MLB Free Agent Rumors: Ranking the Top 20 Remaining on the Market
With Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth out of the picture now, the free agency period has settled into the backdrop. However, many players are still out on the market looking for contracts.
Even with the big names signing big contracts, there is still plenty of talent available. Here are the top 20 free agents that are still available.
20. Bartolo Colon, SP
The former 2005 Cy Young winner is still looking to make a comeback after injuries set back his career in 2009. Colon went 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA for the Cibaenas Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League this year.
Colon showed better control and powerful "stuff" by walking only six and striking out 28 in 37.1 innings of work. Colon could be a hit or miss free agent. It is a risk but there are reportedly teams interested in signing the big right-hander.
19. Jeff Weaver, P
Weaver has bounced around from team to team throughout his career. Weaver made a resurgence as a reliever last season with the Dodgers, going 6-1.
His high ERA was his only downside out of the pen and could make himself a reliable relief pitcher if he stays healthy.
18. Pedro Feliz, 3B
Feliz struggled in the beginning of 2010 with the Astros. After being traded to the Cardinals, his defense improved along with his offensive numbers.
Feliz has never been a real threat at the plate, but has made a name for himself as being one of the most sure-handed third basemen throughout the league. He could have a major impact for a stronger offensive team by adding defense at the hot corner.
17. Adam Laroche, 1B
Laroche is a big offensive producer at the plate. In 2010 he hit 25 home runs to go along with 100 runs batted in. Laroche could end up in Washington to replace Adam Dunn, but wherever he ends up he could make a big impact at the plate.
16. Johnny Damon, DH
Damon is a versatile player who can make an impact in several ways on offense. He has become a designated hitter but still has above average speed on the base path. He also has developed more power than he had in his time with Boston and New York.
Damon is a versatile threat on offense and will most likely end up with an American League team in a DH spot.
15. Brad Penny, SP
Penny has only made 39 starts the past three seasons. In those starts he composed a 14-13 record.
While Penny is not what he used to be as a starting pitcher he could be a good pickup for a team looking for a fifth starter in their rotation. Don't expect Penny to win 15-20 games this season, but he could become another 10-game winner if he gets more starts.
14. Andruw Jones, OF
Andruw Jones had an offensive resurgence last season with the White Sox. Jones hit 19 home runs and drove in 48 runs at the plate. While these numbers seem minuscule compared to the standard statistics in the MLB, Jones improved his game a lot since 2009.
Jones has never hit above .300 in his career, but he does provide power at times and the ability to drive in runs in key situations. Jones could possibly be converted into a DH for an American League team or kept as an outfielder in the National League.
13. Jim Thome, DH
Surprisingly, Jim Thome made a name for himself again in 2010. The 40-year-old slugger belted 25 home runs to go along with a .283 batting average.
Thome is well past his days in the field, but he can certainly spark an offense from the DH spot or as a power source off the bench as a pinch hitter. The Twins seem interested but are afraid to invest too much money in him. Looks like deals for Thome could be coming soon.
12. Edgar Renteria, SS
Renteria had a huge postseason in 2010. After having two key home runs in the World Series, Renteria was named World Series MVP. So it is surprising to see that he is still available on the market.
Clearly he was upset with the Giants $1M offer and is looking for yet another team to play for. Injuries allowed Renteria to only play in 72 games last season, but he came back strong in the postseason and proved he still has the talent to be an everyday player in the Majors.
11. Jon Rauch, RP
Rauch had a key role in filling in for Joe Nathan as the Twins closer last season and finished the season with 21 saves. He also was very effective in the setup role when Nathan was healthy.
Rauch is reported as being a steal in the free agent market and he could be a good pickup for many teams in need of a setup man or closer in the pen.
10. Chad Durbin, RP
Chad Durbin is one of the top long relievers available on the market right now. Durbin finished the 2010 season with a 4-1 record with a 3.80 ERA.
Being regarded as a highly reliable right hander out of the pen, Durbin is a durable option who can make 70 appearances a season if need be. The Phillies seem interested but may not be able to afford his contract with the signing of J.C. Romero.
9. Jorge De La Rosa, SP
While Jorge De La Rosa's 2010 win-loss record may not be overly impressive, he did finish with a 4.22 ERA which is becoming a decent number with the improved offenses in the MLB.
He proved that he can win 15+ games per season, winning 16 games in 2009. Run support is a key for De La Rosa and he could be a good fit with a team with a powerful offense, such as the Yankees.
8. Grant Balfour, RP
Balfour had a strong season in 2010. Serving as the setup man for Rafael Soriano, Balfour appeared in 57 games and posted a strong 2.28 ERA. The Orioles have shown interest in Balfour, but nothing significant has been reported. Balfour's options still seem wide open and several teams could still pick him up.
7. Manny Ramirez, DH
Manny had a power outage in 2010. With only nine home runs many fans believe that Manny has seen better days. With no contract offers so far Manny is still up for the taking for many teams.
While Manny's defensive play is seemingly non-existent he could be a better fit as a DH rather than a left fielder. Given the right team however Manny still might have a big season or two left in him. It should be interesting to see if Manny is with a team come Opening Day or not.
6. Brian Fuentes, RP
Fuentes is another strong option on the huge list of available relief pitchers this offseason. Fuentes had a strong year in 2010 with the Twins and Angels. Appearing in 48 games, Fuentes had a 2.81 ERA with a 4-1 record and 24 saves.
Fuentes could have different roles in the bullpen depending on where he ends up. Proving he can either be a setup man or a closer there are several teams who could use a versatile left hander in the bullpen.
5. Vladimir Guerrero, OF/DH
Vlad had another strong season in 2010 with the Texas Rangers. Finishing the year with 29 home runs and 115 RBIs, he proved that he still has plenty of talent left in him.
A few teams are interested in Vlad and his ability to make contact makes him a huge offenseive threat at the plate and makes him a huge run producer. A deal for Vlad could be made soon and expect it to be a big one.
4. Rafael Soriano, RP
Soriano made a huge name for himself in 2010 by saving 45 games and posting an impressive 1.93 ERA for the Rays. It is surprising that he is still available although it is reported that he might be close to a deal with the White Sox. Soriano is a strong closer and could be a huge pickup for many teams.
3. Andy Pettitte, SP
Andy Pettitte had another big season in 2010. Pettitte suffered only three losses while adding 11 wins for New York in 21 starts. Reports show that Pettitte may be leaning towards retirement but after last season, there are teams who could still make a push to try to acquire the lefty and have him come back for at least one more year. Pettitte is a good fit for a playoff contender looking for a strong left-handed arm in the back of their rotation.
2. Carl Pavano, SP
Fear the 'stache? Pavano finished near the top in the MLB in wins last season with 17. Pavano is at the top of his career right now and he is looking for a deal soon.
Reports say that he could sign this week sometime, but there is no clear front-runner for him right now. The Twins are reportedly interested in signing him for two years, but Pavano may want a longer contract than that because he is only 34.
Pavano's name will be tossed around a lot in the next week or two as a deal becomes done.
1. Adrian Beltre, 3B
Beltre is the top infielder available in the free agent market this year and is still without a deal. Beltre finished the 2010 season with 28 home runs and 102 runs batted in.
To add to these already impressive numbers he also hit .321 with 49 doubles. Beltre is also reportedly looking to sign a deal in the next two weeks.
The Angels and Rangers seem to be the frontrunners to get him but as we saw with Cliff Lee, any deal could be the one for Beltre. It should also be interesting to see where Beltre ends up in 2011.