2013 Free Agent Class Analysis

Our 2013 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 2013 list shows players who are eligible to become free agents after the 2012 season.  My system is to allow a player to only be on one list at a time, so those on the 2011 or 2012 lists are not on the 2013 one.  The 2013 list is for players who are signed through 2012 (some may have '13 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 '11 season, at which point they'll join the '12 list and be removed from '13.  Now that you're sufficiently confused, let's analyze this group!

Will Join The '13 Group If '12 Options Are Exercised

Yadier Molina, Kelly Shoppach, Edwin Encarnacion, Eric Hinske, Nick Swisher, Brandon Phillips, Marco Scutaro, Grady Sizemore, Bobby Abreu, Chris Carpenter, Ryan Dempster, Octavio Dotel, Jon Rauch, Koji Uehara, Jose Valverde, Jason Frasor, Michael Wuertz, and Arthur Rhodes are among those who may join the '13 free agent class if their '12 options vest or are picked up.

On The '13 List In Name Only

Players such as Brian McCann, Ian Kinsler, David Wright, Kevin Youkilis, Fausto Carmona, Gavin Floyd, Dan Haren, Tim Hudson, Brett Myers, James Shields, J.J. Putz, and Joakim Soria are among those with reasonable '13 options who will be removed from the list if they are exercised.

Non-Tender Candidates

Several players currently on the '13 list stand a decent chance of being non-tendered after the '11 season, making them free agents.  Kevin Kouzmanoff, James Loney, Jack Cust, Mike Napoli, and Joe Saunders are candidates.

Youth Is Served

Free agents who will be under 30 for the '13 season: Miguel Montero, James Loney, Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar, Mark Reynolds, Delmon Young, B.J. Upton, Matt Cain, Matt KempJohn Danks, Scott Feldman, Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano, Brandon McCarthy, Anibal Sanchez, Leo Nunez, Huston Street, Carlos Villanueva, and J.P. Howell.  It's not easy to accrue six years service time before you turn 30.  Young will turn 27 in September of 2012, which is impressive.

$100MM Contracts Coming?

As always, we must note that many of the players currently on the '13 list will not make it to free agency after the '12 season, because they'll be locked up beforehand.  However, players such as Cain, Danks, Greinke, Hamels, Stephen Drew, Josh Hamilton, Matt KempAndre Ethier, and Jered Weaver could be in line for $100MM+ free agent contracts depending on how their '11 and '12 seasons go.

So Much Starting Pitching

This group will thin out before the '12 season ends, of course.  But imagine a free agent class with Cain, Danks, Greinke, Hamels, Weaver, Liriano, Jeremy Guthrie, Shaun Marcum, Anibal Sanchez, Jonathan Sanchez, Ervin Santana, Jake Peavy, and plenty of solid innings eaters.  There is something to be said for a team sitting out the upcoming offseason and trying to snag pitching in the following one.

Finally Over    

After the 2012 season, the contracts of Carlos Lee, Aaron Rowand, and Carlos Zambrano are finally up.  Fans of the Cubs and Giants will still be waiting for the Alfonso Soriano and Barry Zito deals to expire, though.


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33 Comments on "2013 Free Agent Class Analysis"


4 years 4 months ago

I can see Stephen Drew getting like a 5-6 year deal worth about $12-14MM annually. He’s an above average shortstop at such an overall shallow position.

Matt Kemp – Maybe, but not with the Dodgers, this ownership is whacky, same with Ethier.

Also, I don’t see John Danks getting a $100MM deal…

5_tool_MiLB_fool
4 years 4 months ago

exactly. danks and drew are two players who wont see that money. your estimation of drew is perfect

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

supply and demand my friend

there arent many good SS out there, even less that are actually available.. he will demand more because of that .

4 years 4 months ago

Exactly. That was my reasoning. Especially with Jeter and Rollins on their downsides, Drew is the future of this position. Like I said 5 or 6 maybe 7 years. If he is signed to a 7 year deal, I could see it worht anywhere from $94.5MM – $100MM with a tea option for 2022 worth about $15MM. But yes, it’s all supply and demand.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 4 months ago

I like Alex Gonzalez as a cheap avg SS. Could have great power in TOR where RHB can sling HR’s. I wouldn’t mind the Braves overpaying him next year as a stop-gag. Good defense and signed a a 11 MM two year deal with TOR? There are some good finds out there, but then again a lot of folks thought felipe lopez and freddy sanchez would do well at SS and 2B respectively.

OKGOJAYS85
4 years 4 months ago

TOR is really liking Escobar right now, thanks Bobby Cox. You are right in your evaluation of Gonzalez he is cheap, plays good defense, and has power potential. Just a clairification the ball travels out of the TOR park in all directions, it is a symmetric field with the same height fence all the way around and the same distance down both lines (100M/328ft) with very little air movement inside the park, especially if the roof is closed so no jet stream to carry balls. RHB vs LHB does not matter here. The RHB misconception comes from our two most recent power hitters being right handed pull hitters who hit 53/54 and 30/31 over the Left field wall last year.

4 years 4 months ago

Actually, wait. If he is signed to about a 7 year deal I could see it worth $95MM plus with a team option for 2022 worth around $13-$15MM

4 years 4 months ago

Also, Danks could see that money maybe, he’s been extrmeley servicable 195+ IP the past 3 seasons with an ERA under 3.80 since 2008. Again, depends on the length… He’s also a trade candidate.

vtadave
4 years 4 months ago

But will the ownership be “whacky” for much longer? Not sure there. It’s easy to envision a scenario in which a new (richer) owner comes in and appeases the fanbase right away with mega-extensions for Kemp, Ethier, and Kershaw.

Gumby65
4 years 4 months ago

Closers: By the looks of the 2013 group, “creating” or converting other pitchers to closers may be the way to go.

vtadave
4 years 4 months ago

Kenny Williams agrees.

East Coast Bias
4 years 4 months ago

Weak market for sure. However, 2012 free agent class of closers is godly! I take it most teams will sure up their closer situation in 2012 knowing there will be slim pickings in 2013.

Unless of course some top 2012 closer free agents sign one year deals to capitalize on the weak(er) supply by 2013.

woadude
4 years 4 months ago

Stephen Drew will want more than 70 million over 5 years so he can one up his older robot brother.

dc21892
4 years 4 months ago

And SS is so weak he’ll probably get it.

nm344
4 years 4 months ago

How much is Hamels looking at with an extension? Something like 5/90?

4 years 4 months ago

More like 5/130

4 years 4 months ago

I doubt anyone thinks hes a 26M player.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

def not..

I’d say a 18-22 million per year.

4 years 4 months ago

Ever heard of a guy named Ruben Amaro? That guy spends money like a 17 year old girl with a credit card.

3 years 3 months ago

Don’t think Phils fans are crying about Papelbon. Every year, relief pitchers become more recognized for their perfomances. But, they must pitch in the role they have been good at. Pap,like any reliever not named Rivera, should never be brought into a tied game in the late innings. They can’t do it. Most setup guys should remain as such.

Guest
4 years 4 months ago

Best free agent class I have ever seen. Headed by Cain, Hamilton, Kemp and Either and I dont even wanna leave any names out. Seeing who goes where and what teams are going to look like in 2-4 years is gonna be crazy.

4 years 4 months ago

Definitely not a lock for one, but if his bat continues to be what it has been since the ’10 season, and he keeps Boras, and there’s further salary inflation, I can see him getting there.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

he’s a top 5 player at his position.

Coryfor3
4 years 4 months ago

I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that. I wouldn’t want to be the GM that puts a 100mm contract in front of any Drew.

4 years 4 months ago

2 full seasons away…1.8, really.

4 years 4 months ago

Well, I think based on how shallow the shortstop position is Drew could be signed for a 5-7 year deal and a team option and it could eventually be worth upwards of $13.5MM annually.

4 years 4 months ago

Never know, the White Sox were a candidate to have a firesale last year. I have them winning their division, but if for some ungodly reason they are out, they could trade him this deadline. He is only signed to a 1yr/$6MM deal. I think he’ll stay with the White Sox, though.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

You mean like Jayson Werth?

woadude
4 years 4 months ago

You mean like Carl Crawford?

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

Oh so no other team will overpay another FA ever again?

Especially one that plays a premium position that is rare

Drew is a prime candidate to get overpaid

J. C. Hahne
4 years 4 months ago

No, like Vernon Wells. 😛

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

no no.

its because ALL good players get overpaid once they hit Free Agency. A major aspect of their contract negotiotians which you for some reason fail to acknowledge.

The Free agent market is thin.. average players get good money, good players get great money and great players will get 300 million.

Its just how it is.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

Yes but Tulo was never and will never be a Free Agent!!

Its really not that hard to understand