Thursday, November 11, 2010

2010-2011 Free agent predictions

While I'm putting together my Los Angeles Dodgers' off-season plan (which should be up tomorrow), I thought I'd chime in and predict where some of the top free agents will land.

While Brandon Webb won't make the following list, Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post tweeted that the Dodgers could be interested in Webb. While Webb is nowhere near the pitcher he once was, it'd be a nice risk. The Dodgers wouldn't have to offer a lot in base salary and could attract Webb with incentives. Plus, he'd stay in the pitcher-friendly National League West. Low risk, high reward.

I'm using Keith Law's top 10 free agents.

1. Cliff Lee, SEA-TEX
Prediction: Texas - 6 years, $120 million
- While I will now forever hate Lee for choking against the Giants, the Rangers cannot afford to lose him. He is the main reason they made it to the World Series.
2. Carl Crawford, TB
Prediction: Anaheim - 6 years, $108 million
- The Angels need offense and Crawford is one of the best all-around outfielders in baseball. He had a career-high in nearly every offensive category (runs, HR, RBI, SLG, OPS, OPS+) and is primed to continue it as he's in the middle of his prime.
3. Jayson Werth, PHI
Prediction: Boston - 4 years, $68 million
- While it'd be nice to see Werth in Dodger Blue, they won't be able to afford him. The Red Sox are in desperate need of a right-handed-hitting outfielder, and Werth fits the bill.
4. Adrian Beltre, BOS
Prediction: Boston - 4 years, $50 million
- Another guy who'd look good in Blue, Beltre looked rejuvenated in 2010. He has the pop and great defense to be worth the contract he's going to receive. The Red Sox would be foolish to let him get away.
5. Victor Martinez, BOS
Prediction: Seattle - 4 years, $42 million
- Martinez is one of the best hitting catchers in baseball. But the question is, how long will he remain behind the dish? It's unknown, but the ability to play first base helps Martinez's cause a bit. The Red Sox will go with a cheaper option behind the plate, which benefits the Mariners.
6. Adam Dunn, WAS
Prediction: Chicago White Sox - 3 years, $30 million
- Dunn is one of the most powerful hitters in baseball. There are many teams that could use his power -- including the Dodgers. However, a team that was after Dunn at the deadline -- the White Sox -- will finally land their man.
7. Carl Pavano, MIN
Prediction: Minnesota - 3 years, $27 million
- Pavano had a bounce-back season in 2010 and is primed to cash in on it. If he's smart, he'd take a little less to stay in Minnesota, where he had great success.
8. Jorge De La Rosa, COL
Prediction: Colorado - 1 year, $8 million
- De La Rosa had a slightly better 2009 than 2010, but he's still a talented lefty who throws hard and strikes hitters out. Guys who fit that profile aren't exactly growing on trees. His Type-A free agent status could play a roll in his landing spot -- teams might not be willing to give up a first-round pick for a guy with durability issues. He'll end up back in Colorado.
9. Andy Pettitte, NYY
Prediction: New York Yankees - 1 year, $8 million
- I'm not really sure why Pettitte is on this list, as he's either going back to New York or retiring, which has been the case the last two years.
10. Jake Westbrook, CLE-STL
Prediction: St. Louis - 3 years, $24 million
- Westbrook seems like the perfect fit in St. Louis and I'd be shocked if he isn't in Cardinal Red for the next couple of seasons.

I'm adding two more players who were inexplicably excluded from the list.

11. Paul Konerko, CWS
Prediction: Anaheim - 3 years, $39 million
- It's easy to say Konerko would return to Chicago, but if a team offers him enough money, I'm sure he'd consider leaving -- especially if that team played in Southern California (not the Dodgers, unfortunately). The Angels are going balls-out to improve their offense.
12. Rafael Soriano, TB
Prediction: Arizona - 3 years, $33 million
- Soriano is one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. It's unfortunate the Rays will not be able to afford him, but he is going to cash in on his fantastic 2010 season. Many have mocked him to Anaheim, but in my predictions, the Angels are already spending $31 million on two players, so they might not be able to give Soriano what he's looking for. The D-Backs had one of the worst bullpens in recent memory and are willing to throw lots of money at the situation.


  1. Couple of things.

    1. The Rangers can't afford to lose Cliff Lee, but they also can't afford him period. He is going to be a Yankee and they are going to over pay for him.

    2. Agree with Crawford. The Angels are going to do anything they can to get him this year.

    3. Doubt the Angels try for Konerko. We have Kendry Morales coming back and we don't have room for another 1st baseman, or DH if we keep Napoli. I would say that Beltre is the more likely candidate. 3rd base has been a hole since Figgins left and I think the Angels would love to weaken the Red Sox.

  2. So much for my shameless promotion on Facebook. :P

    Rangers have new ownership. They could very well bring him back. Everyone and their mother is projecting Lee to the Yanks.

    Would you rather have a 3-4 of Morales/Konerko or Morales/Hunter or Napoli? Again, I didn't just want to "follow the leader" on my predictions. But they aren't out of the realm of possibility. I really think Boston will do whatever it takes to keep Beltre.