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2011 MLB Free Agents: The Top 50

Nov 7, 2010 – 12:00 PM
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Frankie Piliere

Frankie Piliere %BloggerTitle%



With the season wrapped up, free agency is now upon us. It's been less than a week since the Giants hoisted the World Series trophy, and with that, the Hot Stove is already beginning to heat up.

With the free-agency period kicking off, the questions kick off as well. Will Cliff Lee end up in New York? How many clubs will be bidding for Carl Crawford? These players are two of the many teams will be making decisions on as we get deeper into the offseason.

After the jump, FanHouse's in-house professional scout Frankie Piliere ranks the Top 50 Free Agents on the market this year. Get the skinny on the best talents, bargains and potential busts.

1 Cliff Lee
CLIFF LEE
• 2010 Team: Rangers
• 2010 Salary: $9 million
Signed With: Phillies
POS AGE W-L ERA SO/BB
LHP 32 12-9 3.18 10.28
There really is no debate about who is No. 1 in this year's class. However, despite his dominance, Lee is not as simple a decision as meets the eye. He is 32 years old, and the length of his contract may become a big issue in any negotiations.

2 Carl Crawford
CARL CRAWFORD
• 2010 Team: Rays
• 2010 Salary: $10 million
Signed With: Red Sox
POS AGE AVG HR SB
LF 29 .307 19 47
There are plenty of teams who would love to have Crawford's services, but exactly what his price tag will be remains unknown. With the Yankees potentially out as a bidder -- they seem pleased with Brett Gardner in left -- Crawford's leverage is hurt somewhat, but he will still be atop the wish list of many a team.

3 Jayson Werth
JAYSON WERTH
• 2010 Team: Phillies
• 2010 Salary: $7.5 million
Signed With: Nationals
POS AGE AVG XBH OPS
RF 31 .296 75 .921
Another player who, according to reports, may not have the Yankees seeking his services, Werth's value on the open market will be fascinating to watch. The best fit for him remains in Philadelphia, but expect the Red Sox and perhaps a sleeper club to chase after him hard.

4 Victor Martinez
VICTOR MARTINEZ
• 2010 Team: Red Sox
• 2010 Salary: $7.7 million
Signed With: Tigers
POS AGE AVG HR OPS
C 31 .302 20 .844
It's not often that an elite offensive catcher is available on the free-agent market. So, with that said, Martinez is going to rake in some serious money this offseason. Where he ends up remains to be seen, but even with his poor defense, there just aren't a lot of players who fit this profile.

5 Adam Dunn
ADAM DUNN
• 2010 Team: Nationals
• 2010 Salary: $12 million
Signed With: White Sox
POS AGE OBP HR RBI
1B 30 .356 38 103
There are American League clubs, namely the Yankees, who could take a long look at Dunn, but he figures to have suitors across the majors. As home runs dwindle in the big leagues, pure power threats like Dunn continue to see their value get higher and higher.

6 Mariano Rivera
MARIANO RIVERA
• 2010 Team: Yankees
• 2010 Salary: $15 million
Signed With: Yankees
POS AGE SV ERA SO
RHP 40 33 1.80 45
Like his teammate, Derek Jeter, Rivera is going nowhere. The dominant closer continues to defy age, and, barring some radical change of heart, will be back in the Bronx in 2011.

7 Rafael Soriano
RAFAEL SORIANO
• 2010 Team: Rays
• 2010 Salary: $7.25 million
Signed With: Yankees
POS AGE SV ERA SO
RHP 30 45 1.73 57
Clearly the top closer truly on the market, Soriano should be able to cash in this winter. A number of teams will talk with him, but fewer teams than in the past are likely to be willing to pay premium money for a reliever.

8 Paul Konerko
PAUL KONERKO
• 2010 Team: White Sox
• 2010 Salary: $12 million
Signed With: White Sox
POS AGE AVG HR RBI
1B 34 .312 39 111
For whatever reason, Paul Konerko just never gets his due. His value on the open market will be fascinating to monitor, and whoever lands him will know exactly what they're getting. You can't ask for much more than predictability in a player, and Konerko gives you that.

9 Derek Jeter
DEREK JETER
• 2010 Team: Yankees
• 2010 Salary: $22.6 million
Signed With: Yankees
POS AGE AVG XBH OPS
SS 36 .270 43 .710
It's kind of hard to believe Jeter would even grace such a list, but the reality always has been if he is to hit the open market he'll still be among the best players available. The other reality is that he's going to hit the open market in name only. He and the Yankees will work out a deal, but for now this is where he stacks up with the rest of the free-agent class.

10 Adrian Beltre
ADRIAN BELTRE
• 2010 Team: Red Sox
• 2010 Salary: $9 million
Signed With: Rangers
POS AGE AVG RBI OPS
3B 31 .321 102 .919
You have to love what Beltre did in 2010, but you also have to question the consistency over his career. He'll ask to be paid for what he did with Boston, but whether he can repeat that remains to be seen. He makes for a difficult free-agent case for teams to evaluate.

11 Andy Pettitte
ANDY PETTITTE
• 2010 Team: Yankees
• 2010 Salary: $11.75 million
Retired
POS AGE W-L ERA SO
LHP 38 11-3 3.28 101
Andy Pettitte may be a free agent by definition, but the only way New York could lose him is to retirement. Pettitte clearly has plenty left in the tank, but whether he's willing to put up with nagging injuries is the big question at hand.

12 Carl Pavano
CARL PAVANO
• 2010 Team: Twins
• 2010 Salary: $7 million
Signed With: Twins
POS AGE W-L ERA IP
RHP 34 17-11 3.75 221
Fans in New York may not like to hear it, but aside from his years there he's been nothing short of a very reliable big-league pitcher over the course of his career. He won't get the premium, multi-year type contract he once got from the Yankees but he'll do very well and give a team a solid innings-eater.

13 Jorge de la Rosa
JORGE de la ROSA
• 2010 Team: Rockies
• 2010 Salary: $5.6 million
Signed With: Rockies
POS AGE W-L ERA SO
LHP 29 8-7 4.22 113
This isn't a great year for free agent starters, and typically de la Rosa wouldn't rank this high. He should not be paid like an elite starter, but what he does give a club is a pitcher in his prime who will perform well in the middle of a rotation.

14 Vladimir Guerrero
VLADIMIR GUERRERO
• 2010 Team: Rangers
• 2010 Salary: $5.5 million
Signed With: Orioles
POS AGE AVG HR RBI
DH 35 .300 29 115
At this stage in his career teams will have to decide year to year how much Vlad has left in the tank. He still looks more than capable offensively, but teams would be taking a risk to sign him for more than one year.

15 Aubrey Huff
AUBREY HUFF
• 2010 Team: Giants
• 2010 Salary: $3 million
Signed With: Giants
POS AGE AVG HR OPS
1B 33 .290 26 .891
For a guy struggling to find a job last winter, Huff has certainly done well to up his value this season. The Giants look like a great fit for him, but there are plenty of clubs who could use his veteran left-handed bat.

16 Hiroki Kuroda
HIROKI KURODA
• 2010 Team: Dodgers
• 2010 Salary: $15.4 million
Signed With: Dodgers
POS AGE W-L ERA SO
RHP 35 11-13 3.39 159
Kuroda is not a spring chicken, but he looks like one of the safer bets in terms of arms in this free agent class. He has the plus stuff that make him a fit in the American League as well. Teams like the Yankees will keep him in mind as a secondary rotation option.

17 Magglio Ordonez
MAGGLIO ORDONEZ
• 2010 Team: Tigers
• 2010 Salary: $17.8 million
Signed With: Tigers
POS AGE AVG XBH OPS
OF 36 .303 30 .852
If he's healthy, Ordonez is a guy who is probably going to hit. He's not going to make big money on his next contract, but he has a lot left in the tank as an offensive force. If he can be had on a short-term deal, he's an excellent investment.

18 Joaquin Benoit
JOAQUIN BENOIT
• 2010 Team: Rays
• 2010 Salary: $800,000
Signed With: Tigers
POS AGE ERA IP SO
RHP 33 1.34 60 1/3 75
You almost can't have as good a year as Benoit had for the Rays out of the bullpen. Sometimes finding good relievers is about catching lightning in a bottle, but Benoit's stuff is just so good that he should be able to repeat what he did.

19 Adam LaRoche
ADAM LaROCHE
• 2010 Team: Diamondbacks
• 2010 Salary: $4.5 million
Signed With: Nationals
POS AGE AVG HR RBI
1B 31 .261 25 100
LaRoche is another very solid run producer that very quietly goes about his business. He'd be a very affordable option for a lot of teams to slide into the middle of their order and drive in 100 runs.

20 Jake Westbrook
JAKE WESTBROOK
• 2010 Team: Cardinals
• 2010 Salary: $9 million
Signed With: Cardinals
POS AGE W-L ERA IP
RHP 33 10-11 4.22 202 2/3
If you're looking for some solid middle- to back-end-of-the-rotation type starters this winter, you do have some options. Westbrook is one of them. He's a proven innings-eater, and he probably fits best in the National League at this stage.

21 Jon Garland
JON GARLAND
• 2010 Team: Padres
• 2010 Salary: $4.7 million
Signed With: Dodgers
POS AGE W-L ERA IP
RHP 31 14-12 3.47 200
Make no mistake, part of Garland's success last year was a product of his home ballpark. He's proven over the course of his career that he'll be consistent year in and year out. His good sinking fastball profiles well anywhere.

22 Kerry Wood
KERRY WOOD
• 2010 Team: Yankees
• 2010 Salary: $10.5 million
Signed With: Cubs
POS AGE SV ERA SO
RHP 33 8 3.13 49
The Yankees would probably love to hold onto Wood, but the reality is he will seek closer money and a closer's role on the free-agent market. New York has moved away, in some cases, from giving setup relievers big money, but it'll do its best to convince Wood to return if the money is right.

23 Manny Ramirez
MANNY RAMIREZ
• 2010 Team: White Sox
• 2010 Salary: $18.7 million
Signed With: Rays
POS AGE AVG RBI OPS
LF 38 .298 42 .870
Ramirez is absolutely a declining player, and that makes his personality issues even more of a burden. Some evaluators around baseball still contend, however, that Ramirez might have another big year left in him. He's a big gamble, but there may be something left in the tank to make the headaches worth it.

24 Carlos Pena
CARLOS PENA
• 2010 Team: Rays
• 2010 Salary: $10.1 million
Signed With: Cubs
POS AGE OBP HR RBI
1B 32 .325 28 84
Pena is somewhat of an oddball player. He does tremendous things defensively at first base and does provide production offensively. But, what to make of his sinking batting average and OBP is another question. A change of scenery and a new voice in terms of a hitting coach could do wonders for him.

25 A.J. Pierzynski
A.J. PIERZYNSKI
• 2010 Team: White Sox
• 2010 Salary: $6.75 million
Signed With: White Sox
POS AGE AVG HR RBI
C 33 .270 9 56
There are some catchers to choose from in this free-agent class, and Pierzynski has one of the best track records in that group. His best offensive years may be behind him, but he still can provide above-average offense at this position.

26 Javier Vazquez
JAVIER VAZQUEZ
• 2010 Team: Yankees
• 2010 Salary: $11.5 million
Signed With: Marlins
POS AGE W-L ERA SO
RHP 34 10-10 5.32 121
Vazquez is one of the strangest cases in this free-agent class. His time in New York was clearly a disaster, but most people around baseball feel confident that a return to the National League would do wonders for the right-hander. If his 2009 form shows up again, he is still one of the best starters in this class.

27 Juan Uribe
JUAN URIBE
• 2010 Team: Giants
• 2010 Salary: $3.25 million
Signed With: Dodgers
POS AGE HR RBI OPS
IF 31 24 85 .749
Uribe's postseason heroics sure don't hurt his free-agent hopes. But let's also not forget that Uribe continues to be a very solid everyday performer. He'll provide some pop, has good hands, and can give a club some versatility on the left side of the infield.

28 Orlando Hudson
ORLANDO HUDSON
• 2010 Team: Twins
• 2010 Salary: $5 million
Signed With: Padres
POS AGE AVG SB OPS
2B 32 .268 10 .710
You know what you're going to get from Hudson defensively, and that's a big plus. He's not a particularly potent offensive threat, but he's a solid performer who can hit above-average pitching.

29 Johnny Damon
JOHNNY DAMON
• 2010 Team: Tigers
• 2010 Salary: $8 million
Signed With: Rays
POS AGE AVG XBH OPS
OF 37 .271 49 .756
Damon's numbers dipped in 2010, and the Yankees ended up looking pretty smart even though ideally they would have liked to have him back before last season. The reality is that Damon doesn't have nearly the negotiating power he had last offseason. That said, he's still a fit as a regular with a number of teams who have the flexibility to use him as a DH.

30 Scott Downs
SCOTT DOWNS
• 2010 Team: Blue Jays
• 2010 Salary: $4 million
Signed With: Angels
POS AGE ERA SO IP
LHP 34 2.64 48 61 1/3
Downs was an extremely hot commodity at the trade deadline and that's not going to change this winter. The market for relievers isn't as strong as it's been, but Downs is seen by many clubs as an exception to the rule. Lefties like him are at a premium and he'll get paid well.

31 Lance Berkman
LANCE BERKMAN
• 2010 Team: Yankees
• 2010 Salary: $14.5 million
Signed With: Cardinals
POS AGE OBP RBI OPS
1B 34 .368 58 .781
Berkman's Yankee stint didn't do much to help his value, but he did rebound well in the postseason. The reality is that Berkman looks like a diminished player, but he still has value as a patient bat with some power, particularly from the left side.

32 Orlando Cabrera
ORLANDO CABRERA
• 2010 Team: Reds
• 2010 Salary: $2.02 million
Signed With: Indians
POS AGE AVG XBH RBI
SS 36 .263 37 42
Cabrera has become an annual free agent, and once again there will be clubs that would love to have him. He does make some careless mistakes in the field, but as usual shortstop is not a deep position and he still fills that hole very neatly.

33 J.J. Putz
J.J. PUTZ
• 2010 Team: White Sox
• 2010 Salary: $3 million
Signed With: Diamondbacks
POS AGE ERA SO IP
RHP 33 2.83 65 54
It can't be said enough how strong a year this is for free-agent relievers, and Putz is part of that. The depth of relievers, however, may hurt guys like Putz as teams look at better options like Joaquin Benoit and Kerry Wood.

34 Derrek Lee
DERREK LEE
• 2010 Team: Braves
• 2010 Salary: $13.25 million
Signed With: Orioles
POS AGE OBP HR RBI
1B 35 .347 19 80
Did Derrek Lee have a down year or was 2010 the beginning of a trend? That's the question teams will have to ask themselves. Even a lesser version of Lee is still a decent regular and a solid free-agent option at first base for teams in the market for one.

35 Hideki Matsui
HIDEKI MATSUI
• 2010 Team: Angels
• 2010 Salary: $6 million
Signed With: Athletics
POS AGE AVG HR OPS
DH 36 .274 21 .820
As bad of a start as Matsui got off to in 2010, you have to give him a lot of credit for once again putting up a solid offensive campaign. Even at his age and with his health issues, Matsui offers potential suitors predictability. He'll drive in his runs and can probably still hit his 20-plus home runs.

36 Kevin Gregg
KEVIN GREGG
• 2010 Team: Blue Jays
• 2010 Salary: $2 million
Signed With: Orioles
POS AGE SV ERA SO
RHP 32 37 3.51 58
Gregg doesn't always make it pretty in the ninth inning, but in a league full of cardiac closers, you have to give Gregg his due for a solid season in baseball's toughest division. He won't get paid like a premium reliever, but he'll do a solid job for whoever signs him.

37 John Buck
JOHN BUCK
• 2010 Team: Blue Jays
• 2010 Salary: $2 million
Signed With: Marlins
POS AGE AVG HR OPS
C 30 .281 20 .802
Buck's value really depends on how much you buy into his 2010 season with Toronto. Odds are that he won't repeat those strong numbers, but what he has become is a very solid everyday catcher. As any GM will tell you, those still are hard to come by.

38 Russell Branyan
RUSSELL BRANYAN
• 2010 Team: Mariners
• 2010 Salary: $1.5 million
Signed With: Diamondbacks
POS AGE HR RBI OPS
1B 34 25 57 .810
At this stage, we have a pretty good idea of what Branyan brings to a team. The average won't be there and the strikeouts will be, but the production is still very strong. What kind of market he'll have is a difficult call, but teams always seem to need left-handed power.

39 Bill Hall
BILL HALL
• 2010 Team: Red Sox
• 2010 Salar
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