Free Agent And Trade Market For Right Fielders

The Red Sox, Twins, Athletics, Cubs, Pirates, Cardinals, Rockies, Padres, and Giants could explore the market for right fielders this year, which mostly consists of a variety of free agents.

Starting Right Fielders Available In Free Agency

Three potential right fielders who will land starting jobs are Carlos Beltran, Michael Cuddyer, and Jason Kubel.  Beltran is a middle-of-the-order bat, but he'll be 35 in April and missed much of 2009-10 with knee issues.  Signing him will not involve the loss of a draft pick, but it may take three years and a salary of at least $13MM.  Cuddyer can't match Beltran's bat, but he is younger, more versatile, and presumably cheaper.  Signing him probably will require the loss of a draft pick though.  Kubel is a similar hitter to Cuddyer aside from handedness, but Kubel's outfield defense is a minus.

Four more free agents may be vying for a role that sits between starter and reserve: David DeJesus, Magglio Ordonez, J.D. Drew, and Kosuke Fukudome.  DeJesus, 32 in December, brings defensive value and seems the best bet.  Fukudome doesn't have the power desired of a corner outfielder, while Ordonez and Drew bring significant health risk and may be limited to AL teams.

Thinking Outside The Box

Brad Hawpe, Ryan Ludwick, Josh Willingham, and Cody Ross played little or no right field this year, but they've done so in their careers.  Grady Sizemore has never played right field as a pro.  Agent Joe Urbon says Sizemore prefers center but will consider corner outfield opportunities.  After missing significant time due to injury the last few years, Sizemore will be a wild card on an incentive-laden deal.

Quality Backups

Reed Johnson is likely to secure a Major League deal, while Scott Hairston, Mark Kotsay, and Corey Patterson have a shot.

Non-Tender Candidates

The Rockies could non-tender Ryan Spilborghs, who was productive in 2010.  Garrett Jones probably won't be non-tendered, but the Pirates could move him if they don't consider him worth $2.4MM or so.  Former top prospect Jeremy Hermida could be cut by the Padres; he hit .319/.400/.524 in Triple-A this year. 

Other Trade Candidates

Carlos Quentin's name is often bandied about in trade rumors as he enters his final year of team control, but there's no guarantee the White Sox will move him.  The Rockies' Seth Smith could be dealt if the team signs someone like Cuddyer.

Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti isn't inclined to trade Andre Ethier, he told ESPN's Jim Bowden in October.

Check out our full free agent list, as well as our articles on the markets at catcherfirst basesecond base, third baseshortstop, left field, and center field.

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