Forbes online picks its cost efficient free agent all stars
by Bob Timmermann
Matt Woolsey of Forbes.com picks the most cost efficient free agents on the market this year.
The best buy according to Woolsey is Ted Lilly.
Our study shows that in the years the Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics acquired Lilly, they exhibited a combined growth rate in franchise value of 11% above the league average. What's more, both the Yankees and the Athletics experienced their slowest growth in the seasons immediately following Lilly's departure.
"A lot of owners equate big money with progress," says Matt Sosnick, an agent who represents all-star pitchers Dontrelle Willis and Freddy Sanchez. "It's not like that. It's a numbers and talent evaluation."
While many factors contribute to the fluctuation of a team's value, Lilly, who has never made more than $4 million a season, is an example of a player who gives a solid bang for the buck. Other players making our list were Miguel Batista, Shea Hillenbrand, Scott Hatteberg, Bengie Molina and Miguel Cairo. All of them, like Lilly, are cost-effective players whose teams' bottom lines have been boosted during their tenures. All have been to the playoffs, and two own World Series rings. None of them put up huge numbers, but all give their teams an improved chance to win and a financial shot in the arm.
On the Forbes.com "All Star" team, the shortstop choice is Nomar Garciaparra. I suppose he would be a good free agent shortstop if he were, you know, a shortstop.