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Interesting Non-Tenders

By Mike Silva ~ December 3rd, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, Offseason Speculation.

I don’t know why but every year I enjoy writing this post about possible non tender candidates that could be fits for both local teams.

The Yankees could probably get anyone they wanted, but for the Mets it’s tricky because of their reported budget ($5 million) this winter. Anyway, let’s give it a try.

Hideki Okajima - perfect for both clubs, but see the Yankees being more serious. Okajima made $2.7 million last year in Boston. The Yankees desperately need a primary lefty in that bullpen so Boone Logan can slide into a lower leverage role. Although Okajima had the worst year of his career, lefties still only had a .739 OPS against him. That’s ten points higher than his career average, but if healthy he is worth taking a look depending on the cost. Pitch f/X didn’t have his velocity off. Perhaps he was a bit unlucky due to a high BABIP.

Blaine Boyer - perfect type of candidate for the Mets to bring into camp. Hard throwing righty that has injury history. Probably can be a non roster invitee. Put up some decent seasons in Atlanta. Why not?

Matt Diaz- crushes lefty pitching (career .907 OPS). This might be the perfect guy to take on the Austin Kearns role for the Yankees. He could spot Gardner and Granderson very nicely.

Tony Gwynn - Lost out on the family gene when it comes to offense, but defensively is a great fourth outfielder to have. NYBD contributor Joe Demayo compared him to Endy Chavez circa 2006. Not sure if he could be as good as Chavez - who had some history of offensive success prior to his Mets stint- but might be worth taking a flier as a late game defensive replacement.

Scott Hairston - Has power and can play all three outfield positions. It’s been a couple of years since his bat has shown any life. For his career has a .829 OPS against LHP. Both teams could use someone like this off the bench. If the Yanks can’t get Diaz perhaps Hairston is the way to go. They already employed his brother back in 2009.

Bobby Jenks - Another reliever that probably is more of a fit for the Yankees than Mets due to salary demands. Joe Girardi definitely can use veteran bullpen help, and Jenks is someone that has experience closing. My guess is he will try to get a contract closing for a bad team like Matt Capps did last offseason. If he can’t land that kind of offer, then maybe the Yanks have a chance at getting him for $3-4 million. This move would be more likely if they deal away Joba Chamberlain.

Todd Coffey - Useful to both teams. Righty who throws hard and strikes out batters. Again, just like Boyer, why not?

Jose Veras - Yankees have been there and done that. Again, hard throwing who strikes out more than a batter per inning. Lousy command is what holds me back (5.4 walks per nine). Wouldn’t offer him a guaranteed contract, but can’t hurt to possibly invite him to spring training. More of an option for the Mets.

Samuel Gervacio - Fastball/slider pitcher injured last year due to rotator cuff inflammation. I hate to sound like a broken record, but his career K rate in MILB is eleven per nine innings. This is the kind of pitcher I could see Brian Cashman bring in the fold.

Alfredo Aceves - The Yankees will probably resign the versatile righty, but if they don’t the Mets should take a look. He will miss the beginning of the season due to a broken collarbone suffered in a bicycle accident. Last year was a washout for Aceves missing time because of a bulging disk. Probably one of the best right handed relievers out of all non-tenders.

D.J. Carrasco - another right handed reliever that will come cheap and could help a currently vacant Mets bullpen. Struck out eight batters per nine innings with 3.68 ERA between Pittsburgh and Arizona.

Manny Delcarmen - unlike the other hard throwing relievers this one has a more recent benchmark of success. He’s a little home run prone and reminds me of a poor man’s Armando Benitez. He was able to be a successful middle reliever for the Red Sox. Pitching the AL East should translate well to the National League. Regardless, both teams should take a look.

Josh Fields - versatile right handed batter that murders LHP (career OPS of .957). Can play first, third, and a little outfield.

Sean Green - Would the Yankees bring him in as an early inning situation righty?

J.P. Howell - Went through the whole reasons why Yankees need a bullpen lefty. Would probably only cost a minor league deal because he is coming back from shoulder surgery. Could be better than Okajima when health as he posted a 3.97 ERA and a strikeout per inning during his Tampa career.

Chien-Ming Wang - would the Yanks bring their former ace back to see what he has left?

Russell Martin - Apparently Brian Cashman nearly traded Francisco Cervelli to LA for him. I talked about how Martin would be a good fit earlier in the offseason. I just don’t know how he would take to not playing very much. With top prospect Jesus Montero and Jorge Posada, how much playing time could he get? I suspect there are better opportunities elsewhere.

Lastings Milledge - Howard will probably cover this one at length in the near future. As you know, I have never been a huge fan of Milledge. He’s never lived up to his potential, producing like a fourth outfielder throughout his career. He will be on his fourth organization in three years. He claims to have grown up since his early big league days. Maybe the fact that he’s only 25 and still has those tools makes it worth the Mets to take a look. Maybe Terry Collins could have a positive impact on the kid.

Andrew Miller - former top prospect with the Tigers (#6 overall in 2006), sent to Florida in the Miguel Cabrera deal, and now non tendered by the Red Sox. If Theo Epstein doesn’t think you are worth holding on to is it worth looking at? He is 25 years old and left handed. Both teams should at least see what the deal is.

Dioner Navarro- not my favorite catcher, but is a more realistic option, in my opinion, than Russell Martin. His Yankees ties makes me wonder if they would consider bringing him in to backup Montero. People don’t talk about his defense very often, but he’s thrown out 30% of base runners throughout his career.

Ronny Paulino - Wouldn’t he be the perfect right handed complement (.896 OPS against LHP) to Josh Thole?

Chris Ray - Yes, I am obsessed with relievers. The former Orioles closer doesn’t throw as hard, or strike as many batters out, but he was decent for Texas/SF (3.72 ERA). He is more of an NL reliever in my opinion.

George Sherrill - Hello Mets, here is your inexpensive lefty specialist. Even in a horrible year lefties only had a .573 OPS against him.

Did I miss anyone? There seems to be more of these players than in prior years. Let’s hear your thoughts.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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1 Response to Interesting Non-Tenders

  1. Deborah

    If they didn’t want Andrew Miller why trade for him and get his fans hopes up that he would be going to a contending team with his friend Daniel Bard. This is just cruel and I hope The Yankess get him and teach you a lesson Boston. You don’t deserve such a great guy.

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