MLB Free Agent Rumors: The 5 Best Available Players in 2012

Ben CousinsCorrespondent IJune 8, 2011

MLB Free Agent Rumors: The 5 Best Available Players in 2012

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    HOUSTON - JUNE 07:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates at home plate after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park on June 7, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Major League Baseball free agency is always crazy. 

    The dollar value and length for contracts is always out of this world, and becomes more wild wit every passing season. 

    The 2012 lot of players listed for potential free agency promises to be just as wild as any other year. 

    There is a large crop of talent at every position, which promises to make for a feeding frenzy in the off season. 

    Here is a list of the top five players expected to rack in big time cash in the 2012 MLB Free Agency pool. 

    Please feel free to comment wit your predictions, other high end players I may have missed and anything you feel needs to be said about the world of sports. 

5. Mark Buehrle

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    GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 11:  Mark Buehrle #56 of the Chicago White Sox pitches during the spring training baseball game against Chicago Cubs at Camelback Ranch on March 11, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    At 32, Mark Buehrle may only have a few good years left, but he would be a great addition to any team's rotation. 

    Left handed pitchers always command more money in the free agency pool, this is exactly what will happen with Mark Buehrle.

    Buehrle has averaged over an 11 year career, a 3.85 ERA and around 100 strikeouts, which are very respectable numbers. 

    Expect a few teams in search of good left-handed pitcher to make a move for Mark Buehrle in the offseason. 

4. Prince Fielder

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    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JUNE 06:  Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a three run home run against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium on June 6, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    At 27 years of age, Prince Fielder is one of the youngest available players in the 2012 free agency pool. 

    Fielder is a strong batter who has averaged 40 HR and 111 RBI from 2007-2010. 

    Fielder's weight and sparks of inconsistency do have some teams worried, this should decide really how many teams are interested Prince's services. 

    All things considered, expect this slugger to sign for big money in the offseason. 

3. Roy Oswalt

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: Starting pitcher Roy Oswalt #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers to a Washington Nationals batter at Nationals Park on June 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    The Phillies are very deep in the pitcher position. 

    This may be a reason that despite the 2012 option for Roy Oswalt, he may enter the free agency pool. 

    Oswalt is 33 years of age, which means that he will not get a long term contract like many of the other players on this list, however he is still a very valuable player that will command substantial interest.  

    Last season, Oswalt had an ERA of 2.76, this season in 10 games, he has 3.05 ERA, if these numbers continue, Oswalt will earn big money in the offseason. 

2. C.C. Sabathia

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    BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 19:  C.C. Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 19, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    C.C. Sabathia is the best pitcher on the list on 2012 free agents and comes in at No. 2 on the overall list. 

    The Yankees' ace has posted strong numbers the past two seasons averaging 20 wins and earning 197 strikeouts each. 

    Sabathia is on pace for similar numbers this season. 

    Sabathia does have an option for the 2012 season, but if he decides to enter free agency, expect a long list of bidders.  

    Rumours have him earning upwards of a $100 million deal. 

1. Albert Pujols

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 5: Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates his walk-off home run against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on June 5, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals beat the Cubs 3-2 in 10 innings.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwan
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    See that picture?

    That is the exact face Albert Pujols will make when he signs in the offseason as a free agent. 

    Pujols is the best player in the 2012 pool of potential free agents. 

    I was critical of Pujols' play in an earlier article, but since I posted that he has been lights out, with 4 home runs and 7 RBI in his last three games. 

    Pujols has been a model of consistency throughout his career, averaging  42 HR a year and never dipping lower that 32. 

    The St. Louis Cardinals slugger is rumoured to earn upwards $300 million in a 10-year contract.