this is a look back on the first seasons IFA's .I for one love the IFA's.You either strike gold or coal!!!Here are the top ten,Money wise.
Raul Flores was signed by San Fransisco Wee Wee Kickapoos for a signing bonus of 23.0 Mil. I have a feeling that Mark3313 was trying to come up with a name for his team. And one of his children helped him out.:) Well back to Flores.This 3rd baseman was ML ready and Mark plugged him into the lineup from the start.He has played in two All-Star games(3,4)But hasn't picked up any other hardware.Which quite frankly is suprising. After season 4 it looked as if Raul was on his way to super-stardom.Mark thought so too and signed the youngster from Moca,DO to a 5 year 41.5 Milion contract.
But since he cashed the check Flores hasn't shown he was worth the Money.And mark, I believe gave up and traded the kid to Cinncinati last year. Where he showed some sign of life.
I caught up to Flores at a Sports Memorabillia Convention in Las Vegas. And he graciously answered a couple questions for me(It cost me $500 bucks).I asked him."what did you do in the offseason?" he smiled and replied."I weint back home to Boca and how do you say....oh I Bought it". I was taken aback by his statement and I cautiously asked ."What.....Did you say you bought your hometown?"he smiled even wider and said."Si' senor I did.I always wanted to be Boca Mayor.So I buy it and I fire the mayor.Now I, Raul Flores is Mayor of Boca,DO.Maybe I change name too.Not me...No...The town Senor. ay caramba." Rauls assistant arrived and whisked him off to the other side of the convention for an appearance of some sort. And I sat there dumbfounded thinking.No wonder he can't play to his potential.He's a Frickin Politician!!!
Edgard James signed for 15.5 Mil and a Spring training invite by the Las Vegas Wesward Ho's(Dealers).James spent three seasons in the Minors where he played in one All-Star Game(AAA).Since his call up in season 4 he has been a solid SP with a record of 62-35,1.32WHIP and an ERA 4.00.I think Purple agrees with me that this pitcher is worth keeping.Purple just resigned him for 4 years at 5.8 per year.Look for James to produce now that he's getting PAID!!
Diego Gandarillas was signed for 12.5 Million by the Milwaukee Sturgeons.Diego played 4 games in the minors before he was called up.And he really hasn't done much since.We all know that hard hitting LF'ers are a dime a dozen.So he left Milwaukee after contract talks broke down.Because Pat007ohmss wanted Diego to shorten his last name to Gandi.He felt that all those extra letters were to costly.Pat said."A letter here a letter there. And then before you know it, your talking big money!!" So Diego took his name and game to Free agency last season. And when no one picked him up he agreed to a one year 1.1 mil contract with the Kickapoos. He spent most his time at AAA and was called up at Roster expansion time.Now that Diego is a Free Agent again. He asked me to print this message. "I would like to play anywhere anytime.I still got game and you can even name me if you want!!!"
Rodrigo Merced signed with the Oakland Courics(Tuscon Ectoplasm) for a signing bonus of 12 Mil.He spent 5 years in the minors, mainly because he had Tommy Johns surgery in his 2nd season.So when Merced came off the 60 DL. Snowedin brought him along slowly so that he might reach his projections.While he hasn't reached those projections yet.He has been a solid everyday Starting Pitcher.Well worth the 12mil and the time in the minors.In two years when he's no longer arb eligable, he will probably sign a Nice Big Phat contract!!
Julian Navarro also signed with the Oakland Courics but he signed for only 10.5 Mil.He signed late in season 1 and only appeared in one game. Then in Season 2 He Disappeared.Thats right he did not play at all.When he came back to baseball in season 3 he pitched with a vengence.And in season 4 and 5 played in All-Star games.Since his call up in late season 6 he has been one of those Solid mid relief guys that i like.Keeping the games close or holding on to leads. He hasn't got a lot of press, but a good pitcher non the less.When i asked Navarro where he was in S-2?He had this to say."My father died and he was Mayor of Ingenio Quisqueya,DO .So I take over as mayor. I never want to be mayor.I want to play baseball.So I got my cousin to be mayor.And I come back".Hmmm... Hello Flores!!
Carlos Santos was yet another signing by Oakland. And he signed for 10.3 Mil.Well here is a great signing.Santos spent 5 years in the Minors(Snowedin Is paitent)and amassed some nice hardware.He has played in 3 all-star games(HiA,AA,AAA),won two SS(HiA,AA)and a AAA MVP award to boot.The 60 day DL stay in season 3 did not slow him down at all.Since his call up he has a record of 82 doubles,107 homers,330 rbi's and stole 90 bases.Nice 3 years indeed!!!
Paul Wan signed for 9.5 million with the Texas Rednecks(Tampa Bay Stars).Hello Trade Bait!!! This poor guy has been shipped off to other teams 5 times, so far.(SF,TUC,BUR,WIC,MEM).Wan spent a little over three years in the minors and played in a All-Star game(AA).But since his trade to Memphis, he has signed a contract extension for 5 years 32 Mil.And it Looks like he finally has a Home Wan!!!
Harry Paz signed for 9.1 Million by the Austin Annihalator(Jackson Justice).Jackson struck Gold with this player.Paz spent three productive seasons in the Minors and was called up in year 4.He won the ROY(4)and played in Three ML All-Star Games(4,5,8).He just signed a Three year 13.8 million contract extension.I believe hes definitely worth it!!
Tony Matos signed for 8.2 million with th San Fransisco Wee Wee Kickapoos.Tony spent 3 years in the S.F. Farm system where he was Very Solid.Then in season 4 he was traded to Chicago Where he is one of the best Closers around.He won the FOY in season 6 and played in that years All-star game.His ML record is 157 saves out of 197 Opportunities,1.33 WHIP,4.25 ERA.With 3 years of his 32.5 million contract left.Look for more awards for this guy.
Benito Vincente signed for 7.4 mil with the Charleston Tobacco Farmers.Benito spent 4 years in the minors and was traded to Chicago in season 5.He really hasn't stood out as a Minor or ML player. Except when he played in a AAA All-Star Game after being Demoted.Chicago....Sometimes you win(Matos),This time you Lost.Hey but thats Baseball.
Yorvit Nunez signed for a measley 5.8 Mil by the Los Angeles Patriots(San Diego Salmonbellies).Poor Nunez has endured every season waiting for his chance in the Majors.Now that he's on his fourth owner ,Nunez hopes that this owner will promote him.He did release this statement. " Listen Mdymond, I have played in 3 All-Star Games and have a SS award. So i deserve My Shot Man!!!" Hmmm... Well said Yorvit,and your career .301 batting average may help also.Give Him A Shot!!!