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Forbes online picks its cost efficient free agent all stars
2006-11-11 19:52
by Bob Timmermann

Matt Woolsey of 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 "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.

2006-11-11 21:55:07
1.   doppelganger
Miguel Cairo's ops+ the last five years: 78, 75, 102, 64, 59. Bring back Luis Sojo!
Although I do think that Ted Lilly is one of the biggest bargains this offseason. Merely because I think he's a lot less likely to flame out than most of the other pitchers on the market (suppan, weaver, pettite, eaton).
2006-11-11 22:01:10
2.   EricGagnesGoggles
I'd want Ted Lilly on the Dodgers just to see him try and pick a fight with Grady Little. Anyway, I've got my eye on Gil Meche. Epitome of mediocrity? Maybe.
2006-11-11 23:58:34
3.   das411
Fools! Why are they telling people who to go after?? That ruins The Plan!
2006-11-12 09:35:21
4.   4444
I watched Meche a decent amount in the second-half (picking a player up off the waiver wire in your fantasy league will do that), so now I'm probably biased, but I also feel like I paid more attention to him than I would have otherwise. Dunno what his price will be, but I feel like he'll probably be the best of the SP that gets the "Derek Lowe"-style contract...second-tier, yet highly paid starter.
2006-11-12 10:11:01
5.   Voxter
Anyone who seriously suggests that Miguel Cairo gives a team "an improved chance to win" loses all credibility as an evaluator of baseball talent. He's only a bargain if you pay him less than you are allowed to by the rules of the CBA.
2006-11-12 19:30:59
6.   NBarnes
That team is hilariously bad.

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