With the free agency period officially upon us, many of today's links focus on either the top players available or which of those players particular teams will pursue. Let's round 'em up....
- DeMarlo Hale will interview for the Mets managerial opening, reports Maureen Mullen of Comcast SportsNet. Hale was a finalist for the Blue Jays' job before Toronto hired John Farrell.
- Jon Heyman hears that the Pirates are going after players aggressively in the early stages of free agency (Twitter link).
- The Orioles have hired Mark Connor as their pitching coach, according to the Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly. A former Twins' minor leaguer, Connor was Buck Showalter's pitching coach with the Yankees, D'Backs, and Rangers as well.
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe breaks down the top free agents by position and lists some possible destinations.
- In an Insider-only piece, ESPN.com's Keith Law breaks down his top 50 free agents, with Cliff Lee topping the list. Meanwhile, there's no Insider account required for Newsday's Ken Davidoff's top 30 free agents and accompanying predictions.
- The baseball writers at FOX Sports predict the landing spots for some of the best available players, in slideshow form.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan names ten free agents he thinks the Rangers will consider signing.
- Mark Simon of ESPNNewYork proposes some realistic free agent targets for the Mets.
- In his Insider-only ESPN.com blog, Buster Olney identifies a few players who may be hurt by their Type A status this winter.
- There are a few "hot stove myths" to keep in mind as you follow rumors and signings this offseason, writes J.C. Bradbury at Sabernomics.
- Jorge de la Rosa's agent, Bobby Barad, tells Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he has already received multiple calls from teams expressing a "sincere interest" in his client.
- The Padres are rebuilding once again, writes Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
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