Once free agency begins in MLB, someone has to sign first.
The top players available will likely sit back and wait for the best offer as suitors fight it out in a bidding war. But for those who know exactly what they want to do and find a willing partner early in the process, there's no sense in waiting. Get that contract and go on with the rest of your offseason.
Those players who employ Scott Boras as their agent will almost certainly wait longer, even after baseball's winter meetings, to get the offer they want. So free agents like Michael Bourn and Rafael Soriano (who's expected to opt out of his contract with the New York Yankees) won't sign with a team immediately.
However, that leaves an open pool for the rest of the 2013 free-agency class to jump into. Some of them won't wait, as they'll receive offers very soon after the bidding can officially begin and won't see a need to shop around for anything better.
Here are seven significant free agents who could sign with their current teams or new clubs quickly after the open market bidding begins.