We’ve seen the big name players go somewhat early on in free-agency. But there are some lesser-named players that were signed to smaller deals that could in fact turn out to be steals for the organization.
Kris Medlen (SP) – Kansas City Royals – 2 years/$8.5 million
Medlen tore his UCL in spring training prior to the 2014 season and needed season-ending Tommy John Surgery for the second time in his career. As the Atlanta Braves ace in 2012, he posted a 10-1 record with an ERA of 1.57 in 12 starts, and in 2013 he posted a 15-12 record with an ERA of 3.11 in 31 starts. If he can get back to being the same pitcher he was in 2012 and 2013, he could take over the role of Ace in that rotation, for a fraction of the price. Medlen has some of the nastiest off-speed stuff in the game, if Kansas City decides to let James Shields go, he could actually be looked at as an upgrade if he stays healthy.
If Billy Butler had shown more power, he wouldn’t have signed with the A’s. Royals would have picked up his option.
The Butler signing is bigger in name only, but his impact will be negligible for that team after the fire sale they’ve engaged in.