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A full list of who hit the market as free agents (Class of '11-'12) is now available (all names shown in a list at the bottom of the page after the jump) .... Every year, we take a look at what kind of roster we might be able to build from the talent on the open market. Let's see how that works out THIS year.

So here's the thought experiment. Let's say you own a major league franchise that has NO players. You can select any 25 of the current free agents (no budget limitations -- they are literaly "free" agents) to fill out your team's roster. Who do you place on your roster from the list of possible candidates? And more importantly, how does that team do when they are dropped into the middle of the 2012 American League East?

One such roster follows. Your criticisms, corrections, and "Hey-Doherty-why-aren't-you-doing-this-for-a-living?" adulation is welcome and invited, of course.

The A-Team

C Jason Kendall
1B Albert Pujols
2B Jamey Carroll
SS Jose Reyes
3B Aramis Ramirez
LF Carlos Beltran
CF Grady Sizemore
RF Magglio Ordonez
DH Prince Fielder

C Ivan Rodriguez
IF Yuniesky Betancourt
IF Rafael Furcal
OF Pat Burrell
OF Kosuke Fukudome
UTIL Carlos Guillen

SP Roy Oswalt
SP Mark Buehrle
SP Bartolo Colon
SP C.J. Wilson
SP Aaron Harang

CL Joe Nathan
RP Jonathan Papelbon
RP Francisco Cordero
RP Heath Bell
RP Tim Wakefield

2B (Or Not 2B)

C Rod Barajas
1B Derrek Lee
2B Aaron Hill
SS Jimmy Rollins
3B Casey Blake
LF David Dejesus
CF Jason Michaels
RF Raul Ibanez
DH David Ortiz

C Jason Varitek
IF Jack Wilson
IF Alex Gonzalez
OF Johnny Damon
OF Michael Cuddyer
UTIL Orlando Cabrera

SP Livan Hernandez
SP Edwin Jackson
SP Vicente Padilla
SP Jon Garland
SP Jeff Francis

CL Francisco Rodriguez
RP Brad Lidge
RP Frank Francisco
RP Jason Isringhausen
RP Kerry Wood

A few notes .... Yu Darvish was not eligible for this team ... Some serious short-relief bullpen talent was left off the first team, but we need at least the one long man in that 10th pitching spot, so thank you, Tim Wakefield ... Wow, 1B is strong this off-season -- after the two leading men, Pujols and Fiedler, we have Lee and then (not pictuerd on either team above) Lyle Overbay, Carlos Pena and for the all-or-nothing crowd, Russell Branyan ... Shortstop is even deeper, with Reyes, Furcal and Betancourt all on our A-team, Rollins, Gonzalez and Wilson on the B-team, and a former World Series MVP (Renteria) and a likely Hall of Famer (Vizquel) sitting on the sidelines .... Outfield leftovers include J.D. Drew, Juan Pierre and Pat Burrell, which not too long ago would have been an All-Star outfield within itself ....

But before we go crazy and start constructing a THIRD team (we'd probably need to call them the C-Notes, huh?) there can't be THAT much pitching left ... The rotation for the A-team is already stuffed with the old and the injury-prone; but hey, we could do worse than Miguel Batista or Chris Capuano if -- when? -- Penny or Bedard is DL'd; either one of those guys could do in a pitch, er, pinch ... Back in the bullpen, if anything happens to one of the 10 relievers on our two squads -- 10 guys with, and this is just a guess, probably more than 1000 career saves combined -- then we could do a whole lote worse than George Sherrill, Dan Wheeler and David Aardsma.... As for the Designated Hitter role, the three guys who DIDN'T make either of our rosters might could all wnd up in the Hall of Fame one day -- Vladimir Guerrero, and Jim Thome, who will both get in easily, and Hideki Matsui, who will get consideration and is in if his Japanese totals are in the equation ....

Check my work ...
Offer those changes and suggestions based on the complete list of free agents, which is as follows:

Complete List of 2011-12 Free Agents (sorted by 2011 team)

  • Braves-- SSs Alex Gonzalez and Jack Wilson, CF Nate McLouth, Ps Scott Linebrink and George Sherrill
  • Diamondbacks--1B Lyle Overbay, 1B-OF Xavier Nady, 2B Aaron Hill, Ps Zach Duke and Jason Marquis
  • Baltimore Orioles--SS Cesar Izturis, DH Vladimir Guerrero
  • Red Sox--1B-LF Conor Jackson, RF J.D. Drew, C Jason Varitek, DH David Ortiz, Ps Scott Atchison, Erik Bedard, Trever Miller, Jonathan Papelbon, Tim Wakefield and Dan Wheeler
  • Cubs--1B Carlos Pena, 3B Aramis Ramirez, LF Reed Johnson, Ps John Grabow, Rodrigo Lopez, Ramon Ortiz and Kerry Wood
  • White Sox--3B-SS Omar Vizquel, LF Juan Pierre, C Ramon Castro, P Mark Buehrle
  • Reds--SS Edgar Renteria, C Ramon Hernandez, Ps Francisco Cordero and Dontrelle Willis
  • Indians--CF Grady Sizemore, RF Kosuke Fukudome, DH Jim Thome, P Chad Durbin
  • Rockies--2B Mark Ellis, Ps Aaron Cook, Kevin Millwood and J.C. Romero
  • Tigers--INFs Wilson Betemit, Ramon Santiago, utilityman Carlos Guillen, RF Magglio Ordonez, Ps Brad Penny and Joel Zumaya
  • Marlins--3B Greg Dobbs and Jose Lopez, P Javier Vazquez
  • Astros--SS Clint Barmes, LF Jason MichaelsRoyals--C Jason Kendall, Ps Bruce Chen and Jeff Francis
  • Angels--1B Russell Branyan, Ps Joel Pineiro, Horacio Ramirez and Fernando Rodney
  • Dodgers--INFs Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles, 3B Casey Blake, LF Juan Rivera, C Rod Barajas, Ps Jonathan Broxton, Jon Garland, Hiroki Kuroda, Mike MacDougal and Vicente Padilla
  • Brewers--1B Prince Fielder, SS Yuniesky Betancourt, INF Craig Counsell, CF Mark Kotsay, utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr., Ps LaTroy Hawkins, Francisco Rodriguez and Takashi Saito
  • Twins--RF-1B Michael Cuddyer, RF Jason Kubel, Ps Matt Capps and Joe Nathan
  • Mets--SS Jose Reyes, OFs Scott Hairston and Willie Harris, Ps Miguel Batista, Chris Capuano, Jason Isringhausen and Chris Young
  • Yankees--3B Eric Chavez, LF Andruw Jones, DH Jorge Posada, Ps Luis Ayala, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Damaso Marte and Sergio Mitre
  • A's--LF Josh Willingham, CF Coco Crisp, RF David DeJesus, DH Hideki Matsui, P Rich Harden
  • Phillies--1B-OF Ross Gload, SS Jimmy Rollins, LF Raul Ibanez, C Brian Schneider, Ps Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson and Roy Oswalt
  • Pirates--1B Derrek Lee, SS Ronny Cedeno, LF-RF Ryan Ludwick, Cs Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder P Paul Maholm
  • Padres--1B-OF Brad Hawpe, Ps Heath Bell, Aaron Harang and Chad Qualls
  • Mariners--INF Adam Kennedy, OF Wily Mo Pena, C Josh Bard, Ps David Aardsma and Jamey Wright
  • Giants--SS Orlando Cabrera, OF Cody Ross, LF Pat Burrell, RF Carlos Beltran, utilityman Mark DeRosa, P Guillermo Mota
  • Cardinals--1B Albert Pujols, SS Rafael Furcal, INF Nick Punto, OF Corey Patterson, C Gerald Laird, Ps Octavio Dotel, Edwin Jackson and Arthur Rhodes
  • Rays--1B Casey Kotchman, LF Johnny Damon, C Kelly Shoppach, P Juan Cruz
  • Rangers--OF Endy Chavez, C Matt Treanor, Ps Mike Gonzalez, Darren Oliver, Brandon Webb and C.J. Wilson
  • Blue Jays--2B Kelly Johnson, C Jose Molina, Ps Shawn Camp, Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch
  • Nationals--INF Alex Cora, LFs Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix, CF Rick Ankiel, C Ivan Rodriguez, Ps Todd Coffey and Livan Hernandez

So bottom-line it, Bauxites .... how many games does each of our teams win in the 2012 AL East? And can yous omehow build a THIRD team from the leftovers that would at least challenge for .500?

The All-"Free" Agent Squads, v.2011-12 | 11 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
92-93 - Friday, November 04 2011 @ 12:11 AM EDT (#246372) #
I assume "Jamey Carroll" is a typo that should read "Kelly Johnson".
92-93 - Friday, November 04 2011 @ 12:15 AM EDT (#246373) #
Also, didn't Kendall retire? Might as well have Jose Molina there. You can build a very good team from FAs, one that I think would be better than any team in baseball. I'd mix and match the bench differently, but between those two I'd actually prefer the B squad.
Mick Doherty - Friday, November 04 2011 @ 12:45 AM EDT (#246374) #
I just totally missed Johnson when I was reviewing the list of players, but I also like Carroll quite a bit -- though ideally, I guess he IS best-suited as a supersub. Kendall retired? I had not heard that and assumed everyone listed was active, though they did list Jorge Posada -- I think he's just not made it official yet. I won't change anyything in the main story right now so everyone can react to the same original. Good feedback, 92.
AWeb - Friday, November 04 2011 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#246380) #

Hideki Matsui, who will get consideration and is in if his Japanese totals are in the equation

This caught me by surprise, since I've never heard or thought of Matsui as a potential HoFer. Without the Japanese totals, Matsui has no case whatsoever for the Hall that I can see (not a great peak, no big counting stats, no great defense), and I don't recall anyone going into the HoF based primarily on Japanese baseball stats. I'd be curious to hear the argument for him.

Mike Green - Friday, November 04 2011 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#246381) #
I don't think Matsui will get much consideration, but on the merits, it is more interesting.  It is reasonable to look at his age 25-28 seasons in Japan and what followed in North America and conclude that he reached his peak at the usual ages of 25-28 and was durable during that time frame.  It is also reasonable to conclude that had he would have hit .300/.395/.525 or a little better than that consistently had he been here (if you look at his age 30-32 seasons here and account for a year of adjustment).  I still don't think that it would get him there, in light of the absence of speed or defensive ability; the best case for him is that he was a consistent very good hitter, maybe something like Zack Wheat.
Shaker - Friday, November 04 2011 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#246413) #

That's one hell of a free agent bullpen - the "all-proven-closer" bullpen.  So stacked with closers that you forgot about Madson.  A bullpen of Madson, Nathan, K-Rod, Cordero, Papelbon, Bell and say, Wood would be pretty shocking.

I doubt anyone would complain about a rotation that went CJ Wilson, Buerhle, E Jax, Oswalt/Bedard (sharing #4) with Jon Garland as the veteran, archetype 5th starter.

Only problem is... that'd be about $125M on your pitching alone!
Only one team could afford that...

gabrielthursday - Friday, November 04 2011 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#246419) #
Ramon Hernandez has to be the best available catcher.  I'd also probably prefer Cuddyer to Magglio in left field, and move Beltran to right.
Glevin - Friday, November 04 2011 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#246421) #
Magglio is not the first team anything. He was just atrocious last year and he'll be 38 next year. Also, I'd take Carlos Pena over Derek Lee. Is there going to be a free agent prediction thread?
Gerry - Friday, November 04 2011 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#246422) #
Jim Thome has signed with Philadelphia. I guess he will be a full-time pinch hitter.
92-93 - Friday, November 04 2011 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#246425) #
Not so fast, Gerry. Howard has been spotted around Philly riding a motorized scooter.
jerjapan - Saturday, November 05 2011 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#246431) #
Tons of bullpen value to be had after the strong list of 'proven closer' types.  Guys like Wood, Sherrill, Broxton, Madson, Wheeler etc might end up being valuable in certain roles and with the large amount of relievers available, we could get some useful pieces on the cheap.  Or, John Rauch v. 2.
The All-"Free" Agent Squads, v.2011-12 | 11 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.