Where The Top 10 MLB Free Agents Will Land In 2013
Top 10 MLB Free Agent Destinations
With the 2012 regular season over and the first couple postseason games underway, I believe it is safe to start looking ahead at the 2013 MLB free agents. Several teams that missed out on this year’s playoffs are already looking at which player will help their team get to the next level for the right price for next season. Then there are the 10 other teams that did make the playoffs but are looking for a good addition that will help their team win the World Series next year.
It is always interesting to see where the top names in the league will land, especially when the players sign with teams no one was expecting. Not many people had Prince Fielder signing with the Detroit Tigers or Albert Pujols going to the Los Angeles Angels. In Fielder’s case, it clearly worked out as the Tigers made the playoffs but obviously, Pujols did not have the same effect on the Angels.
I fully expect some more surprises this year as there are several talented players looking to sign a big contract. I also expect several big names to sign with a different ball club then whom they played with in 2012. This will mostly have to do with the organization either not wanting to make a long-term commitment to a shaky player or simply because they do not have the money to get a deal done. The following slides are where the top 10 MLB free agents will sign in 2013.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.
#10 RHP Hiroki Kuroda: New York Yankees
The New York Yankees will re-sign Hiroki Kuroda because of his phenomenal year in 2012. Kuroda was the best starting pitcher in a talented Yankees rotation that includes C.C. Sabathia and Phil Hughes. New York will probably not sign him to a long-term deal but they will certainly be willing to offer him at least a two-year contract for a good price.
#9 CF B.J. Upton: Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers are looking for a full time center fielder that can play solid defense, carry a decent bat at the plate, and have great speed on the base path. B.J. Upton is certainly capable of all of these things, as he hit 28 home runs and stole 31 bases this season. Carlos Gomez is one of the faster players in baseball and is an outstanding defender in center, but Upton simply brings more offensively.
#8 RHP Ryan Dempster: Los Angeles Dodgers
Ryan Dempster went 7-3 in 12 starts after being traded to the Texas Rangers. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be the ones going after him in the off-season as they attempt to bolster their starting rotation. The Dodgers have a couple contract issues but something tells me they will find a way to sign Dempster.
#7 RF Nick Swisher: Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox need a solid defender with a steady bat in their lineup and Nick Swisher will be able to provide this for a decent price. Swisher will not command a big pay check and he is consistent enough to give Boston enough production during the regular season to make some noise again in the AL East.
#6 DH David Ortiz: Baltimore Orioles
The Red Sox would like nothing more than to bring David Ortiz back after he hit 23 home runs and batted .318 in 324 plate appearances. However, it appears Ortiz may not want to return to Boston and may be looking for another team that could use his powerful bat. The Baltimore Orioles could certainly be that team as they attempt to bolster their offensive production in 2013.
#5 RHP Jake Peavy: Los Angeles Dodgers
If Dempster does not go to Los Angeles, look for the Dodgers to sign Jake Peavy. The right-hander may have only posted a 11-12 record in 2012 but his 3.37 earned run average and 3.88 strikeout to walk ratio certainly speak volumes for his skill set. Peavy would be a great addition to any starting rotation but Los Angeles might be the team that entices him most as they are on the cusp of winning the NL West.
#4 RHP Kyle Lohse: St. Louis Cardinals
The last thing the St. Louis Cardinals are going to do is allow starter Kyle Lohse to walk after his outstanding 2012 season. Lohse’s 16-3 record and 2.86 ERA prove he is one of the top pitchers in the league. St. Louis cannot afford to lose a talented arm like his considering Chris Carpenter appears to be at the end of his career. The Cardinals will probably have to pay him a pretty penny to keep though because there are several other organizations interested in him.
#3 CF Michael Bourn: Atlanta Braves
Michael Bourn has been outstanding ever since he started playing for the Atlanta Braves halfway through the 2011 season. Bourn finished 2012 with a career-best nine home runs and 57 RBIs while batting .274. His speed is unmatched as he has stolen 62 bases since joining the Braves and his veteran leadership in center field will do wonders for the team for years to come. Atlanta has the money and there is no way they are letting their leadoff man skip town.
#2 RHP Zack Greinke: Atlanta Braves
I already mentioned the Braves have plenty of money to spend this off-season, which means they will be making a legitimate offer to the top pitching free agent in 2013. Zack Greinke started off slow after being traded to the Angels but eventually found his command again and finished with a 6-2 record. Greinke has pitched over 200 innings in four of his last five seasons and has struck out over 200 batters in three of those years. Atlanta is going to do whatever it takes to win the NL East and that means pulling all the stops to get the best players possible.
#1 OF Josh Hamilton: Boston Red Sox
The No. 1 free agent in 2013 belongs to Josh Hamilton. Many people believe he will be returning to the Rangers next season, but I think his time in Arlington is done. Hamilton is going to ask for a big pay check and Texas does not seem eager to give it to him. In fact, someone inside the Rangers organization said this about re-signing him: “Not even if he wants to play here for free next season.” The Red Sox, on the other hand, recently cleared up enough cap space to sign Hamilton and then some. It would be a great fit for both teams as Hamilton could make the team a contender once again.
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