2014 MLB Free Agents: Best Bats on the Market This Offseason
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The MLB playoffs are heating up with some incredible games going down in both the ALCS and the NLCS, and as things move closer and closer to the 2013 MLB World Series, one thing will be on the mind of baseball fans everywhere, especially fans whose teams have been eliminated: free agency.
Here is a quick look at some of the best bats coming onto the free agency market this offseason.
Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals
Carlos Beltran has had a huge season. He batted an impressive .296 with 24 homeruns and 84 RBI and has been a major part of the Cardinals' playoff run. He's now reaching the end of his two-year, $26 million deal which means that the 36-year-old beast has a choice to make: stay in St. Louis or test the waters and find another contender to lead to the promised land.
Beltran is one of the best offensive weapons in the major leagues, bringing over 80 runners home in each of his last three seasons, and given his age, he would be a great addition to any American League team in need of a big bat to bolster their lineup at the designated hitter position.
According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, there have been rumors floating around the city of the former Met heading to the Bronx and donning Yankee pinstripes.
Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers
Nelson Cruz, like Beltran, is one of the best batters in the MLB, and also like Beltran, he'll be able to test free agency during the offseason. But Cruz has something against him that Beltran doesn't have to worry about: a PED suspension.
Cruz was suspended for 50 games this season, but even with the suspension, he batted .266, hit 27 homeruns and brought 76 runners across the plate for the Rangers. Cruz has had over 70 RBI every season since 2009 and is one of the most consistent run-producers in the major leagues.
Any team that needs to add a little pop in their lineup would be smart to pursue Cruz for his on-field production, but it'll be interesting to see how teams approach him after his PED suspension in 2013.
Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
Robinson Cano has been one of the most consistent Yankees over the last few years, putting up 27 homeruns and 107 RBI while batting .314 this season alone. Cano has been a Yankee since 2005, but now, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com, Cano is demanding big money for his elite skills at second base and ridiculous production at the plate.
Because Cano will be demanding beau-coups bucks, the Yanks have a very tough decision during the offseason. Do they re-sign this life-long Yankee and lose a bunch of extra money in the process, or do they look for a way to fill his shoes, either at second base or at home plate?
We'll get the answer in a few months, as Cano and the Yankees both have the opportunity to explore all of the various options out there in free agency.
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