Offseason Notes for October 3rd

Dustin Ackley won the Arizona Fall League’s MVP and MHA (Most Handsome Award) in 2010.

Assorted Headlines
Some Triple-A Players Are Now Free Agents
As MLB Trade Rumors’ (and also FanGraphs’ own) Mike Axisa reports, a total of 22 players that finished the year in Triple-A elected free agency after the end of the regular season. Among the group, two players who might be worth something better than replacement level in 2012 are catcher Dusty Brown (199 PA, .285/.367/.506, .316 BABIP, at Triple-A Indianapolis this year) and erstwhile Cub prospect Felix Pie.

The Royals Are Looking for Starters
Per the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton, the Royals are looking to add one or two established starting pitchers this offseason. Free agency is an option but, according to Dutton, “club officials say any impact acquisition is likely to come through a trade.” The Royals were sixth in the AL in batting and fielding WAR (25.6), but 11th in pitching WAR (13.5). Among the pitchers who are eligible for free agency this offseason and might present decent value are Erik Bedard, Rich Harden, and Japanese free-agent Tsuyoshi Wada (about whom Patrick Newman wrote at NPB Tracker in July).

Miami, Florida — a.k.a. Dysfunction Junction
There are rumors that new Marlin manager Ozzie Guillen wants to bring friend and Cub Carlos Zambrano to the Miami Marlins in 2012. Said one totally high-ranking, and equally unnamed, club official: “Our plan is to out-crazy the competition.”

Arizona Fall League
The Arizona Fall League begins Tuesday. Here are the scheduled games for Opening Day, along with key players you can find on the relevant teams:

12:35 MST Mesa (Gerrit Cole, Aaron Hicks) at Phoenix (Yasmani Grandal, Anthony Gose)

12:35 MST Salt River (Nolan Arenado, Tim Wheeler) at Peoria (Dan Hultzen, Nick Franklin, Jaff Decker)

18:35 MST Surprise (Tim Beckham, Christian Colon, Wil Myers) at Scottsdale (Gary Brown, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout)

Vince Belnome: Prospect?
Not because he’s a nerd, but because he’s a stong, virile gentleman, the author sometimes finds himself looking through the player stats and major-league equivalencies (MLEs) at The Hardball Times’ Forecasts page. Last night, he found the player page of Vince Belnome, a player whose name isn’t only excellent but actually means — the surname, at least — actually means “good name.”

The 23-year-old second baseman slashed .333/.432/.603 (.373 BABIP) with a 14.8% BB and 18.6% K in 318 plate appearances this year at Double-A San Antonio (in the Padre organization) — good for a 137 wOBA+, per StatCorner. Brian Cartwright’s OLIVER system gives Belnome an MLE line (sub. req.) of .304/.382/.568 in 277 at-bats and average fielding numbers — good for an MLE WAR of 2.7.

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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