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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