MLB Free Agent Talk: Where Big-Name Available Players Will End Up

Jared FeldmanContributor IIIApril 3, 2012

MLB Free Agent Talk: Where Big-Name Available Players Will End Up

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    Opening Day is nearly here, a happy time for players and fans alike.

    Well, for most players at least.

    For those without a job, Opening Day can be a bit depressing.

    There are a number of former greats who are still looking for a job, and despite their potential value, they are yet to actually get an offer.

    That might change as the season goes along, but for now, here are some of the most compelling free agents still available.

Vladimir Guerrero

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    There might be a little bit of life still in Guerrero's legs.

    He was serviceable as a member of the Orioles in 2011, but hasn't yet received a contract offer.

    He probably won't get a shot as a starter, but could DH occasionally for an AL team or be a pinch-hitter in the NL.

    I expect a potentially playoff-bound team like the Braves, Phillies or Rays to take a flier on the former slugger.

Johnny Damon

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    Most teams are certainly opting for the youth movement this year.

    As a result, former greats like Johnny Damon are still looking for work.

    Damon could still help a team, but considering his declining skill set, it's tough to expect him to command a wide market.

    A team beset by injuries early in the year could be the best spot for Damon.

Roy Oswalt

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    Roy Oswalt has the most to offer a potential team of any of the remaining aged players yet to sign.

    Last year for the Phillies, Oswalt was a competent starter when he was on the mound. He is currently enjoying his retirement, though the right deal might sway him from his slumber.

    With the new ownership taking over, the Dodgers might be convinced to make a run at him if Oswalt remains unsigned after April.

Magglio Ordonez

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    Magglio Ordonez entertained offers from a few teams in the offseason, but didn't find any takers.

    Despite a Detroit Free-Press report he is strongly leaning toward retirement, I still think he will play somewhere this year.

    Once roster shakeouts are complete, some AL team will find room for Ordonez. Perhaps the Royals will want a bit more of a veteran presence as they make a playoff run. 

Derrek Lee

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    Derrek Lee is the player I am most surprised to find without a job. The veteran first baseman is significantly younger than many of the other players on this list.

    The Pirates' ill-fated deadline deals last year banished Lee to Pittsburgh with little hope of his retention.

    The Giants are a team without any bench depth whose offense will be tested early on. Lee could be an excellent fill-in for their meager bench.

Jorge Soler

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    Here's one of the other side of the spectrum.

    Jorge Soler is a young and talented but very raw prospect.

    Many teams have been hesitant to sign Cuban unknowns, but after the A's' signing of Yoenis Cespedes, it seems the cards should fall sooner than later.

    While the new Dodgers ownership needs to technically wait for the free agent class of 2012, they could start their regime with a potentially blockbuster international signing.

J.D. Drew

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    J.D. Drew was always maligned as a member of the Red Sox.

    It was undeservingly so, as Drew did all he could. He just wasn't quite good enough.

    He's shown flashes of brilliance over his career, but never over an entire season.

    Unless he opts to go to AAA to prove himself major league ready, I don't see Drew getting any contract offers.

Hideki Matsui

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    Godzilla no longer has a home in America.

    After a subpar season in Oakland last year, new people expected him to re-sign with the A's, given their popularity boost in Japan.

    Matsui is still an international hero, but his American career is over.

    It is best if Hideki returns to Japan and plays once again in the NPL.

Ivan Rodriguez

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    Teams always need quality veteran catchers.

    Ivan Rodriguez is the finest catcher of the past 20 years, and it is frankly astonishing that he doesn't have any jobs.

    Though most teams have opted for youth, it would behoove a number of teams to take a look at Rodriguez before the month of April is concluded.

    Not sure where he'll go, but he will get a job sooner rather than later.

Brandon Webb

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    The former Cy Young winner has battled injuries for the past four years, and hasn't been able to fully recover.

    An optimistic Rangers team took a flier on him last year and wasn't rewarded for its patience.

    Webb, if he could get healthy, could be a contributing member to a rotation.

    A team like the Oakland Athletics, who love reclamation projects, might be encouraged to offer him the minimum in return for potentially anything he could provide.