Top Remaining 2014 Free Agents

Now that the Winter Meetings are over, here are the top ten remaining free agents from Tim Dierkes' Top 50 list, with updates on each.

3. Shin-Soo Choo. The acquisitions of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran by the Yankees, Curtis Granderson by the Mets and Corey Hart and Logan Morrison by the Mariners have helped define the market for Choo. One report recently indicated he Rangers had a seven-year offer on the table. Not everyone agreed, but in any case, the Rangers remain interested. The Astros, Diamondbacks and Reds do not appear to be in the mix. The Tigers could be another possibility, although ESPN's Jerry Crasnick recently wrote that their acquisition of Rajai Davis ruled them out.

5. Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka's status will likely become clearer once an agreement on the posting system is ratified tomorrow. If Rakuten decides to post Tanaka, the Diamondbacks could be serious suitors, as could the Cubs. Tanaka is also the Yankees' "top choice." The Dodgers might also be a possibility, but their interest doesn't appear to be as strong as expected.

6. Ervin Santana. The Tigers are reportedly interested in Santana, and the Diamondbacks have met with his agent. The Mets probably dropped out of the race when they agreed to terms with Bartolo Colon. The Yankees do not appear to be interested.

7. Matt Garza. Unlike Santana, Garza didn't receive a qualifying offer, which may improve his market, since teams won't have to worry about losing a draft pick. The Angels and Twins have been connected to Garza, although Angels GM Jerry Dipoto says his team doesn't have an offer out for Garza, and the Twins don't want to give Garza a four- or five-year deal. The Diamondbacks have repeatedly been connected to Garza, and Arizona could be a good landing spot, particularly if the D'Backs don't come up with Tanaka or Santana.

9. A.J. Burnett. The Pirates still believe Burnett is deciding between re-signing with them or retiring, although the Orioles have shown interest, and Burnett's offseason home is in Maryland. It's been almost two months since Burnett said he would take "a week or so" to decide whether to continue playing or retire.

11. Ubaldo Jimenez. The Indians want Jimenez to return, but it's unclear whether they'll make a big enough commitment to re-sign him. The Orioles might also be a possibility. Note that the last five names on this list are pitchers — with Tanaka unable to sign, Burnett a question mark, and David Price and Jeff Samardzija looming on the trade market, the free-agent market for pitching has been slow to develop.

14. Stephen Drew. Drew and Jhonny Peralta were the only big names on the shortstop market, and Peralta has already signed with the Cardinals, so Drew is a huge fish in a tiny pond. The Yankees need a second baseman after Robinson Cano and Omar Infante signed elsewhere, and a return to the Red Sox would still make sense, with Drew at shortstop and Xander Bogaerts at third. The Mets don't seem to be serious contenders.

17. Nelson Cruz. Cruz rejected a qualifying offer and is reportedly looking for a deal that pays $16MM or more a year, which may be a lot to player with limited defensive ability and scary offensive indicators. Cruz wants the Rangers to offer a three-year deal, but so far, they're only offering two. The Mariners continue to be connected to Cruz, even after adding Corey Hart and Logan Morrison.

23. Bronson Arroyo. Four teams have reportedly offered Arroyo two-year deals, but Arroyo, like Cruz, seems to be holding out for three. The Twins are still a possibility even after their signings of Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes and their re-signing of Mike Pelfrey. The Mets and Reds are contenders as well.

25. Grant Balfour. The Indians just agreed to terms with John Axford, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports noted (via Twitter) that one likely scenario for the rest of the bullpen market had Joaquin Benoit going to the Padres and Balfour heading to the Orioles. The Boston Herald's Jen Royle, meanwhile, reports that the Orioles have offered Balfour a three-year deal, but Balfour wants three years with a vesting option (Twitter links). In any case, the Orioles look like Balfour's most serious suitors by far right now, although Royle suggests the Mariners could also come into play.


Leave a Reply

74 Comments on "Top Remaining 2014 Free Agents"


AZDbacksfan1
1 year 7 months ago

I love how almost all the starters are tied with the dbacks in some way. I hope we at least get one of em.

sgtschmidt11
1 year 7 months ago

Kinda like the Twins when it all started. Using that logic, the D-Backs should get at least one!

Dbacksfan44
1 year 7 months ago

Just heard that market for Santana is down to Tigers and Dbacks

Matthew Kory
1 year 7 months ago

Garza couldn’t receive a qualifying offer because he was traded mid-season.

Tko11
1 year 7 months ago

Its really surprising that hes still available since hes not attached to draft pick compensation and is a solid pitcher.

Eric Ritz
1 year 7 months ago

A lot of the pitchers are holding out on Tanaka

Scott Brewer
1 year 7 months ago

My prediction: Masahiro Tanaka is posted for $20 mil and signs with Angels for a 6 yr $99 million contract.

letsgogiants
1 year 7 months ago

I think it’s because of his high price tag and injury history these past two years.

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

Plus his numbers with the Rays are quite overrated, so you end up with an overrated first half of his career and injured the last two years. I think you get more innings over the life of the deal with higher upside in Ubaldo, it’s weird how the comp pick artificially inflates and deflates value having nothing to do with skill.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

isn’t weird. Teams place a monetary value of that 1st round pick. Maybe some value it at $10M (11th overall pick could be) or they value it at $1M.

Steven Russell
1 year 7 months ago

didn’t know that, I was wondering why he didn’t get one

phillies1102
1 year 7 months ago

He could have received a qualifying offer terms of 1 year, $14.1m, but its just that this deal wouldn’t qualify as the “qualifying offer” that qualifies the team to receive compensation

Dbacksfan44
1 year 7 months ago

Well yeah you could offer anyone 1yr 14.1 mil

phillies1102
1 year 7 months ago

I wasn’t trying to say anything logical, I just wanted to use the word “qualify” consecutively.

Runtime
1 year 7 months ago

You’d have to think that the Jays would have to be in on Bronson Arroyo… Shorter term deal on a proven reliable pitcher.

Would make a nice bridge until the kids in the minors are ready.

JaysFan1996
1 year 7 months ago

that hr/9 will only go up in al east, and im pretty sure hes holding out for 3 years b/c Pelfrey and such got 2 yrs deal

Runtime
1 year 7 months ago

He doesn’t really give up too many baserunners though.
Home runs aren’t really a big deal if you have nobody on base.

JaysFan1996
1 year 7 months ago

WHIP of 1.292, isn’t low tho,

Runtime
1 year 7 months ago

It’s not terrible… and he’s been a little lower than that over the past couple of years… But I was looking at his H/9, HR/9, and BB/9 and individually… The numbers are fine. He gives up less than 2 BBs a game and you can overlap at least 1 HR with 1 H. I’m not saying he’ll come to TO and be Roy Halladay… But if he can put up similar numbers compared to Mark B, it’s better than what they have right now for a #4 or #5

skrockij89
1 year 7 months ago

Choo to the rangers and Cruz to the M’s. I actually see that happening.

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

Texas gets the best of that scenario, take Cruz’s home/road splits, remove Arlington, and add in Safeco and he is going to look awful.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

He is going to look awful regardless. He can have some value in the right situations, but he isn’t the type of player that should be tied to draft pick and getting $60M guaranteed.

Mike
1 year 7 months ago

Waiting for at least one or two of the listed FAs to sign with Texas.

Phil Merkel
1 year 7 months ago

Hoping it is Choo…

Joe Valenti
1 year 7 months ago

Is it just me or does it just seem wrong thinking the Yankees could sign Drew as a 2B given how limited Jeter is at short?

Denny Doyle
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t know if it would work. He has never played at the position in a game. But, money makes a guy do strange things.

I’d rather question Yankees strategy of putting a very good defensive SS out of position just to make a poor def SS happy. Jeter has a -9.2 dWAR for his career and is getting worse by the year. Plus, ARod doesn’t have the range he used to either.

Joe Valenti
1 year 7 months ago

That was my point

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

If they signed Drew I’d rather they start him at 3B and then move him full time to SS mid season once Jeter goes on the DL or proves he can’t man short anymore. I mean look at the list of 40 year old SS and how many games they played, he’ll be lucky to play in 80 games at SS this year.

David Kowalski
1 year 7 months ago

The only 40 year old shortstop to play regularly was Luke Appling. he played in 139 games in a 1545 game season. At 41, Appling played in 139 games agin and at 42 he played in 142 before crashing down to earth as a 43 year old with a mere 50 games.

Whatever Appling did or had should be bottled. Unfortunately, besides training and diet it probably including a good deal of genetics.

Steven Russell
1 year 7 months ago

Texas has been quiet lately.They got a big bat in Prince which is awesome but they need another bat, I’d prefer a power bat to stick behind Fielder and Beltre. Cruz and Choo are the biggest real fits left that would make legit impact.

I don’t think Texas will be in on Choo, can’t see them going 7 or even 6. Maybe 5 at a larger AAV. I’d like to get Cruz in here for 2-3 years as well. Hopefully the market has thinned enough for them to make one happen.

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

Putting Choo’s career .389 OBP in front of Fielder and Beltre would do so much more for that lineup than Cruz could in the 5 hole it’s not even fair to compare.

Evan
1 year 7 months ago

I completely agree. The gap between Choo and Cruz is much greater than what they are asking for in terms of AAV 18-20M vs 15M. Cruz brings a slew of liabilities besides that power, where as Choo brings all the positives besides his platoon splits, which I think is overrated(.340 OBP against lefties). I get that the years are a problem, but I would rather have Choo for 7 years than Cruz for 4. And besides, the Rangers were mediocre offensively with Cruz last year. A lineup with Martin-Andrus setting the table at a .310~.330OBP clip is going to make Texas a mediocre offensive club again this year, regardless of what the middle of the order looks like. Signing Choo would give the Rangers a real leadoff hitter and a speedy outfield. I just think the fit is too perfect to not happen. I’m sure JD will sign Choo once his tug-of-war with Boras comes to an end.

Phil Merkel
1 year 7 months ago

Totally agree! I would hope that an AAV of $18-19M (max 6 yrs) would get Choo, but I just don’t want to see them give Cruz more than a 2 yr deal if that much. He is limited to DH’g and I’d rather have the plusses of Choo in that lineup.

John Donovan
1 year 7 months ago

So if Texas re-signs Cruz or goes a different route in the outfield, who’s left for Choo?

Joe Valenti
1 year 7 months ago

Mariners might still be in play

Evan
1 year 7 months ago

Apparently the Astros and maybe the Mariners, which is why I think Choo will end up with the Rangers eventually.

Seamaholic
1 year 7 months ago

If his price goes down, loads of teams. But probably Mariners.

Dbacksfan44
1 year 7 months ago

Tigers maybe

nwh2787
1 year 7 months ago

Cubs or Rangers should go after Choo

Ryan Vooris
1 year 7 months ago

I continue to be shocked how little interest the Braves seem to have in anyone.

NL_East_Rivalry
1 year 7 months ago

Even though they could use upgrades at a lot of their positions, their salary currently matches their attendance.

bhambravesfan
1 year 7 months ago

I was hoping Johan personally, but they were looking to add a bench bat, back end pitcher, and Eric O’Flaherty. They added Mat Gamel, Gavin Floyd, who if they believe will be healthy by May, might take them out of the O’Flaherty sweepstakes. They could slide Wood to the bullpen and have 3 lefties. The Braves are hunting in the bargain basement this year.

Seamaholic
1 year 7 months ago

Me too. Guess the Upton and Uggla contracts have finally taken their tolls. That and all the young ones in need of extensions.

BobMarley22
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t really know the braves payroll but one would assume with all the players they have to resign , it will be very expensive.

Dick__Whitman
1 year 7 months ago

And what’s up with Kendrys Morales?

Evan
1 year 7 months ago

Choo – Rangers
Tanaka – Yankees
Santana – Dbacks
Garza – Angels
Burnett – Pirates
Ubaldo – Indians
Drew – Red Sox
Cruz – Mariners
Arroyo – Reds
Balfour – Orioles

Seamaholic
1 year 7 months ago

Not bad. I think the Braves, Phillies and Cubs may pop up for the pitchers … I’ll say Ubaldo to Atlanta … But otherwise I agree.

Evan
1 year 7 months ago

If they had the money to sign Ubaldo, they would have resigned Hudson. The Braves have a young core (Heyward, Freeman, Kimbrel) to lock up in the near future, and they have spent their FA money over the years in some terrible contracts(Uggla, BJ) that nobody will take. Basically, they have no money for a front-end starter. Wow I was writing this and see that you pointed out the exact same thing in your comment below.

Matt Galvin
1 year 7 months ago

Choo Rangers or Angels
Cruz Rangers or Royals
Garza Angels or Diamondbacks
Arroyo Baltimore or Blue Jays
Drew Dodgers or Mets or Red Sox
Balfour Baltimore or Dodgers or Tigers
Burnett Pirates or Yankees
Jimenez Indians or Diamondbacks
Tanaka Dodgers or Angels or Mariners
Santana Dodgers or Tigers or Riyals or so,on
David Price,Jeff S.,White Sox guys and so on also effect those guys.

MikeTroutForMayor
1 year 7 months ago

Angels have already said that they need to keep their 1st round pick. They are not in on Choo.

Dbacksfan44
1 year 7 months ago

I heard the market for Santana is down to the Tigers and Dbacks

Dbacksfan44
1 year 7 months ago

I like all those picks except Arroyo. I think the Twins sign him

Evan
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah I originally thought that too but they already signed 3 middle-to-end-of-rotation type starters this offseason so i thought they would hold back. As for the Reds, they aren’t landing Choo, so I figured they’d go back to Arroyo.

Dbacksfan44
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah if the Twins dont sign him, I expect the Reds to

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

I have a feeling people are going to look back on this class (if Tanaka is posted) and wonder how in the heck Tanaka got double Ubaldo Jimenez. I think people are expecting Darvish and I think they are going to get a 3-4 middle rotation rotation guy with around 7ish K/9 and 3ish BB/9. I’ll be the first to admit if I’m wrong but I just don’t see anything special about Tanaka, certainly not enough to gamble 80-100 million on to find out.

Evan
1 year 7 months ago

I mean there’s Dice-K, and there is Darvish. General consensus is that Tanaka is in the middle somewhere closer to the Darvish end, with less stuff but better command. To be fair though, nobody has better stuff than Darvish. Tanaka has a low-to-mid 90s fastball, a great splitter and a plus slider, which is a very good arsenal that should do fine in the big leagues. No reason to doubt him now, but yes translating international success is very difficult to predict. But from what I’ve seen, he is a better option than Garza, Ubaldo, or Santana b/c of his superior command.

Dick__Whitman
1 year 7 months ago

Anybody got any news on Kendrys Morales? I can’t believe the draft-pick compensation is having that much of a chilling effect.

Scot Forler
1 year 7 months ago

Really don’t think you see him sign until the beginning of Feb. Partly due to draft pick compensation and part because they are trying to get 15 mil + on a multi year deal.

ea19
1 year 7 months ago

15 mil/yr and for multiple years for a DH is not very intriguing for most teams…and on top of that, they have to give up a pick for him!! Really shrinks down his market

kennethlnelson
1 year 7 months ago

While the information and statement is technically correct in relation to Garza, it leaves one with the impression that there was a decision which is incorrect. Under the CBA, teams are not eligible to receive draft compensation on a player they trade for after the beginning of the season. Garza was dealt on July 22 and wasnt eligible to receive a qualifying offer.

C. McCarthy
1 year 7 months ago

Wouldn’t make much sense for the Tigers to deal Fister and then sign Santana for eve more $…

Seamaholic
1 year 7 months ago

Way WAY more money. Fister was cheap.

Will Snyder
1 year 7 months ago

This is puzzling to me, too, C., unless there’s one of two scenarios going on. Either (a) Dombrowski isn’t making progress on a contract extension with Scherzer, or (b) he wants to move Smyly back to the bullpen.

Mike1L
1 year 7 months ago

The real sticker shock is the prices on pitchers who are at or barely above average. Santana has an ERA+ of 100, Garza 108, Arroyo 104, Jimenez 112, but in three of the last five years he’s been under 100. These aren’t aces.

Alex Berzins
1 year 7 months ago

Wallet Jock’s days of throwing a slugger on First & tinkering around him are numbered…

Scot Forler
1 year 7 months ago

Mariner’s i’m sure are in on Tanaka too. They still want a #2, #3, and won’t lose that draft pick for him. Plenty of cash left in the bank as well.

David Kowalski
1 year 7 months ago

Iwakuma may be their number two regardless of Tanaka. Nonetheless, Seattle seems like a great fit for Tanaka. Not only have the mariners had success with Ichiro and Iwakuma who both played successfully in Japan. No team as done as well as the Mariners on Japanese players. that should motivate the M’s and Jack Z to be in stronly on Tanaka.

By the way, has any team gotten so much from two players whose last name starts with the letter I in such a short time period?

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

Kinda weird that the Yanks have already turned away from Ervin Santana… way to burn a bridge with no eggs in your basket. Who’s running the show over there? Randy Levine???

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 7 months ago

I hope Santana signs with the Yanks.

sincerely,
-Not a NYY Fan