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01-28

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8

The Lineup Card: Eight Final Moves
by
Baseball Prospectus

01-16

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22

Fantasy Freestyle: Stop Looking for Sleepers, Start Looking for Value
by
Mike Gianella

01-14

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3

The Lineup Card: Pitches for Remaining Free Agents
by
Baseball Prospectus

11-05

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6

Pebble Hunting: Nelson Cruz is Same, Different
by
Sam Miller

11-04

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32

Painting the Black: The Free Agent 50
by
R.J. Anderson

03-12

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10

The Lineup Card: 11 of Our Favorite Offseason Moves
by
Baseball Prospectus

02-27

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2

Painting the Black: Lessons from the Top 50 Free Agents List
by
R.J. Anderson

02-12

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15

Overthinking It: Where the Remaining Free Agents Would Matter the Most
by
Ben Lindbergh

01-31

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13

Pebble Hunting: The Opt-Out Hater's Case for Opt-Outs
by
Sam Miller

01-07

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 359: The Remaining Free Agents/Pillow Contract Candidates
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

11-26

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 337: Free Agent Spending So Far/The McCann, Molina, and Smith Signings
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

11-26

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0

The BP Wayback Machine: The Guessing Game
by
Joe Sheehan

11-25

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4

Transaction Analysis: Rays Bring Back Molina, Reaffirm their Belief in Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

11-25

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 336: Paying Peralta, and Punishing PED Users
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

11-20

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11

The Lineup Card: 10 Free Agents Who Are Likely to Be Overpaid
by
Baseball Prospectus

11-18

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20

Baseball Therapy: Why Do Teams Overpay for Free Agents?
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-13

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2

The Lineup Card: 12 Free Agents Who Are Likely to Be Bargains
by
Baseball Prospectus

11-12

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0

Rumor Roundup: The High Price of Free Agent Pitching
by
Daniel Rathman

11-07

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1

The BP Wayback Machine: Today's Oxymoron is Free Agents
by
James Click

11-05

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 322: The Qualifying Offer Analysis Episode
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

11-05

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38

Painting the Black: The 50 Best Free Agents of 2013-2014
by
R.J. Anderson

09-17

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5

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 288: The Appeal of Year-to-Year Contracts/Ranking Contenders By Rootability
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

08-23

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5

Pebble Hunting: Free Agent Alternate History
by
Sam Miller

07-09

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 239: Carlos Gomez and the NL MVP Race/The Cubs and Trading Recently Signed Free Agents
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

04-04

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2

Overthinking It: So You Want to Buy a 2014-15 Free Agent?
by
Ben Lindbergh

03-13

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3

Sobsequy: Notable AL Minor-League Free Agent Signees
by
Adam Sobsey

02-27

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3

Sobsequy: Notable NL Minor-League Free Agent Signees
by
Adam Sobsey

01-18

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3

A Little Relief
by
Jonah Birenbaum

01-15

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5

Overthinking It: Have the Twins Learned to Love the Strikeout?
by
Ben Lindbergh

01-15

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14

Skewed Left: Filling the Free Agent Voids
by
Zachary Levine

01-12

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8

Overthinking It: Bargain Bin Free Agents
by
Ben Lindbergh

01-03

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9

Skewed Left: Has Baltimore Been Busy Enough?
by
Zachary Levine

12-25

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1

BP Unfiltered: Christmas for Free Agents
by
Ben Lindbergh

12-22

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7

Overthinking It: The Winter's Quietest Contenders
by
Ben Lindbergh

12-21

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 107: Edwin Jackson, the Cubs, and Qualifying Offers
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

12-20

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15

Skewed Left: How to Analyze the Astros' Spending
by
Zachary Levine

12-19

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 105: Will R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball Be Better in the Dome?/Do the Red Sox Have a Consistent Philosophy?
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

12-18

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 104: Our Least-Favorite Offseason Signings So Far
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

12-06

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1

Transaction Analysis: Double LOOGY Day
by
R.J. Anderson

11-09

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5

Head Games: Free Agents Looking for Financial Love
by
Will Woods

11-07

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6

Sobsequy: Let Me Qualify That
by
Adam Sobsey

11-06

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5

Overthinking It: This Offseason's Generic-Brand Bargains
by
Ben Lindbergh

11-05

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3

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 76: The Free Agents the Internet Can't Agree On
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

11-02

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0

The BP Wayback Machine: Changing the Game?
by
Joe Sheehan

11-01

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 74: The Ervin Santana Trade, the Royals' Rotation, and the Pitching Market/Rick Hahn and the Future of Front Offices
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

09-27

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7

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 51: What the Rockies Knew About Ubaldo/The Eternal Torii Hunter/Declining Dan Haren
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

05-29

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21

Bizball: Inside the 2012-16 CBA: The Luxury Tax Meets the Draft
by
Maury Brown

05-17

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49

The Process: Fixing the Phillies
by
Bradley Ankrom

02-09

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8

On the Beat: The Best of the Rest of the Free Agent Market
by
John Perrotto

01-18

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3

The BP Wayback Machine: The Arbitration Process
by
Thomas Gorman

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April 4, 2013 10:21 am

Overthinking It: So You Want to Buy a 2014-15 Free Agent?

2

Ben Lindbergh

Let the other teams sign their players to extensions. The 2014-15 free agent market's got a great deal for you!

Greetings, friend, and WELCOME to Free Agent Emporium, home of the finest free agents your non-CBA-restricted spending can buy! If you’re trying to turn your team around quickly, you’ve come to the right place. Why settle for the same old players year after year when you could bring some excitement to your roster construction instead? No Extensions, Reinventions!™ We’ll help you pick out the right free agents to fit your needs, and you can take them home today. No need to spend time training them: all our free agents come completely clubhousebroken, so you won’t have to worry that they’ll high-five the fans or forget they’re in the field. Now with no draft-pick compensation required!

Is that a shopping list? Let me take a look. [Reads] Hey, you’ve got quite a few positions to fill. Seems like someone’s been “neglecting” their drafting and player development! Ha, ha. That’s what we like to see. Those Who Build from Within, Never Win.™

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March 13, 2013 5:00 am

Sobsequy: Notable AL Minor-League Free Agent Signees

3

Adam Sobsey

Which players from this year's crop of AL spring training invitees could catch on?

In this second, American League installment of the two-part notable minor-league free agent signee series (the National League is here), the discoveries were less player-specific: for numerous teams, it was hard to make a strong case for a single candidate. Instead, two other revelations: First, you have to act fast on these marginal players, because they can be gone for good before the season even starts. One candidate from the National League article two weeks ago, injury comeback returnee Kelvim Escobar, has already been released by the Brewers, due to yet another injury. Many other players, especially former major-leaguers, have opt-out clauses that activate on March 26. As a result, some of the considerations below are more theoretical than actually predictive.

Secondly, this exercise has manufactured an opposition of sorts to a position I’ve been espousing for a while about replacement-level talent. Scanning the fringe ranks for overlooked gems, or comparing projected major-league rosters to projected Triple-A rosters, you discover that there really are very few players in the lower level who seem like they’d actually be better than the guys ahead of them on the depth chart (would you really rather have Brian Bixler than Justin Turner?). And the difference is often significant.

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February 27, 2013 7:15 am

Sobsequy: Notable NL Minor-League Free Agent Signees

3

Adam Sobsey

Which members of this year's crop of spring training invitees could catch on and make an impact in the majors?

It’s that time of year: Grapefruit and Cactus. (I feel a margarita-like cocktail coming on.) It’s the one time of the season when ballplayers wear jersey numbers like 75. When millionaires of otherwise upright goodwill and equanimity secretly hope for other millionaires to get hurt. When major-league camp invitations go out to players like the legendary Craig Albernaz, who has played in parts of the last six seasons for the Rays’ Double-A affiliate and has a career OPS of .545—somebody has to catch all those pitchers. When former big-league regulars, now on minor-league deals and looking around at all the prospects who play the same position, start counting the days until the opt-out clauses in their contracts arrive.

In other words, it’s time to sift through those minor-league free agent signees and find the one in each organization likeliest to make an impact in the majors this season.

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January 18, 2013 5:00 am

A Little Relief

3

Jonah Birenbaum

Rafael Soriano is off the market, but there are still some potentially useful bullpen arms to be had.

Earlier this week, Jon Heyman tweeted a short list of free agent relievers who could be a reasonable fit for the back end of the Blue Jays’ bullpen. Whether you credit Heyman with clairvoyance or good contacts, it just so happened that one of the names conspicuously absent from that list was Rafael Soriano. Hours later, the 33-year-old right-hander became a member of the Washington Nationals, signing a two-year, $28-million deal with a vesting option for 2015.

In snapping up Soriano, the Nats removed the best available free agent reliever from the market, but they left an assortment of lower-tier options for teams still looking to bolster their bullpens. Ken Rosenthal later listed several teams still interested in picking up a reliever, identifying the Rays, Tigers, Mariners, Marlins, and Mets as potential suitors. Here are some of the options they can consider:

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January 15, 2013 10:43 am

Overthinking It: Have the Twins Learned to Love the Strikeout?

5

Ben Lindbergh

Pour one out for Brad Radke and his spiritual descendants.

We don't typically think of particular player types as being associated with certain teams. There are some exceptions that seem to persist over time: the Rockies go after groundballers, for instance, and the Yankees tend to target lefty-swinging sluggers. But those teams' player preferences are tied to their ballparks. If the Rockies played at a lower altitude or the Yankees found they could fit in another luxury box by making their outfield fences more symmetrical, they would adapt to their new surroundings and stop pursuing the same sort of player.

Other apparent preferences are illusions or short-term trends based on temporary team composition or the whims of one front-office regime. The A’s, for a while, liked fat guys, but then they discovered defense. The Royals, under Dayton Moore, have a thing for former Braves. The Tigers, under Dave Dombrowski and scouting director David Chadd, have a reputation for liking big pitchers who throw hard. But that’s almost an obvious affinity, sort of like saying a team favors hitters who hit the ball far. The Tigers might like pitchers who throw hard a little more than most teams, and they might be a bit more willing to overlook the shortcomings of pitchers who fit that profile. But what team doesn’t like big pitchers who throw hard?

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January 15, 2013 5:00 am

Skewed Left: Filling the Free Agent Voids

14

Zachary Levine

A number of notable free agents who've changed addresses this offseason have left gaping holes behind on their former teams.

As this offseason’s free agent class has been shaken and largely settled, some of the jilted teams have been left in fine shape. Some immediately went out and patched the hole where a departed free agent once was—the Braves, for instance, grabbed B.J. Upton immediately to fill most of the Michael Bourn void—while others had replacements ready to go, making the free agents expendable.

Not everybody was so lucky or so prepared, however, as one can see by observing the voids forming where free agents used to be.

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January 12, 2013 9:05 am

Overthinking It: Bargain Bin Free Agents

8

Ben Lindbergh

Most of the impact free agents are off the market, but there are still some potential values available to teams that are willing to dig deep.

At this point in the offseason, few impact free agents remain on the market, save for Scott Boras clients who’ve been hurt by the new CBA’s draft pick compensation system. Assuming Mike Napoli and Francisco Liriano eventually ink with the Red Sox and Pirates, respectively, only seven of the top 50 free agents have yet to find a home.

However, there are still some decent values waiting to be dug up by teams that are willing to look in the bargain bin. Last year, injury reclamation projects like Bartolo Colon, Oliver Perez, and Pat Neshek, bench bats like Jonny Gomes, Jeff Keppinger, Wilson Betemit, and Gregor Blanco, and unremarkable relievers like Fernando Rodney all went on to have strong seasons after signing in January, most of them with contending teams. (Rodney, who entered the year with a 4.42 ERA in his previous five seasons, became one of 2012’s best stories, posting a 0.60 ERA and finishing fifth in AL Cy Young voting.)

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January 3, 2013 5:00 am

Skewed Left: Has Baltimore Been Busy Enough?

9

Zachary Levine

Has the rest of the AL East stolen a march on the Orioles this offseason?

If the Baltimore Orioles don’t have the best backup infielders in the American League next season, it certainly won’t be for lack of effort.

Of the six moves made with players on the 40-man roster this offseason, one was a Rule 5 pick, one was the re-signing of Nate McLouth, and the four others all involve backup infield types, including getting rid of Robert Andino in favor of a returning Brian Roberts and/or maybe Ryan Flaherty at second base.

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History suggests that you won't be distracted by baseball news today.

Courtesy of Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference, here’s a list of every professional free agent who has ever signed with a team on Christmas day:

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December 22, 2012 10:03 am

Overthinking It: The Winter's Quietest Contenders

7

Ben Lindbergh

Which of last season's contending teams have been least active this offseason, and why?

With only 50 days remaining until the first February report dates—and 100 until Opening Day—most teams have already crossed off the majority of the items on their winter to-do lists, and only a handful of the top 20 free agents are still looking for work. But while many of baseball’s best clubs have stayed busy bringing in new players or bringing back old ones, a few of the teams that made (or came close to making) the playoffs last season have been quiet. Here’s a look at four teams with more tumbleweeds than transactions this winter:

Baltimore Orioles
Biggest move they’ve made:
Re-signing Nate McLouth to a one-year contract
Why they haven’t been busier: The Orioles went from last place to the playoffs without making many major moves last winter, and they didn’t stop tinkering after Opening Day. Unlike the Yankees, who’ve spent much of the winter trying to keep or replace free agents, the O’s entered the offseason with most of their important players under team control for 2013. However, they will have to pony up for arbitration raises, which restricts their financial flexibility.
Will they wish they’d done more? The Orioles’ run differential didn’t prevent them from making the playoffs last season, but the odds aren’t good that they’ll be able to replicate their 29-9 regular-season record in one-run games. Balitmore can hope for better health and better production from their young players, but with their division rivals all active since October, the O’s run a real risk of falling prey to the Plexiglas Principle and losing ground to the teams they leapfrogged last season.
What might they still do? Last winter, Dan Duquette waited until January to sign Wei-Yin Chen and February to trade for Jason Hammel, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he took the patient approach again. This year, Joe Saunders is the most likely late entry to the rotation. It’s a long shot, but the O’s have also been linked to Adam LaRoche, who’d fit in nicely at first with Mark Reynolds off the roster.





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Ben and Sam discuss Edwin Jackson and the rest of the Cubs' offseason signings and talk about how the specter of draft-pick compensation is affecting some free agents.



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December 20, 2012 5:00 am

Skewed Left: How to Analyze the Astros' Spending

15

Zachary Levine

The Astros won't win in 2013 no matter how much they spend on free agents. So what should we make of their moves?

While Major League Baseball operates without a salary floor, it's not like there are no restrictions on the frugal. The baseline for fielding a major-league team is found right there in the rule book.

4.17 A game shall be forfeited to the opposing team when a team is unable or refuses to place nine players on the field.

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