Monday, May 12, 2008

Internationals Revisited: Season 2

Biggest Signing

David Seanez, Kansas City McCoys SS, $6.0M

Analysis: Kansas City certainly got a bargain when they signed Seanez for just $6M. Again, this was before the days of budget transfers and also during only the second season of the game, so no team had more than $18M allocated to prospect signings. To get a guy with a career ML OPS over 1.000 for just $6M is truly remarkable, even before you get to the fact that he can play anywhere on the field at a Gold Glove level. If he showed up today, he would likely cost a team more than $20M to sign. Seanez easily places on the list of all-time greatest deals in International FA history.

Jesus Ramirez, Indy Indians 2B. $6.0M
With solid offensive ratings across the board, Ramirez probably could have been a regular contributor to a lot of teams, but hasn't had the chance to crack a major league lineup on a regular basis. It's not like he's been on a series of loaded teams, either, making his life in AAA limbo even more baffling. He's good for a .300 batting average and 25 HRs at that level, and it certainly wouldn't hurt to give him a shot at improving the majors' worst scoring offense.

Biggest Bust

Al Torres, Vancouver Excelsiors RP. $4.7M
Plenty to choose from here, as 5 of the top 10 signings have not yet played a full season in the majors. However, Torres is the only one to never crack AAA ball. His stats have been okay for most of his career, but he's not likely to crack the bigs with those L/R splits.

Funniest Name

Rock Riley, Toledo Mud Ducks 3B. $410K
Actually could have played into AA ball at least, but got frustrated after 3 years in Low A and left baseball behind to become a pro wrestler.

Least-Expensive Player Still Active In The Majors

Miguel Lecuona, Madison Massas SS. $920K
43 players signed for less money than Lecuona and all have either retired, are free agents or are stuck in the minors. He's not likely to make a long-term impact at the ML level with his .529 OPS and below-average fielding at SS. Still, he's got a three-year contract at $10.5M to fall back on.

Eduardo Cordero
was a Rule 5 selection and played two largely unproductive seasons in the majors after signing for $380K. He's in AAA right now, unable to crack the ML squad of one of the worst pitching staffs in the game.

Alex Romero
signed for $450K and has yet to crack the majors, but with an OPS over 1.000 in AAA this season, he could certainly help a few teams at the big league level.

Least-Expensive Player Still Active At Any Level

Rafeal Martin, Atlanta Braves 3B. $320K
Pro career started well with some impressive numbers in rookie and Low-A ball, but after collecting a total of 93 at bats during the last 3 seasons combined, he's not likely to stick around for another year.

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