Top 10 MLB Free Agents Still on the Market
Top 10 Free Agents Left in MLB
On October 28th, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series. This happy moment for the Giants became a sad moment for MLB fans around the world as it marked the end of another season. Cheer up baseball fans, the 2013 season is just around the corner as it is now less than 20 days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training for the 2013 season.
The off-season has given every team in the majors a chance to acquire new talent and send others packing. The big names have already come and gone. Teams chase the star players right away to try and find out how much money they have left to spend or what their true priorities will be in the off-season.
The two most aggressive teams come from the same city, Los Angeles. The Angels spent $125 million on a five year contract with slugger Josh Hamilton. After years of service with the Texas Rangers, Hamilton became one of the biggest free agents of the past five years. The Angles continued to show that they are willing to spend money in the hopes of winning another World Series. The Dodgers acquired Zack Greinke with a six year $147 million deal, that made the former Royals pitcher one of the highest paid in the league.
There are still several big name free agents available as the season comes closer to beginning. Other role players that have proven themselves are also available. This slideshow is a mix of stars and utility players that will likely find homes soon.
On March 31st, the 2013 season will kick off with a matchup between the Rangers and Astros on ESPN. The following day will feature games between the other teams. Will the players in this slideshow be playing in those games?
10. Ronny Cedeno
2012: New York Mets, $1.2 million
Cedeno remains on the free agent market, despite several teams that could use help at the shortstop position. In 2012, Cedeno played in 78 games. The Mets shorttsop hit .259/.332, which are above his career averages (.247/.290). Cedeno played in 99 games or more in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Cedeno would be a realative cheap option for a team in need of a shortstop before the season starts.
9. Daisuke Matsuzaka
2012: Boston Red Sox, $10.3 million
It's hard to believe that Daisuke "Dice K" Matsuzaka has bee in the MLB for five years. Back in 2007, the Red Sox paid $51.1 million for the bidding rights to the Japanese phenom. Matsuzaka became one of the most sought after pitchers of all time, thanks in large part to a MVP performance at the 2006 World Baseball Classic. In 2007, Matsuzaka went 15-12 with an ERA of 4.40. The next season would be the best of his career with an 18-3 record and 2.90 ERA. Since that time, Daisuke has struggled to regain his form and now finds himself without a home for the 2013 season. Matsuzaka holds a 50-37 record with an ERA of 4.52 in his MLB career.
8. Aubrey Huff
2012: San Francisco Giants, $10.0 million
A 12 year veteran in MLB, Huff is looking for a new home for 2013 after the Giants declined to pick up his option. Huff played only 52 games in 2012 and posted bad numbers (.192/.326). In his career, Huff is a .278/.342 hitter with power. Prior to the 2012 season, Huff appeared in 150 or more games in each season going back to 2007. Huff has played for five different teams and should find a sixth by the time the season starts.
7. Travis Hafner
2012: Cleveland Indians, $13.0 million
Hafner, a ten year veteran, will be looking to sign with an American League team to be the designated hitter. After spending nine years with the Indians, he will most likely find a new home. In 2012, Hafner appeared in 66 games and had 12 home runs and 34 RBIs. Harners's .228/.346 were below his career averages of .278/.381.
6. Jose Valverde
2012: Detroit Tigers, $9.0 million
Valverde was unsigned by the Tigers after a disastrous 2012 MLB Playoff campaign. After a mediocre 2012 season that saw Valverde pitch in 71 games and complete 35 saves with five blown, the Tigers closer lost his job. In the playoffs, Valverde pitched in only 2.2 innings, giving up 11 hits and nine runs to finish with an outlandish 30.38 ERA. Despite this setback, Valverde has amazing career numbers (277 saves, 35 blown) with a relative low WHIP (1.18) and ERA (3.11). There are several relief pitchers still on the market, but someone will likely bite on Papa Grande.
5. Carl Pavano
2012: Minnesota Twins, $9.0 million
Pavano recently got some bad news concerning his free agency. The 37 year old will miss six to eight weeks of training after rupturing his spleen after a fall at his home while shoveling snow. In 2012, Pavano posted a 2-5 record with an unimpressive 6.00 ERA. In his career, Pavano has pitched over 300 games and holds a 108-107 record.
4. Jim Thome
2012: Baltimore Orioles, $1.3 million
Thome is being heavily linked to the Cleveland Indians, which was the team that drafted him back in 1989. Thome spent time with Cleveland and five other teams in his long MLB career. In 2012, Thome played in 58 games, mainly as the team's DH. In his career, Thome is a .276/.402 hitter, but he possesses home run power. In fact, Thome appears seventh all time on the home runs leader list with 612. Thome would have a chance to move into sixth place if he can hit 19 in 2013.
3. Brian Wilson
2012: San Francisco Giants, $8.5 million
While Brian Wilson missed time in 2012 with an injury, Sergio Ramo quietly took over closing pitcher duties and led the Giants to a World Series Championship. Now Wilson has been deemed expendable as the team did not re-sign the famously bearded pitcher. WIlson will be coming back from Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career. Wilson has pitched in 315 career games and has a 20-20 record with 171 saves. Wilson has thrown 340 strikeouts in 320 innings pitched. Wilson sports a 1.34 WHIP and 3.21 ERA in his career. I wrote recently about how the Detroit Tigers could use a pitcher like Wilson and the New York Mets have also been linked to Wilson. I don't expect Wilson to last much longer on the free agent block.
2. Kyle Lohse
2012: St. Louis Cardinals, $12.2 million
After Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez were signed, Lohse became the best starting pitcher left in free agency. The problem is Lohse is still in the same spot as he is still waiting for the right offer to come along. Lohse went 16-3 in the 2012 season with a 1.09 WHIP and 2.86 ERA. Lohse has been impressive in his 11 year MLB career, posting an 118-109 record.
1. Michael Bourn
2012: Atlanta Braves, $6.8 million
Bourn continues to be the most sought after of the remaining free agents. Bourn led the National League in 2012 with 42 stolen bases. In fact, Bourn has posted 40 or more stolen bases in each of the last five years. Bourn played in 155 games in 2012 and posted a .274/.348 mark. Bourn is a speedy runner and this helped him score runs (96) and get extra bases (10 triples) along with his league leading steals mark. Bourn would make a nice addition for many teams and should come at a reasonable price.