Santiago Casilla $34. Other bids: $31, $28, $28, $27, $17, $14, $14, $9, $7
With the news that Brian Wilson likely needs Tommy John surgery, let the scramble for the Giants’ closer begin. The winning bid is from one of the top contenders this year, a team with Jonathan Papelbon, but without another closer. The runner-up bid is from another contender, with Sean Marshall and no other closer.
Casilla is the leader in the clubhouse for the job, though Bruce Bochy insists he will use a committee. I honestly do not know what to make of Casilla. His K/9 dropped from 9.11 in 2010 to 7.84 in 2011, yet his dominant numbers remained essentially the same. The BB/9 is unimpressive. How long will Casilla be the closer? Unknown…but, sometimes, you just need to play, and pay, the frontrunner.
Xavier Nady $9. Other bids: $7, $6, $6, $2, $1, $1
I wrote about Nady briefly on Friday. He is still not doing much with the bat, but the winning bid here chose to replace Jordan Pacheco’s at-bats with Nady’s.
Javier Lopez $4. Other bids: $3.
Well, if you are going to have one Giants reliever bid on, you might as well have another. The winning bid here is the runner up for Casilla. Certainly a couple of stray saves added to Marshall cannot hurt. Surprising is the fact only one other team went with a back-up bid on Lopez.
Lopez is 3 years older than Casilla, but equally as effective. He is not dominant either in terms of K/9, and his BB/9 is slightly better at best. Lopez does get hitters to pound the ball into the ground pretty regularly, however, though this does not matter as much in the hitter-unfriendly confines of San Francisco. Lopez will likely get a share of save opportunities, but cannot get a front-runner bid.
Wilson Valdez $3. Other bids: None.
Valdez has not scored a run and has one RBI so far this year. Not sure these at-bats are even worth replacing the demoted Matt Hague, particularly since those at-bats were generated with Brandon Phillips nursing a sore hamstring.
Mitchell Boggs $2. Other bids: $1, $1.
I very briefly wrote about Boggs on Friday. He is an effective pitcher out of a strong bullpen who should put up good peripherals and generate strikeouts in a worthwhile number of innings.
David Carpenter $2. Other bids: None.
Carpenter was once rumored to be in the mix for the closer job in Houston, particularly during last year’s bullpen musical chairs. With Brett Myers allegedly on the move, perhaps Carpenter will once again be in the discussion. He did go less than one inning per appearance last year, so I am not sure how many innings he will pitch, but he does strike out over one batter per nine innings, and should generate a good number of Ks with good peripherals.
Justin Maxwell $1. Other bids: None.
I wrote about Maxwell on Friday, and nothing has changed since then.
Edward Mujica $1. Other bids: None.
Mujica is still an effective reliever, even outside PETCO. The strikeout rate is a little low for what I like to see from a reliever, and he throws a lot of fly balls. The new Marlins park looks pretty pitcher friendly early on, however, so perhaps this will not impact him much.
Fernando Salas $1. Other bids: $1.
I even more briefly wrote about Salas on Friday. He is young still, with a good strikeout rate, and he appears to be getting better.
Hector Sanchez $1. Other bids: $0.
I wrote about Sanchez Friday.
Jose Arredondo $0. Other bids: None.
Arredondo is a fungible reliever. He had arm issues and his stuff does not appear all the way back. There are many better options.
Austin Kearns $0. Other bids: None.
Nice grab here, with Giancarlo Stanton having knee issues. I have difficulty walking with torn cartilage in my knee; I cannot imagine playing baseball with it. Kearns could see some significant at-bats before the season is out.