Best FA Signings of 2007 Revisited

Best FA Signings of 2007 Revisited


 Akinori Iwamura

During the off-season, we here at Mop Up Duty evaluated the off-season transactions and awarded €œbest free agent signings€ to only three players. A little after 100 games, we€™ll go back and see how things are holding up.


Scott Williamson


1 year, $900,000
With starting pitchers getting $8+ million, regardless of production, a $900,000 gamble isn’t too far fetched. Williamson still has his stuff, with 42 K in 39.1 IP in 2006. But his control has gone south (22 BB) of late¦. at $900,000 in today’s market, this deal represents one of the off-seasons better risk/reward contracts.

Looks like we got this one wrong, although I still agree with the logic. Williamson was far from awful, with a 4.40 ERA in 14.1 IP (mostly due to one bad outing, his opponents BA against was .235). Injury’s were the issue once again however and the Orioles sent Williamson packing. Recently picked up by the Yanks, Scott still has a chance to make his way back to the majors before the end of the year.


Joe Borowski

1 Year, $4,250,000
+ $4,000,000 2008

Team Option+ $200,000 each for 40, 45 and 50, $400,000 for 55 and $500,000 for 60 performance incentive

In today’s market, there are many closers earning big, big money (Wagner, Ryan, Rivera). The many current closers that are signed to decent deals (K-Rod, Hoffman) would rake in big bucks in this year’s market. While Borowski isn’t “and has never been” flashy, he is dependable at getting the job done (83.7 % conversion rate in 2006, blowing 7 saves yet earning 3 wins in his BS). This rate is comparable to higher profile 2006 closers such as Jonathan Papelbon (85.3%), Hudson Street (77%), Todd Jones (86%), Tom Gordon (87%) and others.

Borowski’s ERA hasn’t been pretty but his save conversion rate has been a god send for the Indians bullpen (29 in 32 opps). His save conversion percentage is higher than stars Francisco Rodriquez Francisco Codero, Takashi Saito and others. Possibly the best value signing of the off-season.

Akinori Iwamura

3 Years, $7.7 Million + $4.55 Million Negotiation rights
Total: $12.25 Million, 3 years ($4.08 million per season)
With the added option of trading a middle infielder down the line, this is a reasonable”in today’s market“ risk/reward deal that also creates flexibility. Good job Rays!

While Akinori has cooled off since returning from injury, the Rays new lead-off hitter has an on base percentage of .370. He is also maintaining a 100+ runs scored pace, with 42 runs in 67 games. At current market valuations, his signing would have to be considered a success.



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