Tag: yhency brazoban

Mid-Spring Pickups

Cuts came quickly this March, many of them due to the current economic condition — in many cases, teams are only responsible for one-sixth of a player’s salary if he’s released by March 18th (Duaner Sanchez was cut for specifically this reason, even though the move was made a week ago).

As a result, there are at least a few interesting names wandering around out there. Let’s take a look at a few in particular.

Shawn Hill

Hill spent his entire career in the Montreal Expos / Washington Nationals organization, but the club lost patience with his perennially injured arm. When healthy, the Canadian-born righthander has great stuff – – relying mostly on a hard low-90s sinker — and can be dominating. However, he hasn’t been healthy long enough to finish a big league season. Every year, he looks great, and before long, his elbow gives out. Most recently, he suffered forearm tightness, but Dr. James Andrews saw no structural damage. Hill is only 27, certainly young enough to still make something of his career. He could be an interesting, low-cost pickup, though I see him finding his way to a smaller market team like the Cardinals. Who knows, Hill could either go the way of Paul Wilson, and finally find health, or he could be another Jeff D’Amico.

Jimmy Gobble

The Royals lefthander posted an 8.81 ERA in 39 games last season, after a very strong 2007. Again, this may have been more a financial move than anything else — how can you justify paying in excess of seven figures for a guy with an ERA near nine? However, like Hill, Gobble is only 27, but more importantly to the Mets, he held lefthanded hitters to a .200 average last season. American League lefthanded hitters. Worth a look, no?

Dave Roberts
Looking at the Mets’ current roster, they seem to need a few more singles-hitting, good fielding, lefthanded-hitting outfielders. (Not.)

Yhency Brazoban

Another oft-injured pitcher, Brazoban was the guy that convinced the Dodgers to jettison Duaner Sanchez a few years ago. A big guy with a big fastball, it’s not only multiple surgeries that have curtailed his career but also an appetite for Big Macs — he’s increased his weight from 170 to over 250 in the past five years. Soon to turn 29, his career could be over, but someone may take a chance on him — a 95 MPH fastball tends to help with that.

Josh Bard
Yet another financial move — the Red Sox could not justify paying close to two million dollars to a backup catcher who can’t catch a knuckleball. Since the Mets don’t have a knuckleballer on the staff, Bard could be someone to consider if they are interested in carrying three catchers on the 25-man roster — especially now that Brian Schneider’s health is in question. Bard is a solid defensive backstop who hits from both sides of the plate and has a little bit of pop. As a semi-regular for San Diego in 2006, he hit .285 with 5 homers and 50 RBI and a .364 OBP in 389 ABs, and hit .338 in 90 games the season before (again, those stats were in San Diego, not Fenway). And, of course, if he were around it would be fun to use corny Shakespeare references.


New Market: Non-Tenders

Similar to a bonus number on your lottery ticket, the “non-tenders” inject a new influx of talent into the free-agent market. This year there are a number of intriguing players who have just been cut loose as a result of the non-tender process, and are officially free agents — with no worries about Types nor draft pick compensation.

Here are a few that the Mets might consider targeting:

Jonny Gomes

Something of an enigma, the power-hitting Gomes has had three disappointing seasons after showing great promise in his rookie season. His .182 average last season was abysmal, though he still put one over the fence at his usual rate of about once every 20 ABs. He’s weak in the field, strikes out too much, and at 28 is running out of time to fulfill his original potential as a future all-star. Teammates, managers, and fans love his emotional, hard-nosed approach to the game, but it’s his stick that makes him valuable. Putting him in the orange and blue would evoke memories of Dave Kingman. Who knows, maybe a change of scenery and a new set of eyes on him are what he needs to blossom. The Mets are desperate for a righthanded, power-hitting corner outfielder. Gomes would be worth rolling the dice on, no?

Daniel Cabrera

Can I mention the word enigma again? The big righthander is the righthanded version of Oliver Perez, only LESS consistent. At times, he’s dominating … most others, he’s a basket case. His upside is tremendous, he’s only 27, and he’s still trying to learning how to pitch. At 6’7″, he’s awkward and often looks uncoordinated, but who knows? It took Randy Johnson a while to figure it out … maybe Cabrera is right on the cusp.

Takashi Saito

An excellent closer, but coming off an elbow injury that makes him a huge question mark. The Mets won’t go after him — if they want to gamble on a damaged reliever, it will be Chad Cordero. But if the Dodgers don’t re-sign him, he may find a job as a closer for someone like the Cardinals.

Scott Proctor

He may never be the same after multiple arm injuries. However, he was still humming in the mid-90s in late September after recovering from a shoulder issue that affected him in the first half.

Yhency Brazoban

YADRNT – Yet Another Dodger Reliever Non-Tendered. Like Proctor and Saito, Brazoban has had serious arm injuries — and surgery on both his shoulder and elbow. The Dodgers originally dealt Duaner Sanchez to the Mets because they thought Brazoban was even better. However, he’ll likely re-sign with LA, on a minor league deal. Probably not worth gambling on, unless the Mets are willing to be patient with his continued recovery.

Tim Redding

Interesting that the worst team in the NL is comfortable allowing their best starter test the waters, rather than pay him the paltry $3M or so he’ll get through arbitration. He’s not outstanding, but he’d be a nice fit at the back of the rotation. He didn’t miss a start in 2008.

Chris Capuano

The lefthander once showed great promise, but after two Tommy John surgeries and missing all of 2008, it’s hard to determine his value. He’s 28 years old, so there’s time to bounce back, but how long before the elbow goes again?

Chuck James

Another lefthanded starter who seemed to have a bright future but was befelled by serious injury (huh … so much for the value of pitch counts and babying pitchers, eh?). After going 11-4 with a 3.78 ERA as a rookie in 2006, James suffered a rotator cuff injury in late 2007 and hasn’t been the same since. He just turned 27 and still has time to make a comeback. The good thing going for him is that he was never a flamethrower, so a loss in velocity shouldn’t be too much of an adjustment.