Blog Entry

Predicting where free agents will land

Posted on: November 3, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: November 4, 2010 9:01 pm
 
Baseball is currently in a five-day period where teams have exclusivity to negotiate with players who have become free agents. Sunday at midnight, that period will expire and free up players to talk to any and all teams.

There's plenty to like about this free-agent crop, as the top players at each position is enough to put together a contending team. Plus, there are a good number of nice backup options, too.

Below, you can find Evan Brunell's predictions on where free agents will wind up, going position by position with two names at each position.

Martinez C: Victor Martinez -- Tigers. All the noise surrounding Detroit going hard after Martinez seems legit. It's part of Detroit's M.O., filling a position of desperate need to contend and Martinez is the best option and remains capable of catching. Plus, Detroit has no major block at first or DH for an eventual switch for V-Mart as Alex Avila apprentices.

C: John Buck -- Yankees. Jorge Posada will be receiving most of his at-bats as a DH and Francisco Cervelli certainly can't start. The Yankees will flex their financial muscles on a catcher which they can bring in on a short-term contract who broke out in Toronto last season. It solves the catcher conundrum short term and leaves the long term free for Austin Romine.

Dunn 1B: Adam Dunn -- Cubs. Another popular pairing that makes too much sense. The Cubs need to strike to stay in contention even as they try to get their minor-league system in order and producing over the next couple of seasons. Dunn's defense is minimized now that he's at first, and the Cubs need someone to sky them big flies. (And if the Cubs really are not going after big-name free agents , which I doubt is 100 percent true, I'll tab Dunn to the Athletics .)

1B: Aubrey Huff -- Giants. Unfortunately, while bringing in Huff eventually paid off big time for San Francisco, he is now overrated. With Brandon Belt tearing up the farm, there's no overwhelming reason to give Huff anything close to what he can get on the market. I have a feeling Brian Sabean will do what he always does, signing older players coming off big years to nonsensical contracts. You know it and I know it. Sleeper alert: The Giants move forward with a Mark DeRosa/Travis Ishikawa platoon at first, leaving Huff to land with the Mariners .

Hudson 2B: Orlando Hudson -- Padres. The O-Dog will be on the move again, looking for his fourth team in four seasons, fifth overall. He's long wanted to join the Mets, but Luis Castillo has prevented him from doing so. The Padres plan to contend, but still need the dollars to make sense for who they bring in, and it will for Hudson to plug a vacancy at second with no viable internal options.

2B: Bill Hall -- Twins. Hall is looking for a starting job, but there are those telling him he is best suited as a super utility player. Look for Minnesota to give him a chance at the starting 2B job, but the Twins will love moving him around once they can justify it.

Jeter SS: Derek Jeter -- Yankees. I think a lot of people are going to be a bit surprised by how long the negotiations take. Despite popular sentiment, Brian Cashman is not one to pay someone beyond actual value. What he does have is disposable income that the owners can order him to pay a premium, so Cashman will do just that -- but only at a small premium.

SS: Juan Uribe -- Giants. This is one return that makes sense. Edgar Renteria isn't being brought back, even if he doesn't retire. Pablo Sandoval's struggles at third and Uribe's ability to slide to third as need be will be coveted by San Francisco, and he deserves the deal he'll sign for. It's a very weak market for shortstops, so even those that could be available in a trade (Jason Bartlett?) may have too prohibitive a price.

Beltre 3B: Adrian Beltre -- Angels. Los Angeles makes the big strike here, importing a gifted defender who had a great season with the stick. He won't hit .321 again, but he'll be a signing on the level of Torii Hunter. He's expensive but will produce and help put L.A. back into postseason contention.

3B: Miguel Tejada -- Padres. San Diego was pleased with Tejada's production after acquiring him from Houston and will sign him to play his natural position of short even though he began the transition to third base last season.

Crawford LF: Carl Crawford -- Red Sox . Crawford will spark a bidding war between the Red Sox, Angels and some other team yet to be known, plus a late charge by the Yankees (you know it'll happen). In the end, the Red Sox will win out, offering just enough to entice Crawford to Boston.

LF: Marcus Thames -- Phillies. Thames built his value this past year, establishing himself as a strong platoon option against left-handers who surprisingly held his own against righties. The Phillies are interested in bringing in another right-handed hitter to pair with Ben Francisco, and Thames seems like the perfect low-cost, high-upside option.

Damon CF: Johnny Damon -- Astros. Damon may be a center fielder, but it's in name only as he's restricted to left and DH at this point of his career. No contending team is going to be interested in starting him, but he can still land somewhere where there's a faint glimmer of a chance at the postseason. Damon can be the grizzled, scrappy veteran who can lead them to the top. Welcome to Houston, Johnny!

CF: Melky Cabrera -- Royals. Cabrera's stock is down. Way, way down. He'll have to latch on with a bottom-feeding club who gambles on his tools. Kansas City seems like the perfect place to do that. With an up-and-coming farm, he could fit in seamlessly if he takes his job seriously. If he doesn't, the Royals simply move on.

Werth RF: Jayson Werth -- White Sox. It makes a lot of sense for the White Sox to go after Werth -- they have their own bandbox and need someone who can play the outfield and who could DH in his off days. Carlos Quentin's defense needs to be hidden or moved to first if they don't bring Paul Konerko back. Helping matters is Chicago has the money to make it happen.

RF: Andruw Jones -- Braves. Coming off a strong season for the White Sox where he proved he can still bring it, just not quite as a full-time outfielder (although that possibility does exist), Jones seems like he could make a return to Atlanta. The Braves have a need to remake their outfield, and Jones seems to be a perfect piece of the puzzle.

Thome DH: Jim Thome -- Twins. No reason for Thome to leave the Twins, really. He had a strong season there, became a cult hero, has been loyal to his teams and Minnesota definitely could use this slugger back provided the two can agree on how much playing time he will get. Having Delmon Young, Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau doesn't leave much room for Thome, but it worked out just fine in 2010.

DH: Manny Ramirez -- Rays . Manny is a DH and probably will find the market a bit hostile towards him. He's not upper-echelon any longer, but not many teams need a DH. After long and overdrawn-out negotiations thanks to Scott Boras, ManRam will finally sign around the beginning of spring training and coast into town to help the Rays and what could be a moribund offense.

Pavano RHSP: Carl Pavano -- Brewers. Pavano is set to cash in on his success with the Twins and is certain to be in a position where he can outdo accepting arbitration thanks to a poor right-handed starter's market. Milwaukee needs to find starting pitching and fast, and the Brewers proved last year with Randy Wolf they weren't afraid to go get it. Wolf's struggles won't be enough to deter Milwaukee from Pavano, not when a Wolf-Pavano-Yovani Gallardo rotation would do wonders in the NL Central.

RHSP: Hiroki Kuroda -- Dodgers. Kuroda's been a bit overlooked on the national stage, as he truly is a strong pitcher. The Dodgers want -- need -- to contend, so they'll make sure Kuroda goes nowhere. They do need to slash salary, but a lot of that was tied up in Manny Ramirez, so there's plenty for Kuroda.

Lee LHSP: Cliff Lee -- Rangers. Buy into Texas being players for Lee and Lee eschewing the bright lights of New York just as long as the money is there. And it will be. The wife likes having him close to home, he's going to be on a contending team and get his money. There isn't much reason to move to New York.

LHSP: Jorge De La Rosa -- Tigers. Detroit has money to spend and a need in the rotation. De la Rosa will flirt with quite a few teams, Yankees included, but it's Detroit who will step up. It needs a strong pitcher in the rotation to have any hope of contending, and de la Rosa falls right into the bracket the Tigers are comfortable with.

Soriano RHRP: Rafael Soriano -- Angels . L.A. has said all the right things in moving forward with Fernando Rodney as a closer after moving Brian Fuentes, but the Angels bullpen was in tatters all season and Rodney is not good enough to block Soriano, who is one of the best closers in the game but will find a rough market.

RHRP: Joaquin Benoit -- Rays . Benoit's price tag is going to be high, but the Rays will be faced with a barren bullpen. Why not bring back someone they know can do it for them? They can entice Benoit with the possibility -- probability -- about taking over as closer.

LHRP: Scott Downs -- Red Sox. Downs is a Type-A free agent, but Boston will gladly fork over its second-rounder after Crawford gives Tampa Bay its first-rounder. The Red Sox want to beef up their bullpen after years of trolling through cast-offs. Downs has been coveted for a while, and Boston will take the plunge.

LHRP: Brian Fuentes -- Marlins. Florida wants to contend, but needs some help in the bullpen to do so. Knowing the Fish, they won't be looking to spend big at the position, but Fuentes is a nice, safe and affordable pick to be the new closer they want.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Comments

Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:46 am
 

Predicting where free agents will land

Well we can certainly pick out the Phillie fans, since they are the ones making Jayson Werth out to be the best thing since sliced bread. Of course you are going to overrate your own players. Tell me, how do you feel about Paul Konerko cause I think he is just super.

Jayson Werth has been the right handed power bat for the Phillies who have won 4 straight divisions, 2 nl titles and 2 consecutive ws
I think Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins had more to contribute to those championships than Jayson Werth. It's easy to be the best "Right handed power bat" for the Phillies when he is the ONLY "Right handed power bat" among Howard, Utley, Ibanez, and a group of speedsters.

He is a good player, but a guy who cannot hit .300, never had a season above 100 RBIs, and strikes out close to 150 times a year is not worth $15 million+ a year. Your own GM Amaro even attested to that fact.

But the bottom line is the White Sox will not sign Jayson Werth. Aside from the fact that what we are lacking is a "LEFT handed power bat", the White Sox have not given more than $20 million in a total contract to anybody in free agency since Jermaine Dye. Our MO is overpaying in trades, not to slightly above average players in free agency. You clearly have no idea cwhat you are talking about, so when you have a clue then post.



Since: Jul 13, 2010
Posted on: November 9, 2010 12:28 am
 

Predicting where free agents will land

LOL this guy sucks, the Phillies who were the big favorites to win the WS this year and lost are gonna go after THAMES???? THATS IT???they will be looking for a major peice to get them back in the WS next year...

First of all im hearing alot from insiders that the Phillies will make a big play on Cliff LEE, they most likely wont get him though, so im sure they will try there hardest to get Werth back and i will be surprised if hes not. He wants to stay here and the whole Phillies team wnats him to stay here.  All you people that think the Phillies dont have money are crazy because they do and Ruben will find a way to keep him.

Now scott Downs is gaurenteed to be on the top of the Phillies list of players needed because that is where they will be focusing mostly in the offseason, besides Werth and the rightfield position. I see the Phillies being big contenders on Downs and maybe even getting him if they are willing to dish out the big cash for their bullpen...

Now to all the Yankees fans that are pretty much clueless...You all believe Cliff lee will definatly be there lol...Well guess what there wont be money going around anymore like there use to be ok, becuase Steinbrenner died...All that money went to his kids and do you honestly believe now that there will be as much money as there was before??? That money is to his family now, itsnot like before where it was all his money...There will be major differences in the money spent and either way Cliff Lee will most likely stay in Texas...



Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2010 7:30 pm
 

Predicting where free agents will land

Are you sick!!!   Jayson Werth was in the top 10 in doubles, Homeruns, RBI's and walk since he took over the starting job in Philly.  He also hits above Avg and is great great outfielder and steals over 20 bases a year!!!  I would love to keep him in Philly but dont worry, if you sign him you will love him by June.  Be grateful if he signs with a team that has no future. Only way he signs there is for the money.  He is to used to winning. 



Since: Sep 4, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2010 7:24 pm
 

Predicting where free agents will land

Ummm...
"Detroit has no major block at first or DH for an eventual switch for V-Mart"
Doesn't Miguel Cabrera play first??  Just a thought.


nybiteme
Since: Apr 14, 2010
Posted on: November 8, 2010 6:22 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Nov 8, 2010
Posted on: November 8, 2010 5:50 pm
 

Predicting where free agents will land

Do your homework before you make comments like this. The players are the ones who want free agency. The networks have nothing to do with it. The teams that spend the money are playing by the rules. Baseball does have some rules applied, like you can only sign so many type A fa's. By the the way check the Yanks Starters and you'll see they have quite a few homegrown players. Plus this gives you a legit reason to root against the Yankees.



Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: November 8, 2010 4:52 pm
 

Predicting where free agents will land

No to Jason Werth. The White Sox do NOT want Jason Werth. I repeat, we do NOT want Jason Werth. The last thing we need is a RF with averge contact, slightly above average power, and average run producing ability. Do you see the common word there? That's all fine and well, except Scott Boras wants a contract on par with the Top 5 OFs in the game. Nobody on the South Side is willing to pay top dollar for a player barely above replacement level.



Since: Sep 9, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2010 4:40 pm
 

Predicting where free agents will land

I agree as an Oakland A fan it is sad to see what baseball has become. Every year the names change but the teams do not. I'm sure that it will never change because MLB and the networks want the Yankees, Red Sox, etc. to have the big names and be in the playoffs and World Series. Sure every now and then there is an abberation like this year. But face it for the most part it is going to be big money getting the rings. For the little teams they are  providing a developmental service for the big boys with their deep pockets. If it wasn't for fantasy there would be even fewer baseball fans. I have a better chance of winning a fantasy championship than my favorite baseball team.



Since: Oct 5, 2009
Posted on: November 8, 2010 4:35 pm
 

Cubs - Ricketts

If this is true about Ricketts, it's really sad. The damn Commissioner wouldn't let the Dallas Mavericks owner buy the Cubs and he does have and does spend money on improving his team. He should have sued the Commissioner and MLB. I've been a die-hard Cubs fan since 1964 and would like to see them in the World Series before I die.



Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2010 3:22 pm
 

Predicting where free agents will land

No, it's 100% true. The Cubs are not going to be going after any major free agents. Jiminy Ricketts, despite his promise to the contrary, is all about stuffing money in his bank account to cover a purchase he could not afford in the first place. He put a giant Toyota sign in left field to raise revenue. He put an absurd noodle outside the park (don't ask) to raise revenue. He is raising ticket prices. He hijacked Arizona for a new spring training facility which will generate, yep, more revenue. He didn't launch the terrible GM or team president because doing so requires money. He alo cheaped out on the managerial hire. And now all that money is apparently going into his bank account because payroll is dropping. Another lousy Chicago Cubs owner.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com