Let’s go position by position and name the best available free agent at each. Here’s the current list.
Catcher – Damian Miller. There’s just nothing out there; teams moved fast on catchers this year.
First base – Mike Lamb. Some might say Tony Clark, but I’ll take the guy who gets on base a little bit at the expense of a few home runs. Lamb’s platoon splits are inconsistent; I’m not sure how he’d handle 500 ABs. Brad Wilkerson is another intriguing option here.
Second base – Tadahito Iguchi. Solid guy who won’t hurt you, especially if he can be had for two years instead of three.
Shortstop – David Eckstein. The best candidate here by default. It’s a nice time to be shopping a shortstop.
Third base – Mike Lamb. I’ll take him again rather than nominate Pedro Feliz. It’s a bleak hot corner market.
Left fielder – Barry Bonds. I think he offers the most production overall, baggage and questionable defense included. The market at this position isn’t terrible, with guys like Geoff Jenkins and Shannon Stewart out there.
Center field – Aaron Rowand. He has his detractors, but he’s still better than Mike Cameron.
Right field – Kosuke Fukudome. Even if he hasn’t officially declared he’s the top guy easily. This is a weak position for free agents beyond him.
DHs – Barry Bonds. If you have an open DH spot and are a contender, you should sign Barry. Mike Piazza could rebound, as another option.
Starting pitcher – Hiroki Kuroda. I’d take the gamble that Kuroda is a touch better than four or five years of Carlos Silva. That’s only a hunch though.
Closer – Octavio Dotel. It’s him or Keith Foulke. Dotel has the better stuff, though both are health risks. Some team might really overpay for Dotel as the last decent guy with the closer label.
Right-handed middle relief – Luis Vizcaino. His control isn’t great, but he’s durable and hasn’t had a truly bad year since ’03. He knows he’s the best right-handed middle reliever out there, and wants four years.
Left-handed middle relief – Ron Mahay. I like him a bit more than Jeremy Affeldt in terms of results. Plus Mahay is from Crestwood, always a good thing. However nobody is talking about Mahay’s control – it’s bad – or his age – he’s old. Three year deal, here we come.