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2013 MLB Free Agency: The Top Remaining Free Agents at Each Position

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2016

2013 MLB Free Agency: The Top Remaining Free Agents at Each Position

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    With the new year here, we are now less than two months from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. 

    The free agent market has thinned significantly over the past month, but there are still a number of players who will make a significant impact this coming season who have yet to find new homes.

    Here is an updated look at the top remaining free agents at each position, as teams look to put the finishing touches on their 2013 rosters.

Catcher

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    Top Remaining Options

    1. Miguel Olivo
    2. Kelly Shoppach
    3. Chris Snyder
    4. Rod Barajas 

    While all of the starting-caliber catchers have already signed, there are a handful of solid veteran options who should be able to catch on as backups somewhere.

    Olivo has solid power, with double-digit home runs in each of the past seven seasons, though he doesn't bring much else to the table.

    Shoppach, Snyder and Barajas have all seen everyday action at one point or another and bring solid experience but average-at-best offensive skills.

First Base

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    Top Remaining Options

    1. Adam LaRoche
    2. Carlos Lee
    3. Lance Berkman
    4. Casey Kotchman
    5. Lyle Overbay

    LaRoche is one of the top players still on the market, and while re-signing with the Nationals still seems like the most likely outcome, there are several other teams that could be a fit as well.

    Berkman could opt for retirement, and there has not been much interest in the other three guys named above.

    Lee could still make an impact for a team looking to add a proven, veteran run-producer in a part-time capacity. Even in what was the worst season of his career, Lee drove in 77 runs hitting in bad Astros and Marlins lineups.

Second Base

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    Top Remaining Options

    1. Kelly Johnson
    2. Yuniesky Betancourt
    3. Ryan Theriot
    4. Jeff Baker
    5. Adam Kennedy

    Once Marco Scutaro re-signed with the Giants, the market for starting-caliber second basemen was essentially tapped.

    Johnson has been unable to duplicate his breakout 2010 numbers over the past two seasons, but he did hit 37 home runs during that time and, if nothing else, he has some of the best power of any second baseman in the league.

    The rest of these guys are likely headed for a utility role with whomever they wind up signing with, as they are all capable of playing all over the infield and Baker can even play some outfield.

Shortstop

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    Top Remaining Options

    1. Alex Gonzalez
    2. Jason Bartlett
    3. Cesar Izturis

    No position was thinner this season than shortstop, and with Stephen Drew and Hiroyuki Nakajima signed, there isn't much left to get excited about at the position.

    After a 15 HR, 56 RBI season in 2011, Gonzalez signed a one-year, $4.25 million with the Brewers to be their starting shortstop but wound up playing in just 24 games.

    Izturis is all defense at this point, and Bartlett is coming off of a terrible run with the Padres, though he could be a potential bounce-back candidate.

Third Base

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    Top Remaining Options

    1. Scott Rolen
    2. Brandon Inge
    3. Chone Figgins
    4. Jose Lopez

    The top option on the market at the hot corner was Kevin Youkilis, and he signed a one-year deal with the Yankees to help ease the loss of Alex Rodriguez, who is expected to be out until midseason.

    The 37-year-old Rolen may wind up retiring, though he would still have value as a bat off the bench and veteran leader in the clubhouse.

    Inge proved he still has something in the tank in hitting 11 home runs with 52 RBI in 74 games after being traded to the A's, and Figgins has speed and defensive versatility and could benefit from getting out from under the pressure of his big contract with the Mariners. 

Outfield

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    Top Remaining Options

    1. Michael Bourn
    2. Scott Hairston
    3. Delmon Young
    4. Grady Sizemore
    5. Bobby Abreu

    Michael Bourn currently ranks as the top remaining free agent on the market, and he remains in line for a hefty payday wherever he winds up signing. He strikes out more than you'd like out of a leadoff hitter, and doesn't have much power, but he has game-changing speed on the bases and in center field.

    Hairston is coming off of a career-high 20 home runs, and could get a shot at everyday at bats despite the fact that he's been a platoon player for the majority of his career, thriving off of his ability to crush left-handed pitching.

    Young comes with character questions and has some of the worst plate discipline in the league, Sizemore can't be counted on to provide anything at this point given his injury history and Abreu is a shell of the player he once was at 38 years old.

Starting Pitcher

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    Top Remaining Options

    1. Kyle Lohse
    2. Shaun Marcum
    3. Joe Saunders
    4. Jair Jurrjens
    5. Jeff Karstens
    6. Kevin Millwood
    7. Carl Pavano
    8. Derek Lowe
    9. Chris Young
    10. Daisuke Matsuzaka 

    Lohse did a terrific job stepping in as the Cardinals ace with Chris Carpenter on the shelf, as he turned in the best season of his career and will likely cash in this offseason as a result.

    Beyond him, the pitching market has dwindled at this point in the offseason. Marcum pitched well over the last two seasons with the Brewers but missed time due to injury, and Saunders provides a solid left-handed veteran to fill out a team's staff.

    Non-tendered right-handers Jurrjens and Karstens could be value signings, and veterans Millwood, Pavano and Lowe have good enough track records that they should be able latch on somewhere.

Relief Pitcher

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    Top Remaining Options

    1. Rafael Soriano
    2. Brian Wilson
    3. Francisco Rodriguez
    4. Jose Valverde
    5. J.P. Howell
    6. Matt Capps  
    7. Jon Rauch
    8. Chad Durbin
    9. LaTroy Hawkins 

    As the offseason continues to move on, it is looking more and more like Soriano made a mistake by turning down the Yankees' $13.3 million qualifying offer. He's by far the best remaining option on the free-agent market.

    Wilson is an intriguing bounce-back candidate, and K-Rod and Valverde both have plenty of closing experience, so the market is not without options.

    Teams often wait until right before spring training or even once spring training starts to fill out their bullpen by adding a veteran arm or two, so these guys could stay on the market for a while still.

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