Tagged: Pat Burrell

Rays Sign Pat Burrell

According to Ken Rosenthal and Buster Olney, the Rays have signed Pat Burrell for 2 years, 16 million. To me, this is the steal of the winter to date. Excellent move by Tampa Bay.

Everything had to fall into place for the Rays to be able to sign a big bat for their open DH spot. The player would need to come on a short term deal and would have to have a reasonable annual salary. Those things happened because of the overflowing market for outfielders, and the Rays are very lucky to have ‘Pat the Bat’ under contract at a very under-market rate.

This signing pushes their payroll up to the 55-60 million dollar range. I’m guessing that they are done. No major holes need to be filled, no money left. The Rays will most likely head into 2009 with their current team.Pat Burrell

Injecting Burrell into this lineup should make the Rays offense very solid next year. They have so many players likely to improve on what they did last year, and now they add ‘Pat the Bat’ to solidify things. Carl Crawford and BJ Upton should see their batting averages come back to life. Evan Longoria should improve all the parts of his game with the more experience he is getting. Burrell is obviously going to be better than what the Rays had at DH last year. Matt Joyce will be an improvement offensively and defensively in right field. I guess that you could see Dioner Navarro come back to earth, but when you look at the lineup as a whole, it is much improved. A lineup of Akinori Iwamura – Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria – Carlos Pena – Pat Burrell – BJ Upton – Dioner Navarro – Matt Joyce – Jason Bartlett is going to be very deadly for opposing pitchers to face. The defense, rotation, and bullpen should all remain the way they were last year, and the 97-win Tampa Bay Rays look primed to contend for a playoff spot once again.

RaysA lot of teams passed on the chance to pick up a very good outfielder. The Angels, Reds, Braves, Phillies (before they signed Raul Ibanez), and other teams could’ve easily matched this offer. This is another reason why this is such a great signing by the Rays.

Things are going to be very tight in the AL East division. The Red Sox, Yankees, and of course Rays all stand a good shot at a playoff berth. First, I will analyze the starting rotations of these teams.


Red SoxThe Rays have the best rotation in my opinion. A rotation of Scott Kazmir – James Shields – Matt Garza – Andy Sonnanstine – David Price is very good, and very durable. The Yankees’ rotation might have more talent, but they also have a lot of injury-prone pitchers. (examples: AJ Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes) The Red Sox rotation also has their share of pitchers with an injury history (Josh Beckett, Disuke Matsuzaka, & Brad Penny). The Rays have the most durable rotation in the AL East.


yan.jpgI prefer Yankees and Red Sox lineups over the Rays, but not by much. If players like Upton and Crawford bounce back they’ll have a great hitting team. I guess that with those two players rebounding, and with Longoria advancing his batting skills with more experience, the Rays might have the best offense. I still lean toward the Yanks and BoSox, however, because those teams have more power.

The bullpens should all be near the same. The Rays might see some of the relievers come back to earth, but it should still be a solid group. It is pretty much a toss up between all 3 teams.

I know that defense doesn’t make a big impact on a teams’ win-loss record, but the Rays have the top one. Maybe it will tack on a couple wins over a team like the Yankees, who have a terrible defense.

The AL East race is shaping out to be the most competitive division in the MLB next year. I don’t know who I will pick, but I know things will be very close throughout.

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.

Angels have Many Tough Decisions to Face in Offseason

The Angels will have about 30 million to spend this offseason. The big question will be how to spend it. You can see their offseason needs here. Below are some possible scenarios.

  • Sign Mark Teixera to a 23 million per year deal. With the remaining seven million, sign a setup reliever, resign Garret Anderson, and also sign a starting pitcher reclamation project. This fills all of their holes.
  • Sign CC Sabathia to a 22 million per year deal. I’d only do this if they miss out on Mark Teixera, however. If this happens, sign Jason Giambi to a backloaded 2 year deal, sign a middle reliever, and bring back GA.
  • If they miss out on both Tex and CC, then sign Adam Dunn or Pat Burrell to 14 million per year. Next, resign Francisco Rodriguez to a big contract. Finally, add Jason Giambi and a reclamation pitcher.

These are just three possible scenarios, but it’s what I would do if I was the GM of the Angels. 

Player Market: Pat Burrell

Pat Burrell is going to get a lot of money from some team. Lets look at who could offer the most.

Royals (frontrunner)  Pat Burrell makes a lot of sense for the Royals. He is a big-bat left fielder with a ton of power. The Royals have a good amount of money to spend, but could probably, only afford one big name free agent. They could chose to go in a different direction and sign a shortstop or starting pitcher instead. This is a good possibility, however.

Braves (frontrunner)  They too may decide to go in another direction such as adding a starting pitcher instead. The Braves could go for Burrell instead, however, if his price is low because there won’t be a huge market for him. He makes a lot of sense for their team if the want to add a big bat.

Mets (frontrunner)  It seems as if they would rather go after a starting pitcher instead of a hitter. But if they get since the Braves and Phillies will be interested as well, the Mets might sign him anyway to keep him away from thoses two teams.

Angels (possible)  They have shown interest in Burrell in the past and could go after him as a DH for 2009. If they can’t resign Mark Teixera I’m sure they’ll go all in for Burrell or Adam Dunn. Since they probably will resign Tex, I listed them as “possible.” If they miss out on Tex their the “frontrunners.”

Phillies (dark horse)  They don’t have much money to spend at all, but if they trade Ryan Howard to open salary, or Burrell takes a big discount, then I could see him staying. He said he would like to return, as well.

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Player Market: Matt Holliday

The Rockies are likely to entertain offers for Matt Holliday this winter. Lets take a look at some teams that could be interested.

Rockies (frontrunner)  There is no clear fit for Holliday, making it likely that he stays put this winter. It seems as though teams would be more willing to sign a Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, or Pat Burrell before trading top prospects for Holliday. I think he stays.

Rays (possible)  If the Rays miss out on the big free agent targets named above then Holliday makes sense here. They would need to be willing to part with some prospects, however. I don’t think the Rox will ask for David Price again just as they did at the trade-deadline. I think Wade Davis and Reid Brignac would definatly get a deal done unless Dan O’Dowd is still asking for the moon like he did with Holliday and Brian Fuentes at the trade-deadline. I don’t know if the Rays would do that deal, either.

Angels (possible)  The Angels are a possible destination if they miss out on Mark Teixera and maybe even if they bring back Tex. Nick Adenhart could be available and maybe Adenhart plus Sean Rodriguez = Matt Hoilliday. I think the Angels would do that move. The time for the Rockies to make that trade was July 28, 2008, however, because the Angels might of even offered more and gotten Holliday instead of Teixera. A deal still could be worked out, though.

Yankees (possible)  The Yankees could pull off a trade for Holliday. If they let Bobby Abreu walk they could move Xavier Nady to right which opens up a run at Holliday to play left field. They would have to offer Phil Hughes or Austin Jackson, however. The Yankees seem to want to keep Jackson and make him their every-day center fielder at some point next year or in 2010 worst case scenerio. Hughes seems more likely, but that doesn’t mean they’ll move him. The Rockies would jump at a chance to get either, though, and you never know what Hank Steinbrenner will order Brian Cashman to do.

Phillies (possible)  This might not happen becasue the Phillies don’t have much young talent. They would have to give up the entire farm to get him and that might not be enough. It would take a package of Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Greg Golson, and Joe Savery. This would kill the system, and I’m not sure they would want to do that for a rentall. They might not be able to afford it, either, unless they make a Ryan Howard trade and that doesn’t make a lot of sense unless they get a great offer. I don’t know if the Rox would even take that. They have a better center field prospect, better catcher, and get only 2 good, not great, pitching prospects. 

Nationals (slim chance)  It has been stated that the Nats could make a huge offer to the Rox and then ask for a 72 hour negotiation clause. Then they would offer him a major deal and get him to sign an extension with them. This doesn’t make much sense to me because A) Holliday will almost definatly want to test the free agent market unless he gets Scott Boras’ crazy demands in the extension. And B) Why don’t the Nats just keep their young talent and make this monster offer in the offseason of next year. I doubt this happens and if they’re even interested, Jim Bowden needs to be fired right away.

Royals (slim chance)  They too are not likely for the same reasons the Nationals aren’t. But, since they are a possibility I will metion them.

Blue Jays (Dark Horse)  This would be if my wild trade thought happens. I don’t think it’s likely, but that’s why they are a dark horse and not a favorite. You can see what I think about a possible aquisition in the link. 

Wild Trade Thought

I recently throght of a wild trade that could potentially make sense between the Blue Jays and Rockies. The Blue Jays trade Roy Halladay and Lyle Overbay to the Rox for Matt Holliday and Garret Atkins. Yes, the Rockies lose a lot of fire power from their lineup, and the Jays lose their ace pitcher, but it still makes sense. The Rockies are said to be looking for an ace and Roy Halladay definatly fits the bill. They need to move one of Atkins/Holliday anyway to open room for Ian Stewart and could sign a big bat left fielder like Pat Burrell or Adam Dunn to fill the void left by Holliday. They could get Burrell or Dunn at a discount because they play in Coors Field and who wouldn’t want to come play there. It would be easier to lure one of them than it would to lure CC Sabathia or Ben Sheets. They also get a solid first baseman option in Overbay just in case Todd Helton is still hurt. This trade makes a lot of sense for the Rockies.

This also makes sense for the Blue Jays because adding Holliday and Atkins to the lineup would instantly give them a lineup that can compete with the Red Sox and Yankees. They lose their ace pitcher, but AJ Burnett is said to want to come back at the right price. If the Jays are without Halladay, I think they pay that price and bring Burnett back. A front two of Burnett and Shaun Marcum is pretty solid. They have other good pitchers as well. The bullpen is very good, and the lineup becomes good with this trade. I think this trade makes the Blue Jays a better team.

Offseason Plan: Philadelphia Phillies

Next up is the Philadelphia Phillies. This team is good team without many needs. The only need they have are left field/right field, starting pitching, and a reliever. They are losing a big slugger in their lineup in Pat Burrell, and will try hard to resign him. They Phils don’t have a lot of money to spend, however. Only about 8 million. If they backload Burrel’s deal they could get it done, but that would leave nothing for pitching. They could possibly trade Ryan Howard, who could earn 14 million in arbitration next year. They could trade Howard and shave that 14 million off the payroll so they can resign Burrell and have enough to sign a reliever and a first baseman. Maybe trade Howard to the Yankees for Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, then resign Burrell to a 4 year, 60 million contract. Hughes solves the pitching, and they can trade Ian Kennedy to the Florida Marlins for Mike Jacobs. I know it’s a inter-divsion trade, but it could work. They can then resign Chad Durbin with their remaining money. This is unlikely, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? If they don’t do that, they’ll probably let Burrell walk, resign Jamie Moyer, and sign a Raul Ibanez, Jaun Rivera, Garret Anderson type left fielder. They also could sign a reliever, but it might not be Chad Durbin. So, the Phillies are going to have to get creative this offseason since they don’t have much money.

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.

Designated Hitter Free Agent Market

I almost forgot about this one. So now you’ll have your entire free agent market series. Don’t forget that you can always find the whole series in the free agent market link on the sidebar.

 

Free Agents

  • Manny Ramirez
  • Vladimir Guerrero (15 million club option with a 3 million buyout)
  • Pat Burrell
  • Adam Dunn
  • Milton Bradley
  • Jim Thome (13 million club option with a 3 million buyout)
  • Jason Giambi (22 million club option with a 5 million buyout)
  • Raul Ibanez
  • Frank Thomas
  • Juan Rivera
  • Cliff Floyd (2.75 million club option with a 0.15 million buyout)
  • Mike Sweeny
  • Jose Vidro

Teams in Need

  • Rays
  • Blue Jays
  • Angels
  • A’s
  • White Sox
  • Rangers
  • Mariners