From the invaluable Baseball America comes the complete list of players granted free agency after the requisite six years of minor league service. While some suggest valuable bit players and/or decent warm bodies lurk in their midst, it is mostly roster filler prime for the plucking.
Hit the break for a few interesting/noteworthy names that might provide some depth at the big league level. Well, let’s be honest: it is needle in the haystack time and any value extracted from this list represents a major coup for whichever franchise plucks the winning lottery ticket. This list reads like a “who’s who” of roster filler from the MVP Baseball games circa 2004/2005.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Daniel Cabrera. Hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2009 but mustered a handfull of decent PCL starts at the end of 2012. Walks were always killer but might be a decent relief option for the discerning dumpster diver.
Atlanta Braves – Felix Pie. Really, Felix Pie can’t find work? The ongoing existence of Corey Patterson, Dewayne Wise and Reggie Wilits suggest Pie will not want for a job for long.
Baltimore Orioles – Lew Ford. He can be somebody’s Lew Ford next year, I bet.
Boston Red Sox – Andy LaRoche. Nope. Wrong LaRoche.
Chicago Cubs – Alfredo Amezaga – Middle infield depth isn’t always easy to find and some reasonable PCL stats might keep Amezaga in pay checks.
Chicago White Sox – Ray Olmedo. Actually got into 20 games for the White Sox in 2012. See also: Alfredo Amezaga.
Cincinnati Red – Will Ohman. Also pitched for the White Sox in 2012 and was not terrible. Left-handed and no longer overpaid, Will Ohman will live forever.
Cleveland Indians – Nick Weglarz. He’s Canadian? 14 home runs in 100-odd Double-A games might get him another job somewhere, won’t it?
Colorado Rockies – Chad Tracy. I think this is a mistake. A non-roster invitation somewhere, perhaps back to Washington where he actually spent 2012, is all but assured.
Detroit Tigers – Zach Miner. Because the rest of their minor league free agents are currently slotted into every day jobs with the big club in 2013. Miner had more walks than strikeouts in Triple-A so maybe not.
Houston Astros – Fernando Abad. This will be the team to poach value from other team’s minor league free agents. Abad is not bad, 22 strikeouts against six walks in 22 relief innings in 2012 with the Astros. The real ones!
Kansas City Royals – Kevin Kouzmanoff. Would you believe Kevin Kouzmanoff was actually demoted to AA in July? Name recognition might land him another job, or at least a chance to win another job. 31 years old, will lament Petco Park until his final breath.
Los Angeles Angels – Greg Smith. Left-handed starter might make a Dana Eveland-style swingman after a decent season in the PCL. Or not, as his numbers during his stint in Colorado are not fit for man nor beast.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Josh Fields. Decent triple-A numbers in the PCL after spending 2011 in Japan. Not fundamentally awful!
Miami Marlins – Robert “Bobby” Ray. Pitched decently in mop up relief in the PCL in 2012. Is truly bad. But still!
Milwaukee Brewers – Corey Patterson. Improbably only 33-years old. Keep the dream alive!
Minnesota Twins – Jeff Manship. So, so bad. But Manship! Getting him away from the poisonous Twins culture might do him some good.
New York Mets – Drew Carpenter. There are so many Carpenters in baseball right now that this one stands to get hired almost by accident. Has many gloves and generally throws the ball over the plate.
New York Yankees – Jason Bulger. Crazy strikeout numbers throughout his career until 2011 when they abruptly stopped. Give him some of the Good Drugs and you have a low-leverage strikeout guy!
Oakland A’s – Kila Ka’aihue. Because bloggers need something to do in the winter, too. Toss them a line of false hope, William Q. Beane.
Pittsburgh Pirates – Brandon Boggs. Power always plays. Is one good PCL season away from immortality.
San Diego Padres – Anthony Contreras. Fungible middle infield depth with a pulse and a spring in his step. Only minor leaguer to successfully complete the Cinnamon Test three times in one bus ride.
San Francisco Giants – Justin Christian. Has World Series ring, will travel. Probably still not a good hitter but hey: he works for nickels!
Seattle Mariners – Luis Jimenez. Career minor leaguer with some power. Is enormous. Probably not good. But still very large.
Tampa Bay Rays – Will Rhymes. Old and bad but white so he’s in luck, both in the baseball and “ease of life” sense.
Texas Rangers – Greg Reynolds. Whichever team takes him will spend the rest of their days comparing him to Evan Longoria and crying.
Toronto Blue Jays – Sean O’Sullivan. If baseball doesn’t pan out, has a lucrative career as a flyweight boxer or New York City cop in the 40′s to fall back on. Started in Vegas all season and lived to tell the tale.
Washington Nationals – Mark Teahen. Has a recognizable name and was once savagely overpaid. Could walk before but not hit after. Plays lots of positions poorly. Replacement-level player for seven years might actually embrace the abstraction and BECOME the replacement-level player.