Friday, November 11, 2005
NFL "Expert" Picks
Free Agent Watch
Good morning! If you're solely here to see this week's Football Panel's picks, click here.
Here we are at Friday again. It has been yet another busy week here at SethSpeaks.net even after taking Monday off. We had a Q&A with David Dorsey of The News-Press of Ft. Myers, a Why Baseball article by Travis Brunson, and yesterday we had dueling Guest Columnists. Mike Kramer told us his perspective of the Twins organization and Roger told us about the Appalachian League's Top Prospects. If you missed any of those articles, be sure to check them out now!
FoxSports.com's Dayn Perry wrote an article on Ten Rookies to watch in 2006. Francisco Liriano and Jason Kubel both made the list. Click here to see why.
Also at FoxSports.com, you can read Aaron Gleeman's article on the Top Keepers at 3B for 2006.
FREE AGENT LIST
Today, I would like to talk about many of this year's free agents. I may have a quick comment or two and will give my opinion on whether the Twins should consider signing them. I welcome your thoughts and opinions on certain players and how they may relate to the Twins. After reviewing the list, there are the guys that the Twins simply can not afford and it isn't worth their time even thinking about, and there are the guys that just aren't worth thinking about or talking to because they could not help the team. After reviewing this list, with my thoughts, I think there are a couple of 'if the price is right' guys, but I think you will also see why the Twins will need to work some trades if they want to acquire anyone who can make an impact on the team. Let's get right to the list. MLB.com has a nice write up on many of the free agents. I will go through that list. (Please feel free to e-mail me any thoughts you may have on it.)
Paul Konerko - 1B
As much as I would like seeing the Twins sign Konerko as a powerful right-handed DH... as much as he would stabilize a lineup where Joe Mauer would bat in front of him and Justin Morneau could bat behind him... as much as I really respect the type of player and person he has been... there is no way that the Twins should try to match the White Sox initial offer of 4 years and $52 million. We know that the Angels and Red Sox will likely increase that number, and I think that he'll end up resigning with the South Siders for something more than this. Great player, but well out of the Twins price range.
Hideki Matsui - OF
So many people tell me that the Twins should try to trade for Godzilla. I just keep telling them that it isn't even possible since he is a free agent. Their only chance would be to sign him as a free agent on the open market. The Yankees started with an initial offer of 3 years and $31.5 million. I would expect him to get somewhere similar to Gary Sheffield's 3 year, $39 million, including a likely fourth year. I like Matsui. I believe he is a professional hitter. And obviously he would help the Twins, but not at that price. Also, he's not going to leave New York.
AJ Burnett - SP
Starting pitchers crack me up in the free agent market. Look no further than Burnett's former teammate Carl Pavano. He had one great year and got four years and $32 million from the Yankees. Jaret Wright had a good season with the Braves after years of injuries and turned it into a big contract with the Yankees. Burnett has been pretty decent, but never a top of the league type starter. But rumors are the someone will give him four years at at least $10 million a season. My thoughts... let some other team take him!
Rafael Furcal - SS
Yesterday it came out that the Yankees want to know if Furcal can play CF. The Yankees being mentioned will automatically increase Furcal's pay day. As of now, he will likely be the starting SS for the Cubs or the starting 2B for the Mets. I like Furcal. He is an excellent fielder and leadoff hitter. However, he has had enough off-field issues to make him a question mark. The Twins could certainly use him, but it's not worth the five years and $40+ million that I bet he gets.
Billy Wagner - RP
I don't car how dominant Wagner is, I could never justify paying a closer more than $5 million much less the $10 million that Wagner will get. I say that and believe that Wagner is as good as any closer in history, right up there with Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman. I think Wagner will stay with the Phillies, but he could go to the Mets. Twins should not even consider him. No need.
Bernie Williams - DH
I won't even put him as an outfielder. He just is not good there at all, with no speed and no arm. However, I happen to think that he is very professional. He could still hit as a DH. I also think that he is a winner ,and a good influence to younger players. IF, only only IF, Williams is willing to sign a deal for under $2 million, I would not mind the Twins signing him as a DH and pinch hitter for the Twins.
Nomar Garciaparra - SS
If this was the Nomar of three or four years ago, I would love that the Twins would have a chance to sign him as a shortstop. But he isn't, and he has not been healthy for a long time. He was never good defensively and I wonder what his transition to 3B or even 2B would be like. Again, if he would be willing to play 2B or 3B or DH and play for about $3 million plus a good, creative incentive plan, he could help the Twins. We all thought the one year incentive-laden contract he signed with the Cubs a year ago would bring him back to his old ways and that didn't happen. But at 33, he's still young enough to give one more try. But I wouldn't go out of my way for it. I think that he'll end up being the Yankees 2B.
Todd Jones - RP
As good as he was for the Marlins, the Twins certainly don't need him again. Not at his age, and certainly not at the price he will get for 2006.
Elmer Dessens - SP
I look for the Twins to sign a veteran 5th starter to compete with Francisco Liriano, Matt Guerrier and Willie Eyre for the 5th starter job out of spring training. I hope it isn't Dessens.
Rafael Palmiero - DH
I don't care what price. No thanks! Compare the way that every other suspended player responded after coming back to Palmiero's. Palmiero was actually sent home after a while for things that he said and did. The Twins don't need that!
Alex Gonzalez - SS
The former Marlins SS was always good for hitting about .240 with about 12-15 homers a year. He did play decent defense though. I just really, really hope that Terry Ryan shows no interest in him!
Sammy Sosa - OF/DH
This name completely intrigues me. The MLB.com article is saying that he may have to sign a minor league deal and hope to make a team out of spring training. He had a rough 2005 season with the Orioles. Maybe after a "normal" offseason and, hopefully a renewed offseason workout program, Sosa could come back with a solid 2006 season. Is it worth it to the Twins to sign him to a minor league deal and hope for a comeback season? A minor league deal with a contract of $1 million if he makes the team, and then further incentives based on plate appearances. It is at least worth considering, and maybe even bringing him in to find out what is going on with him.
Roger Clemens - SP
If he comes back, and I'm sure he will, it will be with the Astros. One, because of his hometown team. Two, to keep playing with Andy Pettitte. And three, to at least go to spring training with his son Koby who was drafted by the Astros in the 8th round last June.
BJ Ryan - RP
I have been commenting from time to time the last three years about how I would love for the Twins to go after Ryan. He was not really available, but he is great. Last year, he became the team's closer and was very successful. He will likely command about $8 million for at least three years. Note my comment on closers from earlier.
Johnny Damon - OF
I think that he'll stay in Boston, but that the Yankees will show enough interest (or he'll use the Yankees) to drive his price up. Twins fans, don't even think about him!
Tom Gordon - RP
He's excellent, but he wants to be a closer, and he wants closer's money. So, no thanks!
Reggie Sanders - OF
Yes, he had another excellent postseason. Yes, he seems to always get to the post season. But Sanders is still in his upper 30s and frequently injured. He is solid when he plays, but for what he will likely make (probably 2 years and $8 million?), I would let someone else take him. I think he'll stay in St. Louis.
Jose Mesa - RP
He's nobodies favorite closer, but he just keeps getting the job done. However, he'll command too much for the Twins to consider even if they did have needs in the bullpen.
Daryle Ward - 1B
Former Twins OF Gary's son would definitely not help the Twins.
Royce Clayton - SS
Oh, please no! Especially not at his out-of-line asking price!
Travis Lee - 1B
After 1996, NEVER. Plus, he's not very good!
Alex Gonzalez - 3B
Always a solid defensive shortstop, Gonzalez moved to third with the D-Rays. Like his name sake, I would prefer he not become a Twins player. He would not improve anything.
Scott Elarton - SP
Probably pitched well enough as the Indians #5 starter to price himself out of the Twins 5th starter range.
Juan Gonzalez - OF
Are you kidding me? The fact that anyone would consider signing Juando tells me that my idea for the Twins to consider Sammy Sosa seem intelligent!
Bob Howry - RP
No thank you. He'll likely be the Indians closer because
Bob Wickman - RP
I don't think that the Indians will, or should, keep Wickman despite an excellent 2005 season. Someone will give him too much money.
Erubiel Durazo - 1B
He made $4.7 million in 2005 and had a typical year. Showed some life when healthy, just wasn't healthy enough at all. I know his name has been brought up by some Twins fans, but I have zero interest in bringing him in. First because of his injuries, and second, because he is left-handed and really can only DH.
Scott Hatteberg - 1B
Ricardo Rincon - RP
If he would sign for cheap, and the Twins were able to rid themselves of JC Romero, I would sign him.
Bret Tomko - SP
A step up from Elmer Dessens. Not a big step.
Scott Eyre - RP
Willie's brother, Scott was the best lefty reliever in baseball this year. I would love him to replace Romero, but I think he'll have a pretty steep price tag.
Byung-Hyun Kim - RP
I always liked his strikeout rates, but he just appears to be done.
Jarrod Washburn - SP
I think Washburn will go home to Wisconsin and play for the Brewers. The Twins don't need pitching, and even if they did, I don't know if Washburn would be my choice. Like "Cy Young" Bartolo Colon, he was the recipient of solid run support.
Paul Byrd - SP
He is the name that I kept telling myself the Twins should go after as their 5th starter option for 2006. However, I recently read that the Angels may resign him for $6 million for next year. That isn't exactly 5th starter money!
Bengie Molina - C
Twins really don't need a catcher, and I can't believe how much Molina is likely to make from the Mets, or whoever.
Brian Giles - OF
A guy can wish, right? Giles would be an excellent middle of the order hitter. Sure, he's left-handed, but he is that good and could thrive in the Dome. But where would he play? He is a left fielder and you know Gardy won't take Stewart away from LF. Also, to justify his contract, they would have to trade Torii, something we know I woudln't mind! He's going to St. Louis, and will be replaced in San Diego by Jacque.
Trevor Hoffman - RP
One of the most underrated closers in baseball history. However, I wouldn't give him the money, and again, the Twins don't need bullpen help.
Ramon Hernandez - C
See Bengie Molina, except Hernandez is actually worth signing.
Joe Randa - 3B
Again, I just don't see him as an improvement over Michael Cuddyer. Yes, he put up uncharacteristic power numbers, but much of that came while he was hitting in Cincinnati's hitter friendly ballpark. I just can't justify making this signing, unless it's cheap.
Pedro Astacio - SP
Possible 5th starter? Maybe. Tells us a lot about this year's Padres team that he was in their playoff rotation.
Tony Armas, Jr. - SP
Another possibility because after years of injuries, he should be cheap. Can he stay healthy? I really doubt it which would probably keep me from signing him. But I always thought, and still think, that he has some potential.
Esteban Loaiza - SP
Let someone else give him the years and dollars he is looking for!
Kenny Lofton - OF
I would rather keep Torii Hunter. I think that tells you how little I would want the Twins to go after Lofton.
Jason Johnson - SP
He will cost too much for having done too little.
Rondell White - OF
If he signs for cheap, and an incentive-laden contract based on days on the DL. Could be a solid veteran off the bench, but I wouldn't sign him for much more than a minor league deal.
Kenny Rogers - SP
No thank you! He's not as good as Liriano, and will want about $5 million a year, or more.
Richard Hidalgo - OF
Seriously, No Thank you!
Juan Encarnacion - OF
I think that he is very good. He is in the type of player that Hunter and Jones were, so he probably isn't worth the money he'll get. But he has been productive. He deserves more money than the Twins should give, and the Twins don't need an OF anyway.
Jeff Conine - 1B/OF
Good bench guy. If he's sign for cheap, go for it, but I would guess he'd stay in Florida.
Kyle Farnsworth - RP
His job with the Braves could make him a lot of money. Twins don't need him at all.
Bill Mueller - 3B
I am actually starting to warm up to this idea. Again, I'm not saying that he is great, and I don't think that he is worth more than about 2 years and $9 million (about the cost they would have used to play Kyle Lohse). They are going to make a change at 3B, so assuming that it will be via free agency, Mueller would be my choice. Of course, I would prefer Kevin Youklis, bu it is looking more like that Red Sox are deciding to keep him.
Tony Graffanino - 2B
Finally did something after a long career of utility and mediocrity once he was traded to the Red Sox. I don't think that he's any better than the likes of Luis Rodriguez or Luis Maza though.
Kevin Millar - 1B/DH
Can play RF, 1B and DH. I think he'd be a fine hitter off the bench, but I also think that he is going to cost far more than he is worth!
John Olerud - 1B
Just no reason to sign him. Only possible reasoning would be to link up Justin Morneau with his childhood idol.
Frank Thomas - DH
Did you know his career OPS is right around 1.000? Very impressive. Great power. Excellent batting eye. Has never been known as a good teammate. The lone reason to sign him would be if he really wants to get back at the White Sox after declining his option this year and using his declining skills option a couple of years ago. I just don't think that Thomas is worth the effort, unless it would be as a DH for about $2 million for one year.
Carl Everett - DH
Another DH option, I just don't think he would be worth the hassle. He can hit a little, but would he be as good in the Twins lineup? I just don't want DH types to take away at bats from Kubel.
Geoff Blum - 3B
Had the big homer in his lone World Series at bat. But he's a bit player at best.
Wes Helms - 3B
Jeff Cirillo - 3B
Can't hit, can't stay healthy, can't do much.
Rick Helling - SP
Mike Piazza - DH
If he came in for $2 million, I would sign him as the team's DH. He could be the emergency catcher and 1B. Much like Matthew LeCroy has been the last couple of years.
Braden Looper - RP
No, thank you!
Doug Mientkiewicz - 1B
The funny thing is that there are still Twins fans out there who like this guy and truly think that he could somehow help the Twins.
Kevin Brown - SP
Jeff Weaver - SP
I liked him with the Tigers. He was bad with the Yankees. He has been good again with the Dodgers. However, he will cost WAY too much!
Matt Morris - SP
Wouldn't sign for 5th starter money, unfortunately.
Mark Grudzielanek - 2B
Spent too much time hurt this year to give too much consideration too. Again, I would prefer L-Rod or Luis Maza at 2B to Grudzielanek, and if the Twins sign a 3B, then Cuddyer should go to 2B.
Jeff Suppan - SP
Cardinals have an option for him for $4 million. He will probably get that. If not, someone will sign him for at least that.
Jose Lima - SP
See Rick Helling.
Jeromy Burnitz - OF
Just don't think he would be an improvement on what they have had, or what they could already have in house.
Rich Aurilia - IF
If the Twins didn't already have Juan Castro (please trade him!), Nick Punto (please don't let him play every day), Luis Maza, Luis Rodriguez, possibly Glenn Williams, and other infielder options, Aurilia would not be a bad backup.
So there you have it. A fairly thorough list of this year's free agents. No, I didn't include everyone. I wanted to at least limit myself to name players. Most of these guys would never even be considered by the Twins, or me. Others might get a look. Most of the players that the Twins may choose to look at would have to sign for cheaper than other teams may offer to actually have a chance. But, there is a list of players. If you read through it and some of the names jump out to you, let me know. Send me and e-mail and tell me why the Twins should get them, and then how they will put it into their budget.
Any thoughts or questions, e-mail me.
I don't even know if I want to post anything about the Vikings game in New York on Sunday against the Giants. It is going to be ugly. Eli Manning will tear apart the Vikings D through the air while Tiki Barber will run all over them. I would guess that Brandon Jacobs will score a couple of touchdowns. It isn't going to be pretty at all. My lone question is how much Mewelde Moore will play and how well and how much Michael Bennett will.
Seth's Prediction - Vikings 13, Giants 48
Any thoughts on the Vikings, the Giants, the Lions, the Bears, the game or anything NFL, just e-mail me.
Our picks are back, and we are now more than halfway through the season. Right now, Trevor Born is our leader, just ahead of Cory Hepola and Mike Brasel. Our 'celebrities' Grant Balfour and Kevin Slowey are pulling up the rear, but with eight more weeks to go, there is plenty of time to try to catch up... to the middle of the bottom half of the pack!
Here are our Week 10 picks. (You can see the up-to-date standings by checking out the NFL "Expert" Picks page here.)
Seth Stohs Stick & Ball Guy Ben Jacobs Aaron Gleeman Grant Balfour Kevin Slowey SethSpeaks.net Stick & Ball Guy Hardball Times Aaron's BB Blog Minnesota Twins Pitcher Twins Pitching Prospect Arizona @ Detroit Lions Lions Lions Lions Lions Cardinals Houston @ Indianapolis Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Minnesota @ NY Giants Giants Giants Giants Giants Giants Giants San Francisco @ Chicago Bears Bears Bears Bears Bears Bears Denver @ Oakland Broncos Raiders Raiders Broncos Broncos Broncos Green Bay @ Atlanta Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Cleveland @ Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers by 17 Baltimore @ Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Ravens Kansas City @ Buffalo Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Bills Bills Chiefs New England @ Miami Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Dolphins Washington @ Tampa Bay Buccs Buccs Redskins Redskins Buccs Redskins NY Jets @ Carolina Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Jets St. Louis @ Seattle Rams Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Dallas @ Philadelphia Eagles Cowboys Cowboys Eagles Eagles Eagles
Will Young Trevor Born Brent Hanson Cory Hepola Mike Brasel Melissa Lien Will's Twins Weblog Twins Junkie BrentNet KTVH-TV Fantasy FB Guru SethSpeaks.net Arizona @ Detroit Lions Lions Lions Lions Lions Lions Houston @ Indianapolis Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Minnesota @ NY Giants Giants Giants Giants Giants Giants Giants San Francisco @ Chicago Bears Bears Bears Bears Bears Bears Denver @ Oakland Broncos Broncos Broncos Raiders Broncos Raiders Green Bay @ Atlanta Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Cleveland @ Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Baltimore @ Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Kansas City @ Buffalo Chiefs Bills Chiefs Chiefs Bills Chiefs New England @ Miami Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Washington @ Tampa Bay Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Redskins Buccs NY Jets @ Carolina Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers St. Louis @ Seattle Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Rams Dallas @ Philadelphia Cowboys Eagles Cowboys Cowboys Eagles Eagles
Looking at the selections of the 12 panelists, here is who the collective "We" think will win each game:
Arizona @ Detroit - Lions 11-1
Houston @ Indianapolis - Colts 12-0
Minnesota @ NY Giants - Giants 12-0
San Francisco @ Chicago - Bears 12-0
Denver @ Oakland - Broncos 8-4
Green Bay @ Atlanta - Falcons 12-0
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh - Steelers 12-0
Baltimore @ Jacksonville - Jaguars 11-1
Kansas City @ Buffalo - Chiefs 8-4
New England @ Miami - Patriots 11-1
Washington @ Tampa Bay - Redskins 8-4
NY Jets @ Carolina - Panthers 11-1
St. Louis @ Seattle - Seahawks 10-2
Dallas @ Philadelphia - Eagles 7-5
That is it for me for today and for this week. I hope that everyone has themselves a great weekend! If you have any questions or comments, or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.
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