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Thread: Jon Heyman(CBSSports.com): Top 50 MLB free agents

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    Jon Heyman(CBSSports.com): Top 50 MLB free agents

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/...ing-some-drama

    1. Robinson Cano, Yankees, 2B: He's turned in his usual excellent offensive season but his case for the big bucks is hurt by 1) signing on with noted Yankees fan Jay Z who made "the Yankees hat more famous than a Yankee can," and quite possibly 2) hints that the nouveau riche Dodgers may not have the money once they (hopefully) lock up about-to-be-Cy-Young-winner Clayton Kershaw. Cano's best case is that the Yankees need him for branding since all their other many great players are in their upper 30s or early 40s. The Yankees will counter by saying he's not Derek Jeter or A-Rod (the good, pre-roids A-Rod, that is). The 24 home runs, 85 RBI and .305 batting average are right in line with what you'd expect, but Fielding Bible has him as only a plus-7 this year (tied for 10th best among second basemen), down from a plus-22 last year, which was second-best to the Cubs' Darwin Barney. That's important since one of the key selling points for Cano, 30, is that he's the best-hitting middle infielder in the game. Cano's a better player than Mark Teixeira ($180 million, eight years) or probably even Prince Fielder ($214 million, nine years) but considering no one expects him to go, youngish veteran agent Van Wagenen will need to pull one out of his bag of tricks to hit the magic $200 million mark.

    2. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox, CF: He's played a big role in a World Series title, put up a monster 2011 season (he led the AL with 364 total bases) and proven to be a dependable leadoff man and stellar center fielder. One AL exec cited B.J. Upton's $75.2 million, five-year deal as a baseline figure, but that may be optimistic management thinking. Ellsbury will surely shoot for nine figures, and many think he'll get it despite a few injuries (one was misdiagnosed, exacerbating the situation) and a question as to how close he'll ever get to the 2011 power numbers. The Red Sox are low-keying their interest but Jackie Bradley Jr. isn't proven as a major-league center fielder, so they'd be in the game at the right price. The Mariners, Cubs (with ex-Red Sox GM Theo Epstein), Blue Jays and many others could also be in the mix. The Yankees, who'd been hoping to get that payroll below $189 million, could be a wild card.

    3. Shin-Soo Choo, Reds, OF: With 85 walks and a .412 on-base percentage, figures only behind teammate Joey Votto in the NL, some may believe he's a better leadoff man than Ellsbury -- though many execs prefer to see him as an excellent right fielder rather than a below average center fielder. He does just about everything well (16 steals, 17 home runs) but may be better suited for right field. The Mets have been expected to be in their pitching -- though they could also consider Ellsbury. The Rangers, who once tried for him, are another possibility.

    4. Brian McCann, Braves, C: Offensive catchers are invaluable so there should be a feeding frenzy for this seven-time All-Star with a perennial .800-plus OPS. The Rangers, Cubs, Phillies and Yankees seem like possible players, with the Tigers and Nationals -- two more in a potentially big field -- who could make sense.

    5. Matt Garza, Rangers, SP: He's gotten healthy in time to lead a less-than-glossy starting pitching market. Has proven successful in the AL East, Wrigley Field and The Ballpark at Arlington, so not many knocks from a competitive standpoint. He cost quite a haul in trade (Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards and more), so the fair assumption is he'll get quite a haul on the market.

    6. Ervin Santana, Royals, SP: He's been everything, and more, for Kansas City following a career in Anaheim/Los Angeles that also wasn't without highlights. With no history of arm trouble, could potentially make a score to rival even Garza.

    7. Hunter Pence, Giants, OF: He may look clumsy, but he can do a lot of things well, and he's a winner. The Giants would like him back.

    8. Ricky Nolasco, Dodgers, SP: Oddly overlooked on free-agent lists, he's been a consistently good pitcher and double-digit winner throughout his career. Would surely love to stay with his hometown Dodgers, for whom he has started 5-1, and if they win a World Series, maybe he gets his wish.

    9. Nelson Cruz, Rangers, RF: A lot of folks wondered aloud if he'll take a financial hit to match website wizard Melky Cabrera. But the reality is, he's a much better clubhouse guy with a much longer history of sustained success. Reality: he'll easily get a three-year deal even after his Biogenesis suspension, and may get four. Was on his way to perhaps his best year (27 home runs) when he took MLB's deal to sit the rest of the season, disappointing his teammates.

    10. Tim Lincecum, Giants, SP: He's had a disappointing run the last two years from a statistical standpoint, but as one AL exec said, "he's better than a 4.5 ERA pitcher." On occasions, he's been terrific (see the 148-pitch no-hitter), and his pedigree in a thin starters market will draw significant interest, much more than most would think. Some may like him better as a bullpen piece, but he should still have plenty of hits as a starter.
    Last edited by junkhead; 08-29-2013 at 03:45 AM.

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    Re: Jon Heyman(CBSSports.com): Top 50 MLB free agents

    3. Shin-Soo Choo, Reds, OF: With 85 walks and a .412 on-base percentage, figures only behind teammate Joey Votto in the NL, some may believe he's a better leadoff man than Ellsbury -- though many execs prefer to see him as an excellent right fielder rather than a below average center fielder. He does just about everything well (16 steals, 17 home runs) but may be better suited for right field. The Mets have been expected to be in their pitching -- though they could also consider Ellsbury. The Rangers, who once tried for him, are another possibility.

    17. Bronson Arroyo, Reds, SP: He's been one of the most consistent winners in the NL, much better than the press clippings would suggest. Another plus: he's never hurt.

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    Re: Jon Heyman(CBSSports.com): Top 50 MLB free agents

    While Carlos Beltran or Curtis Granderson on a 1 or 2 year deal would be nice, two guys that stick out and seem more realistic for the Reds are Stephen Drew and Nate McLouth.

    Drew could be the starting SS and keep Cozart around for when Drew inevitably hits the DL.
    McLouth could keep CF warm for the spring until Billy is ready, although McLouth seems to be more of a corner OF than CF these days.

    No one really fits this team like a glove, but the two most likely candidates from this list seem to be Drew and McLouth.

    That said, I wonder if we could convince Granderson to take a 1 year deal to rebuild his value? Unlikely, but maybe worth a shot. More likely he ends up with his hometown Cubs or Sox. If it's the Cubs, hopefully that precludes them from signing Choo. Would hate to see him in Cubbie Blue without them forfeiting their first round (protected) pick.
    Last edited by Benihana; 08-29-2013 at 01:40 AM.
    Go BLUE!!!

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Jon Heyman(CBSSports.com): Top 50 MLB free agents

    That's a fairly dire list in terms of available impact names, but there is talent there. I get that Ellsbury's ceiling is higher, but I would be surprised if he outproduced Choo for the rest of their careers.

    For the Reds, I would look at Grant Balfour on a short term pact as closer and flip Chappy for a bat, though that is easier said than done.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Jon Heyman(CBSSports.com): Top 50 MLB free agents

    Let's trim that list up. That is far too much to post from an article for the site.

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    Re: Jon Heyman(CBSSports.com): Top 50 MLB free agents

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    That's a fairly dire list in terms of available impact names, but there is talent there. I get that Ellsbury's ceiling is higher, but I would be surprised if he outproduced Choo for the rest of their careers.

    For the Reds, I would look at Grant Balfour on a short term pact as closer and flip Chappy for a bat, though that is easier said than done.
    You're right. Ellsbury's value heavily relies on his legs.
    And when you get older, speed is one of the first things to go.
    Besides, His career walk rate(6.9%) is just terrible as a leadoff hitter.

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    Re: Jon Heyman(CBSSports.com): Top 50 MLB free agents

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Let's trim that list up. That is far too much to post from an article for the site.
    You can list the names, that is not a copyright violation but the associated content has to be out after the first five or six.


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