The deadline to tender arbitration eligible players a contract passed last night with some interesting names that have now become free agents.
Tommy Rancel does a great job mentioning solid names like Luke Scott, Jose Mijares, and Micah Owings and how they could be a great fit for the Tampa Bay Rays. Those are all names that the Rays, among other teams, should definitely look at.
I understand why they were non-tendered contracts. The Braves already have a deep bullpen and Moylan made $2M last year and is coming off labrum surgery in early October and back surgery in June. Kuo made $2.725M last season and has spent time on the DL every year since 2007.
Moylan, who will be 33 next season, is an extreme groundball pitcher. His career GB% is 64% and his career HR/9 is very low at 0.46. His 69.2% groundball rate over the past two seasons is the 2nd best rate among pitchers with at least 70 innings pitched and a full 7% higher than the 3rd place pitcher. When I say extreme groundball pitcher I mean it. He also owns a 7.22 career K/9 so it’s not like all he does is gets groundballs.
But, the surgery he underwent in early October takes 6 months to recover from. After recovery and rehab he may not be available until mid-June and, even with high groundball rates and decent strikeout rates, he has had some control problems and any surgery to the shoulder will bring up more concern.
Kuo should be fully recovered from the various elbow issues he has had and his elbow never landed him on the DL last year. But, anxiety and low back pain did. With that said, 2012 should bring about a fully healthy Kuo.
Kuo owns a career 2.97 FIP and 10.62 K/9 rate. He keeps the ball in the park with a low career HR/9 of 0.55 but more because he misses bats than gets groundballs. But, like Moylan, he lacks some control and had major problems with his control last year as he unintentionally walked 21 batters in 27 innings. But one has to love that he also struck out 36 in those 27 innings.
Kuo absolutely kills left handed batters. He has struck out 38.3% of all left handed batters faced in his career and has held them to a .201 batting average. Moylan is tough on right handed batters. He has a .209 average against right handed batter in his career.
Both pitchers come with high risk concerns surrounding how much time they might actually spend on the mound but both come with the potential for extremely high reward. If I am a GM I am looking at both of these guys as potential high reward buys.