Top Underrated Free Agent Signings of 2009

Scott BirchfieldCorrespondent IJune 27, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 21:  Second baseman Orlando Hudson #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes a play on a ground ball during the game with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on June 21, 2009 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.   The Dodgers won 5-3.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Every season, there are free agents who are expected to be superstars for the team they sign with.

Then there are those free agents who are less publicized, but still are able to make a significant impact on their new team. Here are some of the top underrated free agent signings of 2009.


Orlando Hudson/Los Angeles Dodgers

Hudson is a fairly well known player, but he makes this list because he waited the entire off-season to sign with the Dodgers. All he has done is hit .307 and score 48 runs and drive in 41 runs. Sounds like a good signing to me!


Randy Choate/Tampa Bay Rays

Every year, the Tampa Bay Rays take a pitcher and help him resurrect his career. Choate is this year's example. The Rays signed him to a minor league deal. Choate has a 1.59 ERA with three saves in 15 games so far this year.


Casey Blake/Los Angeles Dodgers

Casey Blake had a scorching end to the 2008 season.  He re-signed with the Dodgers in the off-season. I didn't think he would have the same impact this year. I was definitely wrong. Blake is hitting .301 with 11 homers and 48 RBI. He has made a huge impact on the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Randy Wolf/Los Angeles Dodgers

Wolf is already the third Dodger to make the list.  Wolf has an unspectacular 3-3 record, but has a 3.64 ERA with 70 K's. It's no wonder why the Dodgers are playing well this season. They are making underrated moves that are definitely paying off.


Michael Wuertz/Oakland Athletics

Wuertz was a decent pitcher the last couple of years with the Cubs. However, I would still consider him an underrated signing. Wuertz has a 4-1 record with a 2.86 ERA in 35 appearances.


Brad Penny/Boston Red Sox

Although he is not back to his 2007 form yet, Penny is making a comeback with the Red Sox. Even though his ERA is rather high, he has given his team a boost with some of his starts. He could be trade bait at the trade deadline. If he ends up with a NL team, look for his value to go way up.


Russell Branyan/Seattle Mariners

Branyan is the definition of a journeyman. He has been with nine teams in 12 seasons. In the off-season, he latched on with the Mariners.

Branyan has gone on to hit .300, 18 homers, and drive in 36 runs. Hopefully for Branyan, he has found a home for a few years.