Monday, December 8, 2008

Where are they now?

We take a moment to look back at some of the notable International Free Agent Signings from Season 1. This is in the days before funds could be transferred so the maximum that could be spent was 20 million. No one came close to that level but about half a dozen players signed deals that gave them bonuses of above 5 million. Here are some that left a mark on our league.

Ariel Seneca , the richest International in season 1. At age 19 he signed a deal that gave him 10 million upfront. He started two game sin AAA before getting the call up. Over seasons 3-4-5 he won an average of 14 games. It has been downhill since then though. Winning only 28 games the past 4 seasons. More time in the minors would have been helpful in developing his game.

Jolbert Cordero , a year younger then Seneca, Cordero grabbed a 8.8 million dollar bonus and didn’t reach the majors until season 3. Since then he has been an All-Star twice and won 85 games in 6+ seasons with a 3.84 ERA Andover 1000 k’s.

Vic Blanco , the largest bonus for a position player was 7.3 million for this middle infielder. His entire career has been spent with Minnesota and has seen him be an All-Star, a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glover…plus two world series rings. At age 27 he has 278 homeruns and 686 rbi while playing stellar defense at 2nd.

Luis Nieves , the first of our major busts. 7 million dollars + 15 wins + 298 innings + 4.50 ERA = Not worth the money.

Pedro Cordero , 6.9 million dollars. Not an amazing player but a solid performer that has stolen 123 bases and bats consistently around .290

Tomas Javier , talk about bang for your buck. 6.5 million and he has swatted 308 homers and over 1000 hits. Should make a run at 2500 hits and 600 homers.

Sammy Armas , never really gotten a shot at the bigs until a few seasons ago. Sports a 21-5 record out of the pen and a solid 4.10 ERA. Not worth 6.5 million but a solid citizen.

Al Lucano , unsigned free agent since season 8. 32 career wins for 5.1 million.

Juan Villa , solid player his whole career with San Juan. 83 homers, 114 steals and a .287 avg in 5 + seasons. 5 million bonus.

Bartolo Nunez , 5 million and has never seen the majors.

Victor Nunez , same as above.

Kevin Martin , cough cough.

Those are the 5 Million plus men, below are players that gave some serious bang for the buck.

Alberto Aparicio , has converted 90% of save opportunities while having a sub 2.75 ERA. Good production for 3.3 million.

Dennis Yang , 3 million doesn’t buy much these days. But in season one it could get you a Shortstop that will win a silver slugger and make the all-star team.

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