MLB Hot Stove: Who Are the Top Players Still Available?

April WeinerCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2011

MLB Hot Stove: Who Are the Top Players Still Available?

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    PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 15: Pitcher Cliff Lee #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies adjusts his hat after being introduced to the media during a press conference as Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. (L) looks on at Citizens Bank Park on Dec
    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Most of the top free agents have been picked up. Cliff Lee will return to Philly, Jeter will be in pinstripes once again and Carl Crawford will debut with the Red Sox.

    There are still some good options left on the table for those teams who have struck out so far. Here the top players still on the market.

12. Jose Guillen

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    SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 31:  Jose Guillen #6 of the San Francisco Giants bats against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park on August 31, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    He didn’t finish 2010 on a high note. He was left off of the Giants’ postseason roster because of performance-enhancing drug accusations.

    But he's back this year as a free agent. Guillen is a solid designated hitter. For those teams seeking a strong bat, like the Toronto Blue Jays or Texas Rangers, Guillen may be a late addition.

11. Jim Edmonds

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    PHOENIX - AUGUST 18:  Infielder Jim Edmonds #15 of the Cincinnati Reds in action during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 18, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Reds defeated the Diamondbacks 11-7.  (Photo
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Jim Edmonds turned 40 last year. He will probably retire soon, but in the meantime, the eight-time Gold Glover could contribute to a struggling team.

    I could see him being a last-minute addition for the veteran presence and defense he brings to the plate.

    Could he perhaps even go to one of his original teams, the Los Angeles Angels or St. Louis Cardinals, to end his career?

10. Carlos Delgado

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    NEW YORK - MAY 09:  Carlos Delgado #21 of the New York Mets bats against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 9, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Pirates 10-1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Ge
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Delgado is getting up there in age, so he probably doesn’t have much left in the tank. He’s battled a hip injury, but seemingly refuses to give up and retire.

    Due to his desire, age and the aforementioned injury, Delgado could be a steal. His name was mentioned as a possibility for the Blue Jays or Rangers. He could be an option for the Baltimore Orioles as well.

9. Jamie Moyer

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    ST. LOUIS - JULY 20: Starting pitcher Jamie Moyer #50 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 20, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    The veteran pitcher is the oldest active player in the MLB, probably making some teams hesitant to sign him. But he does have the most wins and most strikeouts of any active pitcher.

    Due to his age, some savvy team will come along and snag him for a short-term deal and a relatively low price.

    And they’ll get an experienced pitcher out of it. I think the Washington Nationals should try to woo him—they could certainly use the help in the bullpen.

8. Lastings Milledge

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    CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 12:  Lastings Milledge #85 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is pictured during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark on September 12, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    After gaining a lot of attention while with the New York Mets, the young outfielder has gone through some struggles with the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates.

    He’s still only 25 and could be a good pick-up for a club. They could send him to the minors in the hopes of getting him up to par.

    The Blue Jays have been listed as one location for Milledge.  

7. Mark Kotsay

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    OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Mark Kotsay #7 of the Chicago White Sox bats against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 22, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The outfielder and first baseman is reportedly being pursued by the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are seeking a strong offensive presence.

    They would find that in Kotsay.

6. Nick Johnson

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    NEW YORK - MAY 05:  Nick Johnson #36 of the New York Yankees rounds the bases on a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on May 5, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Johnson is a patient hitter with a high on-base percentage and a strong bat. The biggest downside: he’s had an injury-plagued last few seasons.

    As spring training approaches and the other free agents get snatched up, teams will set their sights on Johnson.

5. Scott Podsednik

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Scott Podsednik #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers attempts a bunt against the Philadelphia Phillies at Dodger Stadium on September 1, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    The outfielder may be too pricey for some clubs, but there’s still a lot of interest. He’s a solid outfielder and good on offense as well.

    He's a good base-stealer too.

    The Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels are reportedly among those interested in Podsednik.

4. Russell Branyan

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    OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 06:  Russell Branyan #30 of the Seattle Mariners bats against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 6, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Branyan would be a solid addition to a club. He plays primarily first base, but can move to third or the outfield when need be.

    Teams like the Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays are supposedly interested. The Rangers would be more likely, since the Rays have spent a lot on their recent signings.

3. Orlando Cabrera

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    CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 12: Orlando Cabrera #2 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a double in the fourth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ballpark on September 12, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The two-time Gold Glove winner was not picked up on his option by the Cincinnati Reds.

    But a number of teams are rumored to be interested in the short stop. These include the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers.

2. Vladimir Guerrero

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 31:  Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Texas Rangers reacts as he walks back to the dugout after he struck out in the fourth inning against the San Francisco Giants in Game Four of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arling
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Guerrero is probably the top free agent currently in talks with teams. The Texas Rangers are reportedly very interested, while the Baltimore Orioles are reportedly in the mix as well.

    The powerful designated hitter has accumulated eight Silver Slugger awards, making him a great addition to a team’s offense. Plus, he can be played in the outfield when needed.

1. Andy Pettitte

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    NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18:  Starting pitcher Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Texas Rangers in Game Three of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2010 in New York, New York. The Raners won 8-0.  (
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The five-time World Series champion pitcher says he’s not sure if he’s going to come back again this year. Since he has yet to announce retirement, he’s the best player still available.

    When the Yankees won their most recent World Series two years ago, that was due in large part to the play of Pettitte. He's had his troubles in the past, but he steps up.

    Of course, if Pettitte returns, it’s basically a certainty that he will be back in pinstripes for the Yankees.