As soon as the World Series ends, all eyes will turn to Cliff Lee and the free agent class of 2010 to see where some of the games biggest stars will end up at the start of the 2011 baseball season.
In advance, we take a look now at the top 20 free agents for the coming offseason.
Let's just get these guys out of the way now: they will all be free agents and they will all be back with the Yankees in 2011.
Of the three, maybe Pettitte looks to go elsewhere, but given how that went last time he tried it, it would be a surprise.
Oh, I'm sorry. This was supposed to be "top free agents."
I don't know what Jones is going to do in 2011. He's already played for Texas for a year and for the White Sox for a year. There are only so many extreme hitter's parks in the American League.
Lance Berkman has a $15 million club option (read: no option at all) with a $2 million buyout.
There is no way the Yankees pick up this option, but it wouldn't be crazy for them to turn him loose and then try to re-sign him to a smaller deal.
Wanna know what I think?
I think Lance is from Texas, and he has spent his entire professional career in Texas. I think he would be a perfect match for the Rangers next season sharing time at first base and at designated hitter.
And I think he'd hit 40 home runs with a .400 OPS in 130 games for $10 million.
Caveat: Jeff Francis has a $7 million club option, which the Rockies would be fools to not pick up.
But Francis' agent will likely beg them not to pick it up, and crazier things have happened.
If I were a National League general manager, I would be quietly salivating at the prospect of Jeff Francis hitting the open market. He is a 6'5" left-hander who succeeded despite pitching in Colorado.
But he missed all of last season and half of this one due to injuries, which means he might be had cheaply.
In truth, the prospect of his availability means he needs to be on this list, even though he likely will be back with Colorado.
Troy Glaus has done enough to prove that he can still hit for stretches at a time, and that he needs to be in the American League.
This won't be a big money deal, but look for Glaus to catch on with a team desperate for offense next season.
Cleveland and Baltimore, right this way.
Carlos Pena has had a good run with the Tampa Bay Rays.
He is already on the franchise's leaderboard in several statistics, despite having played there only four years.
But this offseason won't be about giving Pena $10 million per year to hit 30 home runs with a .200 batting average every year. Not with Carl Crawford's contract coming up.
Andrew Friedman is one of the reigning front office geniuses in baseball, and Pena will likely get the Home Edition and not much else for his time in Tampa Bay.
I like him for the AL Central next season.
On Opening Day 2011, Brandon Webb will have pitched in exactly one game in two seasons after getting off to one of the greatest first six-season starts in the last 50 years.
If I'm Webb, I'm doing my best to high-tail it out of Arizona, as Phoenix ain't the best looking place to be getting a career back on track these days.
Webb strikes me as the type of guy that a team like Atlanta or St. Louis might smartly take a cheap flyer on, and he is also the type of guy that would be smart enough to go to one of those cities.
If ever a player was in decline, it would be Damon.
Just 443 hits from 3,000, he'll definitely be back in 2011. Where he'll be playing, though, is anyone's guess.
He would be a smart cheap snag for the Tampa Bay Rays, whose young hitters could use some lessons in plate patience.
Why is Kerry Wood on this list?
In 20 innings with the Cleveland Indians at the start of 2010, Wood was 1-4 with a 6.30 ERA and 18 strikeouts.
In 20.2 innings with the New York Yankees since being traded midseason, Wood is 2-0 with a 0.44 ERA and 24 strikeouts.
In short, Wood has simply recast himself as a dominant reliever whom several teams will probably look to as a potential closer.
If he keeps up his performance, he may not even escape the Yankees' clutches, as they have an $11 million club option on him.
Speaking of self-reclamation, how about that Pat Burrell?
Just 24 games into the 2010 season, Burrell got himself waived by the Tampa Bay Rays and signed on with the San Francisco Giants. In 80 games with San Fran, Pat the Bat had hit 15 home runs with 40 RBI and has an OPS approaching .900.
Look for Burrell to be back in the National League in 2011, perhaps with Arizona or maybe even Cincinnati.
Earlier this season, I featured Jim Thome in a "guys who look weird in the uniforms they ended up ending their careers in" article, and my buddy Jonathan Stillwell argued against me, correctly, stating that Thome actually looks great in those classic Minnesota Twins uniforms.
He was absolutely right.
A funny thing happened to Thome on the way to his retirement party: Justin Morneau got hurt.
Thome got pressed into more full-time action than he was expecting, and he reminded everyone in baseball that he is this generation's Harmon Killebrew.
And now, oddly enough, in what many assumed would be his retirement year, Thome will find himself as a sought-after free agent.
As much as I would love to see Jim Thome take a shot at playing for every AL Central team–he has only the Tigers and Royals left–he doesn't seem to be a fit for either the Royals or the Tigers.
There is talk that the Red Sox may be interested if...
...they don't pick up David Ortiz's $12 million club option.
I don't think anyone in the Red Sox organization is convinced that Ortiz is worth $12 million, since he has not been the same hitter since Manny Ramirez left. His re-ascendency to the 30 home run plateau this season may be enough to convince Ortiz that he deserves a big-money deal in what may be his final contract.
Would it be crazy to see Ortiz in pinstripes?
David DeJesus only makes the list because of the remote possibility that the Royals won't pick up his $6 million option after the season.
Even after missing the second half of the season with a torn thumb ligament, $6 million is a bargain for one of the most underrated players in baseball.
Jose Reyes only makes this list because, quite frankly, there is no telling what to expect from the New York Mets this offseason.
Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel could be long gone, and whomever takes their place could literally burn the place down.
Reyes has an $11 million club option for next season, which should be picked up. Nevertheless, his declining stolen-base numbers and on-base percentage can't be ignored, and his defense at shortstop has been unreliable this season.
If he were to hit the market, though, there would be no shortage of potential suitors.
After a great run in Detroit, Ordonez is subject to a $15 million club option for next year after missing the second half of the 2010 season with a broken ankle and will be looking for a new team in 2011.
Ordonez will almost certainly be back in the American League next season. After missing a World Series championship by a year in Chicago and then losing the World Series in 2006 with the Tigers, it would not be surprising to see Ordonez take a substantial paycut to play for a contender.
The Yankees could certainly be an option, but Ordonez also seems like a Texas-sized slugger. He could also opt to remain in the AL Central with the Twins on the cheap, or take a chance on going to Anaheim, where the Angels seem to have developed a fetish for aging outfielders.
One of the biggest fictions in baseball is the myth that Manny Ramirez somehow isn't worth the trouble.
Tell that to the Boston Red Sox, who have two World Series championships with Manny and none without in the last 90 years.
Tell it to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who went to the last two National League Championship Series with Manny after winning only a single playoff game in the previous 19 seasons.
Tell it to the Cleveland Indians, who had their most successful run in half a century during Manny's time there.
Manny Ramirez is the Shaquille O'Neal of baseball: everyone talks about what a jackass he is, and how he is poison in the locker room, but his winning track record can't be denied and general managers lust after him.
And in 2011, as Shaquille O'Neal preposterously becomes a Boston Celtic, Manny Ramirez could equal his preposterousness by becoming a New York Yankee.
Consider this time with the Minnesota Twins to be an audition for a free agent contract with some other team for Brian Fuentes.
With Joe Nathan due back next season, Fuentes should be able to find plenty of suitors who will return him to the closer's role.
New nickname alert: Adrian "Contract Year" Beltre.
Three things to know about Beltre:
1) For a guy who will have 7,500 plate appearances at the end of this year, he is a shockingly-young 31.
2) The only other year he's ever had where was even close to as good as he has been in 2010 was 2004, when he went all-world for the Los Angeles Dodgers, got a huge free agent contract, then went back to being a mediocre hitter.
3) He is still a good defender, and that is worth something.
Look for a ridiculous bidding war to break out for this guy.
Jayson Werth probably had visions of $100 million contracts dancing in his head after his quick start this season, and those dreams are likely dashed by now.
You can't hit .160 with runners in scoring position and be considered an elite hitter.
Nevertheless, Werth will get picked up by somebody this offseason, and will probably make around $15-17 million per season wherever he ends up.
The idea that Adam Dunn wouldn't be a Washington National next season seems, right now, to be preposterous.
The Nats have the money to sign him and the bright future to make him happy.
Nevertheless, it must be said that after 10 years in the National League, Dunn really is an American League-style hitter.
Carl Crawford is the greatest player in Tampa Bay Rays history and one of the underrated players in the game.
Coming to the end of his ninth season at the age of 28, he could be looking to find a team to get his 3,000th hit with.
Since Crawford is arguably "entering his prime," and currently having his best season, he will likely command a top contract from one of baseball's biggest spenders. Look for him in New York (Yankees or Mets), Los Angeles (Dodgers or Angels), or Chicago (Cubs) next season.
It would be quite a surprise if the Rays managed to re-sign him, or even chose to.
After the 2010 season, Cliff Lee will be looking to cash in with one of the biggest free agent contracts in history.
This will naturally price most teams out of the market for him.
Make no mistake: Lee will not be back with the Rangers. His time in Arlington has been a mess, and he may have finally proven that it is literally impossible to succeed as a pitcher at Rangers Ballpark.
Cliff Lee, New York Yankee seems virtually inevitable at this point.