Our 2012 MLB Free Agent list has just been posted. Since that post will be a permanent addition to the sidebar, comments on it are closed. Leave comments here instead!
The 2012 list shows players who are eligible to become free agents after the 2011 season. My system is to allow a player to only be on one list at a time, so those on the 2010 or 2011 lists are not on the 2012 one. The 2012 list is for players who are signed through 2011 (some may have '12 options) and also for those who currently have between four and five years of service time. Part of the latter group will be non-tendered after the '10 season, at which point they'll join the '11 list and be removed from '12. Now that you're sufficiently confused, let's analyze this group!
- Several notable players have 2011 club options that are highly likely to be exercised after the 2010 season, at which point they will join the '12 list. Those are Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, Adrian Gonzalez, and Jason Kubel.
- Players who will be under 30 in '12: Yadier Molina, Dioner Navarro, Kelly Shoppach, Prince Fielder, Casey Kotchman, Robinson Cano, Jose Lopez, Rickie Weeks, Ronny Cedeno, J.J. Hardy, Edwin Encarnacion, Jeremy Hermida, Grady Sizemore, Jeff Francoeur, Matt Cain, Kyle Davies, Zach Duke, Edwin Jackson, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Olsen, Jonathan Broxton, Matt Capps, and Joel Zumaya.
- Fielder, Howard, Pujols, and Adrian Gonzalez could form a legendary first base class. Middle infield looks strong too, potentially with Dan Uggla, Weeks, Jason Bartlett, Hardy, Jimmy Rollins, and Reyes. There's nothing at third base. Outfield looks thin, as Sizemore's '12 option is likely to be exercised.
- With healthy years in 2010 and '11, Cain stands to reach free agency at age 27 and score a massive deal. If C.C. Sabathia decides he wants to try to top four years, $92MM, he'll breathe life into an otherwise middling starting pitching class.
- Roughly half the game's established closers are eligible for free agency after the 2011 season. Broxton and Papelbon head the class.