Remaining Top 50 Free Agents

MLBTR's Top 50 Free Agents list was published on November 9th.  25 of those 50 players have signed.  Here's a list of the remaining 25, with fresh guesses on where they might land.

1.  Matt Holliday – Cardinals.  The market for Holliday this winter proved smaller than expected, making a reunion with the Cards likely.

7.  Jose Valverde – Athletics.  This is a stretch, but I am looking for a team that could offer $6MM and a closing job and not have to surrender their first-round pick.  The Pirates seem to have set their sights on lesser relievers.

9.  Adrian Beltre – Red Sox.  As with J.D. Drew, the Sox seem the team most likely to value this Scott Boras client the way Boras does.  Mike Lowell and the luxury tax stand in Boston's way, but they still appear more likely to offer, say, two years and $18MM than the Orioles, A's, or Mariners are.

12.  Johnny Damon – Yankees.  They're still a logical fit, on a one-year deal in the $6-7MM range.  That's not what Damon and Boras are looking for, but it's hard to find a match beyond possibly the Braves even at that price.

13.  Orlando Hudson – Nationals.  I still like the Nats for Hudson, partially because unlike the Mets and Mariners, they wouldn't have to move an incumbent second baseman to make room.

14.  Miguel Tejada – Twins.  The Orioles, Angels, A's, Astros, and Cardinals strike me as other potential matches for Tejada, who could be a bargain in 2010.

15.  Joel Pineiro – Mets.  Pineiro might be the best available starting pitcher, at least considering only those who were healthy in 2009.  Maybe given the lack of bidders the Mets could get him on a two-year deal.

17.  Aroldis Chapman – Blue Jays.  So much for this being a Red Sox-Yankees battle.  It makes sense for the Jays to continue stocking up on young arms by splurging on Chapman.

19.  Vladimir Guerrero – Orioles. Vlad and Dye have not generated interest outside of the Rangers.  Perhaps the O's will trade Luke Scott and sign Guerrero, but I really can't find a match I like if Dye goes to Texas.

20.  Felipe Lopez – Cardinals.  The market for Lopez has been quiet despite his fine 2009.  Even with a Holliday signing I feel that the Cardinals will spend a few million on a veteran they can plug in at third base.

21.  Adam LaRoche – Mariners.  Andrew Baggarly's December 12th report that LaRoche sought three years and $31.5MM from the Giants has been repeated enough that it almost seems like fact rather than rumor.  That may be unfair to LaRoche.  He's the best available first baseman, but this isn't 2006, and his ultimate price will be much more reasonable.

23. Jon Garland -  Dodgers.  I'm sticking with my original prediction, despite recent interest from the Mets, Rangers, and Twins.  The Dodgers need bulk innings, and they figure to sign one veteran starter.

26.  Erik Bedard – Orioles.  They know him well, and could use a high-upside starter to pair with their Kevin Millwood acquisition.

28.  Bengie Molina – Mets.  It seems fitting that Molina's talks with the Mets would move slowly.  They still seem to be the most interested club, even if they're trying to avoid guaranteeing two years.

33.  Ben Sheets – Angels.  Given the Rangers' signing of Rich Harden, I can't see them adding another big injury risk like Sheets.  Sheets would fit nicely into the Angels' rotation, though you never know if the Mariners will swoop in.

34.  Doug Davis – Twins.  The Mets, Twins, and Brewers could stand to add a back-end innings guy, with lefties Davis and Washburn candidates for one-year deals.

35.  Jarrod Washburn – Brewers.  The Brewers signed Randy Wolf, but would probably like to add one more starter.

36.  Russell Branyan -  Athletics.  Branyan, Delgado, Thome…take your pick on where these 1B/DH types could land.  All three ought to be AL-bound.  Branyan could play first base for the A's when Jake Fox is at DH.

39.  John Smoltz – Mets.  Smoltz fits with many clubs as an intriguing swingman.  The Nationals may be maintaining interest, but I imagine Smoltz wants to play for a competitor.

40.  Jermaine Dye – Rangers.  If the Giants aren't interested, it's difficult to find another match for Dye.

43.  Carlos Delgado – Mets.  Delgado played Sunday night in the Puerto Rican winter league.  The Orioles and Mets seem to have him on the radar.

44.  Orlando Cabrera – Astros.  The Reds and Astros are among few teams that can offer a starting shortstop position.  The Astros seem a little more willing to spend this winter than the Reds.

46.  Jim Thome – White Sox.  He could sign pretty cheaply to return to Chicago.

48.  Xavier Nady - Pirates. The idea of Nady as a regular outfielder seems to be giving teams pause.  A return to the Pirates is one scenario where he could play first regularly and the outfield occasionally.

49.  Kiko Calero – Cubs.  A dozen teams could use Calero, who has generated surprisingly little interest.  I expect the Cubs to add a late-inning arm.


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99 Comments on "Remaining Top 50 Free Agents"


TheBunk
5 years 7 months ago

Yeah I think that’s a major stretch for the athletics, just seems like a very anti beane move.

striker
5 years 7 months ago

Tim,

You have to post a review of your previous predictions and tell us what your accuracy is.

arock1234
5 years 7 months ago

As a Blue Jay fan, I would love to see the jays sign Chapman and stick it to the red sox and yankees!

thedocjon
5 years 7 months ago

As a Yankee fan, i hope someone else wastes their money on this guy.

cookmeister
5 years 7 months ago

isn’t Bailey going to be the closer for the A’s?

arock1234
5 years 7 months ago

yeah i know eh? winning the rookie of the year is apparently not good enough….

MorrisParkMetfan
5 years 7 months ago

Smoltz to the Mets??? No Thank you that ship has sailed

Mitch_Cole173
5 years 7 months ago

Yeah I see him going to Washington instead of the Mets. What the Mets needed was a john Lackey type. They already landed Bay, they could use Pineiro, Garland or even both would be good for their rotation. Having it headed by Santana, Garland and Pineiro would look pretty good.

Michael Brown
5 years 7 months ago

No love for the Braves in finding another OF bat with our 7-10 million we still have free…I want Heyward here as much as the next fan but a little veteran insurance never hurt anyone.

Satch10
5 years 7 months ago

we need another bat still i like nady or dye

5 years 7 months ago

I think the Braves will add an OF, I just didn’t like the FAs on this list for it. Nady would have to play OF regularly because of Glaus, and they’ve never seemed that into Dye. Damon I can see.

NYBravosFan10
5 years 7 months ago

It would be somewhat of a disappointment to see the Braves not sign another one of these guys. The Braves have a reputation of being a team that likes guys who can play lots of different positions and do a number of different things (including the pitchers. Lowe and Kawakami can hit, Medlen and Jurrjens can run). So Nady makes alot of sense but if he ends up somewhere else, Johnny Damon wouldn’t kill me. Good speed, veteran presence, solid #2 in the lineup guy. Just try to forget about his wet noodle of an arm.

Satch10
5 years 7 months ago

Won’t Damon b 2 much $$$$ unless he takes a smaller deal

NYBravosFan10
5 years 7 months ago

I’m telling you right now, Boras has another thing coming if he thinks anyone is gonna wanna sign Damon for the price he is asking. He isn’t as young as he used to be. Still useful but not for that price. It’s gonna get to the point where he won’t have a choice but to agree with one of the smaller market teams that need a left fielder, mainly the Giants and Braves. I personally do believe that Dye is going to the Rangers and Damon and Nady will do the same thing Griffey and Anderson did last year where one will go with one of two teams and the other will go to the other. It was either Griffey or Anderson will go to either the Braves or Mariners. This year I think either Damon or Nady will go to either the Braves or the Giants.

S8P7W
5 years 7 months ago

“He isn’t as young as he used to be.”

Classic quote! I love it! 😀

atlbraves312
5 years 7 months ago

I read one of the articles about the Braves OF’s from Bleacher report and they made a poll of which OFs they wanted. Dan Uggla lead the poll while Nady is in second. 31% Uggla 26% Nady 15% Damon (I think) and Dye was the least.

I like Dan or Nady. Dan might be expensive. Don’t know. 7$ is pretty good but Marlins trading him to a rivalry team in their division. They’re gonna ask for more.

Brad426
5 years 7 months ago

I still predict Dye will be the starting LF (although I hope it is Nady).

Peet29
5 years 7 months ago

I would like to see the Braves take a chance on Rick Ankiel, a left handed bat with power to platoon with Diaz. If they could sign him for 1yr 2-3 million he could be a low risk high reward player like Glaus. I think he plays better defense than Dye too.

Michael Brown
5 years 7 months ago

Even though all teams (Braves excluding) in the NL East could find a role, either starting or late inning relief, for Smoltzie I just don’t see him signing in the NL East…Is it out of the question to make a return to St. Louis?

opusyoungblood
5 years 7 months ago

There’s no logical reason for the A’s to sign Valverde. Their bullpen is already one of the best, if not the best in MLB right now. Bailey, Ziegler, Wuertz, and Kilby all being very good relievers. Devine will be returning from injury. They also have Meloan, Breslow, Rodriguez who all figure to be okay at least, and guys like Demel in AAA.

I don’t see any reason the A’s would throw that much money at a closer when they already have a bullpen that good.

5 years 7 months ago

That’s true, but if they think he’s a bargain and they could flip him in the summer, he could fit. But yeah I’m not thrilled with my choice. I just couldn’t think of a better one.

jdkladsjl
5 years 7 months ago

Yes that makes perfect sense. Sign him for cheap and trade him by allstar break

Sampsonite168
5 years 7 months ago

“28. Bengie Molina – Mets. It seems fitting that Molina’s talks with the Mets would move slowly.”

I see what you did there.

Jayzz
5 years 7 months ago

Ah, when he was a Jay we called him ‘dump truck’. Memories…

ChiefTomahawk
5 years 7 months ago

I think Atlanta is a possibility for Nady.

Pseudonymus Bosch
5 years 7 months ago

Not sure I understand why if Smoltz was looking for a “competitor” he would choose the Mets over the Nationals. Signing Jason Bay is not enough to change the fact that these two teams are in a race for the bottom, or that Smoltz is nowhere near adequate as a #2 starter behind Santana. If they get Pineiro, and a first baseman, and a second baseman, then maybe Smoltz makes sense as the signed-in-March icing on the Mets’ cake.

5 years 7 months ago

I think that when the season begins the Mets will have a much better chance of contending than the Nationals.

Aranathor
5 years 7 months ago

I think its a joke to have either the Mets or Nats in the ‘competitors’ discussion.

5 years 7 months ago

I don’t know why you’d say that, unless you are certain the Mets are done this offseason and their stars who lost a ton of time to the DL in 2009 will do that again this year.

Aranathor
5 years 7 months ago

A think there a too many limiting factors for Mets success in 2010. The Phillies really do prevent the Mets from winning the NL East, there is no way, even if everything goes right for the Mets next year (no significant injuries, Reyes and (to a lesser extent) Wright back to their old selves, sign a starter who performs a) better than a no.5 and b) isn’t called Johan). The Wild Card is a stretch as well, too many other good teams.Nobody left to significantly improve the team this offseason, might be too little too late by the trade deadline in July. Overall, the Mets are too reliant on their superstars (i read a piece during the season which discussed the Mets lack of Players as opposed to Superstars, no depth etc. Cannot remember the author), of course every team is only 1 or 2 big injuries away from a catastrophy but i think the Mets are more susceptible. Do you think that either Beltran or Reyes will play 140/150 Games next year? Overall, too many question marks, too many potential stumbling blocks.

jhawk90
5 years 7 months ago

I’d rather have Lopez for the Twins than Tejada.

I’d rather have Hudson for 2B over Punto as well, but I’d also like a hovercraft and a pony.

connorburke
5 years 7 months ago

Watch the twins sign a bunch of washed up veterans like they always do. I hope they do get Hudson or lopez and bensheets.

5 years 7 months ago

Couldn’t Tejeda fit in with the Cubs? Starlin Castro is coming up quickly and could be ready by the all star break or sooner. Could a one year deal for 5-6 mil intrigue Tejada? I would say that would be a nice fit, obviously we would have to move Theriot to 2nd (his more natural position). I am not sure what Tejada is looking for as a contract.

5 years 7 months ago

Not the wildest idea, but I am not sure how much the Cubs have to spend. I think they could be considered for Valverde if all his options dried up and they didn’t mind having Marmol set up.

5 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t mind a Felipe Lopez deal either! But from what I have heard we may be trading for a 2nd baseman. Is that what your hearing? What about Cubs trade Sean Marshall, Mike Fontenot, and Tyler Colvin for Alberto Callaspo?

5 years 7 months ago

Yeah I looked and saw Tejada’s name on the remaining FA’s list and was wondering why we have heard nothing about him linked to any team this offseason. He had a quiet but good year in ’09 and would make a good buffer between now and when Castro is ready…but perhaps the reason we haven’t heard much is that he is asking for too much in either years or money at this part of his career.

Orlando Hudson would probably be more feasible and not much less of a player than Tejada. God knows it would be better than Baker/Fontenot/Scales. Once Castro is ready you tell Theriot to eff off back to 2B.

I would like to keep Marshall because of…

a) pretty good in LOOGY in ’09
b) emergency Soriano defensive sub (to confuse Joe Morgan and Tony LaRussa)

5 years 7 months ago

Yeah I looked and saw Tejada’s name on the remaining FA’s list and was wondering why we have heard nothing about him linked to any team this offseason. He had a quiet but good year in ’09 and would make a good buffer between now and when Castro is ready…but perhaps the reason we haven’t heard much is that he is asking for too much in either years or money at this part of his career.

Orlando Hudson would probably be more feasible and not much less of a player than Tejada. God knows it would be better than Baker/Fontenot/Scales. Once Castro is ready you tell Theriot to eff off back to 2B.

I would like to keep Marshall because of…

a) pretty good in LOOGY in ’09
b) emergency Soriano defensive sub (to confuse Joe Morgan and Tony LaRussa)

DempseyK
5 years 7 months ago

I cant see the pirates going after Nady. From what I understand, Jeff Clement/Garret Jones/Steve Pearce are all going to see some time at first until someone takes the job. Best guess is that Jones will be in RF, Clement will *try* to play first, and Pearce will be outrighted to Indy, a bench player, or traded. But if Clement struggles early, Pearce may be kept around.

I also am under the impression that Neal Huntingdon is going to sign a large amount of borderline MLB talent to Minor League deals, invite them to camp and hope that a few make the team.

Aranathor
5 years 7 months ago

As with all other Cards fans i just want a resolution to the Holliday situation, and would gladly see him sign at pretty much any price. But on the off chance we have some spare cash after the (seemingly inevitable) signing, i would jump at the chance to pick up a/some reliever(s). Valverde would be good, though the FO still seems to think that Franklin can pitch like its May, not October, for a whole season. Kiko Calero would be good but Smoltz would be ideal, won’t be as good as he was against the Padres, won’t be as bad as he was in the AL East, can fight Garcia for starts. The Mets can have Piniero, the whole league has his number.

Guest
5 years 7 months ago

i’m liking what the jays have done so far, especially if they get chapman. that would give them chapman, morrow, drabek, stewart, litsch, marcum, mcgowan, rzep, cecil, and romero to build a rotation from. that’s 10 pitchers! add a controllable core of position players like lind, hill, snider, wallace, a couple nice catching prospects, and wells….makes for a decent team. once they get their rotation in order, they can deal the extra pitchers to fill in some holes or sign a free agent or two.

ronnyronron9
5 years 7 months ago

It would be shocking to me to see Beltre sign with the Sox for anything more that 8 per year. I think that if he does sign with the A’s it is a one year deal with inentives up the ___.

I can’t believe that there isn’t a bigger market than there is for one of the best defensive 3rd baseman in the league (who can hit a little).

Why wouldnt the twins, angels, cards among others who think they are a contender be willing to pony up 20 million for him. DIDN’T MARLON F”IN BYRD JUST GET 15 MILLION FOR GODS SAKE????

Jiujitsu411420
5 years 7 months ago

Cubs need to sign O- dog he would defenitely help balance out the top of the order and improve the defense up the middle. A switch hitter in the # 2 hole would be perfect. Calero also sounds like the rh setup man they have been looking for. So get it done Hendry….redeem yourself

5 years 7 months ago

Remaining Top FA’s: Guestimated Destinations w/ Contract proposals!

1) Matt Holliday(OF)- Orioles 6yr 108mill w/buyout P.O for year 3 & 5.

2) Jose Valerde(RHP)- Mets 1yr 3.5-4.0mill

3) Adrian Beltre(3b)- Cardinals 2yr 15.0 mill

4) Johnny Damon(OF)- Yankees 2yr 15.5mill

5) Orlando Hudson(2b)- Twins 3yr 18mill

6) Miguel Tejada(3b/SS)- Twins 2yr 15mill

7) Joel Piniero(RHP)- Mets 3yr 25mill

8) A.Chapman(RHP)- Marlins 5yr 13.5mill

9) Vlad Guerrero(DH)- Rangers 2yr 19mill

10) F.Lopez(IF)- Dodgers 1yr 3.5mill

11) A.Laroche(1b)- Athletics 2yr 15mill

12) Jon Garland(RHP)- Dodgers 1yr 4 mill w/incentives

13) E.Bedard(LHP)- Orioles 1yr 5.5mill w/incentives

14) D.Davis(LHP)- Brewers 2yr 13.0mill

15) J.Washburn(LHP)- Twins 1yr 5.5mill w/incentives

16) R.Branyan(1b/DH)- Mariners 1yr 5.5mill

17) Jon Smoltz(RHP)- Tigers 1yr 4.5mill w/incentives

18) J.Dye(OF)- Reds 2yr 15 mill.

19) C.Delgado(1b/DH)- Orioles 1yr 5.5 mill w/incentives

20) O.Cabrera(IF)- Nationals 2yr 13.5 mill

21) J.Thome(1b/DH)- Blue Jays 1yr 4.5 mill w/incentives

22) X.Nady(1b/OF)- D Backs 1yr 4 mill w/incentives

23) K.Calero(RHP)- Rays 1yr 3mill

24) B. Sheets(RHP)- Royals 1yr 5.5 w/incentives

S8P7W
5 years 7 months ago

I’m guessing Chapman will get more than $13.5M over 5 years.

jdkladsjl
5 years 7 months ago

Why would LaRoache go to Oakland? doesnt make sense. He will go to Seattle and Branyon to Oakland.

MeTsOwNyOu
5 years 7 months ago

Why would the Mets get Valverde? We already got Escobar, Everts, and Igarashi for the pen which Escobar and Igarashi will be fighting for the set-up role.

lovetohate
5 years 7 months ago

sheets to the mets. Royals sign Bob Hamelin.

BoSoxSam
5 years 7 months ago

I think watching the Beltre negotiations will be important for Red Sox fans, as it will show whether the team thinks it has a good chance to nab AGon or not. If they sign Beltre (especially for 2-3 years), it will be a signal telling us that we are NOT going to be getting a big first baseman bat, as that will block Youkilis from ever moving over. If instead they stick with the current infield plan, and give Youk the majority of playing time over at third over Lowell, it could be a big indicator that a deal with San Diego is in the works. Therefore, I personally am NOT excited about the prospect of Beltre being a Red Sock, not because he’s bad, but because the other options are much more exciting.