2013 MLB Free Agents: Best Fits for the Top 10 Players Left on the Market
As the MLB hot stove continues to heat up, there will be more and more rumors about the top players available on the free-agent market.
While a number of teams will be fighting it out to sign these players, there is one destination that is a best fit for each player based on the team, how they will fit into the lineup and the stadium in which they would be playing.
These top players may be signed fairly soon, and the teams of best fit should be the ones that pick up the following free agents.
Adam LaRoche had one of the best seasons of his career with the Washington Nationals in 2012. He was a key bat in the middle of the Nationals lineup and has seemingly learned to take advantage of the dimensions of Nationals Park.
Washington seems to share an interest with LaRoche regarding his return, but the two sides are not close to a deal (h/t Bill Ladson of MLB.com).
Regardless, it is hard to find a team that is a better fit for LaRoche than the Nationals.
After signing a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals last offseason, Edwin Jackson needed to prove himself so that he could get a big contract this winter. Jackson did just that as he put up solid numbers for the Washington Nationals.
The best fit for Jackson is the Toronto Blue Jays. Even though the Blue Jays have already added Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, they are still interested in adding a pitcher like Jackson, according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
Jackson would slot well into the middle of the Blue Jays rotation, and his past experience in the American League East gives him an edge over some of the other starters that Toronto might target.
Nick Swisher has been a pillar of consistency during his time in the major leagues, as he has reached 20 home runs and 70 RBI in eight of the past nine years.
His skills would be perfect for a team that is right on the brink of being a World Series contender. Adding Swisher to the Philadelphia Phillies would be a great move.
They need an outfielder, and Swisher would likely thrive while playing in Citizens Bank Park.
Anibal Sanchez is one of the top starters on the market this winter, and he expects to be paid like one. He is the type of pitcher that could be a strong No. 2 in a team's rotation.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in signing Sanchez this winter. He would slot in very well behind Clayton Kershaw in the rotation and would be able to thrive in the National League West.
One of the most important things for Kyle Lohse is playing for a winning team, according to B.J. Rains of Fox Sports Midwest. This means that Lohse will need to be the addition that can help push a team over the edge and to the next level.
The Milwaukee Brewers seem to be a great fit for Lohse. Their lineup is strong, but the Brewers need a strong No. 2 starter behind Yovani Gallardo.
Lohse has spent an expended period of time in the National League Central, and his comfort with the league would make the transition to the Brewers an easy one.
While a number of teams around the league may have an interest in Hiroki Kuroda, they may not have much of a chance to sign him. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Kuroda is likely deciding between the New York Yankees and Japan.
If Rosenthal's report is true, then the Yankees are the only MLB team that is a real fit for Kuroda. New York would certainly like to have Kuroda back in its rotation since he is coming off a 16-11 season for them.
There is no denying that B.J. Upton is an immense talent, but he has struggled to live up to all of the expectations surrounding him. Even so, Upton has put up three 20/20 seasons during his career.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com has reported that the Atlanta Braves have made Upton their top target this winter. This move makes a lot of sense for them, as Upton would be a dynamic addition to their lineup.
Upton would be able to replace some of the production the Braves lost when Chipper Jones retired and Michael Bourn became a free agent. Additionally, Upton would help break up the Braves' left-hand-heavy lineup.
While the Washington Nationals have a fairly full outfield at the moment, they are still in need of a true center fielder. This would allow them to move Bryce Harper over to right field.
Michael Bourn would provide Washington with a table-setter at the top of its lineup, and he could be the piece that the team is missing. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has noted that the Nationals are interested in Bourn and that D.C. is a destination that makes sense for him.
The Los Angeles Angels' pitching staff has gotten a lot weaker this winter. They traded away Ervin Santana, and they decided not to pick up Dan Haren's option. Zack Greinke also hit the free-agent market this winter.
While the Angels still have Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson in their starting rotation, the rest of their rotation is filled with question marks. Re-signing Greinke would give the Angels the type of one-two-three that a World Series team needs to have in their rotation.
Greinke seemed to get increasingly comfortable in Los Angeles as the season progressed. This means that he should look even better if he returns to the Angels next season.
The offensive production of Josh Hamilton would fit well into any lineup, but there is one team with which he fits best, and that's the Texas Rangers.
Texas makes a lot of sense for Hamilton because of the team's lineup, as well as the ballpark. Hamilton can put up great power numbers with the protection that he gets as a member of the Rangers.
Additionally, the team has helped Hamilton work through some of his personal issues, so there is a high level of trust there.