Tagged: Diamond Backs

Arbitration Offers and Non-Offers

The deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their free agents was 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time yesterday. You can read all about free agent compensation here, see how the Elias ranking work here, and see those rankings here. Thanks to MLB Trade Rumors for all of these links. Below are players offered and not offered arbitration that I deemed questionable. Ignore the bolded posts; I can’t find a way to get rid of the.

  • D’Backs don’t offer arb. to Adam Dunn. This was the dumbest decision of them all. Not to offer Dunn arbitration for fear he would accept is just plain sily. There would have been a 98% chance that he declines to sign for multiple years elsewhere, netting the D’Backs two picks. Even if for some reason he did accept the offer of arbitration, he would be a great trade chip. Dunn on a 1 year, 15 million dollar deal would bring back a lot in return. This makes zero sense to me and proves how cheap the D’Backs are.
  • Phillies don’t offer arb. to Pat Burrell. It’s like the same thing as with Dunn. These guys are great players; they deserve an offer of arbitration. I know that the Phils don’t have much money to spend, but Burrell on a cheap 1 year deal would be a great piece to their team. They could either let Jamie Moyer go and keep Burrell, or even if they really wanted to not be stuck with Burrell, they could have just traded him. Like Dunn, he would make a lot of sense for a lot of teams for a year. This one does’t make much sense either.
  • Yankees don’t offer arb. to Bobby Abreu.  I find this surprising, because I know for a fact that Abreu would’ve declined and signed elsewhere on a multi-year contract. There was no way he was coming back to New York, and even if he did, he would be solid trade chip. I’m not understanding their logic on this one.
  • Cubs don’t offer arb. to Kerry Wood. This was just flat out dumb. First of all, what were the chance that Wood would actually accept an offer of arbitration? I’d say around 20%. We all know that he deeply wants to stay with the Cubs, but I doubt he would sacrifice a possible 15-20 million to stick in Chicago. If Woody did accept, they could always just trade him. His salary would be moveable, and they could even get a decent prospect back. To me, this was just utter stupidness.
  • Phillies don’t offer arb. to Jamie Moyer. I have no idea why Moyer didn’t get an offer. Wouldn’t the Phils like Jamie back on a 1 year deal at market price? Isn’t that what they are trying to get done this offseason; resign Moyer. I know that he stood a good chance of accepting, but I don’t think that would be a bad thing. At least you know you can get a pick if he does leave for whatever reason. Ruben Amaro has not had a very good start to his general managing career if you ask me.
  • Astros don’t offer arb. to Randy Wolf. Remember when the Astros were supposedly the frontrunners for Ben Sheets? Now they can’t even afford Randy Wolf on a 1 year deal. I didn’t know that their payroll was this tight. Like a lot of other players on this list, he would have been very easy to trade had he accepted. Also, wasn’t this the reason for trading for Wolf, so that they could get a sandwich pick for some AAAA reliever? I think that trade is looking even worse now because the ‘Stros had to know at the time of the trade that they couldn’t afford to offer arb. to Wolf or to resign him. The Astros are one of the worst run franchises in all of baseball.
  • Dodgers don’t offer arb. to Joe Beimel. This guy made only 2 million last year, and stands a great chance at nabbing at least a two year deal on the open market. I don’t see why the Dodgers wouldn’t offer to him. Beilmel would be a bargain on a 1 year deal, so he is a tradeable asset if the Dodgers truly didn’t want him.
  • Cardinals don’t offer arb. to Braden Looper. He would be a great bargain on a one year deal, and is said to be looking for 3 years, making it likely he declines. Looper would’ve provided great depth to their rotation if they wanted him. Even if the Cards didn’t want him, he would be very easy to trade. This was a dumb decision and it will cost the Cards a sandwich pick.
  • Cardinals don’t offer arb. to Russ Springer. I though they wanted him back. A 1 year deal at market value would be a good signing for them. I know that they knew he would accept, but that’s a good thing. Well, at least I think so.
  • Mets don’t offer arb. to Luis Ayala. I know he was completely terrible last year, but he was solid in his stint with the Mets and has had a great track record his entire career. (except for last year, of course) He made only 1.7 million last year, and would be a solid signing for a year at about 2.5 million. If he declined, they would have gotten a draft pick for him.   

As you can see there were a lot of teams that I felt made a mistake by not offering a key player arbitration. It looks like the economy is hurting everyone.

Randy Johnson Not Likely for D’Backs

The D’Backs held a meeting with Randy Johnson and his agent last night. They would’ve either signed him last night or he would not return. Things didn’t go well, and The Big Untit won’t be back. He was willing to strike a deal for 8 million (a 50% pay cut), but the D’Backs were looking for the deal to be in the 3-5 million range. They were being awfully cheap because they barely have anything to spend. Only 10 million. Well, what is done is done I guess. “Where will he go?” is the question people will be asking now. I honestly have no idea where. Wanting to stay near Arizona and compete, I think he takes a deal with the Angels or Dodgers. Neither are particualy great fits, but both could work. The Dodgers are looking for a starter, and might feel that Randy Johnson makes more sense on a one year deal than signing a guy like Oliver Perez to a big multiyear contract. The Angels could decide to play it safe and not risk trusting Kelim Escobar. Even if he comes back, Big Unit would still be a solid first half option and the Halos would then have the option of trading a starter at the deadline. They overall don’t seem like a great fit, however. I don’t know where Big Unit will go, I just can’t wait to see him get his 500th win somewhere. 

Team’s Payroll

I will put the amount of money teams will have to spend this offseason along with their payroll from the previous year, arbitration eligible players, and the salary they have committed. This will make things easier when trying to guess who could afford the top-notch free agents. I was informed greatly from MLB Trade Rumors. This will be a side-bar link.

 

 Teams

 Last year’s payroll

 Salary Committed

 Arbitration Eligible

 Estimated money to spend

Braves

102 million 

48 million 

Casey Kothman, Omar Infante, Kelly Johnson, Matt Diaz, Jeff Francoeur, Mike Gonzalez 

 45 million

Mets

 138 million

104 million 

 Ryan Church, John Maine, Aaron Heilman, Pedro Feliciano, Duaner Sanchez

28 million 

Phillies

103 million

100 million 

Cole Hamels, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Greg Dobbs, Ryan Howard  

15 million 

Marlins

 21 million

 20 million

Scott Olsen, Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Mike Jacobs, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Dan Uggla, Cody Ross, Matt Treanor, Alfredo Amezaga, Joe Nelson, Kevin Gregg, Logan Kensing, Eulogio de la Cruz, Doug, Waechter 

0 million

Nationals

55 million 

40 million 

Ryan Zimmerman, Tim Redding, Jesus Colome, Ryan Wagner, Willy Harris

10 million 

Cubs 

118 million

122 million 

Reed Johnson, Ronny Cedeno, Michael Wuertz, Neal Cotts, Chad Gaudin 

20 million 

Brewers 

80 million 

60 million 

Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy, Corey Hart, Dave Bush, Seth McClung, Todd Coffey, Chris Capuano 

20 million 

Cardinals 

100 million 

78 million 

Aaron Miles, Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick, Todd Wellemyer, Brad Thompson 

20 million 

Reds 

74 million 

54.5 million 

Bill Bray, Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Lincoln 

15 million

Astros 

 86 million

88 million 

Humberto Quintero, Ty Wigginton, David Newhan, Brian Backe, Wandy Rodriguez, Jose Valverde, Geoff Geary, Tim Byrdak 

15 million 

Pirates 

 49 million

31 million 

Ryan Doumit, Adam LaRoche, Nate McLouth, Paul Maholm, Zack Duke, John Grabow, Tyler Yates, Denny Bautista 

8 million 

Dodgers 

59 million 

118  million 

Russell Martin, Andre Eithier, Takashi Saito, Jonathan Broxton, Scott Proctor, Yhency Brazoban

50 million 

Diamond Backs 

 66 million

55 million 

Chris Snyder, Augie Ojeda, Conor Jackson, Chris Burke, Edgar Gonzalez, Chad Qualls

10 million 

Rockies 

68 million 

77.5 million 

Garret Atkins, Willy Tavaras, Jorge de la Rosa, Jason Grilli 

3 million 

Padres 

73 million 

44 million 

Jody Gerut, Scott Hairston, Heath Bell, Clay Hensley 

4 million 

Giants 

76 million 

64 million 

Fred Lewis 

10 million 

Angels 

124 million 

87 million 

Macier Izturis, Rob Quinlan, Chone Figgins, Ervin Santana 

30 million 

A’s 

48 million 

29 million 

Huston Street, Justin Duchscherer Rob Bowen 

10 million + 

Rangers 

67 million 

63 million 

Gerald Laird, Marlon Byrd, Brandon McCarthy, Frank Francisco, CJ Wilson, Kameron Loe 

10 million 

Mariners 

117 million 

88 million 

Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Jeremy Reed 

20 million – 

White Sox 

121 million 

108 million 

Bobby Jenks, DJ Carasco, DeWayne Wise

10 million 

Twins 

57 million 

54 million 

Jason Kubel, Matt Guerrier 

15 million 

Indians 

79 million 

64 million 

Kelly Shoppach 

15 million 

Tigers 

137 million 

115 million 

Marcus Thames, Ramon Santiago, Fernando Rodney, Justin Verlander, Gary Glover, Joel Zumaya, Bobby Seay 

5 million 

14 million

14 millionRoyals 

58 million 

52 million 

John Buck, Esteban German, Mark Teahen, Joey Gathright, Zack Greinke, Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies, Jimmy Gobble, Joel Peralta 

7 million 

Red Sox 

133 million 

92 million 

Kevin Youkilis, Kevin Cash, Javier Lopez, Jonathan Papelban 

33 million 

Rays 

43 million 

49 million 

Edwin Jackson, Dioner Navarro, Jason Bartlett, Gabe Gross, Jonny Gomes, Grant Balfour

5 million 

Yankees 

209 million 

140 million 

Xavier Nady, Wilson Betemit, Chien-Ming Wang, Brian Bruney 

50 million 

Blue Jays 

98 million 

80 million 

Jose Bautista, Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet, Brandon League

15 million 

Orioles 

67 million 

63 million 

Freddie Bynum, Luke Scott, Nick Markakis, Jeremy Guthrie, Daniel Cabrera, George Sherrill, Chris Ray, Fernando Cabrera 

15 million 

 

See All Tags

This is a post where you can click on any tag you want to. It will be a side-bar link.

Offseason Plan: Conclusion

The Offseason Plan series has sadly ended. It was a lot of fun writing this. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember, you can always click on the sidebar link: Offseason Plan to see them all. Here are the links for every team’s offseason plan…

 

Marlins, Astros, Blue Jays, Cubs, Diamond Backs, Dodgers, Mariners, Giants, Orioles, Red Sox, White Sox, Tigers, Indians, Angels, Phillies, Rays, Royals, Reds, Rockies, Mets, Twins, Padres, Nationals, Rangers, Brewers, Pirates, Cardinals, A’s, Braves, Yankees.

Top 10 Teams: September

Here is your top ten teams. I’m sorry I’m a day late. I was busy yesterday.

1. Cubs.  The Cubs have easily taken over the Angels for the best team in the MLB. They have the better rotation, better lineup, even though the Angels have Mark Teixera, and a better bullpen. They are all around a better team and are the favorites to win the world series.

2. Angels.  They are still holding strong at number 2. They haven’t fell because they have done bad, just because the Cubs have done better. This is still a very good team. They are still going to be a very tough team to beat in the playoffs.

3. Rays.  Tampa Bay has been extraordinary this year. I almost moved them up into the second spot, but decided to move them up to three. They have continued to win even after losing Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria to injury. They have the best 1-2-3 in the AL, and a lights-out bullpen. If they could get hot hitting in the playoffs, this team could go a long way.

4. Brewers.  The Brewers move up a spot mainly because the Red Sox are falling fast. They have scored a ton of runs in August, however, and the starting pitching remains phenominal. This is a team that has a decent chance at getting to the world series and a great chance at making the playoffs. If only they had a better defense and a better bullpen.

5. Red Sox.  Despite their fall, they still land at number five. Their pitching will get healthy eventually. Bartolo Colon, gulp, is getting there, and could be the team’s fith starter untill Josh Beckett returns and maybe after if they decide to move Paul Byrd to the bullpen. What a great move by Theo Epstein to aquire Byrd. That man is a genious. When the pitching gets healthy, they might be able to go somewhere in the playoffs again this year. I think they will sneak past the Twins for the wild card, as I have said in my Predictions.

6. White Sox.  This team is better than the Twins. They have the far better offense and a better bullpen. If it weren’t for their outfield defense, they’d be much better than they already are. They have to win this division, and if they do, they have a slight chance at going somewhere in the playoffs. It would be tough, but they could beat the unproven Rays, and if the Red Sox beat the Angels like they usually do, I could see The White Sox getting to the world series if they upset Boston.

7. Twins.  The Twins are still where they were last month: right behind the White Sox and Red Sox. They have a very good team, but don’t have the offense to take this division. They could possibly get past Boston for the wild card, but I think they have a better chance at catching the White Sox. They’re really close right now, and all they have to do is keep on winning an they’ll make it there.

8. Phillies.  They will win the division over the Mets, and are a better team than the D’Backs or Dodgers. They have the best combonation of hitting, starting pitching and bullpen between the remaining teams.

9. Diamond Backs.  They sneak up into the top 10 this time. This is just a better all around team than the Dodgers. They move up to number 9 after being unranked.

10. Mets.  This is not a great team, but they’re better than the Dodgers or Yankees, so they get the final spot of the top 10 teams. They still need to figure out the bullpen issues, but if they do that, they could beat out the Phillies for the eastern division.   

Offseason Plan: Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies are in a tough position. They need to decide whether they want to try to contend for ’09 or if they want to rebuild. I have said before that the Rox would be smart to retool, because they play in a poor division. They only need a reliever, starter, and a second baseman. Clint Barmes is just as good if not better than any free agent second baseman on the market other than Orlando Hudson or Mark Ellis. They shouldn’t waste their money on that position. They should let Brian Fuentes walk and could let former closer Manny Corpas replace him. They need another middle reliever, though. They need to sign a starter badly. It will be tough to convince players to come to Coors Field, however. The could try to sign starters, but they don’t have much money to spend and aren’t one starter away from catching the D’Backs or Dodgers. They might end up trading Matt Holliday and rebuilding. They need to open up a spot in the lineup for Ian Stewart. The could deal Garret Atkins and play Stewart at third base, or they could trade Matt Holliday and move Stewart to left field. One of Holliday or Atkins will be traded if the Rockies decide to rebuild. There will be a ton of suitors for both. They could trade Atkins to the Twins for Nick Blackburn or Kevin Slowey. They could tarde Holliday to the Phillies for Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Greg Golson, and Joe Savery. It would be a great win-now move for the Phillies, but they would completley destroy their farm system. The Rox would get a pretty nice haul for one year of Holliday. Possibly to the Reds for Homer Baily and others. Maybe to the Angels fo a package around Nick Adenhart and Sean Rodriguez. The Phillies make the most sense, especially if they trade Ryan Howard to keep their farm system respectable. There are many desinations for Holliday, but if I were the Rockies, I would trade him right away before teams started signing the big money left fielders like Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell, Manny Ramirez, Milton Bradley, and Raul Ibanez. So the Rockies could go in two different directions, but I think the rebuilding choice would be more fun to watch.

Offseason Plan: Los Angeles Dodgers

I said this in the D’Backs Offseason Plan and will say it again, the winner of this division next year will depend on what the Los Angelos Dodgers do. They have a pretty big amount of needs, but then agian they have a lot of money to burn. They need two starters, a shortstop, a second baseman, and a third baseman. That’s a lot. This team needs to start of by keeping the pitching strong. They will be amoung the top contenders for CC Sabathia this winter. They also will be interested in resigning Derek Lowe, as well as another starter. Preferably, they would sign CC and Lowe. Worst case, I think they sign Jon Garland and Greg Maddux. They need to keep the pitching strong though, so decline the option on Brad Penny. (He is bad, injured, and doesn’t get far into games at all) Then sign two good free agents. Next, find a third baseman. They need to either resign Casey Blake or sign Joe Crede. If they want to become a world series caliber team, they can’t play Blake DeWitt every day at third base. They could consider playing him full-time at second base, but I would rather use him in a utility role. If they want to do that, they need to go out and get a second baseman. Orlando Hudson is the top free agent option, but I think the Indians will overpay for him. On the trade front, they could go after Brian Roberts. They could offer the Oriols shortstop Chin-Lung Hu. Then they would have to get a shorstop, which wouldn’t be that hard considering Rafeal Furcal wants to stay. If they resign him, could you imagine the top of their lineup with Rafeal Furcal and Brian Roberts? It’s almost a givin one of them will get on base in front of the other guys in the lineup. They would be losing Manny Ramirez, but he wouldn’t fit on there team unless they move Jaun Pierre and/or Andruw Jones, two very hard contracts to move. If this team follows my plan, they can win this division. If they waste more money the way they did with Jones, Pierre, Nomar Garciaparra, (thankfully a free agent) ect. ect. they will lose it to the small market D’Backs, again.

Offseason Plan: Arizona Diamond Backs

While the D’Backs look like they are going to make it to the postseason this year, you don’t know about next year. The Dodgers look like they’ll be big spenders in the offseason, but they also have many holes ot fill. The D’Backs, however, don’t. If you look at our Offseason Needs post, you’ll find out they only have three: second base, reliever, and starter. If they retain Randy Johnson, which I think the will, that sloidifies the rotation. The need to add a reliever or resign either Jaun Cruz or Brandon Lyon, most likely Cruz. They will have a hole at second base with Orlando Hudson reaching free agency. It is unlikely they will be able to afford him, but they need to sign a different in free agency. Mark Grudzielanek or Ray Durham make a lot of sense here. This team obviously won’t resign Adam Dunn, because he is looking for 100 million. They don’t need him, though, because they have Eric Byrnes returning from injury. The team has a solid trade chip in Chad Tracy. They don’t have a spot for him when Byrnes gets back. They could move him for a bullpen piece. I know this doesn’t help them for next year, but the D’Backs are going to have a draft bonanza next year when Dunn, Hudson, Lyon, and possibly Cruz all walk. This is a team that can stay pretty much the same as it was last year. It more depends on what kind of signings the Dodgers make witch will depend on who wins this division.

Top 50 Free Agents

It’s finally time for free agency! Ever think on where the top 50 free agents will go? Well, I did and I wrote them down. Here they are. Ignore the bolded paragraphs. I tryed everything and it just won’t unbold. Sorry for the inconvenience.

1. Mark Teixera- Angels.  This is a very close one between the Yankees and Angels. I will go with the Angels, though, because the Yankees primary target is CC Sabathia, not Mark Teixera. I think they will end up with Sabathia, leaving the Angels for a return of Tex.

2. CC Sabathia- Yankees.  The Yankees are going to throw around a lot of money this offseason. Just like the Mark Teixera prediction, it is a 2 team battle between the Yankees and a different LA team: the Dodgers for Sabathia. The Yankees are very likely to sign at least one of them. I was going to put CC with the Dodgers, but I think Frank McCourt will not let GM Ned Coletti go out and waste his money on a signing that could end up looking like the Jason Schmidt one.

3. Manny Ramirez- Dodgers. Did you know that the Dodgers made an extra 7.6 million in revenue just from Manny. So, subtract 7.6 from his yearly salary and they have a bargain. There are no great fits for Manny, and the Dodgers might not bring him back because of the outfield surplus. They could look to trade an outfielder, though. Andrew Jones in unmoveable, but could be released. Jaun Pierre will be tough to move, but if they eat a lot of money it could happen. Andre Eithier and Matt Kemp would have a lot of value, but they shouldn’t trade them. I think it makes more sense to trade Pierre and release Jones.

4. Pat Burrell- Mets.  After missing out on the top-of-the-rotaion starting pitchers, they decide to add a big bat like Burrell. Not many teams are good fits for “Pat the Bat” so he may even come slightly cheaper than others. I know that people want to go with Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis, but they could trade Ryan Church for Edwin Jackson. That would fill the pitching void cheaply while adding offense. Murphy and Tatis would then move to right field. This idea could work. 

5. Adam Dunn- Nationals. The Nationals have been after Adam Dunn for ever. I have a feeling that Jim Bowden is going to want to try to make a big free agent signing to save his job. Dunn would add a powerful punch to that lineup, but they still would be the worst team in the NL East.

6. Ben Sheets- Red Sox.  If there is one team that can easily afford an injury to a starting pitcher, it’s the Red Sox. They have 30 million to toss around this winter and seem primed to sign either Mark Teixera or a high end starter. Because of the depth in the Red Sox rotaion, they can afford an injury to Sheets while many other teams can’t.

7. Milton Bradley- Rangers. Bradley likes the Rangers, and the Rangers showed confidence in resigning him by not trading him at the trade deadline. They have an open DH spot, so he wouldn’t get injured as much, and he likes Texas. The Rangers have to do this to keep their offense as it was this year.

8. Francisco Rodriguez- Mets. Billy Wagner is out for the 2009 season, so the Mets need a closer. Some have said it would make more sense to add a cheaper closer like Brian Fuentes and use the rest on starting pitching. I agree, but I doubt Omar Minaya does.

9. Ryan Dempster- Cubs. There will be a massive bidding war for him, but he loves Chicago and I’m sure the Cubs would like to keep their championship, type club intact. Their going to have to raise the payroll into the 140 million range, but I think the new ownership will, because The Cubs will be should for 1 billion dollars.

10. Derek Lowe- Braves.  They want to add a starting pitcher this offseason. With 45 million to spend, they should easily be able to afford him. Heck, they could fit both Jake Peavy and Lowe into the budget and still have over 20 million to spend. They make the most sense.

11. AJ Burnett- Yankees.  The Yanks would like to add two starters this offseason. With CC Sabathia headed to New York, Burnett would be that second guy. Just think about how nasty a rotation of CC Sabathia-Chein-Ming Wang-AJ Burnett-Andy Pettitte-Joba Chamberlian would be. I can’t see how they don’t make the playoffs with that kind of talent. 

12. Mike Mussina- Retirement.  It seems as though he is finally ready to hang it up. Rather than playing for the next three years and reach 300 wins, he’ll go out on a high note and retire. I think Mussina will delay it untill the Yankees are forced to move on. Then he’ll anounce it.

13. Orlando Hudson- Cardinals.  They have a lot of money to spend and will need to sign Hudson in order to truly solidify their offense. He would look really nice batting in that #2 hole and playing some great defense.

14. Orlando Cabrera- Twins.  They seem like the most reasonable team. They need a shortstop, and have money to spend. Also, he fits nicely into their grind-it-out style of play. There’s not a great fit here, but this one sure makes a lot of sense.

15. Joe Crede- Giants. Even though the Giants are suposed to be rebuilding, Brian Sebean won’t be able to resist and will sign Crede.

16. Bobby Abreu- Cubs.  Now that they need a right fielder Abreu makes a lot of sense. It will be hard to squeeze him into their payroll, but there aren’t any better options. There aren’t many teams that need a right fielder and have the money to go out and get one. Plus, the Cubs would’ve gone after him if his option was declined.

17. Oliver Perez- Dodgers.  With Derek Lowe, Greg Maddux, and Brad Penny all leaving, the Dodgers need to add at least one starter this offseason. I know they seem more focused on offensive players like Manny and Furcal, but you always need pitching. Look for the Mets to be serious contenders for a Perez reunion, but I think they’ll beaf up the offense instead.  

18. Jon Garland- Tigers.  They need reliable starting pitching. I know a lot of people think Garland will be overpayed because of a lack of strike-outs and an ERA in the 4.00 to 4.50 range. However, he’s one of the most consistent starters out there and he eats up a ton of innings. To me the Tigers make a lot of sense and they’ve shown a willingness to spend for mediocrity. Example: The Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis extensions.

19. Kerry Wood- Rangers.  The Cubs have moved on, so count them out. The field will be wide open, but I think he returns home to Texas to close games for the Rangers. The Red Sox could also be possible if he’s willing to be a set-up man. Last year Boston made the highest offer, but Woody wanted to stay in Chicago.

20. Brian Fuentes- Brewers.  They could have up to 20 million to spend if they are willing to raise payroll to 100 million. That’s more than enough to lock up Fuentes with. You migth think they don’t want to spend big on closers, but they were among the top bidders for Francisco Cordero last year. If the price is crazy they won’t make the move, but if it’s decent, he could end up a Brewer. 

21. Trevor Hoffman- Indians.  He won’t be back with the Padres. The field is wide open on where he’ll go, and I think the Indians are the best fit. They can sign him cheaply to fill their hole at closer. Plus, they almost signed him when he was last a free agent. I think they go get him.

22. Rafeal Furcal- Dodgers.  He wants to be back and the Dodgers want him back. They might have a hard time craming all of his salary in because of the other holes, but I think they can sqeeze him in. There will be a very large market for him, so don’t be surprised to see him bolt for more money elsewhere.

23. Greg Maddux- Retirement.  The Mad Dog looks like he’s finally ready to end his Hall Of Fame career. The only teams he’d play for would be the Padres, Dodgers, Braves, or Cubs. The Cubs have a ton of pitching depth; count them out. The Dodgers would probably rather go with younger pitchers. The Braves seem more likely to bring back Maddux’s friends: John Smoltz and Tom Glavine. The Padres make sense if they move Jake Peavy to clear salary. If they don’t, there will be no fit and he will retire.

24. Andy Pettitte- Yankees. I was going to predict him to retire, but now that I think about it, the Yankees might not want to give Phil Hughes a free spot in spring training. They could resign Pettitte and use Hughes in the minors untill someone gets hurt, which is likely with Joba Chamberlain and Chien-Ming Wang last year and Burnett has a history of injuries. 

25. Randy Johnson- Angels.  With Jon Garland leaving, the Angels will need a starter because of Kelvim Escobar’s injury. Johnson can come in and fill the void untill Escobar gets beack; creating a surplus. This isn’t a great fit, but there are none now that his D’Back career is over.

26. Jason Giambi- A’s.  A think Giambi will end up ending his career in the same place he started it: Oakland. The A’s have a lot of money to spend, and I think they’d be very interested on a 1 or 2 year deal. This is even more likely now that they have Matt Holliday on their team.

27. Pudge Rodriguez- Mets.  They need a catcher and Pudge is the best one available. There aren’t many teams in need of a catcher other than them. I know they view pitching as a more urgent need than hitting, but for the expected price, you can’t pass it up.

28. Casey Blake- Indians.  The Indians want Blake back, and Blake would like to return to the Indians. Despite there being a rather large market for him, Blake will take a small discount to return home to the Tribe. They don’t add one of their main two targets: Brian Fuentes or Orlando Hudson, but they get a solid closer and one of the best third basemen available.

29. Raul Ibanez- Braves.  This team has a boatload of money to spend. They can more than afford Ibanez and probably view this smarter than overpaying for Pat Burrell, Manny Ramirez, or Adam Dunn.

30. Jamie Moyer- Phillies. He is having a great year, and said he wants to play untill he’s 50. The Phils need to bring him back just to have a respectable rotation. They could use a second starter as well if they are open to trading Kyle Kendrick.

31. Braden Looper- Pirates.  With the Cardinals probably moving on, Looper should be open to all teams. He is a solid back-of-the-rotaion option and should be affordable on a one year deal. Plus, the team can always switch him back to relieving if they desire to. The Pirates would like to add a veteran starter, and Looper comes cheap with tons of experience.   

32. Mark Grudzielanek- White Sox. Their looking for a second basemen after losing Orlando Cabrera. The want to move Alexie Ramirez to shortstop, but want to sign a free agent that won’t block Gordon Beckham. Grudzielanek is the perfect fit.

33. Ray Durham- D’Backs. They clearly need a second baseman after losing Orlando Hudson. They can’t afford to bring him back, but have no one to play sencond base. Durham seems like a very good and affordable option.

34. Edgar Renteria- Cardinals. Edgar is coming off a bad year, but has high upside. If he can do 3 4ths of his 2007 performance, he’ll be a great bargain. He has played for the Cardinals before, and they need a shortstop. I think they sign Edgar to fix there middle infield problems.

35. David Eckstein- Oriols.  They had a interest in him at the trade-deadline and could sign him this offseason as a stopgap option. This won’t stop them from looking for shortstops via trade, however. 

36. Brad Penny- Blue Jays.  The Jays had interest in Penny through trade in the past and they seem to make a lot of sense for Penny. He could be great starter for them if he remains helthy.

37. Russ Springer- Cardinals.  They could use some bullpen help, so that means they have to at least bring back their old relievers. Springer reportably still wants to play and wants to play for the Cardinals.

38. Mark Kotsay- Reds. I was going to put him back with the Braves, but they recently traded him to the Red Sox, so I will put him with another team in need of a center fielder: the Reds.

39. Jim Edmonds- Braves. The Cubs don’t want him back. The Braves are in need of a center fielder, and they would probably be very interested in Edmonds. If he can do what he did with the Cubs last year, he’ll be a very useful piece. 

40. Will Ohman- Cardinals.  It seems as though they are willing to spend some money on a lefty reliever. Ohman is the best one available. Bringing him in will help reshape their bullpen. It will help a lot. 

41. Jason Varitek- Red Sox. There is no better alternative for the Red Sox since the market for catchers is so bad. The Captian, Jason Varitek seems destined to return to the Red Sox. I don’t think this would stop them from going after his predecessor, however. They coudl trade for a young catcher to start in 2010. If Boras demands Varitek for a 2 or more year deal, don’t be surprised to see them decline and agressivly pursue Bengie Molina. 

42. Nomar Garciaparra- Dodgers.  Because the Dodgers will be out of money after making all of these singings, they will have to go back to Nomar at third base next year. This will be risky because of his injury risk, but it is their only option.

43. Darren Oliver- Angels. I have said that relief signings are very tough to predict, but I will guess that Darren Oliver resigns with the Halos. They need a lefty reliever if they plan on using Brian Fuentes at closer, and if the don’t, he won’t sign there. So Oliver is needed back in Anaheim. Plus, since he’s a probable type A free agent, he might decide to accept arbitration. There won’t be many teams wanting to give up big money plus a draft pick for Oliver.

44. Juan Cruz- Tigers.  The Tigers can offer him almost no other team can: a closing job. While some big-money teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets will be in on him, I think in the end he hooks on in Detroit.

45. Brandon Lyon- Red Sox.  They’d like to add a ground ball pitcher and Lyon is one. The way he ended the year will take his “closer” tag away, but he should get some reasonable money anyway.

46. Juan Rivera- Phillies.  The Phillies make a lot of sense for Jaun Rivera; Rivera makes a lot of sense for the Phillies. The Phils get their cheap replacement for Pat the bat Burrell, and Rivera gets to go to a hitters haven: Citizens Bank Park. He could go there on a 1 year deal, play every day, have a career year, and then hit free agency again and sign for some big money.

47. Randy Wolf- Astros.  He enjoyed his time in Houston and the ‘Stros have the money to sign him. There should be a rather large market for him since he will be affordable and not that much worse than other free agent options. I think the Astros win the sweepstakes.

48. Paul Byrd- Brewers.  Byrd will be a hot commodity once better free agent options leave. He’ll give you league average production on a one year deal. I think the team that ends up signing him is the Brewers. They seem smart enough to go after him instead of a pitcher like Perez or Garland on a multiyear deal. The Brew-Crew have 20 million to spend, so they can afford him for one year. He will stabilize their rotaion as their fifth starter.

49. Jeremy Affeldt- Reds.  The Reds want him back and with the amount of money they have, they’ll get him back. If the Reds can bring back their relievers and some young players break out, they could contend. 

50. Freddy Garcia- Giants.  They have a lot of money to spend and have their heart set on trading Jonathan Sanchez. Garcia, if healthy, would be able to step in and eat up some innings at a cheap price. Plus, if the Giants are out of the race in July they could always flip Garcia into some nice prospects.

There we go, thats it. The top 50 free agents. I know I left out a few teams, but it is hard to predict that every team will make a splash. I try to predict what teams will do, not what they should do.