MLB Rumors: Jayson Werth and 10 Playoff Participants Ready for a Payday

Andrew J. KearneyCorrespondent IINovember 3, 2010

MLB Rumors: Jayson Werth and 10 Playoff Participants Ready for a Payday

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    The 2010 MLB season has come and gone. Now, the future of many players is on the line. Some of these were even playoff heroes.

    Money will be flying around, and ink will dry. But at the end of the free agency period, many stars will have new homes.

    Here are 10 playoff participants that need to be paid this winter.

10. Carl Pavano

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    Hopefully the team that signs him this offseason will not be fooled like the New York Yankees were in 2005.

    After Pavano's career year with Florida in 2004, the Yankees gambled on him, relying on him at the top of their rotation. This didn't pan out as they had hoped, as Pavano went 9-8 with a 5.00 ERA in three seasons in the Bronx.

    Pavano is now coming off another solid year in Minnesota and will be looking for another payday in 2010. Not saying that he's a bad pitcher, but he's been nothing more than a 50-50 pitcher throughout his career. This may raise red flags for some teams this winter.

9. Derrek Lee

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    Though he put up career-worst numbers in 2010, 35-year-old Derrek Lee will be looking for a team to gamble on him in the free agency period.

    Throughout his career he's been one of the more consistent players in the game. He will annually get you around .282-28-90. This is solid production in any lineup and makes him a viable asset for teams looking to fill a void.

    Lee is not only a very good talent to have on a team, but also a veteran leader. His presence helped the Atlanta Braves in Chipper Jones' absence and would help any team in the league that would need his services.

8. Edgar Renteria

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    The San Francisco Giants' 2010 championship run was highlighted by many players, several of which are free agents. However, Edgar Renteria, the 2010 World Series MVP, tops this list of talent.

    At 34, Renteria is still unsure if he will even return in 2011, but he most likely will. He's been one of those unsung heroes for various teams over the past 15 years and looks to continue his career. Someone should give this clutch performer a chance next season.

7. Rafael Soriano

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    Rafael Soriano has transformed into one of the elite closers in the game. He posted career numbers in 2010 for the Tampa Bay Rays and needs to continue to be paid like a high-end closer should.

    Many teams will look to acquire Soriano this winter, as he's one of the best-kept secrets in the league.

    The entire Tampa Bay team is likely to undergo changes this offseason and fall victim to their tight budget. Their payroll is always among the lowest in MLB and isn't expected to go up any this season, as they could lose some top talent including Soriano and Carl Crawford among others.

6. Mariano Rivera

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    The Yankees' Mariano Rivera is the most dominant closer in postseason history and possibly ever. Even at age 41, Rivera appears to have some more left in the tank and will look for the Yanks' brass to act accordingly.

    Despite his being in the league for 15 years, Rivera's cutter is still untouchable. It's the most compelling pitch to hitters, as they've never seen anything like it.

    His playoff numbers throughout his Yankee career are amazing too. He's 8-1 in 94 playoff appearances with a staggering 0.71 ERA. Those numbers speak volumes of the late inning dominance that has occurred in the Bronx over the past decade and a half. Rivera is certainly something to marvel at.

5. Vladimir Guerrero

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    Vladimir Guerrero resurrected his career in 2010. He had a rough, injury-riddled 2009 and came back strong this past season.

    After his performance in Texas, he shows no signs of slowing down yet. Though he will be 36 soon, Guerrero remains a solid bat for any lineup, particularly in the AL, where he can DH.

    Guerrero has been one of the most consistent hitters in all of baseball during his career. Although he is often criticized for swinging at bad pitches, he is in fact the best "bad ball" hitter in the game.

4. Carl Crawford

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    Carl Crawford has evolved into one of the game's most dynamic players and will now finally hit the market this winter. Crawford has consistently been at the top in steals and triples, and now his speed could earn him a major league payday.

    Tampa Bay does not have the money to pay its free agents this offseason and will suffer greatly. Watching a Ray great like Crawford walk will do its damage to the franchise, as they have a huge void that now needs filling.

3. Derek Jeter

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    Derek Jeter, while still active, is already among the Yankee immortals. His presence in the Yankee clubhouse over the past decade and a half, which has seen an astonishing five titles, is unprecedented. He's the leader of the most successful franchise in all of sports.

    Jeter personifies the Yankees through and through, and Hal Steinbrenner will do everything in his power to re-sign his captain. He's already seen a lot of success, but at age 36, he's ready for some more.

2. Jayson Werth

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    When the Philadelphia Phillies gambled on Jayson Werth back in 2007, they didn't know what to expect. Little did they know that Werth would repay them tenfold.

    His efforts for the Phillies over the past few years have been recognized by the other 29 teams, and now it comes to a head in this 2010 winter.

    Werth enters the 2010 offseason as the top free agent on the market. With agent Scott Boras in complete control, Jayson will most certainly receive what he's "werth." It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. In my view, the money is the same whether it comes from one team or the other, but we shall see.

1. Cliff Lee

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    Cliff Lee has had an interesting year over the past 365 days—from a World Series appearance with the Philadelphia Phillies to the bottom of the pile with the Seattle Mariners and back to the Series again with the Texas Rangers.

    Now though, Lee will have a huge decision to make about his future. His left arm headlines this offseason and will earn him some big bucks.

    It's still unclear at this point as to where Lee will land, but the Yankees are making it a top priority to sign him. Why not? They have the money, right?