Early Look at MLB's Free Agents in 2010

Hayato UwaiCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2009

It's bit early to see next year's free agents, since 2009 season hasn't even started yet, but there's some big names out there for 2010.

Here are some of them:

Victor Martinez
Brian Roberts
Miguel Tejada
Chipper Jones
Jason Bay
Carl Crawford
Matt Holiday
Vladimir Guerrerro
Josh Beckett
Erik Bedard
Justin Duchscherer
Rich Harden
John Lackey
Cliff Lee
Brett Myers
Brandon Webb
J.J. Putz
Jose Valverde
Kevin Gregg
Hideki Okajima

Obviously, it is pitcher's market. Many team's aces are becoming FA next season, and expected to get big contract, if they were to sign with other teams. So why not team spend less right now, and pay big in 2010 and get good starters or closer?

This year, the Yankees took two top starters in the market. Now in 2010, other teams has chance to revenge(?) them (unless the Yankees take them as well).

Also, Victor Martinez is becoming FA. I don't think the Indians would re-sign him because they have Kelly Shoppach and prospect Carlos Santana. So Martinez will be free and many teams would try to sign him, like the Yankees since Jorge Posada is on a decline.

The Cubs have been looking to acquire Brian Roberts since last season. Maybe the Cubs pay big money to him, if he becomes free. But first, the Orioles would look to trade him.

Matt Holliday would leave Oakland, because pretty sure GM Billy Beane don't want to give big contract to Holiday. Since Holiday will most likely become Type A free agent, the A's can get first round pick in the draft as well if Holiday goes to the team, which has unprotected first round pick.

If Holliday derby happens, then Jason Bay might be a bargain. Some teams would go after Bay since he will be cheaper than Holliday most likely. But the Red Sox may keep him to long term though.

Another left field option is Carl Crawford. He probably is the fastest player in the MLB and I'd expect the Rays to re-sign him. But if the re-signing process doesn't go well enough, the Rays would try to trade him for young outfielder. If that fails as well, then Crawford will go somewhere.

I expect Brandon Webb, Cliff Lee, John Lackey, and possibly Rich Harden to re-sign with their team. Webb is the ace of the D-backs, and even they have Dan Haren, I don't think the D-backs would part away from Webb. Lee had career year last year, and the Indians would expect a lot out of him through out his career from now on. But if he struggles next season, the Indians may let him go.

Lackey is also the ace of the Angels. The Angels have strong rotation, but Lackey is very consistent pitcher and it's hard to let pitcher like Lackey to go.

Harden was acquired by the Cubs during last season from Oakland, and pitched fine for the Cubs. If Harden can stay healthy, I'd expect the Cubs to re-sign him since he is still young and expect a lot out of him. He is very consistent, but his health has been an issue through out  his career though.

For Erik Bedard, and Josh Beckett, I'd expect them to become free agents, unless they have amazing 2009 season. Bedard got hurt in April last season and went on to DL twice that season.

I doubt that the Mariners would want to keep him on the roster. But the Mariners may look to trade him at the deadline. For Beckett, he also got hurt during the spring training and never pitched like when he won 20 games in 2007.

The Red Sox already have strong rotation, and would not be a problem to let Beckett go and use young starter like Clay Buchholz to replace him.

The 2009 offseason is very interesting to watch. Maybe we might see some trades happening during season, so that the teams wouldn't let their player go for free.