Despite the fact that we're now into February, ten of MLBTR's Top 50 free agents remain free agents, as they've yet to find a contract that meets their desires this offseason. The market includes three of the market's top bats and seven pitchers -- six starters and one closer coming off a pair of elite seasons.
Ervin Santana, A.J. Burnett, Ubaldo Jimenez, Stephen Drew, Nelson Cruz, Kendrys Morales, Bronson Arroyo, Fernando Rodney, Suk-Min Yoon and Paul Maholm have yet to sign contracts. Of the group, it's interesting to note that three of the seven are Scott Boras clients -- Drew, Morales and Yoon -- and Boras is no stranger to signing large deals late in the offseason.
There are currently more obvious fits for most of the free agent pitchers than there are the hitters; few teams are in desperate need of a starting shortstop, and the teams that could use additional power in their lineup aren't high on the defensive limitations of Cruz and Morales. Also of note is that five of remaining Top 50 -- Santana, Jimenez, Drew, Cruz and Morales -- rejected qualifying offers and would therefore require forfeiture a draft pick in order to sign.
Free agent deals can materialize very quickly at this juncture of the offseason, as we saw last week in deals for Top 50 free agents such as Matt Garza and Jason Hammel. Cruz and Rodney have both been connected to the Mariners as of late, while Drew has been connected to both the Mets and Red Sox for much of the offseason. Santana, Jimenez, Arroyo and Burnett have been linked to numerous teams, particularly since Burnett announced that he may pitch for a team other than Pittsburgh in 2014. Yoon held a workout seen by the Giants and Orioles recently and has also been connected to the Twins and Red Sox. Maholm has been linked to the Rangers (following Derek Holland's injury) and Angels in recent weeks. While each has seen his fair share of rumors (some more than others), each is without a job as many teams' pitchers and catchers are preparing to report to Spring Training.