Things have really been heating up on the MLB Hot Stove as of late. A number of big-name free agents have already signed, but there are more top players that are still on the market.
Teams will be competing over the remaining free agents, but there are some fits that are much better than others.
However, for one reason or another, there are many dream MLB free-agent fits that simply will not happen this winter. A player may be perfect for a team, but it might not be able to afford him.
Masahiro Tanaka was expected to be one of the best pitchers on the free-agent market this winter. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the new posting system agreed upon by the MLB and the NPB, which has a $20 million cap on posting fees, may lead to the Rakuten Golden Eagles not making Tanaka available.
This would be a huge letdown for the New York Yankees, as Tanaka would have slotted well into their rotation. The Golden Eagles ace went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in the NPB last season.
If Tanaka is not posted, the Yankees' options to get a top-of-the-rotation starter are limited. New York has money to spend, but its best use of it would be on Tanaka.
New York Mets shortstops were absolutely abysmal in 2013. They posted a combined triple slash line of .215/.285/.561, scored just 49 runs and drove in only 40. At the moment, the team is prepared to once again go with Ruben Tejada at shortstop.
The Mets are in desperate need of an upgrade an a number of shortstops are already off the market. Mark Simon of ESPN New York has linked Stephen Drew to the Mets, and he would be a perfect fit.
Drew would bring the Mets the offensive production that they are desperately seeking. However, because of his high cost, there is a strong chance that the Mets will not have Drew as their starting shortstop in 2014.
Competing in the American League East is no easy task, and the Baltimore Orioles will likely need to add a piece or two if they are going to finish better than third place this season. One area where they have a pressing need is in their outfield.
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports has linked the Orioles to Shin-Soo Choo. The outfielder would seemingly be a great fit in the Orioles lineup.
Choo's ability to get on base as well as his 20/20 potential would be immensely valuable to the Orioles. Even though the two sides seem like a good fit, the Orioles may end up getting outbid by one of the many other teams that are interested in Choo's services.
Pitching was one of the biggest weaknesses of the Minnesota Twins last season. The team has already made an effort to bolster its staff by signing Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. Even after these moves, the team still has holes in its rotation.
Minnesota has multiple young starters who could see time in the majors, and having another veteran presence in its rotation would be very useful. Bronson Arroyo would not only improve the team's rotation, but he could serve as a mentor to younger players.
Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors mentioned early last week that the Twins have remained interested in Arroyo. It seems unlikely that Arroyo will sign there, however, because he should have options from contending teams as well as teams that are prepared to outspend the Twins.
Despite the fact that Matt Garza went 10-6 with a 3.82 ERA between the Chicago Cubs and the Texas Rangers last season, there has not been a lot of interest for him on the free-agent market. The market for pitching has been developing slowly, and Garza may not sign until comparable pitchers do.
Garza would potentially be a good fit for the Seattle Mariners as they look to strengthen their rotation. However, Garza could potentially only be a fallback option for the team.
At the moment, the Mariners have their eyes on a different starter. According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Mariners may pursue David Price. If they land him, their need for Garza would be greatly diminished.