With a couple of weeks left until pitchers and catchers report, we’ll look at the current All Free Agent Team
C – Yorvit Torrealba
Torrealba is one of the last of a weak crop. Bengie Molina was probably the one solid option before he re-signed with the Giants. Torrealba won’t be going back to Colorado, as they signed Miguel Olivo to fill in the back up spot. The only real option right now is the Mets, who need a starter. The other decent catcher available is Rod Barajas.
1B – Carlos Delgado
Delgado is playing winter ball to prove that he’s healthy. The Mets and Orioles are watching him in the hopes of signing him cheaply. Mike Jacobs is another option, but he’ll have to settle for a minor league deal from a team needing bench help.
2B – Orlando Hudson
While Hudson isn’t the top offensive players on the market, his defense has been what pays the bills; that’s even in question since it appears he’s declined the last few years. A reunion with the Dodgers is unlikely, as he lost the starting job at the end of last season. The Nationals are interested, but would he go there? The Mets are also watching, with the hopes they can get someone to take Luis Castillo.
3B – Miguel Tejada
Tejada has been open to playing third this year, since there isn’t interest in him at short. It’s really a good move on his part because it gives him some versatility. He’d probably be the top guy at either position. He’s been linked to 2 of his former teams – the Athletics and Orioles. Both teams are looking for low dollars, so he may attempt to sign elsewhere. Unfortunately for him, there’s not much of a market for him.
SS – Orlando Cabrera
He’s Tejada, but still able to play short. There is no market right now, so he’ll probably sign at the last minute by a surprise team. I’m completely stumped when trying to think of a team that he could join.
LF – Jermaine Dye
Dye is still a consistant player, but he really can’t play the outfield that well. A team could get by with him in left, though. The Cubs have been linked to him; the Rangers were interested before the signed Vlad to be their DH. If he doesn’t want much, the Yankees could be a good fit too.
CF – Rick Ankiel
This is a weak market for centerfield, so a platoon player is the best available now. He’s more of a right fielder, but there are worse guys playing center. The Pirates were linked to him, as were NL Central rival Cubs and Reds. He could also be an option for the Yankees for their left field vacancy.
RF – Xavier Nady
Nady is most likely not going to get a large deal; the best he could hope for is an incentive deal where he can prove he’s healthy. I wouldn’t rule out a New York reunion – both teams could use him. He was linked to the Cardinals before they re-signed Holliday. Once some of these guys start to sign, you’ll see a lot of movement for the rest.
DH – Johnny Damon/Hank Blalock
I was torn here. Damon is still useful, but there wasn’t room for him in the outfield. Rumors of him considering retirement have been shot down, as have rumors of the Braves and Tigers being interest. His market really isn’t moving at this point. Blalock is younger, but his defense is called into question at third. He’s able to play first, so he’s still able to play in the National League. The Orioles may be interested, but they have a similar player in Garrett Atkins. I could see Oakland signing him if he’s cheap and they think Chris Carter isn’t ready.
SP – Ben Sheets
Sheets threw this week and one scout was pretty excited about the results. There were 14 teams there to watch, with a few more interested. Look for the market for him pick up. He wants more than most teams would give a pitcher who hasn’t pitched in a year and a half; he also wants a player option, which are becoming rare.
SP – Erik Bedard
Like Sheets, the injury risk is here. Once Sheets is gone, Bedard will be next to go. Baltimore is interested in bringing him back; maybe they are hoping to deal him again for a large bounty.
SP – Jon Garland
Garland gets no attention, which isn’t that hard to understand. He normally gets good run support, so his poor K Rate is hidden. If a team relies on him too much, they’ll probably get burnt. The Mets and Dodgers may be landing spots for him.
CL – Mike MacDougal
It was him or Kevin Gregg. MacDougal probably won’t sign with a good team, especially if he wants to close. I could see Florida making a push for him and use him as a limited closer. Other than that, he’ll probably get a minor league deal.
RP – Kiko Calero
Calero has shown flashes of being a good reliever, but injuries have been a problem. If he can stay healthy, he’d be an asset in most bullpens. The Cubs are looking at him right now; he’s be good insurance for Carlos Marmol if he can’t handle the closer role again.
RP – Russ Springer
Sure, he’s 41; he’s also still getting hitters out (specifically right handed ones). As long as he’s not over-worked, he’s one of the top short stint pitchers in the game.
Tags: Baseball, Ben Sheets, Chicago Cubs, Erik Bedard, Free Agents, Johnny Damon, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miguel Tejada, New York Mets, New York Yankees