Best Day of 2008? Nov. 14! Free-Agent Day!
Tomorrow, the phones will never stop ringing in Yankee Stadium, Coors Field, Wrigley, Angel Stadium, Turner Field, and Safeco Field. Those five teams are my guess to be pretty busy this offseason. Some big questions have come up that will start being answered tomorrow. Here are my predictions that will happen for the "Big Six," as I call them.
With the accusation of Nick Swisher and the loss of Betemit, the Yankees will pick up Jerry Hairston Jr. Bobby Abreu will be gone, and the Yankees will trade for Ichiro Suzuki. The Yankees got Nick Swisher, a good home run hitter, but he hit .219 last season; they will need to fix that with Ichiro.
The Rockies will trade Garret Atkins to the Milwaukee Brewers or the Minnesota twins. Carlos Gomez will be involved in either trade along with a minor-league prospect. Chris Ianetta has a chance to make it to Fenway if the Red Sox don't play "Lets make a deal" with the Texas Rangers. Todd Helton will be Todd Helton and stay loyal to his Rockies. Brian Fuente will be released and signed by the L.A. Angels.
The Chicago Cubs will be looking for an outfielder, a great fit would be Raul Ibanez who had a jaw dropping second half of the season. They will release Kerry Wood with the recent acquisition of Kevin Gregg. Kerry Wood will be picked up by either the Brewers, the Cardinals, or the Tigers. Ryan Dempster will remain a Cub and they will fail to sign Jake Peavy.
The Braves are going to be busy. The very possible Jake Peavy deal will not fill the vacancy in the outfield. Possible candidates include Raul Ibanez (if the Cubs don't sign him), Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, and other non-high-end out-fielders.
Kelly Johnson could be gone, but it is no likely for them to trade Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson. For short-stop, there are many veterans on the market, such as Orlando Cabrera, Edgar Renteria, Rafael Furcal, and Omar Vizquel. Trading is another road to go; Yuniesky Betancourt is a viable option.
The Angels are probably going to make a lot of mistakes this offseason. K-Rod will go with the New York Mets, Mark Teixeira is anyone's guess, and Garret Anderson is going to be signed to a reduced-salary contract.
One of two catchers, Napoli and Mathis, will be gone. The Reds could show interest. Before the Mark Teixeira trade, they had one of the worst infields in baseball. A smart decision would be to trade for Cubs infielder Ryan Theriot.
Brian Fuentes will be signed as a closer.
The Mariners are like the Rockies, going to be cutting ties with many players. Raul Ibanez will go to the Cubs or Braves. Ichiro Suzuki is predicted by me to be heading to New York. Adrian Beltre will either go to the Brewers or Twins, whichever Garret Atkins doesn't go to. Lyle Overbay will be first base. Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn are to very possible candidates to replace Ichiro and Ibanez.
Those are only predictions. I can't be proven right or wrong for a few hours.
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