The 2010 MLB free agency chase is on and the top sought after players are going to be wined and dined until they sign on the dotted line. But we all know a championship team is not built by your team signing a single player to an astronomical deal.
Here are five of the best bargain free agents that your team can sign that will make a positive impact on your team.
1. Kerry Wood RP
While just about everyone wrote off Wood after his horrible start to the 2010 season with the Cleveland Indians, the New York Yankees took their chance on him and were rewarded with a solid performance out of the bullpen. Wood earned a 2- record with the Yanks along with a .69 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 26.0 innings of work. Though it is unlikely he is going to maintain this level of production, Wood showed the rest of baseball that his career is far from done.
2. Grant Balfour RP
During his fourth year with the Tampa Bay Rays, Balfour saw his performance improve after having a rough year in 2009. Last year Balfour appeared in 57 games and ended with a 2-1 record with a 2.28 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 55.1 innings of work. Though he does not stray from his fastball often, Balfour has shown there is no reason to. Any team who needs bullpen help would be wise to pick him up.
3. Adam LaRoche 1B
The lone hitter on this list, LaRoche will be eager to show he can still produce like he did for the Arizona Diamondbacks where he was able to maintain a .261 batting average with 25 homeruns and 100 RBI’s. If a team is looking for a decent glove at the corner and a solid bat, they can pick up LaRoche for a bargain price.
4. Jon Garland SP
In 2010, Garland compiled a 14-12 record and was one of the major reasons why the San Diego Padres were able to catch the rest of the baseball off-guard. While he is not overpowering with his pitches, Garland will give his team around 200 innings of solid work and will fit perfect in a team that has a solid infield defense.
5. Frank Francisco RP
The Rangers made the change prior to 2010 and moved rookie Neftail Feliz into the closer role and allowed Francisco to earn his keep in the earlier innings. He did not disappoint by compiling a 6-4 record with 60 strikeouts in 52.2 innings of work. While a team may decide to take a chance on Francisco as a closer, he would be better served as a setup man or as the seventh inning guy.