2013 MLB Free Agents: Top 20 Untraded Players Potentially Available This Winter
With the MLB trade deadline over, many players who were destined to be free agents this offseason were shipped to other teams. They will still be free agents, but for now, they are a rental for a contending team.
This is not about them, but instead those that remained on their current teams, looking to make a World Series run, or simply looking to continue a great year.
The top 20 free agents who were not traded are primarily those who have remained with one team, but others have made it on the list as well. Players with 2013 options are included, so they may not be fully available on the free-agent market.
20. Cody Ross
Starting off this list is someone who the Red Sox got for a bargain, and he has paid major dividends. After being a big part of the Giants' 2010 run, Cody Ross has had a strong year with the Red Sox.
He has hit .265 with 16 home runs, and while his defense leaves some to be desired, he has a nice enough bat that he will definitely get a better deal than $3 million next year.
19. B.J. Upton
I can never figure B.J. Upton out. He can be a five-tool player at times, and other times he's just a decent hitter who strikes out too much.
Despite being a young player with some upside, he's having a bad season this year and picked a bad time to have it. He's the type of player who would have wanted to have an option, since he may not get the contract now he would have gotten even a year ago.
18. Gavin Floyd
Gavin Floyd has been very consistent since joining the White Sox. Granted, that means he has been consistently solid; he hasn't been bad, but he hasn't been great either.
A guy with an ERA around four with a .500 record is still a pitcher that can be worth something on the open market. He has a $9.5 million option, and he'd be hard pressed to get more than that with his numbers.
17. Edwin Jackson
Edwin Jackson is someone who I could see pitching much better in a long-term situation, rather than being on five teams the past five years.
As for this year, he's pitched well in Washington. A 3.57 ERA isn't amazing, but it's certainly very good, and some more playoff experience under his belt will make him an even more desirable free-agent pickup.
16. Dan Haren
The Angels have had a great one-two punch this year in Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, but Dan Haren's struggles have caused his stock to drop.
He was great in 2011, and he could use that to get a good deal. It's entirely possible that the Angels pass on his option, so he could end up being a bargain in the free-agent class due to how 2012 played out.
15. Nick Swisher
With all the elite hitters the New York Yankees have, Nick Swisher is someone who seems to fade into the background, or at least as much as one can with the Yankees.
Swisher is generally a guarantee for 20 HR and 80 RBIs, and while he's consistent, he is simply a good power hitter and doesn't go beyond that. Despite that, he will still get a nice contract in free agency, since power-hitting outfielders are always in demand.
14. Jake Peavy
Jake Peavy was a headache for most of his time on the White Sox due to injuries and performances and was far from how he performed in San Diego. This year, however, he has been great.
Being back to the great pitcher that he was, Peavy has posted a 3.04 ERA and 134 strikeouts. This has been great to see, and it helps that it's just in time for a new contract. His $22 million option isn't necessarily a guaranteed pickup for the White Sox, so it will be interesting to see what happens.
13. Lance Berkman
Lance Berkman is one of the oldest free agents on the list and will be 37 when the 2013 season starts. That doesn't mean that he's not a great talent; his contract just won't have many years on it.
He hit .301 with 31 home runs last year, and while he has missed most of this year due to injury, he has shown that he still has enough left in the tank to be an important piece for a contender.
12. James Shields
James Shields has been the team workhorse during his down years and during his best years he's been an ace. Usually it's the former, but there's nothing wrong with that.
A guy who can pitch 200 innings every year and can at least give a team an opportunity to win helps, and with Shields, at least you know what you're getting.
Shields has team options for 2013 and 2014, so it's highly unlikely the Rays let him walk.
11. Shaun Marcum
Shaun Marcum is a guy who I'm higher on than most. He's been consistently good and has never had a bad full season. The only knock on him has been injury concerns.
As long as he stays healthy, he's certainly worth giving a contract to. He's a workhorse who can provide solid effort, and given how many pitchers earlier on the list struggled this year, that alone means quite a lot.
10. David Ortiz
David Ortiz has always been a dominant DH, and age hasn't done anything to change that. He's 36 this year, yet still hits over .300 and should hit 30 home runs without difficulty.
The only reason he's not higher on this list is due to being a DH and his age. Were he a position player at his prime, he could easily be first with the numbers he puts up.
9. Kyle Lohse
Kyle Lohse had a breakout year in 2011 and looked like an ace again. The fact that he has not only done so again, but surpassed his totals this year, has made him look that much better on the free-agent market.
Lohse is 11-2 with a 2.91 ERA so far, and even though he'll be 34 when free agency begins, he should have no trouble earning a nice contract, especially with how well he's done for the Cardinals.
8. Mike Napoli
Napoli gets the edge over others who may have better stats due to catcher being such a premium position. Having a guy who can stay behind the plate while belting out home runs is quite a big deal.
Mike Napoli's in a down year, but even with that he's still on pace to hit over 20 homers, and he's always been decent enough at the plate, though he may soon need to move to first base full-time.
7. Melky Cabrera
Melky Cabrera has come a long way since a very forgettable 2010 with Atlanta. He's having an amazing year with the Giants, hitting nearly .350 and firing on all cylinders.
For that matter, he's practically what's kept the Giants in the playoff hunt on the offensive end. He'll only be 28 when he signs his deal, and if a team is confident he can play like this more often, he'll get a massive deal.
Since he's a contract year player now, like Jose Reyes last year, I can't put him higher on the list.
6. Brian McCann
Brian McCann did not pick a good year to no longer be an All-Star, since he's in a contract year. Even McCann in a slump, however, is still one of the best catchers in the game.
McCann's catching is rather good, plus he's a guarantee for 20 home runs, and usually it comes with around a .270 average as well. It's not often you can put a catcher in the middle of the lineup.
5. Michael Bourn
It's possible that I'm overrating Michael Bourn, but his great year combined with the disappointing year of many on the list means that the Braves' leadoff hitter has seen his stock soar entering free agency.
He is one of the top players to not have a 2013 option, and since he should be under 30 when he signs his big contract, he is getting hot just in time. As long as his average stays around .300 and he gets a Gold Glove, he should be a hot commodity.
4. Curtis Granderson
Curtis Granderson has emerged as the big power bat in the Yankees lineup. While he's no longer hitting for average, he had 41 HR and 119 RBIs last year and should get close to both this year.
Granderson has an eight-figure option for 2013, like many of the top free agents, and that will almost certainly be picked up by the Yankees. Until that's locked up, he's easily one of the top two outfielders on the market.
3. David Wright
David Wright's return to greatness has been such that he's elevated himself to being nearly the best hitter in the free-agent market. The third baseman is hitting .329 on the year and has been instrumental in the Mets doing as well as they have.
He will fetch a commanding price on the trade market, and if he has in fact returned to his peak levels, which it seems that he has, then this will be a free-agent battle to watch. Do the Mets have enough to keep him for the long haul, or will they make it easy and just pick up the option?
2. Robinson Cano
Like Wright, Robinson Cano's team option will almost certainly be picked up, but it remains rather surprising that he still does not have a contract with how instrumental he has been to the Yankees.
After two MVP-caliber seasons, he is hitting over .300 again and is on pace to pass the 30 HR mark with no difficulty. He will certainly get heavily rewarded, especially if the Yankees want to wrap him up long-term this offseason, which they should do.
1. Josh Hamilton
Josh Hamilton was the marquee free agent for 2013 a year ago, and with the contract given to Cole Hamels, it's quite obvious that he belongs in the top spot here.
He has 29 home runs on the year, and while his batting average has been slipping of late, he remains a team leader for the Rangers and someone they hopefully can rely on for the rest of the season.