It's winter time and that means free agency and big contracts. ESPN's Peter Gammons, one of the greatest baseball reporters ever, loathes when the baseball hot stove begins. Player agent Scott Boras' horns on his head grow an inch higher when this time of year rolls around. Here is the top-10 free agents report:
1. CC Sabathia: Dodgers, Brewers. I have read a lot of reports where writers think he will end up in New York. I do not see this happening. He will land on the West Coast if the Dodgers can't sign Manny Ramirez. Expect them to throw their hats in the CC Sabathia pursuit. If not the Dodgers, he will re-sign with the Brewers.
2. Manny Ramirez: Giants, Yankees, Dodgers. The best fit for Manny would be the Giants. San Fran needs a big-name superstar to help fill some seats. Manny loves to play on the West Coast. Maybe the Giants can meet his five-year contract demands and he can takeover where Bonds left off.
Other suitors, like the Yankees, may go after him to help embitter a Yanks-Sox rivalry, or even the Angels could make a run if they fail to sign K-Rod or Tex. If not, the Dodgers will re-sign him.
3. Francisco Rodriquez: Mets, Angels, Cardinals. The Mets may pass on K-Rod, but the Mets need the help the most. Their bullpen was horrible last year and has been the Achilles' heel of this talented offensive team. The Angels could very well re-sign him if his price drops. Another team that could make a surprise run at K-Rod is the Cardinals. They could use a closer, and he would make a nice fit in the Cardinals' bullpen.
4. Mark Teixeira: Red Sox, Angels. The Angels seem like the best fit. The Angels will sign one of the big three free agents. Teixeira staying with the Angels is the most realistic scenario. If not, expect the Yankees and Red Sox to make a run for him.
5. Ben Sheets: Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs. I am going out on a limb here and predict the Yankees will sign Sheets. He is a dominant power pitcher who is made for the American League and would be great at the top of the Yankees rotation.
6. Orlando Hudson: Cardinals, Yankees. Hudson could replace Adam Kennedy in this spot and would be a big upgrade. Also, the Yankees are trying to trade Robinson Cano and could replace him with Hudson, or even move Hudson to the outfield.
7. A.J. Burnett: Orioles, Cubs, Braves. Baltimore is his hometown, and he said he wants to pitch there, but I do not see the O's making a serious offer. If the Braves can't land Peavy, I predict maybe they will go after Burnett. The Cubs could make a run for A.J.
8. Derek Lowe: Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers. Derek has stated he would love to play for Boston again. The Red Sox could potentially look into signing him, but Lowe's antics with the organization in '04 is partly what led to the Red Sox not re-signing him.
I don’t expect the Sox to go after him. The Yankees will sign him, which would give them two new faces at the top of the rotation with Sheets and Lowe.
9. Ryan Dempster: Cubs, Braves. He will most likely sign with the Cubs. He has a strong relationship with the GM. If he fails to sign with the Cubs, the Braves could be in the market for him, if they fail to lend Peavy.
10. Adam Dunn: Nationals. The Nationals need a big-bat outfielder.
Sabathia to Dodgers; Manny to Yankees; Rodriquez to Mets; Teixeira to Angels; Lowe to Yankees; Sheets to Yankees; Dunn to Nationals; Dempster to Cubs; Hudson to Cardinals; Burnett to Braves; Burrell to White Sox; Fuentes to Brewers.