Baseball America has their list of minor league free agents for 2014. How does one become a minor league free agent?
In the case of these 13 players, they qualified for minor league free agency because they: (1) signed a minor league Uniform Player Contract (UPC) in 2008, and (2) have not been released from that UPC, and (3) are not a member of a 40-man roster.
Teams can renew a player’s UPC six times—for the 2009-14 seasons, in the case of 2008 draft picks—before the player either is declared a minor league free agent or his club makes him a major leaguer by adding him to the 40-man roster.
While for the most part these players will go on to become filler for AAA ballclubs, occasionally you can find a few diamonds in the rough through minor league free agency. The Royals signed a AAA outfielder from the Mariners once, only to see him emerge as a power-hitting corner outfielder by the name of Raul Ibanez. Other notable minor league free agents who went on to success with their new clubs are Carlos Pena, Melvin Mora, Jose Quintana, and R.A. Dickey.
The Royals have already gotten on the move, inking former Diamondback and Rays infielder Ryan Roberts to a minor league deal.
Among the Royals eligible for minor league free agency include: P Sugar Ray Marimon, P Tim Melville, P Aroni Nina, P Noel Arguelles, C Juan Graterol, C Brett Hayes, IF Brian Bocock, IF Angel Franco, IF Paul Janish, OF Mitch Maier, OF Edinson Rincon
Oy, Arguelles. That's $6.7 million down the drain. Apparently Sugar Ray Marimon has already signed with the Atlanta Braves. And MITCH! What will become of you?
The list is filled with former Royals and Royals farmhands, including:
C Mitch Canham, 1B Mike Jacobs, 2B Ruben Gotay, IF Rey Navarro, IF Donnie Murphy, IF Wilson Betimet, IF Ed Lucas, IF Jason Donald, IF Anthony Seratelli, IF Irving Falu, 3B Brandon Laird, 3B Mario Lisson, RHP Ramon Ramirez, LHP Ryan Verdugo, RHP Kyle Davies, RHP Brett Tomko, RHP Anthony Lerew, RHP Billy Buckner, RHP Kameron Loe, LHP Aaron Laffey
Other notable free agents:
1B Brett Wallace, 1B Bryan LaHair, IF Carlos Triunfel, IF Brent Lillibridge, IF Robert Andino, 3B Andy LaRoche, 3B Scott Sizemore, OF Manny Ramirez, OF Tony Campana, OF Engel Beltre, OF Josh Vitters (former first round pick), DH Russell Branyan, RHP Chien-Ming Wang, RHP Matt Capps, RHP Rafael Betancourt, RHP Chris Volstad, LHP Randy Wolf, RHP Micah Owings, OF Jeremy Hermida, RHP Buddy Carlyle, RHP/LHP Pat Venditte, RHP Andrew Bailey, RHP Brad Lincoln, LHP Jason Lane, RHP Josh Lueke, RHP Sergio Santos, RHP Blake Beaven
And there's an outfielder named Burt Reynolds. SIGN HIM.
See anything you like in the bargain basement bin?