Another pitcher is down and only three prominent starters are left in Barry Zito, Jeff Weaver, and Roger Clemens as Jeff Suppan has been taken off of the market. Suppan is obviously not an ace, but he improves the Brewers pitching staff and improves the Brewers chances at the wide open NL Central. It's obvious that Suppan is not worth four years and $42 million, but nothing seems to be obvious anymore after this off-season.
'Tis the season of giving....
Overall, more Type (A) and Type (B) free agents have switch from the AL to the NL. However, the NL has signed their Type (A) and Type (B) free agents to a total of 80 years and $672,000,000, which works out to an astounding $8,400,000 per year. Comparatively, the AL has signed their Type (A) and Type (B) free agents to a total of 55 years and $347,770,000 which works out to $6,323,090.91 per year.
In terms of the top fifty free agents, the NL has signed twenty five of them compared to the AL signing eighteen with seven left on the market. Eight have switched from the AL to the NL and only five have switched to the NL from the AL. However, out of those five that switched, an astounding three have come from Texas. Texas did managed to steal three top 50's from other teams, but Carlos Lee is a greater loss than all of their gains combined and Lofton doesn't represent any upgrade of the '06 version of Gary Matthews Jr. Texas certainly has not been stellar this off-season when you factor in what they gave up to get Lee and if you believe they gave up too much for McCarthy.
For the NL, eighteen of those twenty-five signings came between the Mets, Dodgers, Cubs, and Giants and only five other NL teams signed a top fifty free agent. So far in regards to the NL's top fifty signing, they have inked them for a total of 54 years and a total of $566,600,000 and $10,492,592.59 annually. For the AL, ten teams nabbed a top fifty free agent and Texas leads the AL in four signings and is looking to drive that number up to five with Mark Mulder or Barry Zito. So far in regards to the AL's top fifty signings, they have inked them for a total of 50 years and a total of $385,570,000 and $7,711,400.00 annually. Also, if the NL nabs Zito and the AL nabs Clemens, the NL would have taken seven of the ten top fifty free agents.
Out of the entire free agent pool, the NL has signed 64 players and stolen only eleven from the AL. Those players have been signed for a collective 115 years and a total of $785,700,000 and $6,832,173.91 annually. The AL has signed 46 players, stolen 22 players from the NL, and nabbed all three prominent Japanese players. Those players have been signed for 93 years and a collective total of $567,370,000 and $6,100,752.69 annually. We'll see if the bargain hunting AL comes out looking better or the big spending NL.
It is not over yet either. With some big dollar guys still out there in Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, Jeff Weaver, and Roger Clemens and some interesting names like Mark Loretta, Shea Hillenbrand, Ronnie Belliard, Tony Armas, Aubrey Huff, and Keith Foulke, there are still some bargains on the board and still some big money guys as well. With the way things a have shaken out so far, I think the Mets have the obvious goal of bringing in Zito and should explore Lorretta or Belliard should they remain on the board much longer and could be had for a great bargain and a great platoon partner on a one year deal.
Thanks again to everyone for the continued support and coming by!
..and Jake, just for you I give you a sufi-licious Christmas....