With the passing of Wednesday’s deadline for clubs to tender 2008 contracts to pre-free agency players, some notable names were cut loose.
Heading the list, from a BA perspective anyway, are former No. 2 prospect in baseball Mark Prior and perpetual slugging third base prospect Dallas McPherson. Both have had significant injury issues since their prospect (or big league) peaks. Other potentially useful players who are now free to sign with any team include righthander Akinori Otsuka, shortstop Adam Everett and outfielder Kevin Mench. Everett already has come off the market, signing a one-year deal with the Twins.
OF Willie Harris
RHP Cory Doyne, RHP Roberto Novoa
Though Doyne, 26, was tattooed for six runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 big league innings in 2007, he was very effective for Triple-A Norfolk. In fact, he was named to the International League’s postseason all-star squad as a relief pitcher for saving 29 games with a 2.23 ERA and 49-16 K-BB in 44 1/3 innings.
Boston Red Sox
RHP Brendan Donnelly
Donnelly’s name was mentioned in the Mitchell Report, released Thursday.
RHP Mark Prior
As rumored, the Cubs did not tender a contract to Prior, the second overall pick in the 2001 draft, though they can still re-sign him to a minor league deal. Prior has given the Cubs one exceptional season (2003) and three other good, if abbreviated, campaigns. April shoulder surgery knocked him out for the season, and Prior hasn’t been even partially healthy or effective since 2005.
Chicago White Sox
LHP Heath Phillips, 3B Andy Gonzalez
RHP Brad Salmon, SS Jerry Gil
RHP Darren Clarke, OF Sean Barker
RHP Chad Durbin
C Miguel Olivo
Olivo may be the most walk-averse player in the majors today. In regular play for the Marlins in the past two seasons, he’s drawn 23 free passes in 882. And it’s not like he’s a high-contact batter, either. He’s fanned 226 times in those two seasons and his career on-base percentage stands at .275.
SS Adam Everett
Houston makes room at shortstop for new acquisition Miguel Tejada, despite Everett being perhaps the game’s best defender at the position. Everett will be 31 next year though, and his already meager offensive output has fallen completely off the table.
Kansas City Royals
OF Emil Brown
Brown always will have 2006 when he hit .287/.358/.457 in full-time play. Well, and 2005 when he hit .286/.349/.455.
Los Angeles Angels
3B Dallas McPherson
Chronic back pain has curtailed McPherson’s once promising career. He ranked as the 12th-best prospect in baseball coming into the 2005 season, thanks to his .317/.384/.670 season with 40 homers and 126 RBIs in 2004. McPherson, 26, has bombed in three big league trials, hitting .247/.294/.461 in 360 at-bats. As evidenced by the slugging, he offers true plus-plus power potential if his back is sound.
Los Angeles Dodgers
LHP Mark Hendrickson
OF Kevin Mench
Mench, 30, became expendable given all the Brewers’ outfield depth—and the fact Mench griped about playing time during the season. He’s a more than viable option versus lefthanders, having hit .305/.361/.563 against them for his career. The flip side of the coin is that he’s below-adequate .255/.310/.420 against same-siders.
OF Jason Tyner
New York Mets
RHP Juan Padilla, C Johnny Estrada, OF Ben Johnson
Estrada’s days were numbered once Brian Schneider came aboard, but the Mets apparently feel that getting rid of Guillermo Mota is worth the price. If the club fails to bring Johnson back on a minor league deal, then they’ll absolutely nothing to show for the Heath Bell trade in the 2006 offseason.
New York Yankees
RHP T.J. Beam, RHP Matt DeSalvo, RHP Darrell Rasner, OF Bronson Sardinha
RHP Kiko Calero, RHP Jose Garcia
RHP Brian Rogers, 1B Brad Eldred
St. Louis Cardinals
2B Aaron Miles
San Diego Padres
RHP Jack Cassel, LHP Ryan Ketchner, 3B Morgan Ensberg, OF Jason Lane
Cassel gave the Padres four good starts down the stretch, going 1-1, 3.97, but with fellow groundballing righties Justin Germano and Clay Hensley still hanging around—not to mention Wade LeBlanc, Cesar Ramos and Josh Geer on the farm—Cassel didn’t figure to get an extended look in San Diego. Two members of the pennant-winning 2005 Astros find themselves free to sign with any team. Ensberg and Lane, both trade acquisitions late in the 2007 season, were acquired as the Padres endured myriad injuries in September.
San Francisco Giants
RHP Scott Munter
LHP John Parrish
Tampa Bay Rays
RHP Akinori Otsuka, OF Nick Gorneault
Otsuka is 35 and was limited to 32 innings last season with right forearm tightness, but he was still effective when healthy. He posted a 2.51 ERA to go with 23-9 K-BB, and would make sense as a buy-low relief option.
Toronto Blue Jays
RHP Josh Towers
LHP Michael O’Connor, OF Nook Logan
Logan’s name also appears in the Mitchell Report.