A little more than a week ago, I took a glance at what free agents had significant money to make this postseason. Many of the names on the list are now out of the playoffs and I couldn't help but feel as though the lesser known free agents were being ignored.
So as we gear up for the Championship Series tonight, I've highlighted four under the radar free agents that can increase their earning potential with a good Championship Series. So without further ado:
4. Darren Oliver
-Outside of closer Brian Fuentes, Darren Oliver is the only lefty the Angels will carry in the bullpen. That means it will be Oliver's primary responsibility to shut down the Yankees potent left handed bats (Matsui, Damon, Cano) in the late innings. In addition, the Yankees have a number of potent switch hitters(Teixeira, Posada, Swisher), so Oliver will need to be able to get right handed hitters out as well.
Even though Oliver will be a type A free agent, I doubt the Angels will offer him arbitration ($3.6 million this year), so would it be out of the question for the 40 year old Oliver to get another multi year deal?
3. Chan Ho Park
-Now that Park is back on the playoff roster, I'm sure the Phillies will be relying on him heavily to get big outs down the stretch. Park's statistics as a relief pitcher this season are very impressive (2.52 ERA in 38 games) especially against right handed hitters (1.16 ERA). The odds are high that Park will have to face the Dodgers two best right handed batters in the series: Matt Kemp and Manny Ramirez. The opportunity for Park to showcase his relief talent should be there.
2. Ronnie Belliard
-Belliard has revitalized his career over the past few months in LA. Belliard went from being a really, really unproductive player with the Nationals to becoming the starting second baseman for the Dodgers in the playoffs over all star Orlando Hudson. If Belliard produces in the NLCS, then he could set himself up for a nice contract especially with his Type B free agent status. Does anyone actually see Belliard starting for a team at second in 2010?
1. Vincente Padilla
-Padilla has been so good since coming to LA that the Dodgers left Jon Garland off the playoff roster. Padilla will get another chance to showcase himself for teams when he pitches against Pedro Martinez in game 2. If he pitches well there, then I'd look for Padilla to possibly make one more start during the NLCS (if need be). I doubt the Dodgers would offer Padilla arbitration, but is it crazy to think that Padilla is a few more good starts away from a multi year deal?
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