Albert Pujols is the top free agent remaining
As Christmas nears, many teams are hoping to land a few presents that will bode well for the 2012 season. The list of available agents involve big names and young talent, many of which will most likely be signed by January.
Agents and owners head to Dallas in a week for winter meetings and player shopping. Some 11 years ago, the same location boasted the highest week of spending, including the outrageous $252 million, 10-year deal for Alex Rodriguez.
Now, he chokes and other names have emerged. But with the amount of skilled availability, we should see just about the same type of heavy spending.
It's reported that 10 teams are interested in the 27-year-old pitcher. Last season's Dodgers reliever wants to remain close to his Georgia home, which would make the Miami Marlins or Tampa Bay Rays plausible teams.
After undergoing arthroscopic elbow surgery, Jonathan Broxton missed almost all of last season, pitching only 12.2 innings. But, now, he's cleared for spring training and should be able to play a full season come 2012.
At 31, Nick Swisher is still young and viable in the outfield and if he plays as he did last season, he's projected to hit a solid 20 homers for whatever team signs him.
But, he's likely to return to New York, where the Yankees could go with a $10.25 million option for 2012.
The All-Star shortstop is likely to sign with the Miami Marlins. Last week, Jose Reyes toured the new ballpark in South Beach. It's a complete change from New York where he has spent his entire nine-year MLB career, whether it was at Shea Stadium or Citi Field.
The shortstop, who won the 2011 NL batting title with with a .337 average and led the majors with 16 triples, should be signed by the new year.
Prince Fielder is only 27 and has played more games than anyone in the past four years.
Although Albert Pujols is the top agent, Fielder is younger and is receiving offers from a wide range of competition rather than being pursued by a long-time employer as in Pujols' case.
The Nationals, Mariners, Orioles, Rangers and Cubs are all potential teams for Fielder to fill in a roster opening.
Ramon Hernandez is the best-hitting catcher available on the market.
Due to a new collective bargaining agreement, Hernandez, formerly considered a Type A free agent, is now Type B. This means teams no longer have to relinquish a Type A pick if they sign Hernandez.
So, more teams are now interested in the catcher.