Blog Entry

Predicting where free agents will land

Posted on: November 3, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: November 4, 2010 9:01 pm
Baseball is currently in a five-day period where teams have exclusivity to negotiate with players who have become free agents. Sunday at midnight, that period will expire and free up players to talk to any and all teams.

There's plenty to like about this free-agent crop, as the top players at each position is enough to put together a contending team. Plus, there are a good number of nice backup options, too.

Below, you can find Evan Brunell's predictions on where free agents will wind up, going position by position with two names at each position.

Martinez C: Victor Martinez -- Tigers. All the noise surrounding Detroit going hard after Martinez seems legit. It's part of Detroit's M.O., filling a position of desperate need to contend and Martinez is the best option and remains capable of catching. Plus, Detroit has no major block at first or DH for an eventual switch for V-Mart as Alex Avila apprentices.

C: John Buck -- Yankees. Jorge Posada will be receiving most of his at-bats as a DH and Francisco Cervelli certainly can't start. The Yankees will flex their financial muscles on a catcher which they can bring in on a short-term contract who broke out in Toronto last season. It solves the catcher conundrum short term and leaves the long term free for Austin Romine.

Dunn 1B: Adam Dunn -- Cubs. Another popular pairing that makes too much sense. The Cubs need to strike to stay in contention even as they try to get their minor-league system in order and producing over the next couple of seasons. Dunn's defense is minimized now that he's at first, and the Cubs need someone to sky them big flies. (And if the Cubs really are not going after big-name free agents , which I doubt is 100 percent true, I'll tab Dunn to the Athletics .)

1B: Aubrey Huff -- Giants. Unfortunately, while bringing in Huff eventually paid off big time for San Francisco, he is now overrated. With Brandon Belt tearing up the farm, there's no overwhelming reason to give Huff anything close to what he can get on the market. I have a feeling Brian Sabean will do what he always does, signing older players coming off big years to nonsensical contracts. You know it and I know it. Sleeper alert: The Giants move forward with a Mark DeRosa/Travis Ishikawa platoon at first, leaving Huff to land with the Mariners .

Hudson 2B: Orlando Hudson -- Padres. The O-Dog will be on the move again, looking for his fourth team in four seasons, fifth overall. He's long wanted to join the Mets, but Luis Castillo has prevented him from doing so. The Padres plan to contend, but still need the dollars to make sense for who they bring in, and it will for Hudson to plug a vacancy at second with no viable internal options.

2B: Bill Hall -- Twins. Hall is looking for a starting job, but there are those telling him he is best suited as a super utility player. Look for Minnesota to give him a chance at the starting 2B job, but the Twins will love moving him around once they can justify it.

Jeter SS: Derek Jeter -- Yankees. I think a lot of people are going to be a bit surprised by how long the negotiations take. Despite popular sentiment, Brian Cashman is not one to pay someone beyond actual value. What he does have is disposable income that the owners can order him to pay a premium, so Cashman will do just that -- but only at a small premium.

SS: Juan Uribe -- Giants. This is one return that makes sense. Edgar Renteria isn't being brought back, even if he doesn't retire. Pablo Sandoval's struggles at third and Uribe's ability to slide to third as need be will be coveted by San Francisco, and he deserves the deal he'll sign for. It's a very weak market for shortstops, so even those that could be available in a trade (Jason Bartlett?) may have too prohibitive a price.

Beltre 3B: Adrian Beltre -- Angels. Los Angeles makes the big strike here, importing a gifted defender who had a great season with the stick. He won't hit .321 again, but he'll be a signing on the level of Torii Hunter. He's expensive but will produce and help put L.A. back into postseason contention.

3B: Miguel Tejada -- Padres. San Diego was pleased with Tejada's production after acquiring him from Houston and will sign him to play his natural position of short even though he began the transition to third base last season.

Crawford LF: Carl Crawford -- Red Sox . Crawford will spark a bidding war between the Red Sox, Angels and some other team yet to be known, plus a late charge by the Yankees (you know it'll happen). In the end, the Red Sox will win out, offering just enough to entice Crawford to Boston.

LF: Marcus Thames -- Phillies. Thames built his value this past year, establishing himself as a strong platoon option against left-handers who surprisingly held his own against righties. The Phillies are interested in bringing in another right-handed hitter to pair with Ben Francisco, and Thames seems like the perfect low-cost, high-upside option.

Damon CF: Johnny Damon -- Astros. Damon may be a center fielder, but it's in name only as he's restricted to left and DH at this point of his career. No contending team is going to be interested in starting him, but he can still land somewhere where there's a faint glimmer of a chance at the postseason. Damon can be the grizzled, scrappy veteran who can lead them to the top. Welcome to Houston, Johnny!

CF: Melky Cabrera -- Royals. Cabrera's stock is down. Way, way down. He'll have to latch on with a bottom-feeding club who gambles on his tools. Kansas City seems like the perfect place to do that. With an up-and-coming farm, he could fit in seamlessly if he takes his job seriously. If he doesn't, the Royals simply move on.

Werth RF: Jayson Werth -- White Sox. It makes a lot of sense for the White Sox to go after Werth -- they have their own bandbox and need someone who can play the outfield and who could DH in his off days. Carlos Quentin's defense needs to be hidden or moved to first if they don't bring Paul Konerko back. Helping matters is Chicago has the money to make it happen.

RF: Andruw Jones -- Braves. Coming off a strong season for the White Sox where he proved he can still bring it, just not quite as a full-time outfielder (although that possibility does exist), Jones seems like he could make a return to Atlanta. The Braves have a need to remake their outfield, and Jones seems to be a perfect piece of the puzzle.

Thome DH: Jim Thome -- Twins. No reason for Thome to leave the Twins, really. He had a strong season there, became a cult hero, has been loyal to his teams and Minnesota definitely could use this slugger back provided the two can agree on how much playing time he will get. Having Delmon Young, Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau doesn't leave much room for Thome, but it worked out just fine in 2010.

DH: Manny Ramirez -- Rays . Manny is a DH and probably will find the market a bit hostile towards him. He's not upper-echelon any longer, but not many teams need a DH. After long and overdrawn-out negotiations thanks to Scott Boras, ManRam will finally sign around the beginning of spring training and coast into town to help the Rays and what could be a moribund offense.

Pavano RHSP: Carl Pavano -- Brewers. Pavano is set to cash in on his success with the Twins and is certain to be in a position where he can outdo accepting arbitration thanks to a poor right-handed starter's market. Milwaukee needs to find starting pitching and fast, and the Brewers proved last year with Randy Wolf they weren't afraid to go get it. Wolf's struggles won't be enough to deter Milwaukee from Pavano, not when a Wolf-Pavano-Yovani Gallardo rotation would do wonders in the NL Central.

RHSP: Hiroki Kuroda -- Dodgers. Kuroda's been a bit overlooked on the national stage, as he truly is a strong pitcher. The Dodgers want -- need -- to contend, so they'll make sure Kuroda goes nowhere. They do need to slash salary, but a lot of that was tied up in Manny Ramirez, so there's plenty for Kuroda.

Lee LHSP: Cliff Lee -- Rangers. Buy into Texas being players for Lee and Lee eschewing the bright lights of New York just as long as the money is there. And it will be. The wife likes having him close to home, he's going to be on a contending team and get his money. There isn't much reason to move to New York.

LHSP: Jorge De La Rosa -- Tigers. Detroit has money to spend and a need in the rotation. De la Rosa will flirt with quite a few teams, Yankees included, but it's Detroit who will step up. It needs a strong pitcher in the rotation to have any hope of contending, and de la Rosa falls right into the bracket the Tigers are comfortable with.

Soriano RHRP: Rafael Soriano -- Angels . L.A. has said all the right things in moving forward with Fernando Rodney as a closer after moving Brian Fuentes, but the Angels bullpen was in tatters all season and Rodney is not good enough to block Soriano, who is one of the best closers in the game but will find a rough market.

RHRP: Joaquin Benoit -- Rays . Benoit's price tag is going to be high, but the Rays will be faced with a barren bullpen. Why not bring back someone they know can do it for them? They can entice Benoit with the possibility -- probability -- about taking over as closer.

LHRP: Scott Downs -- Red Sox. Downs is a Type-A free agent, but Boston will gladly fork over its second-rounder after Crawford gives Tampa Bay its first-rounder. The Red Sox want to beef up their bullpen after years of trolling through cast-offs. Downs has been coveted for a while, and Boston will take the plunge.

LHRP: Brian Fuentes -- Marlins. Florida wants to contend, but needs some help in the bullpen to do so. Knowing the Fish, they won't be looking to spend big at the position, but Fuentes is a nice, safe and affordable pick to be the new closer they want.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Since: Nov 12, 2010
Posted on: November 13, 2010 11:08 pm

Predicting where free agents will land

Predicting where free agents will land

Hey Yankee fans, you spent a lot of money last season what did it get you, not to the world series, ha ha, go tigers!

Intelligence at its best!

Since: Sep 6, 2010
Posted on: November 13, 2010 10:19 am

Predicting where free agents will land

So...You dont have the reds picking up one free agent ?
Walt jocketty might take offense to this article.

Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: November 13, 2010 6:42 am

Predicting where free agents will land

Hey Yankee fans, you spent a lot of money last season what did it get you, not to the world series, ha ha, go tigers!

Since: Nov 12, 2010
Posted on: November 12, 2010 6:51 pm

Predicting where free agents will land

Buck to Yankees?  Am I missing something or did you completely forget about Jesus Montero?

Since: Jul 31, 2008
Posted on: November 11, 2010 6:57 pm

Predicting where free agents will land

Funny how Paul Konerko isn't on the list.  He is getting old, but has a sweet swing and coming off a MVP year if he was on a playoff team.

Since: Oct 21, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2010 10:59 pm

Predicting where free agents will land

And like you have connections with "insiders".......yeah ok !!

Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: November 9, 2010 10:55 pm

Predicting where free agents will land

section-i'll say it once again, you can cry and cry that its the same teams over and over again but then why is it that 8 outta the past 10 ws champions have been different teams?  
mseng-Werth has played only 2 full years which is why (and i'm a phillies fan) that believe he isn't worth 20m a year, then again i don't think ANYONE is worth 20m a year, thats insane.  However, over his last 2 years (his only 2 full years) he averages, .285 hitter w/ 30hrs, 95RBIs, 100runs, 18sb and 10 OF assists, i would think anyone would want that on their team.  He is a 5 tool player, its too bad his early career was derailed bc of a wrist injury.

Since: Oct 10, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2010 10:46 am

Predicting where free agents will land

damn piss moaning Philly fans, always jealous of the Yankees, like you might even have a clue regarding Yankees finances and kids? shut up idiot!Wink

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: November 9, 2010 9:07 am

Predicting where free agents will land

Looks like my Indians are once again an after thought in the free agent market. Damn I hate Larry Dolan. He wasted big money on his sons political race (and surprise, surprise, he lost again) but won't upgrade his major league roster.

Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:58 am

Predicting where free agents will land

You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.
Jayson Werth has been the right handed power bat for the Phillies who have won 4 straight divisions, 2 nl titles and 2 consecutive ws
It is easy to be the "right handed power bat" for the Phillies when he is the ONLY "right handed power bat" in your lineup. I am pretty sure Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins contributed more to those championship teams.

Jayson Werth has never hit over .300, never driven in 100 RBIs, strikes out close to 150 times, gives you a decent amount of homers with a handful of steals. 1 season hitting 40+ doubles and recently taking walks. Yes those are good numbers, but not great ones and certainly does not have a long history of production. They are not worth a great contract, $15+ million, which is a fact even attested to by your own GM Amaro.

He is a good player that is being overvalued by his own fans. That happens, I get it. Tell me, how do you feel about Paul Konerko? I feel like he is super, but to you I bet he is above average. I bet you will cite his injury years as a sign of dropped production.

What you have no clue is the White Sox. What we are missing is a "LEFT handed power bat". We like players who can put the ball in play (even if it turns into a double play), and Werth's strikeout numbers do not match our MO. So I repeat, we do NOT want Jayson Werth. When you have a clue of what you are talking about, then post. Have a nice day.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or