Odds of All 30 MLB Teams Re-Signing Their Top Upcoming Free Agent

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2012

Odds of All 30 MLB Teams Re-Signing Their Top Upcoming Free Agent

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    While the 2012 MLB season is just now hitting its stretch run, it is never too early to look ahead to the 2013 free-agent class.

    This year's crop of talent is not quite as deep as last year's pool that was highlighted by Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Yu Darvish, C.J. Wilson, Jimmy Rollins and Aramis Ramirez, but there are still a number of impact players who could be on the move.

    Here is a look at each team's top upcoming free agent and the odds that he stays with his current team this winter.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Player: LHP Joe Saunders

    Stats: 21 GS, 6-10, 4.22 ERA, 89 Ks, 130 IP


    Saunders was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks last offseason, but he wound up re-joining the team on a one-year, $6 million deal to fill out their rotation.

    He had a dominant first month of the season, going 2-1 with a 0.90 ERA through four starts, before moving back towards the numbers that have come to be expected from him.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 10 percent

    While Saunders has been solid and is still just 31, the left-hander could be on his way out, as top prospects Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs will vie for rotation spots next season alongside Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Trevor Cahill and Wade Miley.

Atlanta Braves

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    Player: CF Michael Bourn

    Stats: .288/.353/.422, 9 HR, 51 RBI, 83 R, 33 SB


    Acquired from the Astros at the deadline in 2011, Bourn is among the fastest players in all of baseball, and that makes him both a terrific table-setter at the plate and an elite defender in center field.

    He's set career highs in HR and RBI this season and is on his way to leading the NL in stolen bases for the fourth straight season; he'll be one of the biggest names on the market this offseason.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 60 percent

    The Braves would love to keep Bourn, as they gave up a decent amount to acquire him and don't really have a replacement ready to step in. However, he won't come cheap. The 29-year-old is in the prime of his career, and there will be plenty of teams willing to pay him top dollar.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Player: DH/1B Jim Thome

    Stats: .252/.347/.450, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 15 R


    The bulk of the Orioles' young talent is under team control for the foreseeable future, as the only players set to hit free agency are veterans Nick Johnson, Endy Chavez and Thome.

    Thome was picked up at the deadline to help provide some pop in the middle of the lineup and depth at the 1B/DH position. He's been shelved with a herniated disk in his neck, and at 41 years old, it could be the end of the line for the future Hall of Famer.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: Five percent

    At 41, Thome is no longer the middle-of-the-order presence he was in his prime, but he still has plus pop from the left side of the plate. With 611 career home runs, he has little left to accomplish aside from a World Series ring. If he comes back, expect it to be on a one-year deal off the bench for a top-tier title contender.

Boston Red Sox

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    Player: DH David Ortiz

    Stats: .316/.414/.609, 23 HR, 58 RBI, 65 R


    After a solid season in 2011, the Red Sox brought the 36-year-old Ortiz back on a one-year, $14.58 million contract this season, and he was having a fantastic season before hitting the DL with an Achilles injury.

    The health issues will raise a red flag and, at the very least, keep teams from offering Ortiz a multi-year deal. As it stands, he is still a very productive hitter and is more than capable of putting up All-Star numbers.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 75 percent

    My best guess is that the Red Sox will make a qualifying offer to Ortiz this offseason to ensure that, at the very least, they get a draft pick out of the deal. If he opts to accept that offer, it would mean a pay cut of a couple million dollars but still good money for a 37-year-old. It's hard to imagine him playing anywhere else.

Chicago Cubs

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    Player: RHP Shawn Camp

    Stats: 62 G, 3-6, 3.71 ERA, 44 Ks, 60.2 IP


    Camp currently leads all of baseball with 62 appearances, as he has given the Cubs more than they ever could have hoped when they inked him to a minor league deal this past offseason.

    The 36-year-old has averaged 55 appearances per season since breaking into the league in 2004, and he has proven to be a reliable reliever. Reliable middle relievers never have a hard time finding a job, and he has certainly boosted his stock compared to last season.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 50 percent

    While the Cubs are in full-blown rebuilding mode, it never hurts to have a workhorse veteran reliever in the 'pen to take the pressure off some of the younger guys. If he can be had for a reasonable one-year deal, don't be surprised to see the Cubs re-sign Camp.

Chicago White Sox

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    Player: C A.J. Pierzynski

    Stats: .299/.346/.548, 23 HR, 69 RBI, 55 R


    An argument can be made that Francisco Liriano is the White Sox's top free agent, but the chances that he is brought back are slim, and the situation surrounding the long-tenured Pierzynski is much more compelling.

    It's not every day that a 35-year-old catcher has a career year offensively, but that is exactly what Pierzynski has done this season, as he has already set a new best for HR and should smash his previous highs in RBI and OPS.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 75 percent

    The White Sox will have to proceed with caution here. As impressive as his numbers this season have been, there will be a sharp drop-off in the not-too-distant future.

    Last time around, he got a two-year, $8 million extension, and if the White Sox can bring him back on another two-year deal with a slight raise to $10 million-$12 million, it would be a good move for both sides.

Cincinnati Reds

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    Player: RHP Jonathan Broxton

    Stats: 42 G, 23 Sv, 3.02 ERA, 28 Ks, 41.2 IP


    Signed to a one-year, $4 million deal by the Royals this offseason to set up Joakim Soria, injuries forced Broxton into the closer's role, and he converted 23 of 27 save chances with a 2.27 ERA before being dealt to the Reds at the deadline.

    Now in a setup role, he's struggled to a 7.50 ERA in seven appearances with Cincinnati, but regardless of what he does the rest of the season, his performance in Kansas City should be enough to draw decent interest on the free-agent market.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 10 percent

    Broxton has not pitched particularly well since coming to the Reds, and with Sean Marshall, Jose Arredondo and Aroldis Chapman coming back next season, among others, they don't have any real need to bring him back.

Cleveland Indians

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    Player: CF Grady Sizemore 

    Stats: Injured, has not played


    The Indians declined their $9 million option on Sizemore this past offseason, but they brought him back on a one-year, $5 million deal that included incentives that could allow him to reach the full $9 million.

    He then promptly injured his back, underwent back surgery and was out for the season before he ever even played a spring training game.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 25 percent

    Sizemore has been a massive disappointment since 2009, as injuries have derailed his once superstar career. The Indians could give it another try this coming season, bringing him back on another incentive-laden deal, but at the end of the day, it may be time for the two sides to part ways.

Colorado Rockies

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    Player: LHP Jonathan Sanchez

    Stats: 15 GS, 1-9, 8.07 ERA, 45 Ks, 64.2 IP


    The Rockies dealt Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom to the Orioles for Jeremy Guthrie this offseason, but when that didn't work out, they moved Guthrie to the Royals for Jonathan Sanchez in a swap of under-performing veteran starters.

    The 29-year-old Sanchez showed flashes of brilliance during his time with the Giants, but he's struggled mightily in a contract year and could very well have to settle for a minor league deal this offseason.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: Five percent

    Sanchez will need to latch on with someone looking to add starting-pitching depth this offseason, and a major league deal seems like a long shot at this point. My best guess is the Giants bring him back on a minor league deal and stash him in Triple-A.

Detroit Tigers

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    Player: DH/RF Delmon Young

    Stats: .268/.301/.405, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 41 R


    Young gave the Tigers a spark at the deadline last year, hitting .274 BA, 8 HR, 32 RBI over 40 games and then launching five home runs in the postseason.

    He earns $6.75 million this season in what is his final year of arbitration, but his numbers are weak across the board, and he has gotten into trouble off the field as well.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: Five percent

    With Victor Martinez set to return and reclaim the DH role, there is nowhere for Young in the Tigers lineup in 2013. He's productive enough and still has enough upside at the age of 26 that someone will likely be willing to give him a shot as an everyday player. It just likely won't be the Tigers.

Houston Astros

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    Player: RHP Francisco Cordero

    Stats: 47 G, 3-8, 7.55 ERA, 31 Ks, 39.1 IP


    Cordero was taken on in the deal that sent J.A. Happ and Brandon Lyon to the Blue Jays at the deadline, and he's pitched just six games and allowed 11 earned runs in five innings of work since joining Houston.

    The 37-year-old is just one year removed from a 37-save season with the Reds, but it looks like his days of serving in the ninth-inning role are behind him.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: Zero

    The Astros are in a full-on rebuild, and they have moved any and all veteran pieces they have in the past couple years. Cordero does not factor into their current plans, let alone their future plans, and there's no chance he'll be back in Houston.

Kansas City Royals

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    Player: RHP Jeremy Guthrie

    Stats: 25 G, 21 GS, 5-12, 5.41 ERA, 76 Ks, 129.2 IP


    The Rockies dealt for Guthrie this offseason in hopes of adding a veteran presence to their lineup, but he struggled mightily and posted a 6.35 ERA in 19 appearances (15 starts) with Colorado.

    He was dealt to the Royals at the deadline for Jonathan Sanchez, and he's been a different pitcher in Kansas City with a 2-3 record and 3.23 ERA with four straight quality starts.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 30 percent

    The Royals rotation needs a complete overhaul, but if Guthrie continues to pitch well down the stretch and the team can bring him back for cheap, it may opt to do so. He'll be an interesting case this offseason, as it is tough to gauge how much interest he'll draw.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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    Player: RHP Zack Greinke

    Stats: 26 GS, 10-5, 4.01 ERA, 150 Ks, 155 IP


    The prize of the trade deadline, the Angels gave up three of their top 10 prospects, including shortstop Jean Segura, to acquire Zack Greinke from the Brewers.

    He was every bit the ace in Milwaukee, going 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA, but he has struggled mightily in five starts with the Angels, posting a 1-2 record and 6.19 ERA.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 25 percent

    The Angels gave up a good deal to get Greinke for their stretch run, but they have fallen off in the past few weeks.

    Much like the Giants last season, who gave up top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran, the Angels stand to lose big on this deal if they fail to make the postseason and are unable to re-sign him. After spending so much last offseason, they may not be able to shell out another $100 million contract for Greinke.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Player: LF Shane Victorino

    Stats: .259/.320/.393, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 58 R, 29 SB


    Among the Dodgers' many pickups at the deadline, Victorino has struggled thus far in Los Angeles with a .247 BA, 1 HR, 7 RBI line through 19 games.

    The 31-year-old has been one of the game's most complete offensive players over the past few seasons, providing a little bit of everything for the Phillies.

    His most recent deal was a three-year, $22 million extension, and he could get something in the neighborhood of the three-year, $21 million deal and three-year, $29 million contract that Josh Willingham and Edwin Encarnacion, respectively, have gotten of late.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 40 percent

    Victorino has indicated that he would like to stay with the Dodgers (h/t Mark Saxon of ESPN), and the team has no real internal option to take over in left field moving forward. The Dodgers may make a run at Josh Hamilton, but Victorino will certainly factor in as a potential backup plan in that scenario.

Miami Marlins

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    Player: 1B Carlos Lee

    Stats: .287/.354/.395, 7 HR, 59 RBI, 42 R


    The Marlins picked up Carlos Lee from the Astros in early July when the club was still in contention, but when the club fell out of things, they were left with a veteran they didn't really need.

    He's played well enough in Miami, hitting .287/.382/.367, 2 HR, 30 RBI in 43 games, and while his power is not what it once was, he is still a solid run-producer.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: Zero

    The Marlins have no need for a 36-year-old with waning offensive skills, as he is best suited as a platoon DH or pinch-hitter off the bench now. It's safe to say his next contract won't be worth $18.5 million annually, but he should catch on with someone.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Player: RHP Shaun Marcum

    Stats: 13 GS, 5-3, 3.39 ERA, 77 Ks, 82.1 IP


    The Brewers paid a steep price to acquire Shaun Marcum from the Brewers prior to the 2011 season, moving third baseman Brett Lawrie in the deal.

    He justified that deal with a 13-7 record, 3.54 ERA and 158 Ks last year, and he pitched well this season before being shelved with elbow tightness. He hasn't pitched since mid-June, but he is expected back this coming weekend and could boost his stock with a strong final month.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 40 percent

    For the simple fact that they gave up a budding star in Lawrie to acquire him, the Brewers could look to bring Marcum back on an extension. If they can get him for something in the neighborhood of four years and $48 million, they could very well bring him back.

Minnesota Twins

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    Player: SP Carl Pavano

    Stats: 11 GS, 2-5, 6.00 ERA, 33 Ks, 63 IP


    The Twins' third-highest paid player this season after Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, Pavano joined the Twins at the deadline back in 2009 and has gotten progressively worse during his time with the team.

    After pitching well enough down the stretch in '09, the Twins brought him back on a one-year, $7 million deal, and he went 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA while leading the AL with seven complete games and two shutouts. That got him a two-year, $16.5 million contract, and after he was passable last season, he was absolutely horrible this year before a shoulder injury ended his season in June.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: Five percent

    The 36-year-old Pavano will likely have to earn his way onto a big league roster on a minor league deal this coming season. That said, I guess the pitching-strapped Twins have as good a shot as anyone at offering up such a deal, so there is a chance he returns to Minnesota.

New York Mets

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    Player: LF Scott Hairston

    Stats: .277/.317/.524, 14 HR, 44 RBI, 41 R


    Hairston was brought in on a one-year, $1.1 million contract this offseason to serve as a platoon outfielder and pinch-hitter, but he's wound up seeing extended playing time with 271 at-bats on the season.

    He continues to rank as one of the best platoon players in the game with a .326 BA, 9 HR, 26 RBI line and .976 OPS against left-handed pitching on the season.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 60 percent

    The Mets have no reason not to bring back Hairston after what he has done this season, and the 32-year-old would certainly help bridge the gap to some of the team's young outfielders. It will be interesting to see if someone is willing to give him everyday at-bats, but if not, there's a good chance he ends up back with the Mets.

New York Yankees

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    Player: RF Nick Swisher

    Stats: .270/.355/.480, 18 HR, 69 RBI, 57 R


    The Yankees mulled over whether or not to pick up their $12 million option on Swisher for 2012, and it appears they made the right decision, as Swisher has put up solid numbers across the board once again this season.

    Overall, he's been a great pickup for the Yankees with a .267 BA, 99 HR, 325 RBI line over four seasons with the team and 8.7 WAR over that span.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 20 percent

    According to a recent article from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Swisher could seek something in the neighborhood of the seven-year, $126 million contract that Jayson Werth received from the Nationals.

    A comparison of the two players shows some striking similarities, and while it may seem absurd, he will no doubt use that as leverage in contract talks. If he settles for something like the four-year, $60 million deal that was suggested in the article, there is a chance he could return to New York, but at this point, it seems like he'll play elsewhere in 2013.

Oakland Athletics

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    Player: RHP Brandon McCarthy

    Stats: 15 GS, 6-5, 3.16 ERA, 62 Ks, 94 IP


    McCarthy has shown flashes of being a staff ace throughout his career, but he's been hampered by injuries time and again with this season being no different.

    He's gone 15-14 with a 3.26 ERA in 40 starts over the past two seasons, and while he comes with some obvious red flags, he remains an ace-caliber starter when healthy.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 40 percent

    McCarthy may be the single biggest wild card of the upcoming free-agent class, and if he can manage to stay healthy and pitch well down the stretch, it would certainly help boost his value.

    The A's are never ones to spend money, so they likely won't engage in a bidding war with anyone over his services, but if the injury concerns push his asking price low enough, they'd no doubt welcome the idea of bringing him back.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Player: LF Juan Pierre

    Stats: .304/.342/.370, 1 HR, 22 RBI, 44 R, 31 SB


    After making $8.5 million in 2011, Pierre had to settle for a minor league contract from the Phillies this past offseason, and he'll earn just $800,000 this year.

    He's hit well in a limited role this year, and there is always a market for a high-average steal threat, even if it is in a somewhat limited role.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 20 percent

    The way he has played this year, Pierre should be able to find someone willing to give him a major league deal if nothing else. The Phillies appear to be headed for a rebuild, but they could still look to bring Pierre back if they can get him on a one-year deal.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Player: LHP Erik Bedard

    Stats: 23 GS, 7-13, 4.76 ERA, 115 Ks, 121 IP


    The Pirates added Bedard on a one-year, $4.5 million deal this offseason to add a veteran presence to their young rotation, and while he has pitched well at times, he currently leads the NL with 13 losses.

    Injuries have been an issue throughout his career, but he has always put up good strikeout numbers and brings a veteran left-handed presence to any staff.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 20 percent

    The Pirates have both Bedard and Kevin Correia hitting the free-agent market this coming offseason, and they will need to decide how to fill out their rotation. With a good core of young pitchers working their way through the minors, my guess is they let them both walk.

San Diego Padres

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    Player: SP Jason Marquis

    Stats: 22 GS, 8-11, 5.22 ERA, 91 Ks, 127.2 IP


    Marquis joined the Twins this offseason on a one-year, $3 million contract, and he contributed greatly to their league-worst pitching staff during his time with the team, as he went 2-4 with an 8.47 ERA over seven starts.

    That earned him his release, and he's been a different pitcher since joining the Padres with a 6-7 record and a 4.04 ERA over 15 starts.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 10 percent

    The Padres already extended their top free agents in Huston Street and Carlos Quentin and even brought Mark Kotsay back on a one-year deal. However, don't expect them to bring back the 34-year-old Marquis, as the team is working to rebuild.

San Francisco Giants

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    Player: LF Melky Cabrera

    Stats: .346/.390/.516, 11 HR, 60 RBI, 84 R, 13 SB


    Cabrera was in the midst of a breakout year and headed for a massive contract this offseason when he tested positive for PEDs and was suspended for the remainder of the season.

    His suspension casts doubt over the legitimacy of his breakout season and will in fact carry over into the first week of next year.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 25 percent

    Despite the fallout from his suspension, there will likely still be plenty of interest in Cabrera on the open market this offseason. Chances are it will be on a one-year deal as he attempts to show he is capable of putting up those numbers again.

Seattle Mariners

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    Player: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma

    Stats: 23 G, 9 GS, 4-3, 2 Sv, 69 Ks, 84 IP


    Prior to the 2011 season, the A's offered up a $19.1 million posting fee for the right to negotiate with Iwakuma, but when they were unable to reach an agreement, he became a free agent prior to this season and needed no posting fee.

    The Mariners gave him a one-year, $1.5 million contract, and he's served in a variety of roles for the team, from starter to closer and everything in between. He's gone 3-2 with a 3.02 ERA in nine starts on the season, and that could be enough to generate some interest.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 25 percent

    The Mariners have a number of young pitching prospects on their way to the majors, and they could look to open up the rotation this offseason by letting Iwakuma and Kevin Millwood walk and looking to deal Jason Vargas. Then again, if they can get him for a couple million per year, they may jump at the chance.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Player: RHP Kyle Lohse

    Stats: 26 GS, 13-2, 2.61 ERA, 104 Ks, 169 IP


    With Chris Carpenter lost before the season began, Kyle Lohse stepped into the role of staff ace and earned the Opening Day nod.

    He's been nothing short of phenomenal in a contract year, as he's fourth in wins and third in ERA in the National League and has certainly looked the part of a staff ace this year.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 75 percent

    In the final year of a four-year, $41 million contract and earning $11.875 million this season, Lohse has thrived in a contract year and set himself up for a nice payday. The Cardinals no doubt have interest bringing him back, and something like a three-year, $40 million deal could be the asking price to keep him around.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Player: CF B.J. Upton

    Stats: .247/.303/.412, 15 HR, 54 RBI, 54 R, 24 SB


    Upton has never managed to live up to the potential he showed with a .300 BA, 24 HR, 82 RBI season at the age of 22, as he has hit just .248 since that season and put up average numbers at best across the board.

    Still only 28, he has enticing tools and should draw plenty of interest on the free-agent market even with a relatively unimpressive .247/.303/.412 line on the year.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 20 percent

    The Rays and Upton have appeared destined to part ways for some time now, and odds are that he will be playing elsewhere in 2013. However, the Rays have a shortage of offensive firepower, and if they can bring him back for a reasonable price, they may at least consider it.

Texas Rangers

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    Player: LF Josh Hamilton

    Stats: .285/.351/.576, 34 HR, 102 RBI, 80 R


    Hamilton was arguably the best player in the game during the first half, as he hit .308 BA, 27 HR, 75 RBI before the All-Star break, including a .344 BA, 12 HR, 32 RBI month of May.

    While he's slumped in the second half, he is back on track of late and remains one of the most feared sluggers in all of baseball.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 70 percent

    The Rangers would no doubt love to keep Hamilton at the center of their high-powered offense, but it is not a sure thing that he will stay put. He is a sure bet to miss time at some point during the season, yet he will no doubt be looking for a long-term deal in excess of $100 million.

Toronto Blue Jays

29 of 30

    Player: 2B Kelly Johnson

    Stats: .227/.313/.373, 14 HR, 46 RBI, 52 R, 10 SB


    While his .227 average isn't great, second base is as thin a position as there is in the majors right now, and Johnson does deliver plus power at the position.

    He's still just two years removed from a .284 BA, 26 HR, 71 RBI season, and at 30 years old, he is capable of putting up a few more highly productive seasons.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 50 percent

    Johnson signed on a one-year, $6.38 million contract this past offseason after joining the Blue Jays in a midseason trade with the Diamondbacks for Aaron Hill back in 2011.

    The Blue Jays could opt to move shortstop prospect Adeiny Hechavarria or Yunel Escobar to second base and let Johnson walk, or they could push to re-up with him on a similar one-year deal.

Washington Nationals

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    Player: RHP Edwin Jackson

    Stats: 23 GS, 7-8, 3.69 ERA, 121 Ks, 144 IP


    Jackson joined the Nationals this offseason on a one-year, $11 million deal, and in the process, he joined his seventh team in 10 years.

    He's always been a solid pitcher but has never quite reached ace status, though at 28 years old, he's still a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter capable of perhaps being a little more.

    Odds He Is Re-Signed: 60 percent

    Jackson dropped uber-agent Scott Boras earlier this summer (h/t Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports) and has recently indicated that he would like to return to the Nationals on a multi-year deal (h/t R.J. White of CBS Sports). Whether they are willing to give him one remains to be seen, but if they can limit it to two or three years, they have no reason not to.