Scrap Heap Heroes

One last off season related post to clear out of the outbox before we get too far into the season. Within its MLB preview SI listed the top performers (using 2009 WAR as the metric) within various 2010 salary bins. As could be guessed, most of the low salary bins (under $1M and $1-2M) had players that were still under team control. While this is interesting, I was curious about the best players signed to deals in those low salary bins, specifically those that signed to one year deals. With that in mind I set about to create a few lists of my own, a lineup for 2009 and a couple of potential scrap heap heroes to keep an eye on in 2010. Without further ado, the scrap heap heroes for 2009

Pos   Player            Money         War
C     Gregg Zaun        $1.5M         1.7
1B    Russell Branyan   $1.4M         2.8
2B    Craig Counsell    $1M           2.8
3B    Juan Uribe        $1M           2.8
SS    Omar Vizquel      $1M           1.1
OF    Gabe Kapler       $1M           1.3
OF    Fernando Tatis    $1.7M         1.7
OF    Jerry Hairston    $2m           1
SP    Carl Pavano       $1.5M         3.7
RP    Arthur Rhodes     $2M           1

Overall my list of qualifiers averaged right around 0.4 WAR and a salary a little over $1M. Since opening day is now in our rear view mirror, let’s stop looking back and look some likely scrap heap heroes for this year. On the position player side Troy Glaus hopes to bounce back from an injury plagued 2009. CHONE projects Glaus to produce 1.7 WAR, and the biggest hurdle to doing that might be staying on the field. Russell Branyan will be bidding for a repeat appearance as CHONE projects him at 0.9 WAR. A couple others to watch are Eric Hinske, who just missed the 2009 list, and Rod Barajas, who could get starter’s playing time with the Mets. On the pitching side the scrap heap is usually populated with injury question marks, and 2010 appears to be no different. A couple of names of note that fall into the injury question mark bin are Erik Bedard and Justin Duchscherer. All in all there are some values out there to be had for your $2M, but don’t expect to hit the jackpot every time.

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Scrap! Heap! Herooooes, with stars in their eyyyyyes! /Foreigner’d