Warm Furnace: Free Agent Predictions

Where will he go?

It’s that time of year again. Baseball offseason. While the temperature is dropping, the stove is heating up. As free agency is about to start, I decided to my own predictions for the MLB offseason.

(Rankings from MLBTradeRumors)

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

 Is this a real surprise? While Cano is asking for $300 million, I don’t see any team willing to spend that much money, or give the number of years to a 31 year old. In the long run, I can’t see anyone else besides the Yankees signing Cano. Other possibilities: Tigers, Mariners, Blue Jays, Nationals

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Mets

The Mets an Jacoby Ellsbury seem like a very solid fit. While the Mets’ current centerfielder, Juan Lagares, is an excellent defensive outfielder (3.5 bWAR last year), the Mets have the money, and will be looking to make a splash and upgrade their outifeld.  After all, the highest-paid Mets’ outfielder right now is Bobby Bonilla. Other possibilities: Mariners, Nationals, Red Sox, Cubs

3. Shin-Soo Choo – Mariners

Choo’s OBP in 2013 was .423, career high. Seattle’s lead off spot: a robust .296. Needless to say, the Mariners need a lead-off hitter. While Choo’s price may be high, it is totally possible that the Mariners pull this one off. Other possibilities: Mets, Reds, Astros, Yankees

4. Brian McCann – Yankees

The Yankees always get the man they want. Brian McCann is a perfect fit for a Yankee team that is in desperate need for catching. While McCann might not be the cheapest option, when don’t the Yankees have enough money? Other possibilities: Rangers, Mariners, Angels, Red Sox

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Dodgers

Much like the Yankees, the Dodgers seem to have an unlimited amount of money to spend. Since the Dodgers had such good luck with another foreign pitcher (I know Hyn-Jin Ryu is Korean, not Japanese), I believe the Dodgers will take the risk and sign Tanaka. Other possibilities: Yankees, Giants, Nationals, Angels

6. Ervin Santana – Indians

The Indians are very close to actually becoming a serious contender to win the World Series. All they need to do is revamp their pen and sign one or two more starting arms. Ervin Santana is arguably the best free agent pitcher on the market. While he may be a risk, it is a smart risk for the Indians to take. Other possibilities: Yankees, Dodgers, Royals, Twins

7. Matt Garza – Orioles

The Orioles luck ran out last year. Their bullpen was a huge mess and their rotation wasn’t much prettier. Their “ace” from 2012 is moving on, and the Orioles must sign a starting pitcher in order to go back to the playoff team they were in 2012. Garza is a veteran who pitched in the AL East for many years. It is a solid fit for the Orioles. Other possibilities: Nationals, Phillies, Astros, Blue Jays

8. Hiroki Kuroda – Yankees

Kuroda’s tenure in New York has been a good one, posting a 3.31 ERA in his past two seasons. However, at age 39, he is almost at the end of his career. While a lot of teams would be ecstatic to have him because he will most likely only want a one year deal, I can’t see him signing anywhere besides the Yankees or the Dodgers, two teams he really likes playing with.

9. A.J. Burnett – Pirates

Burnett made it clear, he’s either re-signing with Pittsburgh, or retiring from baseball. Usually, when a player has a choice whether or not to play baseball, they will usually choose to play. Burnett still has plenty in the tank, as evident from his 3.30 ERA , so I think he will stay for at least one more year.

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

The heart behind the 2013 Boston Red Sox “Get Beard” campaign, Napoli had a solid year with the Sox, hitting .260 with 23 HRs. The Red Sox don’t really have another first baseman, so look for them to resign Napoli. Other possibilities: White Sox, Orioles, Rangers, Astros

11. Ubaldo Jimenez – Indians

Like I said earlier, in order for the Indians to become real World Series threats is to sign one or two quality starting pitchers. This includes retaining Ubaldo Jimenez, who from May until the end of the season, posted a 2.69 ERA. Hopefully, he can keep those numbers up in 2014. Other possibilities: Nationals, Blue Jays, Twins, Orioles 

12. Carlos Beltran – Rangers

With Nelson Cruz’s days in Texas practically done (I think), the Rangers will need a solid outfielder who can not only field well, but is also a good bat. Bring in Carlos Beltran, who in 2013 hit 24 HRs and batted a cool .296. The Rangers always seem to have money, and don’t think that they wont spend it on a quality outfielder. Other possibilities: Cardinals, Yankees, Pirates, Royals

13. Curtis Granderson – Astros

This is probably one of my boldest predictions. The 31 year old outfielder had a hard time staying on the field in 2013, only playing in 61 games. The Astros are apparently interested in an outfielder, and while I don’t think that they can afford Choo, look for them to maybe go after a “cheaper” option in Granderson. Other possibilities: Yankees, Mets, Mariners, Rangers

14. Stephen Drew – Cardinals

The Cardinals have made it clear that Pete “F*ing”  Kozma will not be their starting shortstop come Opening Day 2014. That being said, the Cardinals don’t really have any other options internally. While they could always trade some of their insane pitching depth for a short stop, the safer route would be to sign Drew. Other possibilities: Red Sox, Mets, Pirates, Twins

15.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Rangers

Salty was a key part of the Red Sox in 2013. The switch hitting catcher batted .279 with 14 HRs this past year, and is a cheaper option than McCann. Some may even argue that he is better than McCann. The Rangers will be losing A.J. Pierzynski  after this year. Look for them to add the catcher who is equally as difficult to spell. Other possivilities: Phillies, Yankees, White Sox, Red Sox

16. Scott Kazmir – White Sox

Other possibilities: Nationals, Twins, Indians, Mets

17. Nelson Cruz – Yankees

Other possibilities: Cardinals, Astros, Diamondbacks, Pirates

18. Omar Infante – Tigers

Other possibilities: Nationals, Yankees, Orioles, Dodgers

19. Joe Nathan – Tigers

Other possibilities: Rangers, Yankees, Indians, Dodgers

20. Ricky Nolasco – Rockies

Other possibilities: Dodgers, Giants, Phillies, Twins

21. Jhonny Peralta – Mets

Other possibilities: Cardinals, Twins, Pirates, Dodgers

22. Bartolo Colon – A’s

Other possibilities: Indians, Nationals, Phillies, Giants

23. Bronson Arroyo – Nationals

Other possibilities: Mets, Reds, Cubs, Orioles

24. Marlon Byrd – Pirates

Other possibilities: Mets, Twins, Orioles, Cubs

25. Grant Balfour – Yankees

Other possibilities: A’s, Indians, Tigers, Nationals

26. Joaquin Benoit – Indians

Other possibilities: Tigers, A’s, Mets, Red Sox

27. Scott Feldman – Blue Jays

Other possibilities: White Sox, Orioles, Mets, Brewers

28. Kendrys Morales – Orioles

Other possibilities: Mariners, Astros, Indians, Angels

29. Carlos Ruiz – Phillies

Other possibilities: Yankees, Rangers, Red Sox, White Sox

30. Josh Johnson – Brewers

Other possibilities: Royals, Mets, Twins, Rockies

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2 thoughts on “Warm Furnace: Free Agent Predictions

  1. Pingback: Top 30 2014 MLB Free Agent Predictions: 1-10 | toughlovesports

  2. Pingback: Top 30 MLB Free Agent Predictions:11-20 | toughlovesports

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