It’s only two weeks into Major League Baseball’s free agent pageant and rumor bonanza, but there has been no shortage of activity around the market. Thus far, none of the top 3 guys on the market have signed, as they are taking their time and waiting out the usual triple threat showdowns between GM’s, agents and owners to best setup the market for them. Some guys are guaranteed to move on, while other notable local legends are at war to reach an inevitable ending with their clubs.
The trade market, arbitration showdowns and even a few signings have been moving along full speed. Some big names, such as Zach Grienke and Justin Upton are rumored to be fully available for competitors with a few extra prospects that are either losers in the free agent race or ready to make a definite move to add a young, proven player to their mix.
At any rate some signings are in play already and I be updating my November 17th Top 50 Free Agent list by pulling out those who have signed and showing their new homes and terms, while updating the original list and condensing it into a top 30 with a few clubs the are in the chase for them. Today is the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their incumbent players, so the free agent market can potentially reshape itself by tomorrow, so the top 50 list will be updated tomorrow with the full list of available guys.
In the mean time, here’s the current movers and shakers (with their original Top 50 rank in parentheses).
6. Victor Martinez-C/1B: Signed-DETROIT TIGERS: 4 yrs/$50 million
The Tigers have been one of the most active teams early on in the FA market, and bring in Martinez who can not only be an offensive upgrade at catcher, but a DH candidate and can spell Miguel Cabrera at first base as well. Versatile signing.
11. Jorge De La Roaa-LHP: Re-signed-COLORADO ROCKIES: 3 yrs/$32.5 million
Surprise that he returned to Colorado so when he did, as he was regarded as one of the top starter options on the market after Cliff Lee and potentially could have inked a longer deal on the open market with a team in need of a top of the rotation starter. However, his return to Colorado shows the Rockies dedication to locking down their core this offseason.
13. Juan Uribe-SS/3B: LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 3 yrs/$21 million
Uribe had one of the largest markets any player available due to his ability to play 3 positions in a thin infield market and his reasonable price tag. In the end, LA snags him from a in-division foe to help even out the West and he will settle in at second base regularly, but can also be available to fill in for the oft-injured Rafeal Furcal.
15. Javier Vazquez-RHP: Signed FLORIDA MARLINS: 1 yr/$7 million
I still feel Vazquez is a big sleeper and a steal for Marlins here. He’s proven to be a dominant National League pitcher and he rounds out the Marlins rotation with a veteran presence that should easily make his $7 million dollar price tag a bargain if his shoulder is healed sufficiently.
20. Aubrey Huff-1B/LF: Re-signed SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 2 yr/$22 million
Huff played his cards right and cashed in on his postseason hero status in San Francisco. He’s a fine player that fits in well with the Giants mix, but he’s not worth $11 million per season either at bat or as a first baseman.
31. Jon Garland-RHP: Signed LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 1 yr/$5 million
The Dodgers rounded out a great rotation by landing Garland, who is a near guarantee to throw 200 innings and 30 starts. He’s a good buy at $5 million per season, and becomes one of the best fifth starters in the league in very good Dodgers rotation.
32. Pat Burrell-LF: Re-signed SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 1 yr/Undisclosed amount
The Giants bring back Burrell at what seems to be a bargain price, due to his solid play after coming over from Tampa Bay in mid 2009, but damaged stock in a 11 strikeout World Series “performance”. Despite this, Burrell still has a solid bat and can be nice power threat in the middle of a Giants lineup that needs it, at an apparent low risk price and contract length.
49. Miguel Tejada-SS/3B: Signed SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 1 yr/$6.5 million
The Giants wheeling and dealing continues by bringing in Miguel Tejada to take the place of both Juan Uribe and perhaps Edgar Renteria. Despite being on his decline overall, Tejada is another great veteran bat on a team whose identity is piecing together low-demand journeymen while high ceilings. Tejada fits that role perfectly.
Current Top 30 Free Agents
– Updated list with already signed players removed and rumored teams in pursuit
- Cliff Lee-LHP: Yankees, Rangers, Nationals
- Carl Crawford-LF: Red Sox, Angels, Yankees, Tigers, Nationals, Phillies
- Jason Werth-RF/CF: Red Sox, Phillies, Angels
- Adrian Beltre-3B: Red Sox, Athletics, Orioles, Angels, Pirates
- Rafeal Soriano-RHP: Angels, Diamondbacks
- Adam Dunn-1B/DH: White Sox, Athletics, Rangers, Cubs, Nationals
- Paul Konerko-1B: Orioles, White Sox, Diamondbacks, Rangers
- Derek Jeter-SS:Yankees
- Mariano Rivera-RHP: Yankees
- Carl Pavano-RHP: Twins, Rockies, Nationals, Rangers, Pirates
- Carlos Pena-1B: Cubs, Nationals, Braves, Rays
- Vladimir Guerrero-DH: Rangers, Rays
- Magglio Ordonez-OF/DH: Blue Jays, Tigers, Angels, Rays, Rangers
- Bengie Molina-C: Red Sox, Rangers, Dodgers
- Manny Ramirez-DH: Blue Jays, ??? (Mars maybe)
- Orlando Hudson-2B: Twins, Cardinals, Padres
- A.J. Pierzynski-C: White Sox, Padres, Red Sox, Rays, Rangers, Dodgers
- Brian Fuentes-LHP: Diamondbacks, Pirates
- Andy Pettitte-LHP: Yankees, Rangers
- Jim Thome-DH: Rays, Athletics, Rangers, Tigers
- Derrek Lee-1B: Orioles, Brewers, Red Sox
- Kevin Gregg-RHP: Blue Jays, Pirates, Braves
- Lance Berkman-1B/DH: Athletics, Rockies
- Ty Wigginton-3B/2B/1B: Orioles, Rockies
- Kevin Millwood-RHP: Rockies, Pirates
- Matt Guerrier-RHP: Dodgers, Blue Jays
- Miguel Olivo-C: Blue Jays, Rangers, White Sox, Red Sox
- Scott Downs-LHP: Yankees, Blue Jays, Phillies
- Arthur Rhodes-LHP: Reds, Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Twins
- JJ Putz-RHP: Tigers, Diamondbacks