The Indians, Twins, Athletics, Braves, Padres and Giants could find themselves pursuing left fielders this offseason. Here's a preliminary look at which players will be available at the position:
Starting Left Fielders Available In Free Agency
Ryan Ludwick could draw interest, though his homer total and OPS have fallen for three consecutive seasons. Raul Ibanez and Laynce Nix also have power, but it's unclear if teams will see them as a viable everyday options. Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer have both have played left field before, although they didn't play much of it in 2011. Similarly, Johnny Damon isn't an everyday defender. Juan Pierre will likely find an everyday job.
Jonny Gomes, Juan Rivera and Bill Hall are useful bats against left-handed pitching and Wily Mo Pena and Marcus Thames have also had success against southpaws. Scott Hairston, Travis Buck, Willie Harris and Reed Johnson can add value off of the bench. Mark DeRosa and Carlos Guillen spent considerable time on the disabled list in 2011. Pat Burrell would only play for the Giants and the Braves may exercise their club option for Eric Hinske.
Luke Scott, Jeremy Hermida, Steven Pearce, Ryan Spilborghs and Delmon Young are all non-tender candidates to one degree or another. Young may be a non-tender candidate in name only after his powerful stint in Detroit.
Thinking Outside The Box
Free agent David DeJesus has played left field before, though not in 2011. Scott Boras clients Carlos Beltran and J.D. Drew could be fits in left field, despite their inexperience at the position. Ryan Doumit could be worth a shot in left field and if might be easier on Grady Sizemore's knees to play left, rather than center.
Other Trade Candidates
Ed Wade and Theo Epstein may hope to move Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano and their generous contracts. Chris Heisey and Yonder Alonso may come up in trade talks as the Reds look to acquire a top starter. Logan Morrison appears to have displeased his bosses at times and could be on the block. The Angels could move Bobby Abreu and clear their outfield logjam. Younger left fielders, such as Josh Reddick, could also be available this offseason.