Top 5 Soon-To-Be Free Agents From 2013 World Series That You Should Watch
Fall Classic: Top 5 Soon-To-Be Free Agents
The 2013 World Series is in full swing, which means the MLB off-season is just around the corner! While fans of the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals might not want the postseason to end anytime soon, the rest of baseball can't wait for the final pitch of the Fall Classic to be thrown as the "hot stove" can then start burning and players can start signing contracts with their new teams.
Moreover, this is a great scouting opportunity for those other 28 MLB teams as there are a few notable players on both of these rosters who are in the last year of their contract. For example, Jacoby Ellsbury is sure to cash a huge check this off-season as he will be a free agent as soon as the Red Sox' illustrious season comes to a close. While Ellsbury is arguably the best all-around player on the open market this winter; there are multiple players in this year's Fall Classic who would be a nice addition to any team looking to make waves in 2014.
No. 5: Edward Mujica
Edward Mujica isn't the sexiest name on this list, but he might be the most affordable. Mujica really offers some bang for your buck as the St. Louis Cardinals' reliever was successful in the closer role with 37 saves and a 2.78 ERA in the regular season. Of course, Mujica was beat out by the flame-throwing Trevor Rosenthal come playoff time, yet that's not something to hold over the veteran pitcher's head. Look for one MLB team to sign Mujica this off-season with the hopes that he can grab hold of the closer role once again.
No. 4: Mike Napoli
Mike Napoli definitely resurrected his career with the Boston Red Sox in 2013. If you can remember; Napoli signed a one-year deal with Boston this off-season after many MLB teams were hesitant to give him a long-term deal due to back injuries. However, Napoli played in 139 games and was his usual self with 20 or more home runs for the sixth straight season. MLB teams without production in the middle of the line-up are liable to see Napoli's career-high 92 RBI this year and start salivating.
No. 3: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Many called Jarrod Saltalamacchia a lost cause when he was traded by the Texas Rangers in the summer of 2010. Now, the Boston Red Sox are glad they dealt for the experienced catcher as he has done an excellent job behind the dish for John Farrell's club. Nonetheless, "Salty" could take his extravagant facial hair elsewhere as the 28-year old poured in a wonderful season in 2013 with career highs in hits, RBI and walks.
No. 2: Carlos Beltran
You better believe that Mr. October 2.0 is going to cash in this winter!
The St. Louis Cardinals gave Beltran a two-year contract in 2011, and now they are wishing he was around for another two seasons. However, Beltran is as free as a bird and has shown in the past that he's all about the money. Look for fringe teams like the Texas Rangers or Arizona Diamondbacks to possibly make a run for this clutch postseason performer as switch-hitters like Beltran are hardly a dime a dozen.
No. 1: Jacoby Ellsbury
As mentioned in the introduction; what doesn't Jacoby Ellsbury bring to the table?
The Red Sox' outfielder rebounded in 2013 after playing in just 74 games the year before. Ellsbury really turned it on this year with 52 stolen bases, a .355 on-base percentage and nearly reached a career-high in walks with 47 base-on-balls. Look for Ellsbury to really get a sweet contract this off-season as he turned 30 years old in September and has proven himself as a five-tool player over the years. A few MLB teams might take one look at Ellsbury's 32-home-run season in 2011 and hand him a blank check!