2013 MLB Free Agents: Analyzing Latest Chatter on Top Available Players

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent INovember 24, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 02:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers stands in the dugout before their game against the Oakland Athletics  at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Zach Greinke, Kyle Lohse and B.J. Upton are just some of the top names on the open market this offseason, but don't anticipate any decisions in the near future, as all three will likely continue to field offers before settling on a destination and club. 

But as the year comes to a close, free-agent buzz is beginning to heat up, and there's plenty of information, scenarios and questions to dissect.

Here, we analyze the latest free-agent chatter on the top available players this offseason.


Would Josh Hamilton Risk Signing One-Year Deal?

Top free agent Josh Hamilton is no doubt looking to cash in on his past success this offseason, but what happens if the deal he's looking for fails to develop?

The Boston Herald's John Tomase asks this question: "If Hamilton’s market fails to materialize, would he consider a one-year deal for $30 million?"

Hamilton will turn 32 in May, and he'd be risking a lot of money in the case that he gets injured in 2013 or fails to perform up to expectations. Still, if he can make close to $30 million in one year, that may be too good to pass up.

Either way, Hamilton is going to be under the microscope in 2013. The only question is whether he'll be locked into a long-term contract or playing once again to prove how much he's worth.


Ichiro Loves the Pinstripes 

Like so many Yankees players past and present, veteran Ichiro Suzuki wants to remain a New York Yankee, according to the New York Post's George A. King

This is Ichiro's agent Tony Attanasio on his free agency (via King):

There has been a lot of interest [from teams], but he enjoyed playing for the Yankees so much it’s hard for him to say no to the Yankees. His preference is to stay there instead of going someplace else, but we will wait and see.

The 39-year-old right fielder saw a tremendous spike in his batting average after being traded from the Seattle Mariners to the Yankees last season. And there's no denying that Ichiro is as durable as they come. He's only missed one regular-season game in his last three seasons.

Therefore, the Yankees would be foolish to let Ichiro walk this winter.


Mike Napoli Really Wants a Fourth Year

Free-agent catcher Mike Napoli wants a four-year deal, according to ESPN baseball insider Jim Bowden via Twitter:

Mike Napoli holding out for 4th year from Red Sox...meeting with Mariners who might be willing to give the extra year according to sources

— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) November 22, 2012


The 31-year-old had a down year in 2012 with the Texas Rangers, batting .227 and striking out 125 times in 352 regular-season at-bats. 

Napoli was magical for the Rangers during their 2011 postseason run, but clearly he's not the same player he was a year ago. So it's no secret why Napoli and his agent want a fourth year so bad. And whichever team gives it to him will be taking a gamble that they may come to regret if he doesn't return to top form.


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