On New Year’s Eve, seven of MLBTR’s Top 50 free agents watched the ball drop without knowing where they would be playing in 2013. Since then, Adam LaRoche (No. 15, Nationals), Rafael Soriano (No. 17, Nationals), and Shaun Marcum (No. 19, Mets) have all signed, leaving four still out there on the open market.
Michael Bourn (No. 3) is the top remaining free agent and his situation isn’t a whole lot clearer than it was a month ago. The center fielder is tied to draft pick compensation and teams aren’t wild about giving up their first round choice for the right to give Bourn a lucrative deal. The Mets could appeal to MLB to argue that they shouldn’t have to sacrifice their No. 11 pick, but one has to wonder if the cost-conscious club is ready to spend that much anyway. The Mariners have also been linked to the outfielder but we haven’t seen a ton of movement on that front lately.
Kyle Lohse (No. 10) has also seen his stock fall thanks to the issue of draft pick compensation. No one seems willing to go beyond two years for Lohse, despite his exceptionally strong work across the last two seasons. The O’s will be in if the veteran’s price drops significantly and the Brewers won’t rule it out, but the Angels aren’t expected to chase him and the Cardinals continue to say that a reunion is very unlikely.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun heard earlier this week that Joe Saunders (No. 25) was offered a two-year, $15MM deal from a club, though those sources aren’t directly in on the talks. If the offer is legitimate, however, it isn’t from the Orioles, who are only interested in a one-year deal with an option for year two. The Twins are also keen on a one-year pact and the Mariners are also known to be interested.
Jose Valverde (No. 44) likely saw his market pick up after fellow Scott Boras client Soriano signed with the Nationals. Early on, the Tigers decided that they wouldn’t have him back and things were quiet for the 34-year-old for quite some time. This week, however, we learned that the Mets are pursuing Valverde.