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The Rest Of The Best Free Agents Are Now Up For Auction: Some Deals Already Done

Grant Balfour has been throwing verbal jabs to the Orioles on XM Radio concerning the club bowing out of his 2 YRs/$15 MIL  deal - and justifiably so.  The Orioles lost credibility around the league for this bow out maneuver.  Now Balfour will look to administer some payback to the O's 19 times a year for the 2014 and 2015.  The Aussie just signed a 2 Year Deal - to return to the Rays for $12 MIL.

Grant Balfour has recently been throwing verbal jabs to the Orioles on XM Radio concerning the club bowing out of his 2 YRs/$15 MIL deal – and justifiably so. The Orioles lost credibility around the league for this bow out maneuver. Now Balfour will look to administer some payback to the O’s 19 times a year for the 2014 and 2015 campaings. The Aussie just signed a 2 Year Deal – to return to the Rays for $12 MIL.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a tough time being an MLB fan the last 3 or 4 weeks – waiting for the Masahiro Tanaka deal to get done.

As of today, we are about 18 days away from Pitchers and Catchers to report.

With the logjam now being freed up with the Japanese superstar being inked to a deal with New York, a bevy of transactions have already occurred.

Grant Balfour is all set to sign a 2 YR deal worth $12 MIL, and will be ready to stick it to the Baltimore Orioles 19 times a year for the next 2 campaigns.

Garza has a winning pedigree, and considering some of the other #2 or #3 Starters recently signing big contracts, $13 MIL a year for this guy is not bad at all. Perhaps the Cubs signed the wrong guy all along. HMMM. a 4 YR deal for a $52 MIL deal sounds a lot like Edwin Jackson's deal, however I definitely would want to have the former Cub, Ranger, Ray and Twins player.

Garza has a winning pedigree, and considering some of the other #2 or #3 Starters recently signing big contracts, $13 MIL a year for this guy is not bad at all. Perhaps the Cubs signed the wrong guy all along. HMMM. a 4 YR deal for a $52 MIL deal sounds a lot like Edwin Jackson’s contract, however I definitely would want to have the former Cub, Ranger, Ray and Twins player – over the remaining Cub.

Matt Garza just signed 4 YR/$52 MIL  deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.  I really like the move for the Brewers.

Milwaukee also scored a late offseason deal last year, when they brought in Kyle Lohse for $11 MIL a year between 2013 – 2015.

The club has also Yovani Gallardo on the last year of his deal (although they have a $13 MIL Team Option for 2015.)  Signing Garza could enable for the organization top flip their Veteran chucker.

Billy Beane continues to show the rest of the MLB how to assemble a Relief Core – without losing much of their current Roster.

The team has acquired Jim Johnson, Luke Gregerson – and now they have landed Free Agent Reliever Eric O’Flaherty for a 2 YRs/$7 MIL sum.

All the club gave back in return was Jemile Weeks (played in the Minors last year) and Seth Smith (4th OF, part-time DH).

O’Flaherty won’t be ready for a while, as he is still recovering from Tommy John Surgery, however he should be there for the 2nd half with the games becoming more important.

The deal is even better for the 2015 year, as Johnson and Gregerson are in the final Arbitration years, and will walk away after the year is over.

Billy Beane is already looking to his 2015 Roster, which is why you have to give him full credit.

On the depth chart for next year still are:  Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, Evan Scribner, Fernando Abad, Jesse Chavez and Dan Otero.

These first few deals are just a taste of what is to come.

We still have Starting Pitchers: Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, A.J. Burnett and Bronson Arroyo still don’t have clubs as of right now.

On the offensive side, we still have Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales up for the bidding.  Hello Baltimore, if you can take 5 minutes out of your day from flunking ‘pending FA’ physicals, can you sign a player or 2?

Seattle, surely you can’t just be done with signing Robinson Cano?

Toronto, yes you spent a lot of cash, but you could use some pitching to combat your AL East rivals.  Ubaldo Jimenez might be worth a chance for you guys.

A pitcher that can have hit or miss stuff – after trotting Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey to the mound – would be ideal.

The LA Angels could use another Starting Pitcher like Arroyo, and maybe they should take a look at Stephen Drew for the SS slot.  The money has to be good in both cases.

The Rays look to be done.  All of the AL Central teams have thrown down enough money in the off-year. 

Maybe the Indians could use a depth Starting Pitcher, but don’t look to spend a bunch of cash.

The Phillies should be done with signing their ex-players (Bobby Abreu and Marlon Byrd).  The Nats might add another reliever, while the Mets are still kicking tires around Drew, and possibly flipping Ike Davis.

The Marlins may be in the Bryan LaHair sweepstakes – as they tend to sign old NPBL players, and old re-treads.

Pittsburgh, they haven’t done much in the winter, but there is always hope they can re-sign Burnett.

Cincinnati should be looking for another CF to back up Billy Hamilton.  A guy like Chris Coghlan or Andres Torres might be perfect.

Arizona could be sniffing around Ervin Santana, as he would be the replacement for the 2013 traded Ian Kennedy.

The D’Backs know that the Dodgers will be a beast to contend with for their Pitching Staff for years, so adding some depth would be perfect.

The Padres haven’t been said to throw any cash at any players for the rest of the offseason – and Colorado has done spade work for their winter.

The Giants should also be done with re-upping with Madison Bumgarner, bringing in Tim Hudson – and making sure that they held onto Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence late last year.

With just 59 days until the Dodgers and D’Backs kick off the 2014 campaign in Australia, it feels like ball season again!

Billy Beane - and the Athletics have seen their team post the best record in the MLB during the regular season for the last 2 years (190 Wins). The franchise has completed the most incredible amount of wins per dollar spent. Enough so, that they should really come out with the movie MoneyBall 2. Beane has been awesome in acquiring his Bullpen for 2014 - without surrendering many assets. Potential Closers Johnson and Gregerson were brought in, also the team brought in O'Flaherty     Billy Beane - and the Athletics have seen their team post the best record in the MLB during the regular season for the last 2 years (190 Wins). The franchise has completed the most incredible amount of wins per dollar spent. Enough so, that they should really come out with the movie MoneyBall 2. Beane has been awesome in acquiring his Bullpen for 2014 - without surrendering many assets. Potential Closers Johnson and Gregerson were brought in, also the team brought in  FA Eric O'Flaherty, all the team gave up was Seth Smith and Jemile Weeks in return.

Billy Beane – and the Athletics have seen their team post the best record in the MLB during the regular season for the last 2 years (190 Wins). The franchise has completed the most incredible amount of wins per dollar spent. Enough so, that they should really come out with the movie MoneyBall 2. Beane has been awesome in acquiring his Bullpen for 2014 – without surrendering many assets. Potential Closers Johnson and Gregerson were brought in, also the team brought in FA Eric O’Flaherty, and all the team gave up was Seth Smith and Jemile Weeks in return.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com ***

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A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Chief WriterHunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured article.  Hunter is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports.

Hunter grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and played baseball with Sheldon Bream (Sid Bream‘s son) at Liberty University in the NCAA.

His favorite player is Brian Wilson (how could you guess?), and he hates when people can’t think outside the box!

His favorite expression – is ‘ this At Bat is about ten seconds away from a Toe – Tag!

You can reach Hunter on Twitter  

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Posted on January 23, 2014, in Free Agency and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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