Blog Entry

Best free agents left after winter meetings

Posted on: December 9, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 6:41 pm
 


By C. Trent Rosecrans

The winter meetings are over and some of the biggest names on the free-agent market are off the table, but that doesn't mean the hot stove has died out. So, the day after Albert Pujols and the Angels shocked the baseball world, here's a look at the top five position players and pitchers left on the market:

Postition players

Prince Fielder1. Prince Fielder -- The 27-year-old Fielder is the biggest fish left on the market, averaging more than 38 home runs in his six full seasons in the big leagues and posting a .929 career OPS. Whoever lands Fielder will get a shot to the lineup. The knock is Fielder's weight and the length of a contract.

Possible landing spots: Brewers, Blue Jays, Cubs, Mariners, Marlins

Carlos Beltran2. Carlos Beltran -- Beltran's been a bit of a forgotten name in all the winter meetings talk. Beltran will be 35 in April and just finished a seven-year deal with the Mets. After being limited by injuries in his last two seasons, Beltran had a bounce-back year, hitting .300/.385/.525 with 22 homers and 84 RBI and doing that in two home ballparks not known to be friendly to hitters, Citi Field and AT&T Park. He can still play center field, but is probably better suited on a corner.

Possible landing spots: Cardinals, Nationals, Red Sox, Tigers, Braves, Mariners, Cubs

Aramis Ramirez3. Aramis Ramirez -- Even though he has 14 years in the big leagues under his belt, Ramirez is just 33 and coming off a .306/.361/.510 season with 26 homers and 93 RBI. A two-time All-Star, he's by far the best third baseman on the market -- and it's not even close.

Possible landing spots: Brewers, Phillies, Marlins

Michael Cuddyer4. Michael Cuddyer -- Cuddyer will be 33 in March and can play both the corner outfield and infield spots, offering teams a versatile player. He hit .284/.346/.459 with 20 homers last season and hit 32 homers in 2009 before the Twins moved to spacious Target Field. The Twins have reportedly already offered him a three-year deal, as have the Rockies.

Possible landing spots: Rockies, Twins, Phillies, Giants, Red Sox

Jimmy Rollins5. Jimmy Rollins -- It seems odd to consider the 2007 MVP in anything but a Phillies uniform, but Pujols is now in California, so anything's possible. Rollins' offensive numbers have dropped off since his MVP season, but he still plays a premium position -- and one a couple of teams need to fill. A three-time Gold Glove winner, Rollins turned 33 last month. If he re-signs with the Phillies, it could be his last contract. Rollins is reportedly searching for a five-year contract, a tactic that may scare away every team other than the Phillies.

Possible landing spots: Phillies, Cardinals

Pitchers

Yu Darvish1. Yu Darvish -- The 25-year-old Japanese right-hander will reportedly be posted and has been seen as perhaps the best starter available. There's no shortage of teams that could be interested in Darvish, but the history of recent big-ticket Japanese pitchers could scare off some suitors and keep the posting fee lower than expected. Once his team in Japan, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighers, accept the posting, the winning team still has to negotiate with Darvish. The posting system, though, gives a chance for a surprise team to emerge the winner.

Possible landing spots: Rangers, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Nationals, Royals

Hiroki Kuroda2. Hiroki Kuroda -- There's no question of how Kuroda will perform in the big leagues -- he's gone 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA in four seasons with the Dodgers. Kuroda had a 13-16 record in 2011, despite putting up just a 3.07 ERA. He told the team he wouldn't give up his no-trade protection at the trade deadline, but the Dodgers have already found replacements for him in the rotation. He has one offer on the table already from the Hiroshima Carp in Japan, but would make more money in the U.S.

Possible landing spots: Cubs, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, Carp

Edwin Jackson3. Edwin Jackson -- The fact that Jackson has already played for six different teams and he's just 28 may raise some flags, but he's also had six teams want him at some point and for good reason. Although Jackson has battled inconsistency, he's still had results at times. He was 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA for the Cardinals and White Sox last season. He's not a No. 1, but he's younger than some of the other second-tier starters on the market, increasing his value.

Possible landing spots: Twins, Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Royals, Nationals, Pirates, Rockies, Orioles

Ryan Madson4. Ryan Madson -- Even though there were reports the right-hander had agreed to return to the Phillies earlier this offseason, the team turned to Jonathan Papelbon instead. The Red Sox, who along with the Reds, are still searching for a closer could end up signing Madson and seem the best fit. In his firs tseason as the Phillies' closer, Madson recorded 32 saves, going 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA, striking out 62 batters in 60 2/3 innings.

Possible landing spots: Red Sox, Reds, Phillies

Francisco Cordero5. Francisco Cordero -- Like Madson, Cordero seems to be on the outside of the closer game of musical chairs. The Red Sox and Reds are the only team left looking for a closer. The Reds were interested in bringing back Cordero with a discount after declining their $12 million option on the 36-year-old right-hander. Cordero converted 37 saves last season and 150 in four years in Cincinnati.

Possible landing spots: Red Sox, Reds, Twins

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Comments

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2011 6:47 pm
 

Best free agents left after winter meetings

Yeah, keep listening to Boston area talk radio for your "information."  Why not just stick your head in the toilet, instead?  You'll come up with as much valid fact and opinion there.  Remember, it was Theo Epstein who consistently left this team without enough pitching depth year after year.  And that's why he's gone.  It's hard to imagine that his successor will continue to do what got his predecessor fired.  Let's see how this all shakes out first, OK?  And stop listening to that mindless crap on the radio.
No problem, I will.  You want to blame Theo for the problems of the Red Sox?  Like he's the only guy in the room making decisions?  Theo's gone because he was tired of having to deal with Lucchino.  Theo's gone because he thinks that Francona got a raw deal.  Theo's gone because the Cubs have given him less of a leash.  While Theo takes plenty of blame for the reason why the Red Sox team has had problems over the last couple of years, he's not the only reason.

But, honestly, it's not like you have a clue what's being talked about up here or do you even hear the things being said by ownership.  For example, their insistance that Francona and the team mutually parted ways as opposed to ownership shoving him out the door.  Or that long time Red Sox season ticket holders are strongly considering getting rid of them because ownership seems more interested in making money than putting out a quality product.  Or that ownership came to the players and said "We're not going to hire a Bobby Valentine type manager" only to hire Bobby Valentine, who just so happens to be very good friends with.......Larry Lucchino.  Yeah, hudsonhawk27, I'll continue to listen to Felger & Mazz because, if I didn't, I wouldn't know this information because I would have never bothered to look it up.



Since: Jan 25, 2009
Posted on: December 10, 2011 5:46 pm
 

Attention Theo and Jed


Please sign Hiroki Kuroda.. he's very good and will come cheap!



Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2011 2:58 pm
 

Best free agents left after winter meetings

When was Theo Epstein fired hudsonhawk27????  If thats the case, then we don't need to send compensation back Boston's way....  Theo is the goat in Boston because he left.  Had he stayed, he would still be the greatest GM boston has had in 90 years.  Be careful what you wish for.  Cherrington has already proven WHO is running that team with the flub of the managerial search.  If I was in Boston, I would be REAL worried for the next ten years or so.
 



Since: Oct 2, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 12:18 pm
 

Best free agents left after winter meetings

Im a little bummed the Red Sox havent done anything in these meetings. Re-Signed Big Papi...Big Deal. They have gaping holes in the pitching and outfield and catcher isnt that great either. However, when you look at what's available is it really better than what you have ? Beltran ? Really ? Cordero ? C'mon. Another Japanese pitcher ? You kidding ? Maybe Cuddyer but that's not a big improvement. The Red Sox might just have to have another bridge year and roll the dice.



Since: Apr 27, 2008
Posted on: December 10, 2011 11:54 am
 

Best free agents left after winter meetings

I don't see a problem with either Byrd or Dempster in Chicago. I do think adding Prince, and maybe Kuroda, will do a lot for the Cubs this year. Don't know about 3rd base, though. 
Have the Cubs and Red Sox settled their "compensation" issue yet?  Can the Cubs send the Sox Zambrano?



nikeshoesok
Since: Dec 10, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 11:04 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: December 10, 2011 10:34 am
 

Best free agents left after winter meetings

I think the reason the Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon is because they didn't think Ryan Madson has the right mentality to be a closer, and the former Red Sox closer does. Carlos Beltran is way past his prime...he would have been far better off signing with the Astros instead of the Mets, where he would have been a star, plus that park was taylor made for him, but he had to go to New York for the big money...too bad.

Michael Cuddyer is still a very good utility starting player...he's done it a long time for the Twins. Unfortunately, the injury bug has bitten him a bit too much. He's much better suited to the AL where he can DH on occasion. As I recall, Aramis Ramirez has a pretty decent stroke and can play a bit of defense...one of the few decent players the Cubs have left.



Since: Jun 24, 2008
Posted on: December 10, 2011 10:29 am
 

Best free agents left after winter meetings

Yeah, keep listening to Boston area talk radio for your "information."  Why not just stick your head in the toilet, instead?  You'll come up with as much valid fact and opinion there.  Remember, it was Theo Epstein who consistently left this team without enough pitching depth year after year.  And that's why he's gone.  It's hard to imagine that his successor will continue to do what got his predecessor fired.  Let's see how this all shakes out first, OK?  And stop listening to that mindless crap on the radio.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2011 8:55 am
 

Best free agents left after winter meetings

Not sure what Cherrington and the Red Sox are thinking. They have two gaping holes in the rotation, no closer, rookies in RF and a third basenan that is begining to breakdown with far too much regularity. Despite these challenges and that the opposition is improving itself, the Sox made barely a peep during the Winter Meetings. I guess we're all to believe that Bobby Valentine will be the savior....
By "Cherrington" you mean "Lucchino" right?  Cherrington can do nothing without Larry's say so.  The fact that the Red Sox made no moves is just another sign that ownership doesn't really care about this team.  Hey, why not stick Daniel Bard in as closer?  It worked with Papelbon earlier in his career.  Then get some PBR in the clubhouse and watch the team fall in September again.  Afterward, Bobby V can offer everybody his invention, the sandwich wrap.

That organization is a joke right now.  Love listening to Felger and Mazz trash the ownership of the Red Sox.  It won't be long before this team is completely in shambles.




Since: Dec 16, 2007
Posted on: December 10, 2011 7:56 am
 

Best free agents left after winter meetings

Would love to get Beltran hitting in front of Cabby and VMart.... two quality switch hitters with Cabby in the middle. Burn those bullpens AL Central.  
 


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