Injured Free Agents Update: Travis Hafner, Carlos Lee, Jim Thome

As the offseason has progressed, we've seen some of the bigger names come off the free agent board.  However, there are still some well-known players out there who battled injuries that have certainly affected their offseason standing.  These players are still un-signed and available for the right team - but some may be a risk.

This is not an all-inclusive list of free agents who suffered through injuries in 2012, but it does hit on some key players.

Travis Hafner
Luke Scott
Aubrey Huff
Carlos Lee
Jason Bartlett
Jim Thome
Scott Rolen
Freddy Sanchez
Grady Sizemore
Roy Oswalt

Roy Oswalt is an interesting name on this list.  By conventional wisdom, he should still have a couple solid years left in the tank.  He is only 35 years old.  However, injuries may have got the best of him.  He started the 2012 season late with the Texas Rangers and he struggled mightily.

Jim Thome has been insisting he is not retiring, but he has yet to land himself a new team.  Thome has proven he can still be productive if he can stay healthy.  When he was available last season, Thome hit .252/.344/.442.

The list above includes players who can help some franchises in need.  However, most teams are looking for investments they can bank on.  They don't want risks.  Whether it be due to age or injury or a combination of both, each of the above players has been limited in their free agency discussions this season.

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4 Responses to Injured Free Agents Update: Travis Hafner, Carlos Lee, Jim Thome

  1. We have seen a few time before when teams "purge" the type of ballplayers seen on this list... some were allstars at the top of their game but none are there anymore. Suddenly the teams decide to find out if they have any young players who can fill these roles at major league minimum salaries. What we may see develop with the likes of this list is a whole new era of "Clemens Contracts", guys play the second half season the teams time to really figure out their needs ( and pocketbooks) while it gives the athletes a bit more time to heal and be fresh for the pennant run

  2. Interesting thought. We already know that Sizemore is not going to play until he is 100% healthy which means it could be the middle of the year. It'd be interesting if players started going for these half-season contracts, but I can't see the benefit as a player.

  3. The benefit is only for these veterans who wont get a full guaranteed contract while their health and performance is still questionable. The system now has them sign minor league contracts with clauses should they make a club out of spring training. The advantage here is for the clubowners, but an opportunity to join a pennant contender midseason will probably motivate some "young retirees"( voluntary or not) to come back.

  4. Ah, that's a good point. The incentive-laden contracts are certainly not what any player wants to sign. Nor do they want a minor league deal with an invite to big league camp. They want to know they are on a major league roster with guaranteed money.


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