Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Forgotten Free Agent: Ronnie Belliard

Over the next couple of days, Jorge Says No! will be highlighting some of the forgotten free agents. You know, the guys that aren't getting much publicity or action on the open market even though they could have a lot to bring to the table. Next up, Ronnie Belliard.

What a difference a month makes.

On August 30th, Ronnie Belliard was traded from the Nationals to the Dodgers, who were in the middle of a pennant race and were looking to shore up their middle infield. In the five months prior, Belliard was only getting sporadic playing time with the Nationals and when he was playing, he wasn't producing. His .246/5 HR/22 RBI/.296 clip in 187 at bats with the Nationals made it very clear that Belliard was no longer in the Nationals' long term plans.

But once Belliard arrived in Los Angeles, he began to hit like crazy and never stopped. In September, Belliard hit a ridiculous .351 with 5 HR, 17 RBI, and a silly .398 OBP. By the middle of the month, Belliard was stealing at bats and starts away from all-star Orlando Hudson and by the time the playoffs rolled around, Belliard was the Dodgers primary second baseman.

However, it appears that Belliard's scorching hot September has not translated into lots of interest on the free agent market. There's a gluttony of second basemen on the free agent market and unfortunately for Belliard, it looks like he is one of the least desirable options out there despite his hot September. Guys like Orlando Hudson and Felipe Lopez are struggling to find interested suitors, so it's likely that Belliard will have to wait until those guys find homes before he will have any real interest on the market.

You have to wonder if Belliard will be forced to take a minor league deal given how weak the market for second baseman is. I'm sure that would be the worst case scenario for Belliard and his agent, but unless something drastically changes, I'd say the chances of Belliard landing a major league deal are a coin toss at best.

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