Stanley Stationary

Free Agency happenings and Analysis

Stanley ND, AP

Edited version compliments of the Stanley USA Today.

Stanley, ND:

The defending NL Central champion Stanley Sioux went into free agency attempting to put together a squad that could go the next level.  While 103 wins and a trip to the NLCS were no small accomplishment, the Sioux are striving to the next level.  A trade for John Burkett was consummated prior to free agency, leaving Stanley with two strong starters in the upcoming season.  This also allowed multiple strategies in free agency. 

Following is the analysis of what happened to the Sioux during free agency.

Day 1: 

The magic email arrives from draft HQ.  Just whom could the Sioux sign right away and for whom would they have to wait.  Answer - they'd have to wait on everyone!  Not a single number 1 bid to be found.  Fans gasped.  Was this how tight fisted ownership was going to follow through?  Management preaches patience.  Apparently there were rumors that a substantial number of #2 and #3 bids abound.  Day 1 saw potential target Curt Schilling go to Morris for a 1 year, 10.6m contract (just who is this guys agent anyhow - last go around he negotiated 3 years at over 11.0m/season... both contracts far and away the most money spent in Brassball during Stanley's existence).  Mike Sweeney and Mike Cameron go off the board.

Day 2:

Starts early in the day.  North Dakota native Rick Helling is lured by a 4 year/5.0m contract to move to the Minnesota Mudcats.  After pitching the Sioux's only no hitter in history, how could management let him get away?  Despite signs of arm fatigue, management steps up and spends 5.0m to keep a Sioux fan favorite.

On the down side, some of the top tier free agents slip by.  Matt Morris stayed in Minnesota.  Brian Giles went to Brassball champions Ocala (gasp).  Sought after SS Rich Aurilia went to the powerful Cook County Maulers.  Phil Nevin went to the Brooklyn Bulldogs.  With the Sioux needing a third baseman, rumors abound that owner Paul Weltz nearly choked on a left over turkey bone when he found out he missed Nevin by a small dollar amount.

Another Sioux favorite won't sign in Stanley this season. Darrin Erstad was lured toward big money to Box City.  Alas, at the end of the day the Sioux find another potential ace.  Albeit a risky venture, the Sioux sign Kevin Brown for 4 years at 11.6m. 

Day 3:

With Jeff Reboulet making his big move from Metropolis to Fleetwood today, all bets were off with other free agents :)   Moyer was another starter off the board who goes to Cook County.  Sexson goes to Toledo on a 5 year, 12.5m deal.  Sioux did manage to pick up a 4th OF with a 3 year, 2.1m deal that was not matched by Brooklyn.

Day 4:

Activity Day for the Sioux!  Looking for a possible long-term first baseman, the Sioux offer Frank Thomas a 4 year, 4.5m deal.  Charlevoix decided it would be wise to match the offer, so the Sioux look elsewhere.  Jeff Kent surprisingly becomes available so Stanley spends 6.7m over a 3 year period.  Minnesota pipes in on another Sioux RFA - this time for Antonio Alfonseca.  Without a true Strat closer signed and most other closers off the board, the Sioux match the Mudcat offer.  Looking for additional bullpen help Stanley persued Jose Paniagua.  Brooklyn decided the price was right so they matched the 2 year offer of 850k.

Day 5:

Analysts and fans alike were beginning to wonder if the Sioux had forgotten about their true needs at 3B, and OF or DH.  Today would be the day the coffers were nearly drained.  Jeff Cirillo became available, so the Sioux signed him to a 3 year, 6.8m deal.  In addition, late surprise Ryan Klesko decided to join the Sioux for a 3 year, 8.0m deal.  Rumor has it Ryan wanted more money or a 4th year, but decided it was getting late in free agency as most other 1B/DH types had found homes.  Tony Batista, Steve Reed, and Paul Bako had contract offers pulled back by the now nearly broke Stanley management.

Day 6:

After spending 3 years with the Sioux, it was time to say good bye to Bubba Trammel.  Bubba joined Georgia for the next 3 years at 3.6m.  Left handed hitting catcher Jorge Fabregas was added for depth at a reasonable 275k. 

Day 7-9:

With no funds left and no open contracts, it was back to the drawing board for the Sioux.  What would the new salary structure look like?  Were there any holes to fill?  Were there any excesses on the roster?

Post free agency:
Finding no room for 4 catchers, the Sioux traded Scott Hatteberg and 1B/DH Kevin Young along with 1.0m cash considerations to the Plaza Lions for Eddie Guardado.  Eddie provided the Sioux with another LH reliever beyond Armando Almanza.