2013 MLB Free Agent Tracker: Rumors and Destinations for Top 100 Free Agents
MLB free agency is now under way, and teams have already begun to sign players who feel that they will help bring a World Series title home in 2013.
Plenty of these players will sign monster contracts that will keep them in town for the next five, six or seven years. Others will sign one-year deals and may not even make it onto an Opening Day roster. We don’t know all of the details yet, but we will soon enough.
Welcome to your one-stop shop for all things free agency. We have the top 100 free agents this offseason with full breakdowns on where they stand, which teams are interested and all of the latest rumors surrounding each player.
Check back throughout the remainder of the offseason for updates on what’s going on with each of the top 100 free agents.
No. 1: Josh Hamilton, Outfielder
Status: Signed—Los Angeles Angels (5 years, $125 million)
Position Rank: No. 1 OF
2012 Stats: 43 HR, 128 RBI, .285 AVG, .930 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Josh Hamilton is the No. 1 overall player on this list for good reason. He is a top-five hitter and a potential MVP candidate each year. He has been consistent in every aspect over the last three years, and although he will cost a lot of money, he could turn a team into a World Series contender.
Update: The Angels have shocked the baseball world by signing Hamilton to a five-year deal worth $125 million, according to ESPN Dallas.
No. 2: Zack Greinke, Starting Pitcher
Status: Signed—Los Angeles Dodgers (6 years, $147 million)
Position Rank: No. 1 SP
2012 Stats: 15-5, 3.48 ERA, 212.1 IP, 200 K
Why He's a Good Target: Zack Greinke is the top pitcher on the free-agent market after posting another solid season. He had his struggles with the Kansas City Royals, despite winning a Cy Young, but since then has pitched well with the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels. He has electric offerings that continue to keep hitters off-balance.
Update: The Dodgers have signed Greinke to a six-year deal worth $147 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
No. 3: Michael Bourn, Outfielder
Position Rank: No. 2 OF
2012 Stats: 9 HR, 57 RBI, .274 AVG, .739 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Michael Bourn is one of the top defenders on the open market this offseason and brings a ton of speed with him. He stole 42 bases in 2012 and has stolen as many as 61 in a season, a feat he accomplished in both 2009 and 2011. The prototypical leadoff hitter, Bourn is one of the most well-rounded free agents in this class.
Top Suitors: Phillies, Cubs, Mariners, Yankees
Rumors Update: Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reports that some believe the Yankees have interest in Bourn.
The Phillies have their eyes on Bourn, but their primary target is B.J. Upton, according to Jim Salisbury of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Upton, however, has been signed by the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs have had conversations with agent Scott Boras about Bourn, according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. The Mariners also have interest in the speedy outfielder, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
No. 4: B.J. Upton, Outfielder
Status: Signed—Atlanta Braves (5 years, $75.25 million)
Position Rank: No. 3 OF
2012 Stats: 28 HR, 78 RBI, .246 AVG, .752 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: B.J. Upton had a breakout year in 2012 in regards to power, setting a new career high with 28 home runs. He still brings above-average speed to the table and can hit in any of the first three spots in the lineup. He has been very consistent in regards to scoring runs, scoring at least 79 in each of the last six years.
Update: The Braves have signed Upton to a five-year deal worth $75.25 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
No. 5: Hiroki Kuroda, Starting Pitcher
Status: Signed—New York Yankees (1 year, $15 million)
Position Rank: No. 2 SP
2012 Stats: 16-11, 3.32 ERA, 219.2 IP, 167 K
Why He's a Good Target: Kuroda came over to the Yankees after four seasons with the Dodgers, and it turned out to be a brilliant deal. New York gave him $10 million for his one season of service and he ended up being their top pitcher in 2012. His ERA rose compared to his 2011 campaign, but he set career highs in strikeouts and innings pitched while pitching in one of the toughest divisions in baseball.
Update: ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Yankees are bringing back Kuroda on a one-year deal worth $15 million plus incentives.
No. 6: David Ortiz, Designated Hitter
Status: Signed—Boston Red Sox (2 years, $26 million)
Position Rank: No. 1 DH
2012 Stats: 23 HR, 60 RBI, .318 AVG, 1.026 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Although Ortiz is one of the older players in the league, he is still the most dominant designated hitter in baseball. Injuries plagued his 2012 campaign, but he still has hit at least 20 home runs each season for the past 11 years. He's been the heart and soul of the Red Sox lineup since coming over from the Twins in 2003.
Update: The Red Sox signed Ortiz to a two-year deal worth $26 million; he will earn $14 million in 2013 and $11 million in 2014 with a $1 million signing bonus, according to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston.
No. 7: Kyle Lohse, Starting Pitcher
Position Rank: No. 3 SP
2012 Stats: 16-3, 2.86 ERA, 211 IP, 143 K
Why He's a Good Target: Kyle Lohse had a career year with the Cardinals in 2012, setting career bests in wins, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts. He led the National League in winning percentage and games started. Lohse also pitched well for St. Louis in the first two rounds of the 2012 postseason.
Top Suitors: Cardinals, Blue Jays, Brewers, Royals, Red Sox, Angels
Rumors Update: The Red Sox are interested in bolstering their rotation with Lohse, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.The Cardinals have already made a qualifying offer to Lohse, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
Lohse will be one of the pitching targets that the Blue Jays will have interest in signing, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. The Angels have their eyes on Lohse, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
No. 8: Dan Haren, Starting Pitcher
Status: Signed—Washington Nationals (1 year, $13 million)
Position Rank: No. 4 SP
2012 Stats: 12-13, 4.33 ERA, 176.2 IP, 142 K
Why He's a Good Target: Haren didn't have the season that he or the Angels expected in 2012 after pitching rather well in his first full season in Los Angeles in 2011. Haren still has a lot of gas left in the tank, though, and will help bolster a rotation lacking right-handed depth. Haren will fit into a staff that needs a No. 2 or No. 3 option.
Update: The Nationals have agreed to a one-year deal with Daren that will pay him $13 million, pending a physical, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
No. 9: Jake Peavy, Starting Pitcher
Status: Signed—Chicago White Sox (2 years, $29 million with 2015 option)
Position Rank: No. 5 SP
2012 Stats: 11-12, 3.37 ERA, 219 IP, 194 K
Why He's a Good Target: Wins don't always reflect the way that a pitcher performs over the course of a season, and that was certainly the case for Peavy's 2012 campaign. He won just 11 games but had his best ERA in years and topped 200 innings for the first time since 2007. He also more than doubled his strikeout total from each of the past two seasons.
Update: The length of Peavy's new contract was a major factor in contract negotiations, according to Jim Margalus of South Side Sox.
No. 10: Angel Pagan, Outfielder
Status: Signed—San Francisco Giants (4 years, $40 million)
Position Rank: No. 4 OF
2012 Stats: 8 HR, 56 RBI, .288 AVG, .778 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Angel Pagan was one of the main reasons that the Giants were able to bring another World Series back to San Francisco. He was a force in the outfield as well as on the basepaths. He's one of the fastest players on the market, stealing 29 bases in 2012 and leading the league in triples with 15.
Update: The Giants and Pagan have come to an agreement on a four-year deal worth $40 million, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports.
No. 11: Edwin Jackson, Starting Pitcher
Status: Signed—Chicago Cubs (4 years, $52 million)
Position Rank: No. 6 SP
2012 Stats: 10-11, 4.03 ERA, 189.2 IP, 168 K
Why He's a Good Target: Edwin Jackson has certainly been all over the place over the last five seasons, pitching for six different teams. With Washington last season, Jackson pitched well in the middle of its stacked rotation but didn't pitch well in the postseason. He would supplement a large-payroll team in the middle of the rotation or a small-payroll team at the front of the rotation.
Update: The Cubs have signed Jackson to a four-year, $52 million deal, according to Patrick Mooney of Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
No. 12: Anibal Sanchez, Starting Pitcher
Status: Signed—Detroit Tigers (5 years, $80 million)
Position Rank: No. 7 SP
2012 Stats: 9-13, 3.86 ERA, 195.2 IP, 167 K
Why He's a Good Target: Pitching for the Marlins clearly wasn't working for Anibal Sanchez, and he seemed to pitch a little better once he was traded to the AL-champion Tigers. Sanchez was brilliant for Detroit in the postseason, only allowing four earned runs over 20.1 innings of work while striking out 18 batters. He's just 28 years old and still has time to get even better.
Update: The Tigers have stolen Sanchez from the Cubs and signed him to a five-year deal worth $80 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
No. 13: Nick Swisher, Outfielder
Status: Signed—Cleveland Indians (4 years, $56 million + 2017 option)
Position Rank: No. 5 OF
2012 Stats: 24 HR, 93 RBI, .272 AVG, .837 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Nick Swisher is one of the top outfielders on the market because of his power potential and ability to play either corner outfield position and first base. He always had power when with the A's and White Sox, but he really shined while playing at Yankee Stadium. He's also hit at least 30 doubles every season he's been with New York.
Update: The Indians have signed Swisher to a four-year deal worth $56 million that could increase up to $70 depending on a vesting option, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
No. 14: Ryan Dempster, Starting Pitcher
Status: Signed—Boston Red Sox (2 years, $26.5 million)
Position Rank: No. 8 SP
2012 Stats: 12-8, 3.38 ERA, 173 IP, 153 K
Why He's a Good Target: Ryan Dempster is a National League pitcher who ended up in the American League with Texas after a great start to the season with the Cubs. He had a 2.25 ERA through 16 starts and 104 innings of work before the deal that sent him to the Rangers. He did win seven games for Texas but had a 5.09 ERA.
Update: The Red Sox and Dempster have agreed to a two-year deal worth $26.5 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
No. 15A: Mariano Rivera, Reliever
Status: Signed—New York Yankees (1 year, $10 million)
Position Rank: No. 1 RP
2012 Stats: 1-1, 2.16 ERA, 8.1 IP, 8 K
Why He's a Good Target: Mariano Rivera missed nearly the entire season after tearing his ACL in May during batting practice. His two-year deal with the Yankees just expired, but it's almost a guarantee that he re-signs with the Bronx Bombers. He's spent his entire career with them and will most likely end his career in pinstripes.
Update: The Yankees and Rivera have come to terms on a one-year deal worth $10 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
No. 15B: Andy Pettitte, Starting Pitcher
Status: Signed—New York Yankees (1 year, $12 million)
Position Rank: No. 9 SP
2012 Stats: 5-4, 2.87 ERA, 75.1 IP, 69 K
Why He's a Good Target: Andy Pettitte decided to come out of retirement and once again be a part of the Bronx Bombers in 2012. He missed a couple of months due to injury but overall had a very successful comeback campaign. Pettitte definitely proved that he still has what it takes to pitch in the big leagues.
Rumors Update: The Yankees have signed Pettitte to a one-year deal worth $12 million, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.
No. 16: Mike Napoli, Catcher
Status: Signed—Boston Red Sox (1 year, $5 million)
Position Rank: No. 1 C
2012 Stats: 24 HR, 56 RBI, .227 AVG, .812 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Mike Napoli has emerged as one of the top-hitting catchers in baseball, or at least one of the more powerful ones. His second season with the Rangers wasn't nearly as impressive as his first, but he's only 31 years old, and 2012 could have just been a fluke. Despite a low average, Napoli has hit at least 20 home runs and knocked in 49 runs in each of the last five seasons.
Update: The Red Sox have renegotiated a deal with Mike Napoli after concluding that he suffers from a disorder that affects his hips. Napoli will have the opportunity to earn incentives, but for the time being, his contract will be for just one year.
No. 17: Rafael Soriano, Reliever
Status: Signed—Washington Nationals (2 years, $28 million plus 2015 option)
Position Rank: No. 2 RP
2012 Stats: 2-1, 2.26 ERA, 67.2 IP, 69 K
Why He's a Good Target: Rafael Soriano was much better than expected when he had to become the closer of the Yankees after Mariano Rivera's injury. Soriano saved 42 games for the Bronx Bombers and pitched much better as the closer in 2012 than he did as the setup man in 2011. In the past three years, he's proved that he's a very dependable relief pitcher.
Update: The Nationals have agreed to a two-year deal worth $28 million with Soriano that includes a vesting option for 2015 pending 120 games finished in 2013 and '14, according to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan.
No. 18: A.J. Pierzynski, Catcher
Status: Signed—Texas Rangers (1 year, TBD)
Position Rank: No. 2 C
2012 Stats: 27 HR, 77 RBI, .278 AVG, .827 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: A.J. Pierzynski finally found his power stroke in 2012 after two seasons of hitting single-digit home runs. He hit a career-high 27 long balls in 135 games for the White Sox last season and tied a career high with 77 RBI. He seems to like playing in Chicago, and I wouldn't be shocked if he signed a deal to end his career there.
Update: The Rangers have signed Pierzynski to a one-year deal, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.
No. 19: Adam LaRoche, First Baseman
Status: Signed—Washington Nationals (2 years, $24 million)
Position Rank: No. 1 1B
2012 Stats: 33 HR, 100 RBI, .271 AVG, .853 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Adam LaRoche really had a great second season with the Nationals in 2012 after a disappointing 2011 campaign. He stayed healthy for the entire year, set a new career high in home runs and tied a career high in RBI. He also played very good defense at first base.
Update: The Nationals have finally agreed to a two-year deal for LaRoche woth $24 million, according to Amanda Comak of The Washington Times.
No. 20: Melky Cabrera, Outfielder
Status: Signed—Toronto Blue Jays (2 years, $16 million)
Position Rank: No. 6 OF
2012 Stats: 11 HR, 60 RBI, .346 AVG, .906 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Melky Cabrera was having a fantastic season with the eventual world champion Giants before testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Despite his 50-game suspension, Cabrera should still be one of the top outfielders on the market. He is a good defender with plus speed and outstanding plate discipline. Cabrera had 46 extra-base hits through 113 games in 2012.
Update: The Toronto Blue Jays have signed Cabrera to a two-year, $16 million deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes.
No. 21: Cody Ross, Outfielder
Status: Signed—Arizona Diamondbacks (3 years, $26 million + 2016 option)
Position Rank: No. 7 OF
2012 Stats: 22 HR, 81 RBI, .267 AVG, .807 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Cody Ross couldn't have performed much better for an underachieving Red Sox team in 2012. He signed a one-year deal in Boston after one-plus campaigns with the Giants, and he really adjusted well to Fenway Park with doubles off the wall and home runs over the Green Monster. His 22 home runs were his most in a season since 2009, when he hit 24.
Update: The Diamondbacks have come out of nowhere to sign Ross to a three-year, $26 million deal that includes a club option with a $1 million buyout, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.
No. 22: Torii Hunter, Outfielder
Status: Signed—Detroit Tigers (2 years, $26 million)
Position Rank: No. 8 OF
2012 Stats: 16 HR, 92 RBI, .313 AVG, .817 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Torii Hunter may be old, but he's still productive. He set a career high in batting average in 2012 at .313, marking the first time he ever hit over .300 in his 16-year career. He also drove in nearly 100 runs for the Angels while producing 41 extra-base hits. His leadership on and off the field speaks for itself.
Update: The Tigers have signed Torii Hunter to a two-year deal, first reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that he will earn $26 million over the two-year span.
No. 23: Hisashi Iwakuma, Starting Pitcher
Status: Signed—Seattle Mariners (3 years, $14 million + 2015 option)
Position Rank: No. 10 SP
2012 Stats: 9-5, 3.16 ERA, 125.1 IP, 101 K
Why He's a Good Target: Hisashi Iwakuma pitched pretty well for a poor Mariners team in 2012, his first year in the major leagues. He started the season as a reliever, but Seattle eventually plugged him in as a starter, and that's how he will likely open 2013.
Update: Iwakuma will earn $6.5 million in 2013, $6.5 million in 2014 and $1 million if his $7 million option for 2015 is declined, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
No. 24: Ryan Madson, Reliever
Status: Signed—Los Angeles Angels (1 year, $6 million)
Position Rank: No. 3 RP
2012 Stats: Missed all of 2012
Why He's a Good Target: Madson missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery, but he should be all set to come back in 2013. Madson will want to still be a closer, but it may be easier for him to find a team looking for a reliable setup man instead. Madson saved 32 games for the Phillies in 2011 before signing a one-year deal in Cincinnati.
Update: The Angels have signed Madson to a one-year deal worth $6 million plus incentives, pending a physical, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.
No. 25: Brandon McCarthy, Starting Pitcher
Status: Signed—Arizona Diamondbacks (2 years, $15.5 million)
Position Rank: No. 11 SP
2012 Stats: 8-6, 3.24 ERA, 111 IP, 73 K
Why He's a Good Target: Brandon McCarthy was having a solid season for the eventual AL West champion A's before he was drilled in the head by a line drive and forced to miss the remainder of the season as well as the playoffs. He has had two consecutive seasons of posting sub-3.33 ERAs but has never thrown for more than 170.2 innings in a season.
Update: Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have signed McCarthy to a two-year, $15.5 million deal.
No. 26: Shaun Marcum, Starting Pitcher
Status: Signed—New York Mets (1 year, $4 million)
Position Rank: No. 12 SP
2012 Stats: 7-4, 3.70 ERA, 124 IP, 109 K
Why He's a Good Target: Shaun Marcum pitched pretty well in 21 starts for the Brewers in 2012. He posted his fourth straight season with a sub-4.00 ERA and has seemed able to pitch well in the National League after playing in Toronto for five seasons. Before 2012, he'd thrown at least 195 innings in back-to-back seasons. With at least 27 starts, he should be able to do that in 2013.
Update: New York has signed Marcum to a relatively cheap one-year deal, confirmed by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
No. 27: Marco Scutaro, Second Baseman
Status: Signed—San Francisco Giants (3 years, $20 million)
Position Rank: No. 1 2B
2012 Stats: 7 HR, 74 RBI, .306 AVG, .753 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Marco Scutaro had a great season with the world champion Giants, hitting .362 after a midseason trade from the Rockies. He nearly matched his Rockies hit total with the Giants despite a 34-game difference. He was a force during the postseason and earned the NLCS MVP after hitting .500 in 28 at-bats with six runs.
Update: The Giants have re-signed Scutaro to a three-year deal worth $20 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
No. 28: Jeff Francis, Starting Pitcher
Status: Signed—Colorado Rockies (1 year, TBD)
Position Rank: No. 13 SP
2012 Stats: 6-7, 5.58 ERA, 113 IP, 76 K
Why He's a Good Target: Jeff Francis didn't have a great year, returning to Colorado after a one-year stint with the Royals. He had pitched for the Rockies his previous six seasons, missing all of 2009 due to injury. Francis' 2012 ERA was the second-highest of his career, and he was only able to start 24 games. He has never been much of a strikeout pitcher but did average more strikeouts per nine innings than in his previous three campaigns.
Update: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Rockies and Francis have agreed on a one-year deal.
No. 29: Kevin Youkilis, Third Baseman
Status: Signed—New York Yankees (1 year, $12 million)
Position Rank: No. 1 3B
2012 Stats: 19 HR, 60 RBI, .235 AVG, .745 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Kevin Youkilis didn't hit much better after the trade that sent him from the Red Sox to the White Sox, but his power definitely had a resurgence; he hit 15 home runs in 80 games with Chicago compared to just four with Boston in 42 games. Youkilis provides solid defense at third base while hitting in the middle of the lineup.
Update: Youkilis has agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal with the Yankees, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
No. 30: Ichiro Suzuki, Outfielder
Status: Signed—New York Yankees (2 years, $13 million)
Position Rank: No. 9 OF
2012 Stats: 9 HR, 55 RBI, .283 AVG, .696 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: After a trade that sent Ichiro from the Mariners—with whom he spent his entire career—to the Yankees, his season turned around. He had been hitting .261 with four home runs for Seattle but turned it on for the Yankees to the tune of a .322 batting average with five home runs.
Update: The Yankees have re-signed Ichiro to a two-year deal expected to be worth around $13 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
No. 31: Raul Ibanez, Outfielder
Status: Signed—Seattle Mariners (1 year, $2.75 million)
Position Rank: No. 10 OF
2012 Stats: 19 HR, 62 RBI, .240 AVG, .761 OPS
Why He's a Good Target: Raul Ibanez turned out to be a great investment for the Bronx Bombers, as he really took advantage of the short porch in right field. He was also one of the Yankees' best postseason players, coming through in the clutch on several occasions. Ibanez is a very durable outfielder who continues to hit in the twilight of his career.
Update: The Mariners have signed Ibanez to a one-year deal worth $2.75 million, according to The Miami Herald.