Blog Entry

2012 free agent predictions

Posted on: November 2, 2011 10:05 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2011 1:49 pm
By Evan Brunell

Which free agents will end up where?

That's the burning question facing the experts, who have submitted predictions for where some top free agents on the market will go.

Eye on Baseball's Evan Brunell further explains his predictions here, while Larry Dobrow thinks that Prince Fielder will stay in the NL Central, but move a bit south and join Theo Epstein in Chicago. Meanwhile, Gregg Doyel cheekily predicts New York and Boston will open up their wallets and dominate the market. One question, Gregg: With Derek Jeter, Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins all Yankees, where do they play!?

2012 Free Agency
Position rankings
Resident baseball columnists Danny Knobler and Scott Miller agree that Pujols will return to St. Louis and Rollins to Philadelphia, but past that it's a free-for-all. The biggest surprises? Knobler has Jose Reyes joining the Tigers, presumably shoving Jhonny Peralta to third. Scott Miller likes Reyes to the Giants, while calling for Carlos Beltran to join the Pittsburgh Pirates. Yes, really. Knobler, on the other hand, tabs Beltran to the Marlins.

Eye on Baseball's C. Trent Rosecrans and Matt Snyder have their own surprise picks. For one, Rosecrans has Albert Pujols to the Marlins. Can you imagine? Snyder, meanwhile, is the only person to predict a shortstop heading to Seattle with Rollins apparently headed northwest. Brunell was the only other person to believe Seattle will play in the free-agent market, as Fielder heads to Seattle in his predictions.

Speaking of Fielder, no one could agree on his landing spot. He could be headed virtually anywhere in the United States. It will be a major surprise if he doesn't land at one of the places projected, but with Fielder, anything goes. The person with the biggest consensus as to his destination is closer Jonathan Papelbon, with five of seven experts predicting he'll return to Boston.

Oh, and that guy named Pujols? Most see him back in St. Louis.

2012 MLB free agent predictions
C. Trent
Albert Pujols
Prince Fielder
Jose Reyes
C.J. Wilson
Jonathan Papelbon
Carlos Beltran
Heath Bell
Jimmy Rollins
Ryan Madson
Mark Buehrle

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Since: Apr 3, 2010
Posted on: December 24, 2011 1:01 am

2012 free agent predictions

nice job on your predictions guys! well done

Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 10:54 pm

2012 free agent predictions

If I had to make my predictions, both based on logic and what I think I would do if I were the owner of the team, they would go like this:

Albert Pujols: Miami Marlins. I do think that St. Louis would love to keep him, and the fans would too, but I think part of them would like to move on too since they know he will start to decline in time. Especially because of the length of the contract required to keep him. He is already in a decline now from previous years (granted, a decline in numbers in Pujols terms is still near best in the league), and it will just get worse. They'd like to see him walk to another team so they could say "We tried." The Cardinals got their World Series, and can move on. I think he'd be a good fit in Miami since he has the Latino background, and he could get their fan base excited with the manager, new ballpark, and new uniforms. 

Prince Fielder: Seattle Mariners. They really need a powerful bat that is a homerun threat, since they don't have anyone. I like their pitching, and they are young, so signing Fielder long-term would be a good plan. Plus, they have the DH when he can't play in the field. Most people say sign him and trade Smoak, but I'd sign Fielder and DH Smoak to let him focus on reaching his hitting potential. Jack Z scouted and got Fielder drafted with the Brewers, so he has the connection. 

Jose Reyes: Miami Marlins: I think it would be a good fit for him, and playing in Miami would allow him to stay healthier playing in warmer weather compared to New York. He would help draw the fans out to the park, and him and Pujols would make that offense one of the best in the NL, if not the best. Granted, Hanley has to accept a move to 3rd first, which isn't going over so well with him. 

C.J. Wilson: Washington Nationals. He is a great pitcher, and left-handed. Yes, he did terrible in the playoffs, but so what. He is just starting his starting pitching career, and as long as he does good in the regular season, that's what the Nats need now. He'll be a better pitcher when the Nationals do finally make the playoffs in a year or two. They're close, and he is still younger than an Oswalt or the other options. Plus, a healthy rotation of Wilson, Strasburg, and Zimmerman could challenge most of the best teams, especially by the time they would reach the playoffs.

Jonathan Papelbon:  Not fair, since he already signed with the Phillies at the time I wrote this. Most say they overpaid, but I think it's fine. The Phillies are a large market club, and can afford it. By signing him, the Phillies gave themselves arguably the best pitching in baseball. No one will want to face Halladay, Lee, and Hamels with Papelbon at the end of the game. I think it was a good signing, especially when it was basically between him and Madson. Madson was a great set-up man, but only proved this year that he can close too. Not enough stats to go on, so they went with the safer Papelbon for about the same amount of money.

Carlos Beltran: Boston Red Sox. I say this because they could use the right-fielder. I also think they could go a different route though, since they have plenty of offense already, as long as people perform. I think Crawford will bounce back, and that they should re-sign Ortiz, in which case I could see Beltran going back to San Fran.

Heath Bell: San Diego Padres. I could see why some would argue that Texas should sign him and move Neftali Feliz to the starting rotation, but I kinda disagree. Texas is set with a superb closer right now in Feliz, and they will have him for years to come. Yes, he could become a great starter, but they have good, young, pitching as it is. They do have the chance to have a situation like the Yankees having Rivera all of those years, so why mess with it. If they move him to the rotation, then they just have to find another closer to fill his spot, which can be difficult.

Jimmy Rollins: Philadelphia Phillies. I just don't see him leaving. The Phillies need him to solidify the middle of the infield rather than relying on a rookie to perform next year. The Phillies are built to contend now, so they might as well pay to keep him there. Especially now that they know their pitching is solid with Papelbon, why not lock up Rollins too. Only other place I could see him going is San Fran.

Ryan Madson: Toronto Blue Jays. They said that the cost of closers is ridiculous, but the fact is, they have to spend money to compete in that division. Madson has been one of the best set-up men in baseball for the large market Phillies, and now has shown that he can close for a playoff team too. I think they should pay him, and it would make them better.

Mark Buehrle: Chicago White Sox. I could see him leaving for someone like the Yankees or the Nationals, or possibly even Miami, since they will be interested, but Chicago needs him, and I think he would stay. Also, I think the Nationals should go for C.J. Wilson, and I think the Yankees should go after Oswalt.

Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 3:48 pm

2012 free agent predictions

buerhle will go where ever he can win and i dont think he can do that with the white sox but i dont think he will end up with the cardinals either

Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 8:59 am

2012 free agent predictions

I'm guessing that Doyel will shoot par for the course and get NOTHING right!

Since: Jan 31, 2010
Posted on: November 14, 2011 6:09 pm

2012 free agent predictions

Doyle is an idiot.

Since: Feb 12, 2008
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:12 pm

2012 free agent predictions

So Doyel has Pujols, Reyes, and Rollins all signing with the Yankees? How would this work?

Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: November 12, 2011 8:54 am

2012 free agent predictions

So far Snyder has the correct pick. He had Papelbon going to the Phillies & that is what happen. I am guessing that Doyel will not win the race of who gets the most correct picks. 

Since: Jul 30, 2009
Posted on: November 10, 2011 3:56 pm

2012 free agent predictions

Anyone that thinks that Mark Buehrle will pitching anywhere but the Southside or St. Louis knows nothing about Mark Buehrle.

Since: Jun 20, 2010
Posted on: November 10, 2011 12:29 am

2012 free agent predictions

It's unbelievable that anyone would go to Larry Dumbrow for anything involving baseball.  I'm not 100% sure, but it's pretty well known around CBSsports that he has pictures of his boss going down on a man and that's why he has a job talking about a game he has never played or has any knowledge about. Of course the picture not only give him leverage for a job, but it's one of his favorite pieces of porn to look at when he's down and out.

If you don't know who Larry Dumbrow is let me tell you who he really is.  Last year he said if the SF Giants won the World Series he would quit
writing his job of writing daily unfunny that is an insult to anyone with a ounce of sports knowledge, especially baseball.  Well that year SF did win and Larry Dumbass is still here ruining young readers minds with the lack of knowledge he pukes out every single day.  So not only is Dumbrow a fraud and loser, but he is also a chickenshiz human being. This is a person who once wrote a story that read like a child abduction of him taking a innocent little boy to a baseball game and hopefully when that boy gets old enough he will tell the proper authorities so Dumbrow can go to jail or at the least finally have to stop taking this job from a real sports writer.

Since: May 19, 2007
Posted on: November 8, 2011 4:54 pm

2012 free agent predictions

I have my tongue planted firmly in my cheek as I post this comment, so I guess that means I am exempt from criticism and noone can rate this post.  All of the idiots who predicted the top free agents would sign with a minor league team (there are of course only two major league teams--the Yankees and the Red Sox) weren't taking this exercise seriously and should be fired from their jobs.  It is ludicrous to even suggest that Albert Pujols would re-sign with the minor league, World Series Champion Cardinals.  But it's a no-brainer that Pappelbon will re-sign with the Red Sox.  Although noone would suggest that the top off-season priority for either the Yankees or the Red Sox is a first baseman, since both have an unlimited payroll and can sign every top free agent to "Yankee/Red Sox Money", they will good naturedly divvy up the two available first baseman.  And since the Yankees only have Future Lock Hall of Famer Derek Jeter at shortstop, obviously they will need to pay big money to sign, not one, but the top two available shortstops.  I can only presume that George Steinbrenner will return from the grave and force a rules change requiring 3 shortstops in the starting lineup instead of one.  And it is a patent no-brainer that the Yankees "need" Heath Bell, because that other guy they have closing right now hasn't really proven himself yet.  So I totally agree with the "expert" that predicted all the top free agents will go to one of the two major league teams.  In fact, I boldly predict that the two major league teams will sign ALL 100+ free agents.  Remember...I wrote all of this "cheekily", so you can't criticize anything I wrote.  You must remember that it is all tongue in cheek.

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