MLB Free Agents 2014: Best Potential Long-Term Additions
Plenty of teams in the MLB will be going for short-term upgrades heading into the 2014 season, but there will be a number of valuable players available that could become long-term additions and make any team a possible playoff contender down the road.
Yes, there will be players like Carlos Beltran and Bartolo Colon that will get big contracts and play for a couple of seasons, but they aren't guys you can expect to be there in five or more years.
There are going to be a few players available after this season is over that can become household names for quite some time.
These guys are young enough that they will likely be playing for the next five-to-10 years. They are also good enough to instantly become one of the best players on their new team.
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF
The Boston Red Sox have had one of the best outfielders in the league for the past few seasons, but a rising prospect in Jackie Bradley and a slight dip in production will probably mean that Ellsbury will be looking for a new home in 2014.
A shoulder injury kept Ellsbury out for a large portion of the 2012 season, but he's come back quite well this year.
He's currently hitting .299/.355/.424 and has 89 runs, 52 RBI and 52 stolen bases. He's been incredibly valuable in the lineup, with FanGraphs listing his WAR at 5.7.
While his power isn't near the 32-HR season of 2011, Ellsbury has still shown off very solid contact along with impressive speed in the outfield and on the basepaths. However, his strikeout percentage has gone from 13.4 percent to 14.6 percent since 2011.
Ellsbury is going to get paid big-time, but he's going to be worth it. He's 30 years old and will be playing easily for the foreseeable future.
Whoever gets him will be getting an instant-impact player that can really just about do it all.
Brian McCann, C
There's not going to be a better catcher on the market this coming offseason than McCann. The Atlanta Braves would love to keep him, but McCann will likely ask for a big-time long-term deal that they just won't feel comfortable signing.
While a lot of the attention heading into the offseason is going toward Robinson Cano, McCann is easily a top-three catcher in the MLB. He's a seven-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger and has had over 1,000 hits and 175 home runs over his career.
Currently, McCann is playing at a high level once again. He's currently hitting .263/.342/.477 with 19 home runs and 53 RBI.
At 29 years old, McCann has a lot of baseball left. He's going to want a deal that sets him up into the next decade, and there's a pretty good chance that he'll get his wish.
Ervin Santana, SP
Any team that's looking for a long-term starting pitcher to be a No. 2 or No. 3 guy in the rotation would be absolutely thrilled to land Santana.
That will now be a possibility this offseason.
Santana had a solid career with the Los Angeles Angels, but a 5.16 ERA and a 9-13 record forced the team to ship him off after the 2012 season. It appeared to end well for Santana, as he's turned it around this season with the Kansas City Royals. He's gone 8-9 with a 3.35 ERA and a WHIP of just 1.15 through 191 innings.
Inconsistency was a problem for Santana during his time in LA, but he seems to have settled down. Though he will be turning 31 years old in December, he has had few health concerns during his career.
The Royals may want to re-sign Santana, but if they don't, he will be a highly sought-after pitcher in this market.
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