Friday, December 01, 2006

Big moves for them, small moves for us

Since I’m a little behind this winter, I was tempted to write a brief summary of some of the significant free agent signings to date (Alfonso Soriano, Gary Matthews Jr., Mike Mussina). But I don’t think I’m going to bother.

Everyone should know or have an idea of what these guys are worth. Plus, their roles aren’t going to change. Gary Matthews might be moving out of a hitter’s haven, but he’s still going to get 500 AB. If you have him heading into an option year and can give him a contract, like I can, the fact that he got a five-year deal shouldn’t have any impact on whether or not you’re going to option him out, give him an L2 or give him an L3. I’d avoid giving him anything more than an L2, given his age and the likelihood that 2006 was a career year.

In some ways, the major signings are the most boring ones. You’re going to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 for Soriano in a league drafting from scratch, whether he’s in Washington, Chicago, New York or Walla Walla. If you owned Soriano in a keeper league, you probably weren’t too worried about losing him to the American League, since he was probably at inflation par, at best, and you were probably going to throw him back or begrudingly keep him. He wasn’t going to make or break your team. Losing a Josh Barfield to the other league matters; losing a Soriano is almost meaningless.

The interesting moves will come later, after the dust settles on the major signings. Will Carlos Ruiz start in Philadelphia, or will the Phils sign someone else? Is Royce Clayton really going to start at SS in Toronto, or will J.P. Riccardi come to his senses?

These are the questions that will be of more interest to the hard core Roto owners, and they won’t be resolved until January at the earliest.

1 comment:

Toz said...

As Mike's partner in CBSSportsline, and as his victim in National and American Leagues over time, let me throw in my two cents on the Carlos Ruiz issue. It appears from talk in Philadelphia that Pat Gillick considers Carlos Ruiz to be the "catcher of the future." He's fairly solid defensively, and should provide 10-15 HR in that ballpark (his 8/5 K/BB ratio is intriguing, though only a small sample). If this is, in fact, true, then it appears that a Barajas or a Molina would be out of the running - I would think each of these guys is looking for a 2 or 3 year deal. Piazza is an intriguing option - his defense is woeful and his age/wear and tear factor is worrisome, but it would make a good fit. We'll have to keep an eye on this situation, particularly if the Phillies cannot make another move for a bat.