Friday, November 11, 2005

The First Annual Free Agent Tournament

November Madness?

(if anybody can think of a synonym beginning with an N for Madness that would be super)

The original idea when I decided to do some work on the top free agents of 2005 was the standard top 50 available free agents list. This is the classic way of ranking a free agent class and it seemed like a logical fit. But in an attempt to try something different and see if it works, the new plan is a top 65 available free agents list. This may not seem so different at face value – just 15 extra guys on the list. But the number 65 will be important. What other major event each year includes 65 of the best teams/players/things/whatevers?

I’m sure by now you see where this is going. The top 65 available free agents have been ranked 1-65. Then they were seeded in groups of 16 and sent off to do battle in 4 sub-brackets (including the infamous Play-In game). We’re going to try and do this tournament-style in order to determine who the best available free agents are in 2005. The 1-65 list is a starting point for the list. If you don’t care to read a ton, you can just use those as the overall rankings as they are based on who is are the best free agents in a hypothetical, everybody has enough money to sign anybody, length of contract doesn’t really matter kind of world. Match-ups will take the more realistic aspects of free agency into account – expected value of contract, length of deal, age of player, potential to perform going into the new deal, etc.

Here is how the match-ups will work. Winner will be declared at start along with a quick rationale why. Then the winner gets some shining, congratulatory praise while the loser gets the more complete wrap up and prediction of where he is headed. Everyone will get the full wrap at some point so it behooves these athletes to win at all costs in each battle in order to garner as much praise along the way. Overall rank going into the tournament (1-65) for each participant is in parenthesis. Good luck to the athletes involved in this historical, first annual baseball battle royal. And good luck to any reader who can get through this entire free agency preview.


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