Lance Berkman *
Adam Lind *
Mark Ellis *
Ben Zobrist *
Jamey Carroll *
Alexi Casilla *
Yunel Escobar *
Derek Jeter *
Wilson Betemit *
Jerry Hairston Jr.
Kurt Suzuki *
Norichika Aoki *
Coco Crisp *
Tony Gwynn Jr.
Reed Johnson *
Jason Kubel *
Chris Young *
Nick Blackburn *
Chris Capuano *
Jorge De La Rosa
Roy Halladay *
Aaron Harang *
Ubaldo Jimenez *
Jon Lester *
Brett Myers *
Wandy Rodriguez *
Johan Santana *
Joe Saunders *
James Shields *
Ryan Vogelsong *
Tsuyoshi Wada *
Matt Belisle *
Rafael Betancourt *
Chad Durbin *
Casey Janssen *
Matt Lindstrom *
Joe Nathan *
Juan Carlos Oviedo
Matt Thornton *
Jose Veras *
The Yankees enter free agency injured and defeated. Not only losing Texiera, Jeter, Granderson, and Youkillis for 2013, but also losing Mariano Rivera and Andy Petitte for ever more means that the Yankees are in for trouble. They have a battered bullpen, half a rotation, and an old lineup. Their farm is almost completely exhausted and it looks like the Yankees will have to go into a rebuild just to get back to the playoffs. But that time has not come yet; this year's free agent is class is mostly players over 30 years old. For that reason the Yankees will pick up Cano's contract again (7 years, $160 million). They will also sign three starters by the names of Hiroki Kuroda (1 year, $12.5 million), Tim Hudson (2 years, $16 million), and Paul Maholm (3 years, $18 million). They will fill in for the departures of Phil Hughes and Petite. Michael Pineda will most likely take the last rotation spot. The Yankees will also pick up Mike Napoli as a catcher/first baseman/third baseman in case of injuries and poor play from any position (3 years, $30 million). The last pickups of the winter are Michael Morse as a backup outfielder (1 year, $3 million) and Scott Baker as a bullpen arm (1 year, $1 million).
The Red Sox will follow close behind the Yankees in the importance of free agency, namely re-signing Jacoby Ellisbury (5 years, $75 million). The only other action necessary would be to re-sign Koji Uehara (2 years, $14 million). After advancing so far into the playoffs, they will vie for Mike Napoli to come back but be outbid. Saltalamacchia will also be picked up by rivals in the AL East.
The Tampa Bay Rays will only look to make one major pickup this winter and that is signing Jarrod Saltalamacchia to finally give them an answer at catcher (4 years, $24 million).
The Baltimore Orioles will also only make one major move this offseason, which would be the signing of second baseman Omar Infante (3 years, $19 million). Many would think they will be on the lookout for starters but actually the Orioles will soon have one of the best rotations made up of Tillman, Gonzalez, Gausman, Bundy, and Chen. (Next season though Norris will keep Gausman and Bundy's seats warm, anxiously awaiting their arrival).
The Toronto Blue Jays will face mass criticism after their disappointing and tragic season. Albeit, it was marred by injuries and their star free agents failed to live up to their admiration. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays blew through most of their farm obtaining these players. I expect some sort of bounce back play from Dickey and Buehrle though; their second half was excellent, a 3.56 and 3.18 ERA from each, respectively. They will also only make one pickup this winter in Dan Haren (2 years, $10 million), who will replace Josh Johnson in the rotation.
The Detroit Tigers will not do much in free agency this year; they will only sign catcher A.J. Pierzynski (1 year, $8 million) to finally oust one of the two fallible catchers on the team.
The Cleveland Indians will only acquire two batters this offseason to straighten up the loaded lineup. Adding Juan Uribe (2 years, $10 million) and Kendrys Morales (2 years, $14 million) to their unsolved third base problems and to add extra punch at the DH spot.
The Kansas City Royals look close to contending and second baseman Brian Roberts (2 years, $10 million) will fill the hole at second base and boost this young team quite a bit with his experience. They can hold off on pitching this offseason with rotation sports going to Shields, Ventura, Guthrie, Duffy, and Paulino. This rotation can support a team at an average level but won't hold for long. Unfortunately, the Royals are looking for young pitching, something there isn't a lot of in this year's free agent crop.
The Minnesota Twins are already going through a tough rebuild and will only look at their bare rotation this winter. The Twins will acquire Jason Marquis (2 years, $5.5 million) and Phil Hughes (3 years, $15 million) at cheap prices and wait for their star-studded farm to catch up to the MLB level team.
The Chicago White Sox are also entering rebuild mode and will be looking for youth. They won't get any. Re-singing Paul Konerko (1 year, $8 million) is probably a good idea for fans sake if he doesn't retire. Signing Carlos Ruiz (2 years, $11 million) at catcher can at least patch that hole for a bit.
The Oakland Athletics are never a team to take a big splash in free agency and that pattern continues this winter. They will only sign Cuban prospect Alexander Guererro (4 years, $27 million), second baseman, to a long-term deal. He will be their answer at second base and provide Oakland with a host of Cuban talent.
The Texas Rangers will take this offseason by surprise and pick up numerous talents. First priority is re-signing Matt Garza (4 years, $34 million) and Nelson Cruz (3 years, $25 million). Catcher will be upgraded with Brian McCann (4 years, $50 million) and the next big Cuban prospect, Jose Abreu (5 years, $40 million) will end up at first base. The Rangers will prevail with best offseason award and look to contend again for years after.
The Los Angeles Angles will pick up two major rotation arms in Colby Lewis (2 years, $14 million) and Josh Johnson (3 years, $20 million). They will help replace the should-be bullpen arms in the rotation. It will end up looking like this: Weaver, Wilson, Lewis, Johnson, Richards. The other pickup the Angels will make is Dioner Navarro (2 years, $14 million), a strong catcher that can play DH well or replace Chris Ianetta.
The Seattle Mariners will also make a huge impact on free agency this season. Curtis Granderson (4 years, $40 million) highlights their offseason while bringing huge power to their lackluster center field. Marlon Byrd (2 years, $15 million) will also be used to improve their outfield. Joel Hanrahan (2 years, $10 million) will be signed and finally bring some clarity to the mismatched bullpen.
Lastly, the Mariners will sign Chris Young (1 year, $2 million) to a reserve outfield deal. The Mariners will finally look to contend next season.
The Houston Astros won't be making any huge deals but will pick up a little help. Rafael Furcal (2 years, $5 million) will provide experience and Delmon Young (3 years, $13 million) will help them out at outfield.
The Atlanta Braves will be looking at a confusing season that has past. Most of their star players plummeted and their rookies shined. Expect some sort of a bounce back season for both Uptons, Heyward, and Uggla. Replacing Tim Hudson in the rotation is Jason Vargas (2 years, $12 million).
Also, with McCann leaving, the Braves will pick up John Buck (1 year, $3 million) to serve as Evan Gattis' backup.
The Washington Nationals' season was also disappointing. Various players fought season-long injuries and some players regressed from their 2012 form, but the Nats still show promise. They will pick up Ricky Nolasco (4 years, $25 million) to serve as their fourth starter. Another bullpen addition will be Scott Downs (2 year, $7 million).
The New York Mets will also have a huge impact on the postseason with the acquisition of Shin-Soo Choo (5 years, $77 million). Choo will vastly help the Mets in the top of the order and with their cloudy outfield. Another big pickup is Nate McLouth (2 years, $13 million), who can also lead off for the Mets. A lineup that begins: McLouth, Choo, Wright, Murphy, D'Arnaud will start to look very formidable. Unfortunately, their shortstop woes will continue with few options on the market. They will also bolster their bullpen with the pickups of Boone Logan (3 years, $12 million) and J.P. Howell (3 years, $12 million).
The Philadelphia Phillies must accept their fate that they are in a rebuilding mode. They are without any legitimate infielder besides Rollins and their rotation is aging. Relief will not be found in this year's free agency. They will sign Scott Feldman (3 years, $18 million) and Bronson Arroyo (2 years, $12 million) to deals that will allow them to buy some time in providing experience to their prospects.
The Miami Marlins will surprise most with the signing of Chase Utley (2 years, $15 million), but he will provide invaluable leadership to a young team. The Marlins will also sign Eric Chavez (2 years, $10 million) to a multi-year deal for the same reason. Lastly, the Marlins will sign Ryan Madson (2 years, $5 million) for bullpen help and again, experience.
The St. Louis Cardinals enter the offseason without many needs except one, shortstop. The Cards will sign Stephen Drew (3 years, $20 million) to a deal that plugs the last hole on the Cardinals roster.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking to take that next step after being ousted by the Cardinals in the NLDS. THey will re-sign A.J. Burnett (1 year, $9 million), so long as he does not retire and Justin Morneau (2 years, $18 million). The Pirates will upgrade at shortstop by signing Jhonny Peralta (3 years, $25 million). Their bullpen will also be further upgraded with the addition of Javier Lopez (2 years, $8 million).
The Cincinnati Reds are on the brink of truly contending but need one more crucial piece to finally get them over that hump. Maybe it's Billy Hamilton. This offseason, they will not make many moves. Only signing utility infielder Willie Bloomquist (2 years, $6 million) and relief pitcher Manny Parra (2 years, $4 million). Bloomquist provides impeccable defense, and he has actually gotten better at hitting over the past two years during his age 34 and 35 season. Parra was rejuvenated by the Reds pitching staff and will be re-signed.
The Milwaukee Brewers are ending their chance of contending and are slipping back into rebuild mode. They have few valuable players and an average farm, but that is not enough anymore. They will start out by re-signing first baseman Corey Hart (3 years, $23 million). Adding utility infielder Skip Schumaker (2 years, $4 million) will provide some insurance at the outfield and middle infield. The Brewers will also sign Lyle Overbay (1 year, 2 million) in case of injuries to Hart or Ramirez again. Finally, the Brewers will hope that Tim Lincecum (4 years, $25 million) returns to his Cy Young Form when they add him to their rotation.
The Chicago Cubs' future is looking bright after their trade with the Rangers at the trade deadline. This offseason will further help the Cubs out. They will sign rotational starters Bruce Chen (1 year, $4 million) and Barry Zito (1 year, $5 million). The Cubs will also look to replace second baseman Darwin Barney with the signing of Kelly Johnson (2 years, $7 million).
The Los Angles Dodgers have money to spend and a plan to achieve success. They will start out by signing Carlos Beltran (2 years, $24 million) because he can replace Andre Ethier. I expect them to shop Ethier for other valuable players. The Dodgers will also sign Ervin Santana (4 years, $38 million) to a long term deal to replace Ricky Nolasco. They will re-sign Brian Wilson (2 years, $9 million) to their bullpen and add Kevin Youkillis (2 years, $15 million) to play third base.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will only be looking to upgrade their pitching staff this winter. They will acquire three relief pitchers and suddenly their weakest point becomes their greatest: Edward Mujica (3 years, $10 million), Eric O'Flaherty (4 years, $15 million), and Jamey Wright (1 year, $2 million). The Diamondbacks will also add starter Shaun Marcum (1 year, $3 million) as insurance against injuries.
The San Francisco Giants are coming off of a season marked by regression and underperformance. Matt Cain suddenly blew up in the first half, Ryan Vogelsong was lost to injuries, and no batter seemed to stand out on any given day. The Giants will start out by signing Raul Ibanez (1 year, $3 million) as a part-time outfielder. Secondly, the Giants will sign Fernando Rodney (2 years, $8 million) to replace some missing cogs in the bullpen. However, the most important signing will be of Japanese pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka (5 years, $55 million). The price may be very steep, but worth it because of his excellent skill-set and longevity.
The San Diego Padres need some help that may not come from free agents but rather a managerial change. The Padres will steal outfielder David Murphy (3 years, $11 million) off free agency and hope he bounces back from his poor 2013. The Padres will also acquire relief pitchers Grant Balfour (2 years, $9 million) and Joba Chamberlain (2 years, $4 million). Lastly, the Padres will sign utility player Michael Young (2 years, $10 million) for his experience.
The Colorado Rockies actually managed to come away from this season with a few decent pitchers, something they have not been able to say in a while. However, that can only be said about a few of their starters, and because of this, the Rockies will sign Scott Kazmir (3 years, $17 million) and Bartolo Colon (1 year, $7 million). Afterwards, their rotation will look like this: Chacin, De La Rosa, Kazmir, Colon, Chatwood. They will actually manage to have a pretty good rotation. The Rockies will also be looking for a first baseman in James Loney (4 years, $20 million). Finally, the Rockies battered bullpen will find the help of Kevin Gregg (2 years, $5 million).
*indicates a player with a 2014 option
**I did not assign players with options to any team
***I only assigned a list of my top eighty free agents
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