Sunday, February 1, 2009

Where They Landed

Hey, we know it's Super Sunday, so a tip of the hat to anyone that spends today surfin' the Buc Blogs. GW thought with camp just around the corner, we'd take a look at the old Pirates one last time before getting into 2009. Here's all the ex-Pittsburgh free agents for 2008-09 from Yahoo!Sports and where they landed:

Oliver Perez, SP: The grand mystery of the Class of ’09: Is he the guy who thoroughly dominates one start, or the one who looks Triple-A bound the next? Turned down 3 yrs/$30M from the Mets, his only public suitor. (EDIT: Perez and the Mets reached a preliminary agreement Monday on a $36 million, three-year contract.)
Brian Shouse, RP: The good: .180 batting average and .486 OPS, 28-to-2 K-to-BB ratio against lefties. The bad: 1.27 ERA at Miller Park vs. 4.70 on the road. Just signed for 2 yrs with Tampa Bay.
Joe Beimel, RP: Great ERA (2.02) is a bit misleading – 20 of 60 inherited runners scored. Was a hot target early, now waiting for a call.
Damaso Marte, RP: After declining Marte’s option, the Yankees signed the 33-year-old left-hander to a three-year, $12M deal.
Cesar Izturis, SS: The Orioles filled a problematic position by signing the defensively gifted Izturis to a two-year deal.
Sean Casey, 1B: The Mayor, a left-handed hitter with a sweet swing and disposition to match has retired with a .302 career batting average.
Ty Wigginton, 3B: He just signed a two-year, $6MM deal with Baltimore. The O's first offered one year with a club option but upped the ante due to competition from the Giants, among others.
Moises Alou, OF: Even at 42, he can still rake. When healthy. Which, unfortunately, is never. Phillies are kicking his Model-T tires.
David Ross, C: Lots of raw power (38 home runs between ’06 and ’07) disappeared in ’08. He did show improved plate discipline, and could be a sleeper signing for the Braves, who got him for two years at $3M.
Emil Brown, OF: Nice stats (13 home runs, 59 RBIs) belie his terrible on-base percentage, bad baserunning instincts and laughable defense. Not much interest in the 34-year old.
Daryle Ward, 1B/OF: After two standout pinch-hitting seasons, hit only .216 last year. No bites for the 33-year old so far.
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B: Showed tremendous plate discipline with 44 walks to 28 strikeouts, even if all his power is sapped. Can eliminate Bucs from his wish list; will probably sign on late again, like last year.
Jason Michaels, OF: The 32-year-old agreed to a $750K, one-year contract with the Astros.
Julian Tavarez, RP: Hey, he’s always up for throwing at batters, if nothing else. DFA'ed twice last year and the Braves didn't re-sign him.
Jon Lieber, SP/RP: Is there another season left in the arm? He turns 39 right before opening day. Lost rotation spot to Jason Marquis last year; that about says it all.
Mike Lincoln, RP: Workmanlike return to the major leagues after a four-year absence buys him another shot, this time with the Reds for a two-year stint.
Chris Gomez, UT: The consummate journeyman, Gomez may have found his ninth team by signing a minor-league deal with the Orioles.
Ron Villone, RP: Truly an anomaly: survived Joe Torre and lived to tell about it without a scar on his pitching arm. The 39-year old hasn't been on the same team for more than two years in his MLB career.
Josh Fogg, SP: Penance for accepting the nickname "The Dragon Slayer" is a 7.58 ERA the next season. Signed a minor league deal with the Rockies.
Kip Wells, SP/RP: So promising once, he hasn’t finished with an ERA under 5.00 since 2004. No takers yet.
Luis Rivas, 2B/SS: One of the rare cases of Minnesota rushing a player, Rivas never recovered from early failures and is little more than a bounce-around guy. Signed minor league deal with the Cubs.
Tony Armas Jr., SP: For all of his talent and hype, Armas is one of the great disappointments of the past decade. Signed a minor league deal with the Mets.
Rob Mackowiak, UT: After a dismal year with the Nationals, Mackowiak will try to make the Mets roster as a minor-league invitee.
Ricardo Rincon, RP: Left-handed, still has a pulse. The 38-year old mainly played in Mexico last year, and will probably be on their WBC roster this year. And hey, he still gets props from us. Remember when Francisco Cordova and Rincon combined on their no hitter on July 12, 1997 at TRS? Mark Smith hit a three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th for the win. It's the last no-hitter in Pirates history.
Humberto Cota, C: the Reds signed Cota to a minor league deal. Cota, nearly 30, hit .319/.342/.493 in 37 Triple A games last year. He served a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.



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