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Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Couch on the Side of the Road(aka Five Non-Tendered Players of Note)

by Jared Webb

You can follow Jared @webberoo11 where he dedicates "more brain bytes to the Astros re-construction effort than (he) does to breathing."

There is a point in a man's life when he sees an abandoned couch on the side of the road and thinks, "With a little Febreeze that would be sweet"!  

Let's be honest, the 'stros are bargain bin shoppers now.  I'm not ashamed, and you shouldn't be either.  So, let's grab our coupons and go shopping!!  (Specifically let's focus on five recently non-tendered players who merit consideration.)

Non-Tendered by: Washington Nationals

Considering the 'stros lack of left-handed pitching, Lannan is a guy who merits a good, long look. Johnny spent most of his time in 2012 at AAA due mainly to the fact that the Nationals' rotation was stacked.He boasts a 88-91 mph four-seamer that he commands to both sides of the plate.  His two-seamer runs in on right handed batters and ties them up nicely.  His off-speed arsenal consists of a change-up that he throws well and a curve.  His curve can get loopy at times, but we're not talking about David Price here.  He was poised to make $5 million in 2013 (a big reason he was non-tendered), but I could see signing him for a little less with a promised spot in the Astros' rotation.

Projected Role: #3 starter

Non-Tendered by: Boston Red Sox

I think Sweeney is the type of player we hoped Bogey would be.  He is a very good defender with a strong arm who provides good value at the plate.  It seems Sweeney has never really gotten the opportunity to become an everyday regular.  Well, Mr. Sweeney, Houston has a spot on the Febreezed couch just for you.  Ryan is a decent contact hitter who is willing to take a walk and has a little pop to go with it.  I could easily see him giving us a .265/.348/.700 slash line while putting up 10 HR.  I could see us getting Sweeney for 1-2 years for $1-2 million a year.  He made $1.75 mil last year with the Red Sox.

Projected Role: 2-hole hitter, Starting RF

Non-Tendered by: Baltimore Orioles

Remember the scene in "Signs" when Mel Gibson's brother told the army recruiter "It just felt wrong not to swing"?  Mark Reynolds wants you to know that he "likes to swing hard".  He doesn't care what the count is.  He doesn't care what the situation is.  HE'S GONNA SWING HARD!!!  Mark would bring a 220 type BA with an over .300 OBP.  Another thing he would easily bring to the Astros is 25+ HR.  He is also going to strike out 150+ times.  Fans sitting in the Crawford boxes beware, Mark is going to swing hard.  I think he could be had in the $7-9 mil per year range.  Maybe a little pricey for the Astros right now, but he is a lot of fun to watch.

Projected Position: Clean up hitter, DH/1B

Non-Tendered by: Washington Nationals

Flores isn't going to bring much to the batters box, but that's not why the Astros would sign him.  Flores is a +++ defender behind the plate, who is young enough to lock up for a few years.  Flores was pushed out of Washington due to Wilson Ramos and Kurt Suzuki. He could be had for less than $1million a year.  He is a younger option that could be brought in to give days off to Jason Castro.

Projected Role: Back up catcher

Non-Tendered by: Atlanta Braves

Trade speculations surrounded Jurrjens throughout the  2012 season. He squashed all of those rumors by majorly under performing.  Before you start thinking I'm crazy for wanting Jair after he posted a mid 6.00 ERA, let's look at some of his better qualities.  Jurrjens is 26 and has 6yrs MLB service. and in 3 of those years, posted a sub 4.00 ERA.  Jurrjens has a 92-95 4-seamer with good sinking action and arm side run.  His change up also has good sink and is effective against lefties.  His curveball is good, although it is inconsistent at times.   

This is a great opportunity to buy while his value is low, and give him a chance to rebuild.  Jurrjens made $5.5 mil in 2012, and this is his final year of arbitration eligibility.  This guy is easily someone Houston could bring in on a $1-2 million/year deal and see turn into the key part of the rotation.

Projected Role: #2 Starter

I know you guys look at some of these names and say "this isn't exciting at all".  However, every one of these guys still has quite a few years left in the tank.  I'd be willing to buy in on their turn around value, and give them everyday starting positions in the blooming roster.  If anything, look at these guys with a "why not" attitude.  Each has the ability to be everyday regulars for a team that is trying to establish itself in a new division.

c2012 Jared Webb.  Used with permission.

1 comment:

webberoo11 said...

One thing to note. I gave an optimistic projection for Sweeney. He has never hit for much power, but scouts say the potential is still there. Also, Jurrjens could cost more than 1-2 mil. I'd still be willing to pay for it.