The free agent signing period officially began yesterday, and the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees appear to be wasting no time in re-signing a couple of veterans. The Tigers re-signed closer Todd Jones to a one year/$7 million deal, and reports out of New York say the Yankees are close to re-signing catcher Jorge Posada to a four year/$52.4 million deal. This off-season will of course be remembered for whomever signs Alex Rodriguez, but there are a few other intriguing free agents on the market.
Here are my Top 10 Free Agents (not named Alex):
Check back for updates on these ten.
#1) Barry Bonds
A few weeks ago NBC Sports was running an interview with Bonds in which it appeared that he may have decided to retire from the game. Bonds has not officially retired from baseball, and while he does carry a lot of baggage he is also one of the best hitters in free agency. If an American League club signs him he should be able to play 150+ games and should pass 3,000 hits and break the all-time runs record sometime in 2008.
Possible Destinations: Oakland, San Francisco, Detroit, Prison
#2) Mike Lowell
The World Series MVP will get a raise and could possibly be heading out of Boston. A few seasons ago the Florida Marlins thought that Lowell was done and shipped him to Boston. Last season he had career numbers, and will be looking to be paid accordingly. Boston has placed a contract on the table, but it appears that Lowell and his agent are looking for more money.
Possible Destinations: Boston (3-year/$37.5 million deal), New York Yankees
#3) Torii Hunter
It would be hard to imagine the Minnesota Twins outfield without Hunter who has played his whole career in the Twin Cities. Coming off of another great season at the plate, and another Gold Glove for his work in the field Hunter is one of the top free agents on the market. A veteran who has always played consistently good baseball, Hunter should get a huge deal from whichever team he signs.
Possible Destinations: Minnesota, Chicago White Sox, Atlanta, Chicago Cubs, Texas, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels (5-year/$90 million)
#4) Francisco Cordero
Outside of Mariano Rivera, Francisco Cordero is the best closer on the market. He recorded 44 saves for the Milwaukee Brewers last season, and is relatively young at 32. Before the re-signing of Jones many around Detroit were asking the Tigers to sign Cordero, but that appears unlikely as neither Jones nor Cordero would want to be set-up men.
Possible Destinations: Milwaukee, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati Reds (4-year/$46 million deal)
#5) Andy Pettitte
The veteran pitcher is thinking about retirement if he is not re-signed by the New York Yankees. There would be other teams interesting in Pettitte’s services if he does decide to pitch for someone outside of the Bronx.
Possible Destinations: New York Yankees, Retirement
#6) Jose Guillen
The right fielder can be inconsistent at the plate, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons with Guillen. He declined a $5 million deal for next season from the Seattle Mariners, and has had trouble in the clubhouse from time to time but he will get some interest from teams looking for outfield help.
Possible Destinations: Kansas City (3-year/$36 million deal), Seattle, Atlanta
#7) Aaron Rowand
Rowand had huge numbers this season, and was a Gold Glove outfielder as well. He should get major interest from around the league, and will be looking at his highest payday ever. Will he be worth the money he receives is going to be the big question with Rowand.
Possible Destinations: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Texas, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox
#8) Andruw Jones
Coming off of his worst season for the Braves since his rookie year the team decided to part with their All-Star center fielder. Even with the down year last season Jones should garner interest from the multiple teams looking for center field help. With Torii Hunter and Aaron Rowand also on the market it will make the bidding fierce for their services.
Possible Destinations: Philadelphia, Texas, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota
#9) Kerry Wood
An intriguing story. Once thought of the future of Chicago Cubs pitching, multiple surgeries forced Wood into the bullpen where he was effective last season. With relief pitching a much needed commodity. It is unknown whether Wood will want to start again if he leaves Chicago.
Possible Destinations: Texas, Chicago Cubs (1-year/$4.2 million), Detroit
#10) Kenny Rogers
At the end of the season it appeared that Rogers would be staying put in Detroit, but Scott Boras had other plans and now Rogers is testing the market. He could still end up in Detroit, but he will listen to other deals. He might be considered too old, but he has been effective when healthy.
Possible Destinations: Detroit (1-year/$8 million deal), Texas, Retirement
It should be a fun off-season. Be sure to check back for updates with free agents, trades and anything else that happens.
– With 19 first place votes Cleveland Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia was named the American League Cy Young winner. Finishing second was Boston Red Sox Josh Beckett and third was Los Angeles Angel John Lackey.
– Dustin Pedroia and Ryan Braun were named the AL and NL Rookies of the Year respectively.