Players only have six months to establish their value on the free agent market, so every month counts. Let's take a look at some (not all, but some) of the upcoming free agents who have seen their stock rise or fall this June. First, a few players who have seen their free agent stock drop:
- Livan Hernandez – It wasn't an awful month for Hernandez, who posted a 5.12 ERA in June. But he had an improbably low 2.15 ERA entering the month and June showed that he won't be able to sustain that mark with peripherals like his (4.8 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 in June).
- David Eckstein – Eckstein didn't have a bad month, either. He batted .273/.308/.323 and the Padres stayed in the race, but it wasn't long ago that Eckstein appeared to be raising his free agent stock with a standout all-around season.
- Kevin Millwood – It was a rough month for Millwood, who had a sub-4.00 ERA at the end of May, even though he had yet to win at that point. In June, Millwood had an 8.78 ERA and opponents posted a 1.032 OPS against him.
- Ty Wigginton – There's no question that Wigginton, one of Baltimore's top trade chips, had a poor June. He didn't hit a home run and posted a .207/.298/.256 line. He broke out with two exceptional months in April and May, but his stock has since fallen considerably.
And some players who are in position to demand better deals thanks to a big month:
- Cliff Lee – Lee's strong play suggests his early-season abdominal injury is no longer an issue. He has a 1.76 ERA this month and has rattled off four complete game wins in his last five starts. Impressive. No one knows where Lee will be playing August 1st, but this much is certain: he helped his free agent stock this June.
- Ted Lilly – Lilly posted a 2.57 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 this month, solidifying his place among the top free agent starters this winter.
- Hiroki Kuroda – Back in May, Kuroda seemed poised to attract interest from many clubs after the season. He has posted 8.9 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 2.67 ERA this month against some stiff competition (the Braves, Cardinals, Reds, Yankees and Red Sox).
- Adrian Beltre - Beltre, who will presumably opt out of his contract and seek a multi-year deal this winter, has established himself as a legitimate MVP candidate. He has played strong defense and hit .378/.425/.684 in June.
- Manny Ramirez and Victor Martinez would have been candidates for this list were it not for their recent injuries.
All stats are as of the morning of June 30th. This list is not intended to include all 2011 free agents who have had noteworthy months. Feel free to add more players in the comments.