7/8 7/12 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/27 7/27 7/27 7/27 7/27 8/2 8/3 8/3 8/9 8/9 8/16 8/23
FS 3|3 FS 0|0 HB 0|2 BW 0|4 EL 1|1 ON 0|0 IS 0|13 EL 1|1 IS 0|0 WW 0|0 ON 3|0 KF 6|3 KF 0|1|0 FS 0 BW 1|2 EL 1|2 R★ 2 BW 0 The
WW 0|0 WA 1|1 KF 1|3 KF 1|10 HB 0|0 WA 3|3 WO 11|8 WA 0|2 WA 3|3 ON 3|3 WW 1|1 WO 0|0 EL 4|0|1 BW 2 WA 0|1 BW 0|0 G★ 0 EL 2 Thrill

Free Agency Fires off a Fast Start

It's October. In the Midwest that means awesomeness, in the MLB that means heroics, in the NFL that means an overdose of pink, and in WSEM that means it is free agency season! The Podcast announced this first round of roster moves over the weekend, but if you prefer your information laid out in front of you, we have put it all together for you below. There have been some big shake-ups already involving the Flying Squirrels, Holy Balls, Ducks, and former Seals. Will this set the tone for the rest of the offseason with some big names still out there?

Another push for this free agency fever is the new roster policy for 2013: each team will have at most six players featured on their team page at the April 14th deadline. These are the players you expect to play most days. You may of course still use alternates or part-time guys who come out a few times (consider them call ups), but only the six players featured on the roster will be considered for awards, such as the weekly Munsons or All-Star voting, and inclusion in articles or other media.

  Flying Squirrels

 [From Mattseals]
   Adam Cosby  P/OF  *new captain
   Jason Hewlett  P/OF  *new assistant captain
   Mike Myers  OF

 [From Donkeys]
   Matt Murtha  OF/P

This is the biggest shake-up yet in WSEM. Deserved or not, the Squirrels are one of WSEM's Marquee franchises. So, this change in leadership is a huge deal. Carl had grown tired of the ins-and-outs of running a team and the league when he was contacted by Cosby about starting a team. Perfect timing, he took the job with the Squirrels. Hewlett and Cosby also fill well the holes left in the Squirrels' pitching staff with both 2012 starters having left, and Murtha's return adds much needed depth. Myers also brings a consistent bat as a place-setter to boost a notoriously challenged Squirrels offense. Their outfield will be patrolled well with Nick Coffee and Bullard, both diamond digit caliber defenders. One issue Cosby will have to face early in his new job, though, is that the Squirrels are sitting at seven players. Adam will have to decide which player to send down to part-time status.

  Holy Balls

 [From Mattseals]
   Greg Franzen  OF  *captain
   Chris Paquin  P/OF  * assistant captain

 [From Thunder Ducks]
   Nick Braden  OF
   Chris Lewis  P/OF

 [From Belgian Wiffles]
   Brandon Corbett  P/SS

The Holy Balls were what got the ball rolling [sorry, there was no other way to say that]. This group played together as the Mattseals in August at the For the Thrill, and winning that championship pretty much solidified them playing together in 2013. As the rumor spread it sparked the Squirrels' moves. As huge as that is, though, the biggest impact of the Balls' formation is the taking Nick Braden and Lewis from the Ducks. It leaves the Ducks with three full-time players, and opens the door for another big move in the future. The Ball's lineup is solid, deep on pitching and has a capable offense, but what they lack is a true ace, a shutdown pitcher. Corbett's 2012 numbers would put him in that role, however, he is a contact pitcher and gets many ground ball outs; not the dominance you'd like in big games.

  Belle Islanders

 [From Campus Commandos]
   Alex Linebrink  P/OF  *captain
   Andrew Mott  OF/P
   Daniel Egan  P/OF

Another big shake-up, one that has been long rumored. It loses some of the impact with the Commandos no longer slated to return, but it still brings a whole new look and expectation to heading downtown. Generally, teams went into Detroit expecting to drive away with a sweep; that should no longer be the case. Linebrink's captaincy is expected to stabilize his roster, as well as bring in new talent to enhance an already solid foundation for a team in Egan and Mott. Word is that Chris Roszell, known for his defense and occasional power at the plate with the Commandos, may also make the move cross-town to the Islanders.

  King Friday

   Jason Matt  OF/P
   Joe Markos  OF

Friday's moves are not exactly offseason moves, but are still worth noting. Jason Matt was picked up by King Friday at the end of the regular season, and may take the mound in 2013. Markos is a strange case: he was traded to the Squirrels in July, but never played a game for the team. Therefore, that is being ignored, and this is simply being considered a resigning worth mentioning. Markos was one of Friday's best offensive performers, so at least they will have him to lean on as they go forward. Biggest news yet out of the Friday Camp: they will have a home field in Livonia for 2013. Bring on that home cooking!

With all of those moves there are still quite a few names out there without a team. The biggest is probably pitcher Mike Constanti (0.56 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 3.79 K/BB in 2012), having cutting ties with the Squirrels. Craig Skinner is another great arm on the market (0.45 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 5.06 K/BB in 2012), but the prevailing thought is he will return to the roster with the Southgate crew. Other available names include Ryan Alexia (.377 OBP, 12 R in 2012), who brings defensive intensity at short-stop *** UPDATE: Alexia has signed with the Belgian Wiffles ***; and Adam Grant (.388 OBP, 32 BB), who is always a Texas Ranger candidate; Eric Pfefferle (.451 SLG, .356 OBP) will likely be packaged along with Grant as a fantastic plus-one.