The Top Free Agent At Each Position

You can survey our free agent list for the upcoming offseason here.  Today let's attempt to determine the best as each position.

  • Catcher: Yadier Molina's option will be exercised, leaving Ramon Hernandez as the best available.  Hernandez hasn't played in 100 games since '08, but he still easily tops a list of mostly backups at the position.
  • First base: Prince Fielder has drawn more walks this year, but I still have to give the nod to Albert Pujols.  Pujols began the year with a couple off of months and injured his wrist in June, but he's still among the game's best players.
  • Second base: Robinson Cano's option will be exercised, and Brandon Phillips appears likely.  Despite a lousy offensive year, Kelly Johnson might be the best second baseman standing.
  • Shortstop: I like Jimmy Rollins, but I don't think you can argue for anyone other than Jose Reyes.
  • Third base:  The market for third basemen is terrible, but Aramis Ramirez remains a quality option.
  • Left field: There's not much here, but Josh Willingham continues to display good power in a tough ballpark.
  • Center field: His season hasn't been amazing, but Coco Crisp looks like the best available.  I might prefer Grady Sizemore, but I think his option will be picked up.
  • Right field: This is a position with significant free agent talent: Lance Berkman, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, and Carlos Beltran, even after Nick Swisher's option is exercised.  This is a tough call, but I'll take Beltran.  Berkman and Cuddyer could potentially enter the mix for other positions, if they're flexible on that front.
  • Designated hitter: David Ortiz is the clear choice here.
  • Starting pitcher: C.J. Wilson may represent better value, but C.C. Sabathia will be the best available starting pitcher if he opts out of his Yankees contract.  If Sabathia re-ups quickly then Wilson would have the honors, unless Yu Darvish mounts a challenge.
  • Closer: With all due respect to Ryan Madson, Jonathan Papelbon is the man here.
  • Right-handed setup man: I expect Madson to continue closing, leaving our setup bracket wide open.  Joel Peralta is a respectable choice, while Kerry Wood and others also merit consideration.
  • Lefty reliever: Tim Byrdak, Mike Gonzalez, and George Sherrill have been tough on fellow lefties, but Darren Oliver is my pick.

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