Wednesday, December 12, 2007

FA Update

In my last post I gave you a peek at some important free agents with potential to join the Major Leagues. As most of those players have decided their 2008 situations, I thought I'd do a short recap:

Kosuke Fukudome - outfielder
Fukudome signed a 4-year deal worth 48 million with the Chicago Cubs. Those were the numbers I expected as well as the destination. For what it's worth Nate Silver at BP posted the following PECOTA for Fukudome, noting that the numbers are built on a truncated 2007's data. Bump the plate appearances by 100 or so and you get the idea that a 40 double, 20 home run season isn't out of the question. The .905 OPS also looks very nice.

465 80 30 4 15 58 70 94 9 3 .289 .401 .504 .303 29.2 4.4
Me likes. Might have to get a Fukudome Cubs' jersey. I was on WGN radio last week and they seem very excited about Fukudome, as they should be.

Hiroki Kuroda - right-handed starting pitcher
Kuroda is reportedly signing a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Seems like a good fit. The NL West has a collection of generally poor offensive teams and a few pitchers parks as well. I expect 13-14 wins.

Hitoki Iwase - left-handed reliever
Iwase resigned with Chunichi. I was disappointed to see him stay in Japan, actually, but he has a chance to break many of the records for closing pitchers and you can hardly blame him to want that.

Yasuhiko Yabuta - right-handed reliever
Yabuta signed with Trey Hillman's KC Royals. He should be able to close for them if that's the plan in Missouri. I like this signing a lot, and I expect him to be an All Star in 2008. Someone has to rep Kansas City, right?

Masahide Kobayashi - right-handed reliever
Kobayashi signed with Cleveland and should be the closer by year's end. He is much better than anyone they have for that role right now, although the young arms look extremely promising. Look for big strikeout numbers for Kobayashi and a big fanbase in the midwest.

Kazuhiro Wada - outfielder
Wada replaces Fukudome in the Chunichi outfield and should help the team get back to the Japan Series. He is a first class veteran player in the NPB, while he would be a league average player in the Majors.

Yoshinobu Takahashi - outfielder
Takahashi decided to stay with Yomiuri, forgetting about free agency altogether. That made sense and there probably was no better place on Earth for him than the Giants outfield.

Takahiro Arai - 3B
Arai signed with the Hanshin Tigers. This makes sense as the Hanshin lineup had so little power it was almost comical. His dismal OBP should fit right in though.

Daisuke Miura - right-handed pitcher
Miura resigned with Yokohama for a little more than a million dollars in 2008. Thus ending the least interesting free agency in history.