MLB Free Agents Who Will Have All-Star Seasons with New Teams in 2013
Free agency may be in full swing already this MLB offseason, but it will likely take some time before we see some of the biggest names sign contract extensions as they look to feel out the market and maximize their return.
A number of players have gotten speculation out of the way, signing long-term extensions with their teams early on rather than deal with the process of testing the waters in free agency.
Many others, however, have entered free agency in the hopes of inking a lucrative deal on the heels of their 2012 performances.
We can't tell who will pan out at the onset, but here are some free agents that could be poised for All-Star-caliber seasons in 2013.
Starting off the season with a team that had as much promise as any other in the league, Anibal Sanchez's season with the Miami Marlins didn't last long. The Marlins' season-long struggles would ultimately lead to him being traded to the Detroit Tigers along with Omar Infante.
Sanchez was solid during his time with Detroit this season, though his clutch performances during the postseason will leave the best impression on any suitors this winter. The 28-year-old could be in position to cash in.
He's set his market price a bit higher than most teams will look to pay, but in the end, the thin market for starting pitching could net him a payday somewhere in the $90 million range he's looking (via Fox Sports).
With Mariano Rivera lost early in the season, the New York Yankees had a big hole to fill as they looked to piece together the back end of their bullpen.
Rafael Soriano stepped up in a big way in 2012, posting a 2.26 ERA in 69 appearances while saving 42 games—three short of his career high.
In opting out of the final year of his contract with New York, Soriano promises to attract plenty of attention this offseason, as he is the best closer option on the free-agent market.
With a big decision to make this offseason with regard to the potential signing of Zack Greinke to a long-term extension, the Los Angeles Angels likely didn't have the money that Detroit paid veteran outfielder Torii Hunter this week.
Heading back to the division where he got his start in the league, Hunter's strong defense will be a big plus in the spacious confines of Comerica Park, and if he can put up another offensive effort similar to his 2012 output, the team will be in a good position to make a run in the postseason once again.
Speedy outfielder Michael Bourn has led the league in stolen bases a few times already during his young career, twice swiping more than 60 bags.
On top of that, he appears to be improving at the plate every year and will no doubt continue to have his chances to steal bases.
As one of the top outfielders on the market this offseason he may not be entirely underrated, but the many assets that he offers to any team he signs with should be a welcome addition.
The Texas Rangers will have a huge decision to make when they finally sit down to hammer out a plan with Josh Hamilton's agent regarding the star outfielder's future.
With an astounding offensive outburst earlier this summer, Hamilton gave the entire league notice of what he's still capable of.
He slowed a bit toward the middle of the season, but rebounded down the stretch and finished the season with 43 home runs and 128 RBI.
Hamilton may not end up getting what he's looking for this offseason, but in the meantime, he has set his expected value at seven years, $175 million.
After coming over from the Milwaukee Brewers prior to this year's trade deadline, Zack Greinke struggled somewhat upon his arrival in Los Angeles, as he went 6-2 but saw his strikeout average drop while his walk numbers increased.
He's still the top arm available this offseason, and while there hasn't been much in the way of offers yet, things should heat up as the winter meetings get underway.
B.J. Upton is looking like one of the top free-agent outfielders in this offseason's market, possibly putting him out of reach for some teams in need of help there, but a player with his talent can be hard to pass up.
He's had some down numbers over the past two seasons and batted only .246 in 2012, but with 28 home runs and 31 stolen bases, Upton is showing that he's got the combination of power and speed that's always in demand.
The Atlanta Braves have him high on their radar right now, according to Jack Moore of CBS Sports. With Michael Bourn potentially moving on, getting Upton as a replacement would be a huge boost to the Braves.