October 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Front Office, Pitching, Transactions
Now that the Braves have parted ways with Buddy Carlyle, Jorge Campillo, and Vladimir Nunez, Frank Wren is challenged not only with finding a solution for the end of the game, but adding competent mid-relievers and bullpen depth. I suppose most of the depth is at AAA right now (Reyes, Redmond, etc.), but apart from Moylan, Medlen, O’Flaherty, Logan, and Acosta, I don’t see much of anything there. So, some potential buy-low candidates on the Free Agent Market for any bullpen role*:
*Frank Wren isn’t in a position to be limiting his search. If I’m him, I get the best players I can and make it work.
Billy Wagner – He’s rather old and coming off a Tim Hudson-like year (was out with TJ surgery for most of the season). If healthy, he could be a heck of a bargain. He’ll probably cost the Braves’ 1st round pick, though.
Kiko Calero – He’s never been a closer, totaling 7 saves in 7 seasons, but he has a career 3.24 ERA and 9.6 K/9. He’d be getting a lot more attention if he didn’t play for the Marlins.
Chad Cordero – If he’s healthy, we all know what he’s capable of. He’s also the youngest reliever on the market.
Kelvim Escobar – Career 4.15 ERA in the AL, mostly as a starter. Plus, gives Yunel another Cuban to relate to.
Chan Ho Park – Posted great numbers for the Phillies last season in relief. His strong post-season showing before last night was hurting his buy-low status.
Takashi Saito – Career 2.05 ERA and 10.9 K/9. His numbers are down a bit this season, so if the Red Sox decline his option, he could be a great buy-low proposition.
Luis Vizcaino – Always posted excellent K rates despite a mediocre ERA.
Alan Embree – Our old friend is probably going to retire this off-season, but if he doesn’t, he’d be a nice veteran piece to have. The Rockies hold a $2.75 million club option that they’ll almost certainly decline.
Will Ohman – Another old friend. Posted rather bad numbers for the Dodgers and could come on the very cheap.
Jose Contreras – Has nasty stuff. He’s getting old and hasn’t had much success as of late. May seek a starting gig, but if the Braves could lure him as a reliever, I’d be all for it.
Brett Myers – Recent run-ins with the Phillies and a lost season have certainly hurt his value. Like Contreras, he may be looking for a starting job. This one’s a stretch.
Mark Prior – If he’s not finished, he’s probably relegated to relief. And he could be the definition of a buy-low proposition.
Ben Sheets – I imagine he’ll be able to land a starting gig. Also a huge stretch.
And a few trade candidates:
Kerry Wood – Numbers faded and he’s owed ~$10 million in 2010, but if the Indians were willing to eat some salary, I like his chances of rebounding in 2010.
Matt Capps – A good bet to rebound in 2010, despite his bad numbers in 2009.
Carlos Villanueva – His 5.34 ERA doesn’t look good, but his 4.09 FIP looks a lot better.