Tagged: Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Player Market: Zack Greinke

It is possible the Royals decide to shop Zack Greinke. If he is available, there will be lots of suitors. Lets take a look at some.

Royals (frontrunners)  Unless there is a knock-out offer, he’ll stay. The Royals think they can contend within the next two years, and know they’ll need Greinke. They’d also have to exhaust all contract negotiations. I think Zack will be in Royal blue next season.

Rangers (possible)  I don’t think there is any frontrunner to aquire this guy; he’s too good. If he is available, look for the Rangers to be very interested. They have a huge catcher surplus and the need at starting pitching. They could offer Jarrod Saltalamacchia and a pitching prospect like Michael Main. Engel Beltre could also be included in the deal if need be. These two teams match up very well if Greinke becomes available.

Braves (possible)  If the Braves strike-out on some of the top free agent starters, don’t be surprised to see them go hard after Greinke. It’s possible the Royals would have interest in Jeff Francoeur because of Dayton Moore. He’d be a throw-in, however. You’d think a package would have to be headed by Jordon Schafer. The Royals would definatly like to add a center fielder and then move David DeJesus to a corner. In fact, DeJesus could be part of the deal if the Royals could get a great prospect like Jason Heyward or Tommy Hanson in return. This is definatlty a deal that could happen if both sides are willing to trade. 

Cardinals (unlikely)  Because the Cards have such a great catching prospect, I had to name them. They could package a deal around Bryan Anderson. The only problem is other parts. Maybe they add Jamie Garcia, but he’s going to have Tommy John surgery. I don’t think the Royals would want Chris Perez since they have so many good relievers. I don’t know if the Cardinals would give him up, anyway. I guess they could attemp a quantity over quality deal, but it’s not likely the Royals accept. If the Cards had more prospects than just Anderson and the untouchable Colby Rasmus, a deal could get done. Too bad they don’t.

Dodgers (unlikely)  They have a couple of guys that could appeal Kansas City, but I don’t think the Royals would trade Zack Greinke for Chin-Lung Hu and James McDonald. They’d get a shorstop and a pitcher, but these are not the type of guys you trade Greinke for. I don’t find this trade very likely.

Rockies (dark horse)  How about this for a blockbuster. Zack Greinke traded straight up for Matt Holliday. The Rox want to add a top-of-the-rotation starter, and Greinke fits the bill. The Royals have been stated before as a possible dark horse suitor for Holliday. I know it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it’s something you can think about for fun this afternoon.

Could Homer Baily for Gerald Laird and Elvis Andrus Work?

I though of a potentially good trade between the Rangers and Reds. As you can see from the Reds Offseason Needs, they need both a catcher and a shortstop. The Rangers need some pitching. Could the Reds trade Homer Baily to the Rangers for Gerald Laird and Elivis Andrus. They would love to add a great pitching prospect like Baily, especially one with his upside. I don’t think the Reds would do Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Baily, and the Rangers wouldn’t do Salty and Andrus both for Homer. So, they compromise with Laird replacing Saltalamacchia. The Rangers still keep all of their young catchers, but still move part of that surplus. They sacrifice Andrus, but he isn’t that neccessary for the team because they have Michael Young. The Reds lose a pitching prospect that still has a lot of upside, but they fill two key positions in the process. Two scarce positions, as well. It would also allow both teams to spend their money to fill different holes because they would be filling holes without spending money. The Rangers could spend it on Milton Bradley, the Reds on an outfielder. Remember, these two teams hooked up on the Josh Hamilton for Edinson Volquez trade last winter, so obviously they aren’t afraid to trade high-upside players such as Andrus and Baily.

Matt Cain to the Rangers Makes Sense

It has been said that the Rangers would consider trading Matt Cain for the right package. I think they match up well with the Texas Rangers on a possible deal. How about Cain for Elvis Andrus, Engel Beltre, and Michael Main. I know the price is steep, but that’s what it’s going to take to get a cheaply signed fringe ace, great #2. This also doesn’t break the bank so they can afford to resign Milton Bradley. They also still can trade one of their catcher for another starter to replace Main in the minors. They have Michael Young at shortstop, so Andrus is available, and Engel Beltre won’t be needed with Mlton Bradley resigned. Imagine a Ranger rotation of Cain, Naftali Feliz, Derek Holland, Eric Hurley, and Michael Bowden (the latter could be aquired in a Jarrod Saltalamacchia trade). That would be sick just like their offense. This team is primed to contend in 2010, especially if the Angels can’t lock up all of their young stars. The Giants get to fill their shortstop and right field holes, and get a good pitching prospect that could eventually replace Cain. Another possibility is to get Justin Smoak in the deal. He was the Giants backup plan to Buster Posey, but ended up falling all the way down to the Rangers. Maybe they substitute Smoak and another prospect like Blake Beaven and take out Main and Beltre. Both could work. Another possibility is for a three-way-trade where the Rangers trade a catcher somewhere and that team sends the prospect to the Giants. So a three team trade between the Giants, Rangers, and Red Sox.

Red Sox get: Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Rangers get: Matt Cain,

Giants get: Elvis Andrus, Jed Lowrie, and Engel Beltre

So the Red Sox trade Lowrie for Salty, the Rangers trade Andrus, Salty, and Beltre for Cain, and the Giants trade Cain for Andrus, Lowrie, adn Beltre. I like this deal for all teams. I think both could work. There are going to be many suitors for Cain, but I think the Rangers would be the most aggresive team if he is made available.

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Could Red Sox Try to Add a Starter for 2009?

I am thinking about it more and more, and it makes a lot of sense for the Red Sox to go after a top-of-the-rotation arm in the offseason. At first when I heard the idea, I didn’t like it. They already have too many starters (when they’re all healthy) and need bullpen help and a catcher more. If they want to compete with the Yankees, though, they might need to upgrade the rotation. The Yankees could possibly sign CC Sabathia so the Red Sox need to be in on him, if nothing else to drive up the price. If the Yanks sign CC, and I think they will because they are so desparate that they’ll outbid anyone, the Red Sox need to counter. Ben Sheets, anyone? This is a good fit. It would give the Red Sox and better rotation again because they would be 5 deep. How could any team beat a top 5 of Josh Beckett-Ben Sheets-Jon Lester-Daisuke Matsuzaka-Tim Wakefield. That’s unstopable. They have a lot of injury risks, but have super prospect Clay Buchholz ready to step in ahould there be an injury. If they miss out on Sheets, they could go after a guy like AJ Burnett, and would still probably have a better rotation than the Yankees. The other good thing about adding a starter is that it makes Michael Bowden 100% available. That could help them get a catcher like Jarrod Saltalamacchia. They also have enough money to sign a reliever. I noticed I had not picked the Red Sox for many signings in my Top 50 Free Agents, but then again, their the Red Sox, they’ll be in the center of the action right with the Yankees.

Offseason Plan: Texas Rangers

The terrible, then great, then terrible Texas Rangers will be looking for more consistancy in 2009. One thing they had, though, was consistancy bad starting pitching. This team has no starting rotation at all, yet have an outstanding offense. They are the classic Texas Rangers. This team need to resign Milton Bradley, their only key free agent. If they want to compete, they need to protect Josh Hamilton, and Bradley is a perfect cleanup hitter. The other thing they need to do is get pitching. This team does have many trade chips as well as three great power arms in the minors in Naftali Feliz, Derek Holland, and Michael Main. They have a huge catcher surplus. The Rangers have four starting catchers, all big league ready. They need to decide which one or two of Gerald Laird, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Taylor Teagarden, and Max Ramirez they should keep, and which ones they should move. Many people think Laird and another will be traded, probably Salty. I have said before that Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Michael Bowden would make sense. I still believe that. Gerald Laird to the Reds for Bronson Arroyo and cash makes a lot of sense as well if the Reds don’t sign Jason Varitek. Elvis Andrus and Engel Beltre could also be moved in the right deal. It is possible that the Blue Jays would make Roy Halladay avalable, or the Padres with Jake Peavy. If they are, I’m sure the Rangers would be at the top of the list. With all the young talent they have to trade and the need for an ace, it just makes a lot of sense. Also, I think they are an interesting dark horse for CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets. It is very likely that the Rangers trade at least one catcher and aquire at least one pitcher in the offseason. This is a team that could be competing by ’09. If not, then by ’10. They have a very bright future.

Offseason Plan: Clevland Indians

The Clevland Indians are the hottest team in the MLB. They don’t have that many holes. They need to get a closer, shortstop/third baseman, second baseman, and starter in the offseason. They have a decent amount of money to spend, and have all the core players they had when they were one game away from the world series except CC Sabathia. But Cliff Lee has been just as good if not better than CC this year. They need to add a high OBP player to put at the top of their lineup so they can move Grady Sizemore down to the #3 hole. Orlando Hudson is a perfect fit here. He can bat leadoff and is a second baseman. The Tribe has enough money to afford O-Dawg and I think they will sign him. If they get him, they still need to add a closer. Brandon Lyon makes a lot of sense. They will be big players for Brian Fuentes, but I think he signs with the more successfull and west coast team Angels. Brandon Lyon is affordable and will help their bullpen a lot. For the shortstop or third baseman signing, I think Nomar Garciaparra makes sense. They can switch off Garciaparra and Jhonny Peralta at shorstop and third base. They also need to add a starting pitcher for depth. Cliff Lee and Fausto Carmona form arguably the best 1-2 punch in the AL, but after that there isn’t much. They have Aaron Laffey, Jeremy Sowers, and Anthony Reyes as there 3-4-5. They could aquire this in a trade. It is likely that they move DLed catcher Victor Martinez to first base with Kelly Shoppach as the catcher. They could do that or they could sign a guy like Jason Giambi to play first base and keep Victor Martinez at catcher. That would open up Shoppach as a trade chip. They could trade Shoppach back to his former team, the Red Sox. I’m sure they would have interest in him. Maybe Shoppach for Michael Bowden, if things don’t work out for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. This is just another option. They could spend the money they would’ve spent on Giambi and use it on a starter. One of the three young guys have to step up for the Tribe to compete, at least as long as it takes for Jake Westbrook to return from injury. The Indians have a lot of wild cards like will Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez return well from injury? Will one of the young players in the rotation step up to be the #3? Will Adam Miller fianlly stay healthy? If he does, can he and Matt LaPorta be key contibuters? Can Rafeal Bentancourt return to form? All of these questions must be answered. The amount of right answers will tell whether the Indians make it to the ALCS again or have a repeat performance of 2008.

Offseason Plan: Boston Red Sox

The Boson Red Sox are a very good team with few holes and a lot of money to spend. According to our Offseason Needs post, the Red Sox have only 2 holes: relief pitching and catcher. They could also consider adding a big time free agent starter like CC Sabathia or Ben Sheets. Especially since the Yankees will be amoung the top contenders for both. Becausue this team has so much money to burn after swaping out Manny Ramirez’s 20 million for next year with Jason Bay’s 7 million. They save 13 million. If they sign a guy like CC or Sheets they couod trade a starter like, say, Michael Bowden to the Rangers for a catcher like Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I think theyn are definate to sign a big-money reliever like Chad Durbin, Will Ohman, or Russ Springer. Maybe they’ll overpay to get Brian Fuentes or Brandon Lyon to get them to not take a closer’s job elsewhere. For a catcher, they could trade for one of the Rangers catchers, possibly Bengie Molina if the Giants make him avalable. If those options don’t work, they’ll try to resign Jason Varitek. I think Scott Boras is going to end up screwing Varitek. I think the Red Sox will offer something like 1 year, 8 million. But Boras will ask for Jorge Posada’s 4 year, 52 million deal. The Red Sox will then trade for Jarrod Saltalamacchia to fill the catcher hole. Then, after holding out untill February, he will sign a 1 year, 6 million deal witht the Reds. He gets less money on a worse team, because of Scott Boras. So, the Red Sox plan is to spend big on a reliever, and get a catcher at least as good as Jason Varitek.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Michael Bowden makes  sense

I thought of a trade between the Rangers and Red Sox. Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Michael Bowden. The Rangers are in dire need of pitching help with a negative VORP. They are almost definatley going to trade a catcher this offseason, maybe two. They have four quality catchers in Salty, Max Ramirez, Gerald Laird, and Taylor Teagarden. It is in the order of value. The Rangers would like to add a pitcher, but most of the teams looking for a catcher don’t have a pitching prospect they can spare better than Bowden. If the Marlins offered Ryan Tucker, that would be close to chose from. If the Reds offered Homer Baily it would be done in a second. The Rangers would probably want a major league ready pitcher, because in the lower minors they have three stud pitching prospects in Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, and Blake Beavan. Them, combinded with Eric Hurley are the Rangers future. The Rangers could make a trade like this, or they could combine Salty with others to land a proven pitcher via trade. The only problem is, that pitcher isn’t out there unless the Blue Jays decide to shop Roy Halladay, which isn’t likely. All in all, I think it would be smart for the Rangers to trade one catcher for a pitching prospect like Bowden, then next offseason make there big splash when the stud trio of prospects will be ready.

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.