2012 MLB Free Agents: Top 10 Starters and Relievers on the Market This Winter

Manny RandhawaCorrespondent IIIOctober 5, 2011

2012 MLB Free Agents: Top 10 Starters and Relievers on the Market This Winter

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    The MLB free-agent market this winter will be loaded with quality starters and relievers for clubs looking to improve their pitching depth.

    For teams like the Rockies, Cubs, Orioles,and Twins, it may be time to go shopping for some arms.

    Here are the Top 10 starters and relievers out there this offseason ...

Kerry Wood, Reliever

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    Some may think that Kerry Wood's best years are behind him, but Wood has proven durable and effective, even for a pitching staff as woeful as the Cubs'.

    Wood had a decent 2011 campaign, posting a 3.35 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, while striking out 57 in 51 innings pitched.

    At age 34, with a career ERA of 3.64 along with a 1.26 WHIP and 1,576 strikeouts, Wood would be a great assets in any team's relief corps.

Javier Vazquez, Starter

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    Javier Vazquez had a rough 2010 season with the New York Yankees, but bounced back to post some solid numbers for the Florida Marlins in 2011.

    Vazquez is 35, but has good career numbers, including a 1.25 WHIP and a 3.3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Javier Lopez, Reliever

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    Ever since being traded from the Pirates to the Giants in mid-2010, Javier Lopez has been fantastic out of San Francisco's bullpen.

    Indeed, he was one of the key components to the Giants' improbable title run last season.

    Since coming to San Francisco, Lopez has gone 7-2 with a 2.38 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. His low sidearm delivery from the left side is neutralizing, and he would be a great addition to any team's 'pen.

Mark Buehrle, Starter

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    Mark Buehrle needs no introduction, in Chicago, or really elsewhere after the performances he has contributed to the White Sox over the past several years.

    At 32, Buehrle is still in his prime, and his no-hit stuff and defensive skills as a pitcher could be invaluable to a club looking for an experienced starter this winter.

Heath Bell, Reliever (Closer)

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    There was much talk this summer about Heath Bell being a potential trade-deadline acquisition for several teams looking for bullpen help, but Bell stayed with the Padres.

    He's a free agent this winter, however, and with the numbers he's put up over the past couple of seasons, he could see a big contract coming his way before he takes the mound again in 2012.

    Bell turned in another stellar season for San Diego in 2011, finishing with 43 saves and a 2.44 ERA.

Chien-Ming Wang, Starter

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    Chien-Ming Wang has quietly put together a great major league career, and at 31, has compiled a 59-29 record with the Yankees and the Nationals.

Jonathan Papelbon, Reliever (Closer)

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    Jonathan Papelbon etched his name in Red Sox lore by being the man on the mound when the club won its second World Series title in in 2007.

    He's also made a name for himself as a premier closer in MLB, and in 2011 he had another solid year, posting 31 saves with a 2.94 ERA and a WHIP of 0.93.

C.J. Wilson, Starter

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    C.J. Wilson has become one of the premier starters in the American League with the Rangers in the past couple of seasons, and will be on the open market this winter.

    No doubt there will be potential suitors lining up for a shot at putting Wilson into their club's uniform for 2012.

    Now gearing up for the ALCS, Wilson had another good season in 2011, going 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA and 206 strikeouts.

Matt Capps, Reliever (Closer)

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    Matt Capps burst on the scene with a great 2010 campaign with the Nationals and then, after a midseason trade, with the Twins.

    Though he, like the rest of his Twins teammates, struggled in 2011, he's just 28 and one year removed from 42 saves and a 2.47 ERA.

Hiroki Kuroda, Starter

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    Hiroki Kuroda may be one of the most underrated starters in MLB. Though his record doesn't reflect it, he has a career 3.45 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, and on the right team, could be a 15 to 18-game winner.