25 Free Agents Who Will Never Come Here
<I>Beltre is just one of many NOT coming to AZ</i>
Beltre is just one of many NOT coming to AZ
Managing Editor
Posted Nov 13, 2004


ESPN.com just published their "Top 50 free agents."  There's the link, go ahead and read the piece, it's really good.  But be warned, as a Diamondback fan it's going to be a downer.  Not Reservoir Dogs or Love Story depressing mind you, but sort of like a really good episode of The Wonder Years


The staff here at FutureBacks.com decided we needed to specify, spell it out for the Diamondbacks fans.  What does this all mean?  Remember this is ESPN's list, I might order some guys differently, but for the purpose of this article, the first half of ESPN's Top 50 free agents will do, so here's the reason the 25 top free agents won't be Diamondbacks.

Rank--Player Vital Stats/Price/Probable Team Why the D'Backs Won't Get Him
#1--Carlos Beltran 38HRs and one of the most rediculous postseasons in history/$10 million a year for 10 years according to his agent, Scott Boras/Yankees He cost's too much.  That's the only reason, but get used to it, it'll be on here a lot.
#2--Adrian Beltre .334-48-121 and (even though he should win it) he'll finish 2nd to Barry Bonds for NL MVP/I'm guessing about $7 million a year, more if he agrees to just a two year deal/Dodgers The company line is "We've got our 3rd baseman in Chad Tracy, but don't be fooled, he costs too much, has really only had one good season, and there's no way the Dodgers would allow another team in the NL West to get Beltre.
#3--Roger Clemens 18-4 and the reinging NL Cy Young Award Winner/As much as it takes for the Houston Astros to get him back, by guess is a $15 million dollar base with $10 million in incentives/Astros I'm going to be honest, this one hurts.  There's no chance, none at all, but how sweet would it be to see that terrifying commercial where the Rocket and The Big Unit pitch off the same mound become a reality?
#4--Edgar Renteria .287-10-72 in his worst season in years, still considered one of the five best SS in the league/Four years, $24 to 26 million/St. Louis ESPN's got him going to the Cubs, but great players just don't seem to leave the Gateway to the West, the Diamondbacks would again say, "We've got shortstops" in Cintron, Gil, Santos, and if he ever signs Stephen Drew, and for once they'd be right.
#5--Pedro Martinez 33 years old, son of Pinstipers, injury prone, and still pretty much dominant/He wants $15 to $17 million a year/He either gets it from the Yankees or goes back to Boston for $24 over two years This again is a foregivable one for the D'Backs.  Randy is 42, Pedro is 33 going on 50.  He is overpriced because of his performance in the World Series, not a good fit for a young team.
#6--Carlos Delgado Had 32 HR and 99 RBI in 128 games...that's not fair/He should be one of the highest paid FA signings, but the injury might knock a couple mil, or a couple years, off his deal Jump at it!  Sexson isn't going to sign, but you still want a huge power hitting 1st baseman?  This is your guy, if you offer him a 5+ year deal you can get him at a discount!  Well, a $60 million over five years, discount, but go for it!  No, I know they won't, but it's fun to think about.
#7--Magglio Ordonez Played in only 52 games because of a gimpy knee, still a monster if he is healthy/Will look for 4+ years at $12 to $15 mil a year/New York...I'm not sure which one, but New York The D'Backs have a glut of young outfielders, but this pickup might make sense anyway, but only if you can get him without a 'No Trade' clause.  Then you sign him, he stays healthy, his value increases, and two years down the line you can trade him for a pitcher when Carlos Quentin/Conor Jackson/Jon Zeringue is ready.
#8--Jason Varitek Has more Heart and Soul than Tapau, is one of the three best offensive catchers in the game, and handles (non-knuckleball) pitchers like very few can/$12 million per for 4 years, $14 mil per for 3 years, $16 mil per for 2 years/Red Sox, he's the most important free agent for the World Champs Varitek will never come here, but if he did it would make the Diamondbacks' young pitching a full ERA run better next season, and advance their development exponentially.  I can hear him on the mound with Brandon Webb, "You know, in Game 7 against Yankees, Derek Lowe threw a..." you think Webb would listen?
#9--Carl Pavano At 29 is in his prime, and has gotten better every year, eats innings, and doesn't walk people/This guy isn't going to the bank, he's going to open a bank, expect him to become one of the 3 highest paid pitchers in baseball.../...and the team that makes guys, "one of the 3 highest paid pitchers in baseball" is the pitching starved Yankees Love to have him, but I'm not sure I believe he's the dominant Ace he's going to be paid as.  I'd pass at that price.
#10--Richie Sexson Big Sexy is his nickname, but only because Frank Thomas is already 'The Big Hurt,' if you don't know what happened to this guy you might be on the wrong website/Wants at least 3 years at $10 mil per year, might get more if he heads east/But he won't, the Mariners will make him the cornerstone of their franchise I'm so angry about this one that I could scream.  The Diamondbacks insult Sexson with a one year incentive laden deal, and then don't bother to pony up for the three year deal until they've already pissed him off.  The only reason nobody is talking about how the D'Backs front office bungled this one is because they bungled the Manager thing even worse.
#11--J.D. Drew Was perpetually hurt until this season with the Braves where he stayed healthy for what felt like the first time since Little League, .305-31-93, plus arm, plus speed, just a plus player/He'll probably get $8 million a year, with a bunch of incentives for staying healthy, for maybe four or five years/Braves really can't afford to lose him, but if the Cubs lose out on the Beltran sweepstakes they might turn to Drew to replace Moises Alou This would be a tough call.  If Drew stays healthy he's a stud, and at only 28 he'll be around for awhile, plus it might make it easier to sign little brother Stephen...still, he's really fragile.
#12--Nomar Garciaparra Went from being the Face of the Red Sox to getting run out of town, was solid for the Cubs coming off injury, still relatively young at 31, but a little risky/If he can convince someone he's healthy he should get $12-$15 million for four or five years/He's stated he wants to be on the West Coast to be near his wife, Mia Hamm, but Mia just retired, so she can go wherever she wants now...Angels or Cubs Don't bother, even if the tag is wrong, he's been called a 'clubhouse cancer' and that's the last thing you need on a young team.
#13--Troy Glaus Had been hurt much of the last two seasons, but is undeniably productive when he's healthy, almost as much of a big-time clubhouse guy as Varitek/Probably going to take a paycut from the $9.9 million he made last year, but if he stays healthy it'll be a bargain/Mariners or Astros, the M's might snake him and build from the corners, but they'll only get him if he takes a discount to stay in the AL The company line will be the same as it is for Beltre, "We have a 3rd baseman," and on this one I'd have to agree again, too fragile to base a franchise around.
#14--Armando Benitez There are only two established closers on the market (and even if Jose Mesa hadn't resigned with Pittsburgh it would still only be two), and Benitez is the younger, more durable, and better of the two/He's gettin' paid, look for $10 million a year in the general neighborhood of five years/With Smoltz going back to the starting rotation next season the Braves need a closer and Benitez has spent most of his career in the NL East I might be in the minority, but I like Greg Aquino, and behind him the D'Backs have Jose Valverde and Jason Bulger in the system, don't overpay for a closer who will be 35 by the time the club is ready to win again
#15--Steve Finley Got lost behind Randy, Curt, Bonds and the Rocket in the 'Wow these old guys can really play!' discussion, but had maybe the best season of his career at 39/Just getting better, he'll probably sign for two years with options for a 3rd and 4th, might get $10 mil, but doesn't really seem that interested in money, so might take a discount to play for.../...his hometown Padres.  The Dodgers will make a run, and the D'Backs will make a PR offer, but he'll go back home. The D'Backs have been talking about resigning Finley since they traded him to the Dodgers at last season's trade deadline.  His potential return was made even more important when Luis Terrero showed he might not be ready for primetime.  Problem is Finley started with the Padres, lives in San Diego, and they actually have a chance to win next season.
#16--Troy Percival Along with Benitez one of only two established closers, value is inflated because of this, but has spent portions of the last three seasons on the DL/Will make more than such an injury prone, 35 year old closer should/The Cubs have been close, and not gotten there, and they've just watched a veteran dominant closer lead the Red Sox to the World Series. Like Benitez, I don't see the D'Backs needing a veteran closer...not that Percival would come here anyway.
#17--Matt Clement The only starting pitcher in the league to get screwed by his team more than Randy, Clement finished 9-13 with a 3.68 ERA and 190 Ks in 181.1 innings pitched/At 30 he's still relatively young, and though he seems to get hurt every year, he only misses four or five starts a year, must go somewhere with a good pitching coach/Cardinals, Dave Duncan is as good a pitching coach as there is, and the Cardinal fans are knowledgable enough to know that 9-13 isn't as important a number as 3.68 He's the perfect pickup for the Diamondbacks, a 'young veteran' with good stuff...except for that whole pitching coach thing.  The Diamondbacks don't even know who their pitching coach is going to be.
#18--Orlando Cabrera Cabrera went from the Best Player on a losing team (Montreal) to a defensive key in the Red Sox World Series Championship.  A better hitter than '04's numbers (.264-10-62) would indicate/Might be the one guy from the Sox who doesn't really capitalize on the World Series win, probably just a little more than last year's $6 million salary/He seems to be everybody's second choice, if Anaheim and the Cubs don't get Nomar then...if the Cardinals don't resign Renteria then... Cabrera would be a good pickup at $5 million a year, maybe not for more than that.  The Diamondbacks are looking for guys to build a team around, and while Cabrera is a nice addition to a team, he's not a lynchpin.
#19--Jeff Kent Just a professional hitter, drives in runs, hits for power and average (.289-27-107), can't run a lick or play anything better than average defense/At 36 he's on the downside of his career, but still productive, expect a two or three year deal with some club options for less than the $10 million he made last year/A very interesting predicament, the A's would love to have him but he might price himself out of their range, the Yankees shouldn't be spending money on aging hitters, but Steinbrenner might go get him just to say he did. Hmmm...intriguing, because you have to know he'd hit like .500 with 20 homers against the Giants alone, but too old to pay the kind of money he'll want.
#20--Moises Alou Played everyday, had a career high in home runs, has that weird urine on the hands thing...how do the Cubs let this guy go?/Says he's retiring, doubt it, expect a two year deal for right around $10 million a year/Giants.  "Barry, you're going to move to right field so that Moises can play left for his father (Giant's skipper Felipe Alou), and hit behind you, driving you in 75 times." A great hitter, but old and too expensive to sign with Quentin, Jackson, et al in wait.
#21--Odalis Perez Living proof that if you're left handed and throw strikes you can play forever, I know he went 15-8 with a 3.28 ERA, but got shelled against the Cardinals in the Division Series/Made $5 million last year, expect $6-$8 million for three years/The type of guy the Braves love, Leo Mazzone will make him dominant as the #2 behind Smoltz It would be intriguing if the Diamondbacks kept Randy (93 to 98 mph from the left side) and then had Perez as the #2 (79-85 mph from the left side), but since they aren't keeping Randy, it doesn't really matter, doesn't have an Ace's stuff.
#22--Jaret Wright Didn't this guy retire like five years ago?  Nope, he just fell off the face of the earth after arm problems.  Came back huge for the Braves this year, but tired down the stretch/At $850,000 he was probably the biggest pitching bargain of '04, expect $3-$4 million for three or four years/will stay with Mazzone and Atlanta, be their #3 and win 18. At 28 he is young enough to fit in the D'Backs plans, and rumor has it he is one of the guys on the short list of pitchers the D'Backs are persuing.  Won't leave Atlanta unless the D'Backs offer significantly more money...which they won't.
#23--Jermaine Dye Was a hot property until he broke his leg in the playoffs a couple years ago, has never been the same, but might be back to 100% by Opening Day/Will get a drastic pay cut from the nearly $12 million he made last year/Dodgers.  The right handed threat Juan Encarnacion was supposed to be. If the Diamondbacks are going to sign a veteran outfielder that isn't named Steve Finley this is the guy for them.  If he stays healthy his trade value increases, he'll be a bargain, and he's a great clubhouse guy for the youngsters. 
#24--Brad Radke Just seems to repeat the same year over and over and over.  200+ innings, between 10-15 wins, and ERA under 4.00, might not be an Ace, but might be the best #2 starter you could ask for/The Twins can't afford him anymore, because he'll once again command just over $10 million/Yankees.  For Steinbrenner, $10 million is cheap, and he's the anti-Kevin Brown, always makes his starts, incredibly consistent, never implodes. He'd be great in the D'Backs rotation, a veteran who might even convince Randy to stay, and at 32 should still be effective three or four years from now, but there is absolutely no chance he will come to Arizona.
#25--Omar Vizquel Still might be the best defensive shortstop in the game, easily within the Top 3, offensively he's never been incredible, but would make a nice bottom of the order AL hitter/Probably gets half the $6 million he made last year/Which is exactly what the Red Sox will be looking for, will join the Latin Connection of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. Really no need for the Diamondbacks to offer anything to Vizquel, he isn't going to be around by the time they start winning.


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