We're hearing a lot of talk about how next year's free agent class (the 2010-11 group) is much better than this year's class. Is that true? Taking our always-updated 2011 free agents list, let's look position-by-position.
- Two big names jump out at catcher: Joe Mauer and Victor Martinez. As you know, the Twins are aiming to take Mauer off the market with an extension.
- First base is potentially deep - Derrek Lee, Carlos Pena, Adam Dunn, and Paul Konerko are eligible for free agency, and Lance Berkman could join them if his $15MM option is declined. Albert Pujols makes an appearance, but his option will be exercised at the least.
- No one particularly interesting at second base.
- Derek Jeter is the name to watch among shortstops, but most expect he'll re-sign before reaching free agency. Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins are technically on the list, but both have very team-friendly club options.
- Aramis Ramirez could head the third base group if he declines a $14.6MM player option. Ramirez did take less to re-sign with the Cubs last time around though.
- The outfield corners are interesting, with Carl Crawford, Manny Ramirez, and Jayson Werth.
- Very little going on in center field.
- Heading up the starting pitchers: Josh Beckett, Cliff Lee, Ted Lilly, Javier Vazquez, and Brandon Webb. This group definitely looks more promising than the current one.
- Always plenty of closers listed, with Mariano Rivera at the top of the class. Huston Street will also be among those eligible.
- As always, the following year's free agent class looks strong until players start getting extensions. Roy Halladay just left the 2011 list. Still, next year's group does look better, led possibly by Mauer, Crawford, Aramis, and a quality crop of frontline starters.
Nationals Designate Yunesky Maya For AssignmentMariners Designate Robert Andino For Assignment Orioles Designate Alex Burnett For Assignment Indians Designate David Huff For Assignment Marlins Release Jon Rauch Derek Lowe Clears Waivers Cubs Claim Eduardo Sanchez Mets Sign David Aardsma Cubs Designate Michael Bowden For Assignment Blue Jays Claim Thad Weber Angels Claim Chris Nelson
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