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Special Year-End Free Agent Edition
by Bruce Herman
A little scheduling twiddling has accelerated the free agent process somewhat this year. Within five days after the World Series (instead of 15), you’ll know who’s on the market — except for the non-tenders, which must be revealed by December 2 (instead of the 12th). If you’re in the wait-’til-next-year (or the year-after-that) crowd, it’s not too late to start window-shopping. Here’s a handy-dandy chart compartmentalizing the available merchandise.
2011 Potential Front-Liners
Other 2011 Notables
Free in 2012
Jerry Hairston Jr.
Jorge de la Rosa
Chan Ho Park
* either player, current club or both hold an option for 2011
HIT AND RUN
Two of the three players who’ve played the most regular-season games without sniffing the playoffs will be off the list by tomorrow night: Michael Young and Aubrey Huff. Randy Winn, at 1,717, clings to the top spot.
This news is six weeks old, but I doubt you’ve heard it. Braves pitching prospect Brett Oberholtzer worked a game in the low-Class A South Atlantic League in which he threw 93 of his 109 pitches for strikes. I did the math; that’s 3.3 pitches per batter faced and 0.5 balls per batter faced. And the most amazing part was that none of those batters was Jeff Francoeur.
Before packing up for the winter, Brandon Inge set the Tigers franchise record for strikeouts, passing Lou Whitaker (1,099), who played in 1,102 (!) fewer games.
In a remarkable achievement that will go overlooked, the Mets’ Jonathan Niese made 30 starts and did not allow a stolen base. Only four runners even tried.
Pedro Feliciano broke the Mets record for pitching appearances for the third consecutive season, escalating from 86 to 88 to 92. In the process he set major league marks for outings over a three-season (266) and four-season (344) span.
Here’s how the White Sox negated their midseason surge and suddenly plummeted out of contention: In 18 games between September 5 and 24, their starting pitchers went 0-9 with an ERA of 6.45.
“As soon as I got out of the game, we started getting everybody out, so I must have been doing something wrong.” — Zack Greinke after a stinker in Cleveland.