Free Agent signings and the DBacks

It's been a relatively slow year in the Free Agent market.  That's not a total shock, given the relative dearth of impact names combined with the financial instability of many clubs moving into 2010.

The Diamondbacks appear to either be done with their Free Agent signings or almost done (there's still a chance we could see a mid to lower tier 1B (Garko perchance?) get signed by the club).  The only real way to judge the club's signings is on comparative worth, so let's go round the leaue and rate the signings thus far.

After the jump we'll look at those signings and then reflect on them and compare the to the Diamondbacks' moves thus far. 

Player Age New Team Yrs Dollars Car 08/'09 Grade Comments
Matt Holliday, LF 29 St. Louis 7 $120m 133 139 B A lot of money for a must-have player for the Cards.
John Lackey, SP 31 Boston 5 $82.5m 117 118 B A very good, not great pitcher.
Jason Bay, LF 31 NY Mets 4 $66m 131 134 C The contract isn't terrible, it just makes little sense for the Mets
Chone Figgins, 3B 31 Seattle 4 $36m 99 108 C Fine player.  Terrible price tag.
Randy Wolf, SP 33 Milwaukee 3 $29.75m 103 122 D Maybe Milwaukee only had access to his '08-09 stats.
Placido Polanco, 2B 34 Philadelphia 3 $18m 98 88 D If you're going to overspend, I'd rather have DeRosa.
Mike Cameron, CF 36 Boston 2 $15.5m 107 111 B A bit pricey, but a very solid acquisition for the BoSox.
Marlon Byrd, CF 32 Chicago Cubs 3 $15m 99 106 F The Cubs realize they just signed Marlon Byrd, right?
Brandon Lyon, RP 30 Houston 3 $15m 111 161 C A lot of money and years for a merely above average reliever.
Jason Marquis, SP 31 Washington 2 $15m 99 113 D I guess someone was bound to overpay for the career year.
Marco Scutaro, 2B 34 Boston 2 $12.5m 92 111 C Yet another overpaid MI in this year's class.
Mark DeRosa, OF 34 San Francisco 2 $12m 97 99 C At least he's versatile.
Mike Gonzalez, RP 31 Baltimore 2 $12m 166 170 B Well deserved money.  Strange team to spend it.
Andy Pettitte, SP 37 NY Yankees 1 $11.75m 116 103 D #2 money for a #4.
Fernando Rodney, RP 32 LA Angels 2 $11m 105 104 D They'll likely regret this contract.
Adrian Beltre, 3B 30 Boston 1 $10m 105 82 D The Andre Dawson of 3B (.325 OBP): who knew defense could be overvalued?
John Grabow, RP 31 Chicago Cubs 2 $7.5m 107 126 B A little LHP luxury tax, but a solid signing.
Rich Harden, SP 28 Texas 1 $7.5m 131 110 B A DL trip waiting to happen, but huge upside.
LaTroy Hawkins, RP 37 Milwaukee 2 $7.5m 104 197 C He can be a good piece in the pen, but he can't be THE man.
Brad Penny, SP 31 St. Louis 1 $7.5m 104 94 C #3 money for a #4.
Rafael Soriano, RP 30 Tampa Bay 1 $7.25m 146 138 A Unheralded signing could pay big dividends.
Billy Wagner, RP 38 Atlanta 1 $7m 182 268 A Looked great in his late season showcase.
Hideki Matsui, LF 35 LA Angels 1 $6.5m 124 131 C If he could field and stay healthy this would be a much higher grade.
Jason Kendall, C 35 Kansas City 2 $6m 97 72 F And you didn't re-sign Buck because????
Ivan Rodriguez, C 38 Washington 2 $6m 108 70 F They already have a superior catcher on their club.
Nick Johnson, 1B 31 NY Yankees 1 $5.75m 125 137 B Rich Harden's long lost brother can hit.
Coco Crisp, CF 30 Oakland 1 $5.25m 94 90 D Royals always overpay for middling Ofs.
Danys Baez, RP 32 Philadelphia 2 $5.25m 110 112 D+ A more expensive, not-as-productive Bobby Howry
Garrett Atkins, 3B 30 Baltimore 1 $4.5m 102 66 D A lot of money on declining player.
Pedro Feliz, 3B 34 Houston 1 $4.5m 83 81 D Classic Houston signing: a lot of money for an aging mediocre talent.
Jamey Carroll, 2B 35 LA Dodgers 2 $3.85m 83 90 D Say hello to the new McCourts.
Matt Capps, RP 26 Washington 1 $3.5m 119 71 B Great value.  Would be an "A" if it was a contender.
Darren Oliver, RP 39 Texas 1 $3.5m 100 166 B Hard to argue with his recent success.  But he is 39.
Juan Uribe, SS 30 San Francisco 1 $3.25m 83 111 C- Not a terrible price, but believe me this guy can’t hit. Last year was a fluke.
Takashi Saito, RP 39 Atlanta 1 $3.2m 217 193 B He's old, but he's very good.
Ryota Igarashi, RP 30 NY Mets 2 $3m NA NA ? Who knows…
John McDonald, SS 35 Toronto 2 $3m 57 72 D Toronto might want to try developing a shortstop or two.
J.J. Putz, RP 32 Chicago Sox 1 $3m 134 79 B Can he get right again?
Alex Gonzalez, SS 32 Toronto 1 $2.75m 78 95 B Very solid signing.
Brian Schneider, C 33 Philadelphia 2 $2.75m 82 67 C You could do worse.
Jack Cust, DH 31 Oakland 1 $2.65m 121 105 C+ He better rediscover that stick or he is just clogging up the team.
Ross Gload, OF 33 Philadelphia 2 $2.6m 92 90 B Right price for a below average player.
Kelly Johnson, LF 27 Arizona 1 $2.35m 103 83 B Younger, higher upside than other MI FA options.
Bob Howry, RP 36 Arizona 1 $2.25m 125 129 A An excellent addition at a great price.
Gregg Zaun, C 38 Milwaukee 1 $2.15m 91 99 B Above average backstop at a good price.
Craig Counsell, 2B 39 Milwaukee 1 $2.1m 81 105 C Makes a bit more sense than the previous two, but not much.
John Buck, C 29 Toronto 1 $2m 84 103 A Great value for a young everyday backstop.
Alex Cora, SS 34 NY Mets 1 $2m 74 69 D Say hello to the same old Mets.
Justin Duchscherer, SP 32 Oakland 1 $2m 163 138 A Injury risk, but huge upside.
Troy Glaus, 3B 33 Atlanta 1 $2m 124 121 A Great deal for Atlanta.
Scott Podsednik, OF 33 Kansas City 1 $1.55m 87 98 B+ The Royals are the right team for Pods.
Adam Everett, SS 32 Detroit 1 $1.55m 67 59 D Surprised he's still in the league.
Omar Vizquel, SS 42 Chicago Sox 1 $1.375m 83 71 B Why not give the ageless wonder another go around?
Kelvim Escobar, RP 33 NY Mets 1 $1.25m 112 133 B Injury risk, but decent upside.
Bobby Crosby, SS 29 Pittsburgh 1 $1m 81 71 B A lot better value than the previous MIs.
Scott Olsen, SP 25 Washington 1 $1m 90 70 C A signing that actually makes sense for Washington.
Claudio Vargas, RP 31 Milwaukee 1 $900k 94 230 A In the bullpen, he's very good.
Jason Michaels, LF 33 Houston 1 $850k 96 98 A Very good value for Houston.
Henry Blanco, C 38 NY Mets 1 $775k 67 96 D A lot of better fish in the sea.
Javier Lopez, RP 32 Pittsburgh 1 $775k 103 51 A Huge upside, but he's got to get right.
Brian Anderson, OF 27 Kansas City 1 $700k 69 75 B Low risk/medium reward cheap pick up of a once heralded prospect.
Ryan Langerhans, LF 29 Seattle 1 $525k 86 86 B You could do worse.
Andruw Jones, OF 32 Chicago Sox 1 $500k 110 100 A A top 5 value, I'd say.

A few reflections on the signings thus far:

1) Despite the glut of aging MIs, they all seem to have been paid more than their worth.

2) The usual suspects (Houston, Washington, Kansas City, etc) did as per usual and paid big money for mediocre talent.  It's not hard to look at some of these clubs and realize why they never compete.  Why some of us continue rooting for them is another question entirely.

3) Teams steered clear of any injury risks.  The real bargain on the market this year wasn't found at a particular position, but rather with those players with injury risks (Harden, Johnson, Glaus, Duchscherer).

How about how the DBacks did?  I think the DBacks held up really well when you look at the signings overall.  They basically got two upper third talents (for their respective positions) at middle to lower third costs.  That's what you hope for. 

You can also analyze the DBack trade with this in hand.  You can see how Byrnes would have viewed the value of Kennedy compared to the marginal (and overpaid) #4s on the market.  One can also understand that with one starter on his staff with significant health question marks, he would have wanted to avoid adding another starter with health issues.  That said, I still think the value of Harden and Duchscherer is undeniable and would have been worth the risk.

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