariano Rivera
2. Francisco Cordero
3. Octavio Dotel
4. Troy Percival
5. Scott Linebrink
6. David Riske
7. Luis Vizcaino
8. Byung-Hyun Kim
9. Jeremy Affeldt
10. Jorge Julio
11. Mike Myers
12. Kerry Wood
13. Chad Harville
14. Scott Strickland
15. Franklyn German
16. Tanyon Sturtze
17. Cliff Politte
18. Jesse Foppert
19. Ricardo Rincon
20. Eddie Guardado
21. Joe Kennedy
22. Chris Reitsma

Give Mo’ fo’ betta years. Lyle-Gossage didn’t work 30 years ago because there was no such thing as “setup men” back then. It’ll work now — Billy and Mariano will figure it out and make history.

It should be pointed out that the Cisco kid will be 33 years old at the beginning of next season. You’d rather give him four years than Mo?

Just about everyone after Vizcaino on this list would be a minor-league deal, except of course Wood who would be a calculated gamble. Some may think Linebrink should be higher but I wouldn’t want to give him the three-year deal he’ll seek, and think that Percival and Dotel may settle for two years.

Infield – Outfield / Bench

1. Mike Sweeney
2. Shawn Green
3. Jose Valentin
4. Todd Walker
5. Mark Bellhorn
6. Travis Lee
7. Ryan Klesko

Obviously there isn’t much room on the Mets’ bench, and unless someone (Milledge?) gets traded there won’t be any outfielders signed. Sweeney would be a nice bat to have on the bench if he can stay healthy. Green and Valentin are emotional choices — unfortunately neither fits on the team any more. I’m still stuck on Walker being an ideal, professional hitter to come off the bench in a Jeff Conine role, but Willie is stuck on Damion Easley. Bellhorn intrigues me for his versatility, power, patience, and facial hair. Lee has no fit but I’ve always liked him as a hard-nosed all-around ballplayer. Klesko also has no fit and is older but boy can he rake.

Who are your favorites?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude November 17, 2007 at 1:43 pm
    In regards to 2B: I agree that Castillo is the best free agent option, and Loretta and Eckstein are tied in my mind as plan B’s. Brian Roberts would make the best fit at 2B, but he won’t be had without giving up a huge package in return, so Castillo is the next best option.

    In regards to starting pitcher: I also agree with Silva as the #1 target. I was watching the Mets Hot Stove report on SNY last night (which was obviously taped quite a while ago as they were discussing who would be the signed as the next starting catcher) and Ron Darling was on there saying Silva’s not high on his list because he doesn’t strike out a lot of batters. Apparently he skipped over the innings pitched and walk statistical columns when looking at Silva’s numbers, as those more than make up for the lack of strikeouts. Joe, your list is devoid of southpaws, and with Glavine departing that leaves Perez as the only lefty in the rotation. I know it’s not a big deal, but I always like to see no less than 2 lefties in the rotation, as to create better matchups in the playoffs against the teams that are lefty-heavy (Philly, San Diego come to mind…not to mention the Yankees). I’d replace Jason Jennings with Randy Wolf on the list. I also think Leiber and Colon would be nice additions if signed to minor league contracts.

    In regards to relief pitching: I love the thoughts of Rivera and Cordero with the Mets, but realistically it’s not going to happen unless we blow them away with 5 year deals or something. I think Riske makes the most sense, as he’s never pitched in the NL, and he won’t demand as much $$$ as risky players like Dotel or Linebrink. I’m also quite fond of Guardado, who could be a real steal if he regains his form of a few years ago. I’d also like to see the Mets eradicate the long-reliever role on the team and go with 3 RHP, 3 LHP, and Wagner in the bullpen. That leaves Schoeneweis and Sosa available to be strictly LOOGY/ROOGY pitchers, which I think are their proper roles (judging from their career numbers vs lefties/righties). I like the thought of Sosa/Heilman/Riske from the right side and Scho/Feliciano/Guardado from the left with Wagner closing…AND LEAVING EL DUQUE IN THE ROTATION! Of course, that means releasing or demoting Mota, and it also doesn’t take into consideration the likes of Sanchez and Padillia coming back, or Smith/Muniz/Collazo/Humber/Pelfrey starting out in the majors. But it’s always good to have depth in the bullpen, right?

    In regards to IF/OF: I think we’re done adding anymore bench players, unless, like you said, there’s a trade, or if it’s to re-stock AAA. As is, Castro, Anderson, Easley, Chavez, and Gotay make up the 5 bench players, with Gomez already on the outs. Who else is cut away to make room for further additions?

  2. joe November 17, 2007 at 3:21 pm
    I really enjoy Darling, but agree he’s way off the mark in his analysis of Silva. Ronnie is thinking like it’s still 1988 and everyone has five solid starters who regularly go 7-8 innings. Times have changed, and as you point out Silva’s IP and low walk rate are valuable. Strikeouts are wonderful, yes, but also create high pitch counts early in games (see: Kazmir). If pitchers didn’t have a 100-pitch limit these days I’d agree with Ron.

    As for LH starters, I don’t believe in obtaining a lefty or a righty just for the sake of handedness. Randy Wolf stinks, IMHO, and will be overvalued. The “best” (ugh) of the others on the FA market: Odalis Perez, David Wells, Mark Redman, Glendon Rusch, Bruce Chen, Casey Fossum. Andy Pettitte will only return to the Yanks, Kenny Rogers is re-signing with Detroit. MAYBE I’d take a shot at Fossum or Chen on a minor league flyer. Otherwise, it’s a poor selection.

    I don’t buy into getting a LH starter for the playoffs, particularly if it’s Wolf. If there is a playoff series, the Mets will go with their top 3 and possibly a fourth — Wolf is a 5 and not postseason material (again, IMHO).

    Otherwise, agree with you on the rest. Particularly Guardado, if he’ll come without a MLB contract.

    There will be room on the bench/roster after the Mets deal Milledge for pitching; that’s pretty much the only reason I listed a few bats.

  3. isuzudude November 17, 2007 at 5:18 pm
    i’m having trouble posting.
  4. isuzudude November 17, 2007 at 5:20 pm
    Yorvit’s deal falls apart…not coming to Shea…Newsday has the story
  5. joe November 17, 2007 at 6:33 pm
    holy S!

    you still having trouble posting ? any idea what it is/ was ?

  6. isuzudude November 17, 2007 at 6:41 pm
    i don’t know. i was trying to include the link from newsday’s article, which might have been fouling things up. you can go ahead and delete my meaningless posts if you want. i’ll wait to comment more on the torrealba development after you write a post about it (which i can only assume you’re in the process of doing now).
  7. joe November 17, 2007 at 6:48 pm
    i am indeed, thanks for the heads up!

    yeah sometimes links are an issue, not sure why. do you use IE or Safari or Firefox or something else?

  8. isuzudude November 17, 2007 at 7:01 pm
    i post in two places, home and work. at home i use IE, at work i use Firefox. it was at home i was having the issue. first time it happened to me, though…and it’s not a big deal, i can work around it. sorry for making so many meaningless posts. i hate getting all excited seeing there are new comments to read only to see some bonehead was having computer problems. my bad, guys.