2013 MLB Free-Agent Class: Who Are the Best Remaining Players?
The 2013 MLB free-agent class was, and still is, filled with a remarkable level of talent. And while the Josh Hamiltons and B.J. Uptons of the world were quickly gobbled up by Texas and Atlanta, many talented, useful players remain. We all know an upper echelon player the likes of Josh Hamilton is likely to bolster any lineup, but how much help can clubs find this late in the game? Lets take a look at the best remaining players of the 2013 MLB free-agency pool.
Michael Bourn: OF
Bourn spent last season in Atlanta, where the speedy outfielder was able to put together quite a solid year statistically. Bourn finished fifth in the league in triples, 15th in runs scored and fourth in stolen bases, all while maintaining a respectable .274 batting average.
At only 29 years of age, Bourn could serve as a viable centerpiece for any outfield heading into 2013 and beyond. The New York Mets, a team that thus far has been unable to replace the speed of Jose Reyes at the top of the lineup, could be seen as a perfect fit for Bourn. The Braves, Giants, Reds and Orioles are also all reported to have interest (via CBSSports.com)
Scott Hairston: OF
Far from a household name to most fans, Hairston was able to amass quality numbers in a utility role for the New York Mets last season. In just 377 at-bats, Hairston finished third on the team in home runs with 20, trailing only Ike Davis and David Wright.
Hairston also hit southpaws quite well in 2012. Of his 20 home runs, 11 came against left-handed pitching. In addition to that, Hairston maintained a .286 batting average against lefties. He'd play well as a cheap, utility option for most teams, similar to Raul Ibanez with the Yankees last season.
At the time, the Mets and Yankees are the only reported teams with interest.
Kyle Lohse: SP
Lohse has quietly strung together back to back good years with St. Louis. Over the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Lohse has gone a combined 30-11. Also working in his favor is the 2.86 ERA he was able to maintain last season.
Lohse has proven to be an innings eater, finishing in the top 15 for innings pitched last season with 211. He was also able to keep runners off of the base paths, posting a 1.09 WHIP, good for fourth in the National League.
He will most certainly command big money, but should be seen as a worthy gamble for teams looking for a solid No. 3 starter.
Sean Marcum: SP
Sean Marcum was the prize the Brewers acquired in the Brett Lawrie trade from 2010. While pitching for Milwaukee in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Marcum posted a 3.60 ERA and an impressive 2.72 K/BB ratio. He's also proven he can pitch in the American League, going a combined 37-25 for the Blue Jays during his time there.
So why does Marcum remain unsigned as of now? Tommy John surgery in 2009 and subsequent elbow injuries in 2011 and 2012 certainly haven't helped his cause, however, many teams remain interested. Baseball insider Jon Heyman reports the Rangers, Pirates, Padres and Mets all have shown interest in Marcum as recently as January 14th.
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