December 13, 2009 09:32:40
Posted By Sean S
Ryan Garko at first base is competitive with Adam LaRoche, but Nick Johnson and Russ Branyan are still the top players around. Kelly Johnson is now the top 2B listed, though his TZ defensive projection may be wrong, I don't think other systems have him as good defensively.
Garret Atkins is an average option at third, though he had a terrible 2009 and who knows if he's due for a bounceback or has Morgan Ensberg disease. John Buck is probably the best free agent option now for catcher. I have no idea why the Royals would let him go while picking up the corpse of Jason Kendall. Teams are still convinced that veteran catchers can have value above and beyond the numbers. The search to quantify that still goes on.
Jack Cust jumps to the top of the list for designated hitters. It's pretty much a function of age at this point, being 31 the system thinks he's a bit more likely to bounce back than 35 year old Vlad. Jonny Gomes had a nice year for the Reds, but given his strikeouts and poor glove, he's not a great option to start. He'd make half of a decent platoon. In the 1980's a team might have tried Gomes and Cust as a cheap DH platoon, but in these days of 12 man bullpens I don't think you can really afford two players on your roster who only wear batting gloves.
Chien-Ming Wang is the most notable addition to the free agent starters, but while CHONE knows he missed a lot of time the last two years, I does not know he had shoulder surgery last summer, so this might be way too optimistic. In the bullpen the most interesting name is probably Matt Capps, while the best projection goes to Jose Arredondo, though he won't pitch in 2010 and would only be useful if you want to stash him for 2011. It might not be a bad idea, as I don't think he'll even be arbitration eligible.