This is a basic guide to this year’s free agency. It is packed with predictions, useful information, and notes. Enjoy Hot Stove Season!
Cliff Lee is going to go to the Yankees. At 32, he isn’t quite the premier value some would expect. I really don’t think the Rangers have enough money at this point. Re-signing him could jeopardize their financial future. Lee is not going to make as much as Sabathia did due to skill and age reasons. As great as Lee is, I don’t quite think he is as good as CC Sabathia is. If Lee goes to New York, expect a higher ERA but likewise higher wins.
Carl Crawford is obviously not going to be re-signed by the Rays. Tampa just don’t have the salary space, and their owners are really looking to dump a lot of payroll. I think Crawford is going to go to the Angels and easily get 9 figures. Crawford is the most talented hitter available, and his speed his a very valuable asset. The Angels are driving hard to acquire him, and Carl Crawford is best friends with Angels’ star Torii Hunter. I doubt he will go to a divisional rival like the Red Sox. He has shown great loyalty to the Rays, and he wouldn’t backstab them like that. In fact, Crawford would have gladly accepted a deal with Tampa had they offered him a contract.
Giving 9 figures to Jayson Werth would be a mistake. He gets frustrated with his team too easily, but this is baseball and their will be one team giving him too much. However, the Red Sox are an exception. I don’t think they will get Crawford, so they will go for Werth as a good Plan B option. Terry Francona will work with him. Fenway Park is a stadium that is all about two baggers hence 49 this year to lead the AL by fellow FA Adrian Beltre. Werth hit an NL high 46 doubles in 2010 in what was a “down” year.
Adam Dunn is becoming underrated. Some people are forgetting that this guy is one of the top five- at least ten- power hitters in this league. Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals really want his 38 homers back. Dunn also likes the Nationals so I think he will re-sign.
Adrian Beltre has gotten a lot of interest, even though his agent makes stupid comparisons as a negotiation ploy. That being said, Beltre did have a career year and broke the Red Sox single season record for doubles in a season with an MLB high 49. I think he will go to the Angels because they have gaping hole at third base. The Angels really don’t want to and should not have the terrible Brandon Wood. Beltre could boost them to the top. If Crawford doesn’t get snared by LAA, then they will almost certainly get Beltre. It’s really one or the other. Beltre wants to play for a team near LA. He enjoyed his best season with the Dodgers, when he led the league with 48 dingers.