Top ten remaining free agents
10. Aubrey Huff
Huff is an interesting type of player that seems to be revitalized when he gets a change of scenery. We saw it in 2006 with the Orioles after fading out with the Devil Rays, and again in San Francisco in 2010, which helped them win the World Series. However, at 36, the redemption act for Huff seems improbable, but not impossible.
9. Grady Sizemore
What a sad story Sizemore became. He started out as an incredible player with all five tools, but now thanks to chronic knee problem, Sizemore has been reduced to nothing more than a 30 year old project with past potential. Having said that, we did see some of his power return in 2011, even if it was just for 71 games.
8. Francisco Cordero
Some may question whether or not Cordero is worth a roster spot, but keep in mind he’s only a season removed from a career year with the Reds. The guy has a ton of experience and we’ve seen relief pitchers remain effective in to their 40’s. Two things working against him though are the facst that he is coming off an injury and that he is most likely holding out for a closer job, which may not come.
7. Jim Thome
The guy is going to mash until he’s 50, I’m almost 100% sure of it. Thome brings to the table above average power and a great presence on the bench to any American League team willing to sign him. It’s just a matter of how much money he wants for roughly 150 at-bats.
6. Derek Lowe
His biggest asset is his rubber arm; the guy simply eats innings, which is a hot commodity in today’s pitch count world. I could see a team like the Nationals or Red Sox signing him to help from over taxing their bullpens. By no means should Lowe be a front end starter, at this point in his career he is suited for the fifth slot, like a Livan Hernandez.
5. Scott Rolen
Rolen should be a hot commodity for any team with a vacancy at the hot corner. Even at age 37, he’s still an above average defender and has a reliable, but slowing bat. The knock on Rolen his whole career has been durability, but at this point, it’s not like a team is going to sign him to a four year deal so why not roll the dice.
4. Carlos Zambrano
It’s no secret that I’ve always been a fan of Big Z, at one point saying that I would rather have him over Tim Lincecum over the course of the next ten years, which I don’t think either side is winning at this point. But Zambrano, like Lowe, is a proven innings eater who is also extremely effective in spurts. As long as you keep this guy out of the insane asylum he’s a three slot in a contender’s rotation.
3. Brian Wilson
The bearded bandit appears to have been ousted by the only team he’s ever known and is now searching for a new organization to host his larger than life personality. What’s even worse news for Wilson is the fact that coming off his second Tommy John surgery and is still only 10 months removed from the operating table. Nevertheless, aside from all the crazy antics, Wilson was one of the most feared and intimidating closers for half a decade and should get an opportunity at redemption.
2. Kyle Lohse
He is by far the best pitcher left on the market, but in my opinion, his true value lies in St. Louis. He was a journeyman starter for the Twins from 2001-2006, never posting an ERA lower than 4.20. Then went to the Cardinals and has turned into a reliable, front of the rotation guy despite slightly above average stuff. The only logical move for Lohse is to return to the Cardinals.
1. Michael Bourn
History is really killing Bourn’s payday because nobody wants to shell out cash to an aging speedster, it just doesn’t pan out. Oh, and his atrocious second half last year isn’t helping his case either. I don’t think anyone can hit .225 and slug a messily .311 and expect potentially suitors to flood your answering machine. Yet, despite all that, Bourn is large and by far the biggest impact player on the market and could help a team win a championship in the next two years or so. Only problem is that he wants a four to five year deal.