Top 50 Free Agents: 41-50

Sunday, November 12, 2006

41. Jose Valentin-Mets
Valentin had a solid year and will take a hometown discount and stay with the Mets. Minaya wants pitching, and he will use all the money he can to get that. So, keeping Valentin will make that easier. However, Loretta could ask for near same money as Valentin making him expendable. I see Valentin walking.

My Guess: Reds
Actual: Mets

42. Adam Eaton-Rangers
Eaton only pitched 65 innings and went 7-4. He has proven he can pitch, but will a team take a risk with him. I see a team like the Mariners, where Eaton lives, going after him. He would be a great 4-5 starter along with the addition of Schmidt. He can still pitch, but the injury he had will not draw teams near him.

My Guess: Mariners
Actual: Phillies

43. Randy Wolf-Phillies
Wolf is coming off an injury and I think teams will be cautious in approaching him. A team like the Cubs, is always draw to pitchers that are coming off injuries (Ryan Dempster, Wade Miller) and could use him to make sure he is fully recovered, and then platoon him with Wade Miller for the fifth spot. Because who we kidding, Prior will not be ready to pitch come April. So let’s say they land Kei Igawa, they would have Zambrano, Hill, Igawa, FA, Miller. Marshall will not start, so if they add someone like Meche for the number 4 spot, they could platoon Wolf and Miller, who are both trying to prove themselves this season. Wolf would also take an incentive base contract.

My Guess: Cubs
Actual: Dodgers

44. Aubrey Huff-Astros
Huff struggled this season in Tampa and Houston. He will draw interest from teams. Since the Dodgers lost out on Ramirez. They could go after him instead of sticking with Mueller. The Angels might also try for him. The Padres, who have Russell Branyon, might also make a run. He will definitely draw interest it will just be a matter of where he feels the most comfortable going. The Angels could be a possible fit because he hit will in the AL. Although it is a different division, he would be playing the same teams he has played his whole career.

My Guess: Angels

45. Kerry Wood-Cubs
Kerry Wood has done nothing for the Cubs, excluding 2003. He will sign an incentive contract and hope he can stay in the pen all season. He has something to prove for the Cubs and I think all sides know that.

My Guess: Cubs
Actual: Cubs

46. Miguel Batista-Diamondbacks
Batista has an excellent sinker ball that will make his interest go up. The Cubs, Rockies, Astros, and Braves have shown some interest. I see the Cubs going after him if they lose out on Igawa and Meche. I see the Rockies though pulling away with him because of they immediate interest they will show in him.

My Guess: Rockies
Actual: Mariners

47. Rich Aurilia-Reds
I see the Phillies going after him because they will need a cheap find at second base. If the plan to throw a lot of money at Soriano, they will need a proven veteran to man the ropes at second for a year or two. I expect to see maybe a two year 10 million dollar deal for him.

My Guess: Phillies
Actual: Giants

48. Orlando Hernandez-Mets
Hernandez went 11-11 for the Mets and is going to look to bounce back. A team like the Nationals would look to sign someone like him. He played for the Expos before they moved to Washington. He may want to go back there so he can get his career back on track.

My Guess: Nationals

Actual: Mets

49. Justin Speier-Blue Jays
Speier did a great job this year. He will probably test the market though. The way he pitched, he commands a contract similar to what Farnsworth got from the Yankees. However, he did throw his fastball 60% of the time. So teams will pick up on that when they face him. The Red Sox could use him for closer now that Papelbon wants to start.

My Guess: Red Sox
Actual: Angels

50. Mark Loretta-Red Sox
Loretta will draw some interest from teams in need of a second baseman. If the Cubs fail on Aurilia, they will probably look to him. But the Mets have interest in bringing Loretta to play second for them, and I think he feels the same way.

My Guess: Mets

Honorable Mention:
Eric Gagne
Craig Wilson
Ryan Klesko
Kevin Millar
Alex Gonzalez