Finding One Ideal Remaining Free Agent for Every MLB Team
While there has been a lot of activity on the free-agent market this offseason, there are still a number of teams with needs to fill and players that are still searching for contracts.
These sides will eventually get together and there will be a lot more deals that occur this winter. Some of these players will be looking for big deals while others will only get one-year contracts.
There is a player out there that is a fit for at least one team. A number of these pairings match up and some of these players should be suiting up for the teams they are listed with here in 2013.
Arizona Diamondbacks: J.P. Howell
Arizona has been one of the more active teams this winter and has made a number of trades and signings. Even after all of their activity, the Diamondbacks could still look to get better through free agency.
The Diamondbacks could improve their bullpen by signing J.P. Howell to a two-year deal. This would be a smart move for the Diamondbacks to make if they want to increase their chances of reaching the postseason.
Atlanta Braves: Scott Hairston
At the moment, the Atlanta Braves have Martin Prado slotted in left field on the team's official depth chart. They could play him at third base if they acquire another outfielder.
Scott Hairston would be a good fit in Atlanta, because of the power that he has. The Braves should seriously consider signing Hairston this winter.
Baltimore Orioles: Lance Berkman
As the Baltimore Orioles look to build on the success they had in 2012, the team has to replace a few players on their roster. One area for improvement is the designated hitter position.
The Orioles can afford to go after a player that carries some risk. Lance Berkman has shown that when healthy, he can have an impact. Berkman would be able to replace the production of Mark Reynolds.
Boston Red Sox: Adam LaRoche
Although it appeared as if the Boston Red Sox had found their new first baseman in Mike Napoli, the team's deal with him has hit some snags and it has not become official (h/t Alex Speier of WEEI).
This means that the team will need to consider other options. Adam LaRoche will be able to provide almost the same level of production for approximately the same price, which makes him an ideal fit in Boston.
Chicago Cubs: Delmon Young
Following their addition of Edwin Jackson, it appears as if the Chicago Cubs strategy involves signing players with high potential that are entering their prime.
Delmon Young fits into that mold as well. At 27 years old, Young likely has his best seasons ahead of him, and Wrigley Field would be a good environment for him while he is playing at his peak.
Chicago White Sox: Kelly Johnson
According to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, the Chicago White Sox are looking for a left-handed hitter. Unfortunately for them, there are not that many great options left on the market.
Kelly Johnson would be an intriguing choice for the White Sox. He would slot in as their starting second baseman and would add more power to their lineup.
Cincinnati Reds: Alex Gonzalez
As one of the best teams in baseball in 2012, the Cincinnati Reds only needed to make a few tweaks to their roster to be a World Series contender in 2013. The team has already made a big move by adding Shin-Soo Choo.
At this point, it is all about depth for the Reds. They have a deep starting rotation and bullpen, but they could use another player off the bench. While Alex Gonzalez is no longer a starter, he could be helpful as a part-time player.
Cleveland Indians: Luke Scott
Luke Scott has struggled to perform consistently over the past few seasons, but he is a player that has a lot of talent. He has multiple 20-plus home run seasons during his career.
Given the current composition of the Cleveland Indians roster, the team can afford to take a risk on a player like Scott. He would come in on an inexpensive deal which also gives the Indians the flexibility to make other moves.
Colorado Rockies: Daisuke Matsuzaka
The Colorado Rockies have not done a good job of addressing their biggest need this winter. Colorado needs starting pitchers.
There are still a number of starters on the market that the Rockies could go after. Daisuke Matsuzaka may not be the best pitcher available, but if he performs like he did when he first reached the States, he could be a steal for the Rockies.
Detroit Tigers: Jon Rauch
Following their acquisition of Torii Hunter and the returns of Victor Martinez and Anibal Sanchez, there is not much more that the Detroit Tigers can do to improve their playoff chances.
Adding another reliever to the back end of their bullpen wouldn't hurt, however. Jon Rauch could be signed to a fairly inexpensive deal and could prove to be a valuable reliever.
Houston Astros: Roy Oswalt
For a team that is rebuilding, the free-agent market isn't necessarily the first place that they will look for talent. These teams can get prospects by trading away some of their MLB talent.
Roy Oswalt spent 10 years with the Houston Astros and after his tough 2012 season, he could return to a team that he is comfortable with. If Oswalt is able to turn things around, the Astros could deal him for prospects in the middle of the year.
Kansas City Royals: Brian Wilson
Given the moves that the Kansas City Royals have made this offseason, it is clear that the team is going after a postseason berth in 2013.
Kansas City has taken a number of risks with the moves that have pulled off, and they can afford to take one more. Brian Wilson was an elite closer before he was injured, and he could play a huge role for the Royals in 2013 if they sign him.
Los Angeles Angels: Jason Bartlett
In each of the past two offseasons, the Los Angeles Angels have managed to make the biggest splash in the free agent pool. On top of signing Josh Hamilton this winter, the team has improved the bullpen.
Los Angeles could use a backup middle infielder, but that seems to be about it for them. Jason Bartlett would make sense as a utility player for the Angels.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Jose Lopez
Since new management has taken over, the Los Angeles Dodgers have spent a large sum of money trying to turn the team into a World Series champion.
At this point, it is about the Dodgers adding depth to their team. Jose Lopez has struggled since hitting 25 home runs in 2009, but he does still have some value because of his versatility. However, there is a chance that he plays in Japan in 2013 (h/t Jon Heyman of CBS Sports).
Miami Marlins: Juan Rivera
There have been wholesale changes to the Miami Marlins roster this offseason, and the team will struggle to put together a winning record in 2013.
Miami likely will not spend a lot of money on free agents this winter after that strategy worked poorly for them last year. A cheap option like Juan Rivera could be a fit for the team.
Milwaukee Brewers: Jair Jurrjens
The National League Central is gearing up to be a difficult division in 2013, and the Milwaukee Brewers will need to make a few more additions to increase their playoff chances.
It seems as if the pitching staff is the most obvious place for the Brewers to make improvements. Jair Jurrjens is an intriguing free agent and he could slot in towards the back end of the team's rotation.
Minnesota Twins: Matt Lindstrom
Through a combination of free-agent signings and trades, the Minnesota Twins have addressed their biggest need of starting pitching. The team still has a few more moves that they could make, though.
Minnesota could look to improve their bullpen as well this winter. Matt Lindstrom has pitched well over the last two seasons and he could be a nice piece for the Twins to add.
New York Mets: Grady Sizemore
Given the current makeup of their roster, the New York Mets are a team that can afford to make a low-risk/high-reward signing. They need to go after cheap players with the potential to put up great numbers.
Considering the need that the Mets have in their outfield, Grady Sizemore seems like a perfect fit. If Sizemore can stay healthy, he could be one of the best signings of the winter.
New York Yankees: Francisco Rodriguez
While the New York Yankees starting lineup and starting rotation are essentially set, the team still needs more relievers.
Francisco Rodriguez has pitched in the bright lights of New York City before and he could come back to the Big Apple. K-Rod would provide an electric arm out of the Yankees bullpen.
Oakland Athletics: Yuniesky Betancourt
The middle infield positions are looking like they may be an issue for the Oakland Athletics in 2013. They should be looking for a player that could fill at least one of those spots.
As long as Yuniesky Betancourt is not looking for a big deal, he would be a solid fit for the Athletics. In the worst-case scenario, Betancourt would be a bench bat for the Athletics.
Philadelphia Phillies: Bobby Abreu
After missing out on the postseason in 2012, the Philadelphia Phillies are looking to get back to the playoffs in 2013. They have already made some moves to help them with that goal.
Adding another outfielder would help them get closer to that goal. As of now, it appears as if the team will be going with Domonic Brown and Darrin Ruf. Signing Bobby Abreu would give the Phillies a platoon option.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Joe Saunders
While the Pittsburgh Pirates know that they will have A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and James McDonald at the top of their rotation, the last two spots are up for grabs.
Gerrit Cole could grab one of those spots and the Pirates could turn to the free-agent market for another starter. Joe Saunders would be a good addition for the Pirates and could help them finish over .500.
San Diego Padres: Matt Capps
Although the San Diego Padres struggled in 2012, they still have a roster that could surprise people in 2013. Their starting lineup will likely remain fairly similar, but they could still use some more help in their bullpen.
Matt Capps has served as a closer throughout his career, but he will likely need to change roles this year. The Padres would likely be happy to have him in the middle of their bullpen.
San Francisco Giants: Jose Valverde
As the defending World Champions, there is not too much that the San Francisco Giants needed to do this offseason. They retained a number of their key players.
San Francisco could look to improve their bullpen as the offseason continues, though. Picking up Jose Valverde on a one-year deal could be a brilliant move for Giants GM Brian Sabean to make.
Seattle Mariners: Michael Bourn
The American League West is looking like one of the toughest divisions in baseball and the Seattle Mariners are looking for a way to contend. They need to make a big signing to do that.
Michael Bourn is the type of dynamic player that could help turn things around. Even if the Mariners don't reach the postseason in 2013, signing Bourn will help them contend moving forward.
St. Louis Cardinals: Travis Hafner
By taking one look at the St. Louis Cardinals roster, it appears as if the team is set moving forward to 2013. Their lineup, rotation and bullpen are all filled with top talent.
The only area where the Cardinals could really improve is with a power bat off of the bench. If Travis Hafner was willing to take on a very reduced role, he could help the Cardinals out in that capacity.
Tampa Bay Rays: Rafael Soriano
Tampa Bay used their starting pitching depth this offseason to make a big trade and bring in Wil Myers. They have also made a number of smart signings.
One area that the Rays have not completely addressed is their bullpen. While Rafael Soriano may be expensive, having him return to Tampa Bay could lead the Rays to a postseason berth.
Texas Rangers: Carlos Lee
The 2013 offseason has not been kind to the Texas Rangers. They have missed out on a number of their targets and at the moment look like they will struggle to replace the production of some of their stars.
Carlos Lee has not been the power threat that he was in the past, but he still has some pop left in his bat. Although he is mostly a first baseman now, Lee could also DH and play in the outfield for the Rangers.
Toronto Blue Jays: LaTroy Hawkins
Without a doubt, the Toronto Blue Jays are one of the biggest winners of the 2013 MLB offseason. They have turned themselves into a legitimate playoff contender with a few moves.
However, with the uncertainty surrounding Darren Oliver, the Blue Jays may need to sign a reliever (h/t Aaron Gleeman of NBC Sports). Should Oliver choose to retire, the Blue Jays could go after LaTroy Hawkins to replace him.
Washington Nationals: Chad Durbin
If the Washington Nationals have one area that needs to be improved, it could be their bullpen. However, as a 98-win team from last season, the Nationals may not need to make any more moves.
The Nationals could look at a pitcher like Chad Durbin to fill one of the last spots in their bullpen. He shouldn't be too expensive and he should be fairly effective.