So, your team is in desperate need of an outfielder, but the simple fact of the matter is that only one team will end up with Manny Ramirez this year ( unless some one is able to find a way to clone Manny into 31 others) it most likely won't be yours unless you are fan of the Dodgers or Yankees. Even more complicated is the fact is that it is also unlikely that names like Jason Bay, Carl Crawford, Jermaine Dye, or Carlos Lee will be on the move. So what to do?
Here is a list of at least five players that should be available that could be more then suitable for your team.
1. Milton Bradley TEX - .321 Batting Average 22 HR 77 RBI
Sure Milton comes with some baggage ( just ask anyone from Cleveland) however, a team willing to take a flier could be rewarded with what the return investment would be. Last season stats show that he can be a very productive player and the fact that he can get on base and swipe bases proves to be a major headache for opposing pitchers. He may not be a must have, but if you are looking for a center fielder, or even some kind of power bat you would be foolish not to call his agent and make him an offer.
2. Bobby Abreu NYY - .296 Batting Average 22 HR 100 RBI
He showed that he can be the productive player that he has always been in the past, and that should lead to a big contract this season, even if the Yankees decide to bring him back. Should be the cream of the crop and a very good addition if your team is looking for a left-handed power bat, or looking to score a bunch of runs early.
3. Raul Ibanez SEA - .293 Batting Average 23 HR 110 RBI
Sure he can hit the long ball, but he is also good at driving runs in as well. Really good! Would be great hitting in a line up built upon and getting the table setup for power hitters, if you like Abreu take a look at him also. He may be the best at driving runs in this side of Carlos Lee.
4. Pat Burrell PHI - .250 Batting Average 33 HR 66 RBI
Yes, his batting average was not great, and his RBI total was not great. However, Burrell had his best season in a couple years and some suggest that he may be on the rebound. Nine years in the league is not a terribly long time so he could still prove to be a valuable player, see his postseason. A change of scenery could be all he needs. Put him in a hitters ball park and give him a every day job and you just may find out you have a nice little addition for a team that needs corner outfield help and a right handed power bat.
5. Adam Dunn ARI - .236 Batting Avereage 40 HR 100 RBI
I know I am crazy, but after the names above are gone the talent drops off quite a bit as far as outfielders go. Think of it this way. Perhaps it's time that Dunn looked for a American League team where he could be more of a 4th outfielder/ DH. He is not the best at defense however, a guy that could go and get you home runs and RBI by the bundle might look very attractive to a team like the Chicago White Sox or Detroit Tigers who are always looking for a power bat to fill a void. Don't rule that possibility out.
Names you may want to give a look after these five are gone:
Ken Griffey Jr - Yes I am just aware of the fact that he is old banged up and injury prone as I am that he and the Mariners would love him to comeback to Seattle for one last Hurrah before he call it quites. However, ( to quote the state farm commercials) knowing that when healthy he can still put numbers up for you, and if you were a team that will contend and is committed to winning the world series or at least making a run at it. Why not give him a look. He could still help.
Garrett Anderson - Another guy who has an injury history but when healthy can be a big part of the team, plus he also brings a winning attitude, and winning experience and leadership to a contender, or a young team on the brink of contending. He could be had for the right price.
Mark Kotsay - Maybe his day's as an everyday starter are gone because of back problems. Maybe if you give him a look he could still play the role of a very helpful player and even earn a starting spot on a team somewhere.
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