2013 MLB Free Agents: Ranking Best Destinations for Top Sluggers

Justin WeltonAnalyst IIDecember 3, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 03:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers walks off the field during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 3, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Major League Baseball teams win championships in the offseason.

Whether it's signing that leadoff hitter with great speed, signing a closer to finish games, or signing top sluggers in hopes for big home run and RBI numbers, every team wants to get that push to the next level.

Here are a few teams potentially looking to make a bigger splash this offseason.


Josh Hamilton

Best Destinations:

1. Boston Red Sox

2. Philadelphia Phillies

According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports, the Boston Red Sox are in discussions to sign slugger Josh Hamilton this offseason.

According to Heyman's article, "Boston wants to do something big and it wouldn't shock me if they became players for Josh Hamilton,'' one competing GM said.

With all of the salary that was dumped at the end of the season, it wouldn't shock anyone if the Red Sox went for the big splash with Hamilton.

And why not? Hamilton has proven to be one of the best hitters in the majors over the past five years. Hamilton drove in 100 or more runs three times during the last five years. Last year, he topped out at 94.

Three of those years Hamilton hit over 30 home runs, including last year's 42. Hamilton is a career 2.94 hitter and his production would be welcomed in Boston.

If Boston plans on making a huge splash, Hamilton has to be on top of its list.


Nick Swisher

Best Destinations:

1. Texas Rangers

2. Boston Red Sox

3. Baltimore Orioles

Texas would be the most logical destination for Nick Swisher. Both parties would benefit significantly. Swisher has produced his best offensive numbers inside the Yankees' lineup.

Part of that probably deals with playing in a hitter-friendly ballpark, but Swisher was also protected in the lineup due to the talent around him.

Even without Hamilton, the Rangers offense has talent up and down the roster. Swisher and his eight consecutive 20 or more home run resume would be a nice addition because he wouldn't feel like the lone power, run producer guy in that lineup.

Swisher being in that situation is much better than being in a lineup where he is the main attraction.


Adam LaRoche

Best Destinations: 

1. Washington Nationals

2. Boston Red Sox

Adam LaRoche has found a home in Washington. The Nationals are the perfect fit for the lefty, and LaRoche is coming off one of his best seasons in the big leagues.

He seemed comfortable in Washington unlike other destinations in his career. Sometimes LaRoche struggles out of the gate, but it seemed like he was more consistent this season than any year prior.

The first basemen hit .329 in the month of April and knocked in 49 RBI in the first three months of the season.

LaRoche hit 33 home runs and drove in 100 RBI while batting .271 in 2012. He was one of the many driving forces for the Nationals' playoff push. He hit nine home runs and drove in 18 RBI while hitting .327 in the month of September.

At 33 years of age, LaRoche is due for one more high-paying contract. Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post reports that LaRoche doesn't want a four- or five-year deal, but instead a three-year deal because he understands that he is 33 years old.

“To be honest, it’s a years thing now,” LaRoche said. “I think they’re really wanting to stick to two years. I’m trying to talk them into lengthening that. To be honest, probably just one year. I’m not looking for four or five. I understand I’m 33 years old."

After his 2012 performance, I would say that he deserves that three-year deal. He produced at a high rate at the dish, his .995 fielding percentage was solid and he is coming off one of the best years of his career.

Pay the man.