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