Saturday, November 03, 2012

HSC Top 75 Free Agent Players with Team Predictions

Here are my top 75 free agents with predictions on what team they will land with.  Feel free to give me your predictions in the comment section.  I will be updating the list with the actual teams each player signed with throughout the offseason.
As always check Hot Stove Cubbies for the latest Cubs related rumors and news.  Don't forget to follow me on twitter @HotStoveCubbies.
1 Zack Grienke Angels
The Angels already freed up money so they could land the best pitcher on the market so why would they let him sign anywhere else. Answer, they won’t! Plus there is mutual interest.
2 Josh Hamilton Orioles
The Hamilton situation is going to be fun to watch to see if someone will break the bank with him or he will go back to the Rangers on a low year high dollar deal. Unfortunately for the Rangers the Orioles need Hamilton bad enough to offer him that deal. We have seen many players turn down the O’s because they are not contenders but now you may see more players want to go to Baltimore than the O’s want to sign. Good fit here.
3 Michael Bourn Nationals
The Nationals have been looking for an answer in CF for a long time now and have said they are willing to pay money for a true CF with leadoff potential and that person is Michael Bourn. You could argue that Shane Victorino, B.J. Upton, or Angel Pagan could end up here as well.
4 Anibal Sanchez Dodgers
The Dodgers have a knack of signing pitchers to big contracts whether they are worth it or not. I see them following that trend by signing Anibal Sanchez to a monster deal to follow behind Kershaw and in front of Billingsly.
5 B.J. Upton Braves
The Braves tried to trade for Upton several times in the past and now they can get their man. Although the Braves would like to keep Bourn they are not likely get him back which is why they get the next best thing in Upton. Although Bourn, Victorino, and Pagan could fit here as well.
6 Nick Swisher Rangers
What do the Rangers do with Hamilton? They add the versatile and great clubhouse guy Nick Swisher. Swisher is going to be a lot cheaper than Hamilton and honestly be more durable. A good pick up if they do not get Hamilton.
7 Edwin Jackson Blue Jays
Edwin Jackson will finally get a multi-year deal with the Blue Jays. The Jays want a dependable pitcher for their rotation and he fits the bill.
8 Dan Haren Red Sox
A lot of teams could use Haren (if not traded before Friday) but the Red Sox need him the most. The Sox need to make somewhat of a splash because they do not buy into rebuilding in Boston. Dan Haren makes a ton of sense given their pitching woes.
9 Hiroki Kuroda Yankees
He is either going to pitch for the Yankees, a west coast team, or retire. The Yankees need pitching and he did well for them and is a nice short term option. Makes sense for both parties.
10 Kyle Lohse Tigers
Here is a guy that is going to get paid more than he is worth and the Tigers are going to fall victim after losing Sanchez to the Dodgers they will panic. Lohse ends up rich on a good team while the Tigers fall victim to a bad buy.
11 Angel Pagan Phillies
The Giants want to sign Pagan but he may price himself out of their reach giving their spending restrictions so he finds a home with the Phillies. Upton, Victorino, and Bourn could fit here as well.
12 Shane Victorino Giants
The Giants are known for taking in scraps and making them legends into the playoffs. While Victorino is no scrap he does have to prove himself again this season after a down year. The Giants lose Pagan but gain Victorino. Once again Upton, Pagan, or Bourn could fit here.
13 David Ortiz Red Sox
No brainer. Already close on a deal.
14 Mike Napoli Rays
Not a huge market for Mike Napoli but the Rays or Astros could use him. The guy can play 1st, C, or DH and fits the Tampa Bay mold. He will likely have to settle on the Rays if he wants to land with a contender.
15 Adam LaRoche Nationals
Mutual interest and a deal looks likely to get done.
16 Ryan Dempster Reds
Dempster wants to win a ring so non-contenders are out of the picture. He could still end up on the Southside of Chicago but reunited with Dusty Baker in a familiar winnable division in the Midwest makes a ton of sense to Dempster. Good match here.
17 Rafael Soriano Yankees
There is no one else I see paying him as much as the Yankees will. So he lands here.
18 Melky Cabrera Mets
Another really interesting watch this offseason with the PED scandal. His price will drop dramatically and so much so he may end up back in San Francisco but the Mets will swoop in and spend a little coin to help their aging bad outfield.
19 Shaun Marcum Twins
This is a typical Twins move. They need to acquire at least two pitchers and just like Carl Pavano made sense for them in the past so does Marcum. He is not going to break the bank but he is also not bad pitcher. Nice match-up.
20 Torii Hunter Cubs
Theo always has a surprising move up his sleeve and I see it being Torii Hunter. Hunter is looking for a contender where he can start and also get paid. The Cubs can offer two of the three with the bonus of Hunter performing and being moved at the trade deadline to a contender. The Cubs badly need a stop gap CFer and Hunter on a deal similar to DeJesus makes sense for both parties.
21 Russell Martin Yankees
Catching market is thin but so is the need. The Yankees like him and the feeling is mutual.
22 Cody Ross Red Sox
Already working toward an extension. They need help in the outfield.
23 Marco Scutaro Giants
The World Series and Playoff hero for the Giants gets a new deal to remain with the defending world champs.
24 Stephen Drew Red Sox
Another typical BoSox move is picking up a low radar SS stop gap. They have done it with Alex Gonzalez, Juilo Lugo, Marco Scutaro, Edgar Renteria, and Orlando Cabrera. So Drew makes a ton of sense her.
25 Joe Saunders Orioles
The O’s really like him and will likely be the team to out pay the rest to land him. The O’s have money to spend.
26 Ryan Ludwick Astros
The Astros need help until their young team is ready. Signing Ludwick could fill their DH as well as outfield. He will be the much needed power in their lineup.
27 Kevin Youkilis Cubs
Familiarity. If that was not the only reason how about a switch in leagues to rejuvenate his career? An opportunity to play 1st or 3rd every day, familiar city, and the opportunity to be shipped to a contending team after his numbers bounce back from switching leagues and going to a hitter friendly park. Also the Cubs have money to spend and I see they spending a portion of it on 3rd base. A lot of things here add up for this not to happen.
28 Francisco Liriano Cubs
The Cubs buy low on a young Liriano and add a much need lefty partner for Travis Wood in the rotation. The switch in leagues could really boost Liriano’s numbers and he has stated how much he loves Chicago.
29 Carlos Villanueva Indians
The Indians are looking to boost their rotation without busting the bank which make Villanueva a good pick up and match with the Indians.
30 A.J. Pierzynski Rangers
The Rangers need to replace Napoli and they can do worse than A.J. He along with Swisher should make up the power numbers Hamilton provided them last season but with a better health record.
31 Joe Blanton Brewers
The Brewers need stable pitching and therefore they go for Blanton who normally is dependable as they come.
32 Brandon McCarthy Athletics
The marriage between him and the A’s is too strong to be force away with money.
33 Jason Grilli Brewers
He fits their need for bullpen help to a T.
34 Kyuji Fujikawa Red Sox
A former closer in Japan and the Red Sox do need pitching so adding him makes sense. The Red Sox have also taken gambles on Japanese pitchers as well.
35 Koji Uehara Angels
Very dominate pitcher who only requires a one year deal which fits the Angels perfectly with their already expensive roster.
36 Ryan Madson Tigers
The Tigers need to replace Valverde and will do so with a bit of a gamble in Madson. A one year deal he could be the under the radar closer the Tigers are looking for.
37 Joakim Soria Royals
He wants to remain and the Royals want to keep him. So yeah…
38 Joel Peralta Rays
High bullpen turnover in Tampa but Peralta is likely to stay and at a discounted rate because he loves the team so much.
39 Mariano Rivera Yankees
He will never leave and will not retire.
40 Ichiro Suzuki Reds
He is going to want to play for a contender according to several media outlets and the Reds seem like a good fit since their outfield seems open. Plus Dusty has always had an place in his heart for Ichiro.
41 Jeff Keppinger Marlins
The Marlins are not spending money this year but boy do they need infield help so signing Keppinger helps that some.
42 Mike Adams Cardinals
The Cards saw their bullpen falter some last season and adding a dominate set-up man in Adams makes a lot of sense.
43 Andy Pettitte Retire
I do not see Pettitte putting in another full year next season so he will officially retire.
44 Jose Valverde Phillies
The Phillies love picking up bullpen pitchers on the downside of their careers and Valverde is no different.
45 Jonathan Broxton Rangers
He will want to go to an contender and the Rangers could use him although in a set-up role.
46 Scott Baker Twins
Mutual interest and the Twins already know what Baker has to offer. Plus he is very affordable.
47 Sean Burnett Dodgers
The Dodgers need more pitching to be playoff stable so this makes plenty of sense for them.
48 Jeremy Guthrie Padres
The Padres love to bring in guys who once were good but not so much anymore and rejuvenate their career by pitching in spacious Petco. Guthrie seems like a great fit here on a one year deal.
49 Eric Chavez Phillies
The Phillies are looking for a 3rd baseman and could look at the trade market but will sign Chavez as depth for them.
50 Jeremy Affeldt Nationals
The Nationals love their pitching and adding Affeldt to an already good bullpen helps that. They will overspend for Affeldt.
51 Carlos Pena Astros
The Astros are in the middle of a transition to the AL and need a DH so Pena is a no brainer considering his cost will be low and decent productions should be good for Houston.
52 Ty Wigginton Pirates
The Pirates could use some infield help and are likely looking for a premier bench person who can back up 3rd. Wigginton is their man.
53 Placido Polanco White Sox
The White Sox will lose out on Youk so they will go with the next best thing on the market in Polanco. Also Rick Hahn has said they rather build from within instead of spending a lot on free agents.
54 Scott Rolen Retire
Rolen had a good run but has been plague with injuries the past few years. I expect him to retire.
55 Maicer Izturis Diamondbacks
The Dbacks are looking to trade for a 3rd baseman/SS but just in case a deal does not happen they will sign Maicer Izturis as a backup plan.
56 Jonny Gomes Athletics
The A’s lock up their players that fit their system and Jonny Gomes does that.
57 Raul Ibanez Yankees
Ibanez is a postseason stud for the Yankees so they will sign him. Raul also loved his time in NY and wants to win a ring.
58 Nate McLouth Astros
McLouth saved his baseball career with the Orioles so he will cash in with the Astros so he can start somewhere.
59 Delmon Young Padres
The disgruntled Young is going to have a tough time finding work with a contender so he will likely head to San Diego.
60 Grady Sizemore Brewers
The Brewers will end up signing him with hopes he can come back from injury. Looking for outfield depth.
61 Andruw Jones Mets
The Mets like to pick up players who have recognized names. This is no different.
62 Travis Hafner Mariners
The Mariners need some power so they will sign Hafner who provides that at a low cost.
63 Luke Scott Royals
The Royals are taking in solid guys who many have gave up on. Scott is a good fit off the bench there.
64 Jim Thome Retire
Thome is done and will officially hang it up.
65 Erik Bedard Royals
Again the Royals are looking for a lot of cheap high ceiling starting pitching. They already landed Santana so Bedard seems like a good fit with him.
66 Dallas Braden Athletics
Braden has gone downhill sense his perfect game but has a special place in Oakland. They may get him for really cheap coming off injury.
67 Kevin Correia Astros
Astros will go the cheap route for pitching during the rebuild and Correia is a nice staple to have in the rotation.
68 Roy Oswalt Retire
Health problems finally have him hang it up.
69 Jonathan Sanchez Tigers
The Tigers will hope to add a lefty like Sanchez on a minor league deal hoping he figures it out.
70 Chien-Ming Wang Yankees
The Yankees will bring back Wang on a minor league deal hoping getting in pinstripes brings back what he lost.
71 Chris Young Mets
Young like NY and the Mets like Young. He also fits their payroll well.
72 Carlos Zambrano Cardinals
To be the ultimate competitor and to follow the steps of guys like DeRosa, Theriot, Wellemeyer, etc… Big Z will find his way back to the NL Central with the Red Birds.
73 Matt Capps Twins
Twins need pitching and both parties know each other.
74 Brett Meyers Cubs
The Cubs always seem to have a flex position on their team. Meyers has experience starting and closing which is a huge plus if you are Theo. He is cost effective and a good clubhouse guy. Fits the Cubs Way brand perfectly.
75 J.P. Howell Blue Jays
The Jays need more pitching and Howell can be had on a discount so they can get offense as well.
Until Next Time…

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Update: Ervin Santana

If you followed me on twitter earlier today you know I reported the Cubs were in serious talks for Ervin Santana and a decision would happen today.  Well Ervin Santana is now a Kansas City Royal although I am told the Cubs were players for Santana but the Angels and Cubs could not decide on money or players involved. 

The Royals are giving up 27 year old pitcher Brandon Sisk; who is a non-prospect which is somewhat disappointing to me since the Cubs could have offered a similar piece but until the amount of money is released I will withhold judgement.

The Cubs could still be talking to the Angels about pitcher Dan Haren who is also being shopped and has a deadline on his option Friday.

Hot Stove... Bring it On!

  • Ø First off it you want to know your important MLB dates head over to BleacherNation.
  • Ø The Cubs have hired the top college coach for their Minor League Pitching Coordinator position. His name is Derek Johnson and he is the bee’s knees says Baseball America-
One of college baseball’s most respected and accomplished pitching coaches is leaving for a job in professional ball. Baseball America learned Sunday that Vanderbilt associate head coach Derek Johnson will become the Cubs’ minor league pitching coordinator.

Johnson, the 2010 Baseball America/ABCA Assistant Coach of the Year, deserves a great deal of credit for helping Tim Corbin build Vanderbilt into an elite program on the national level. Johnson joined the Vandy staff a year before Corbin was hired as head coach in 2002, and Corbin made the wise decision to keep him on the staff. In the last decade, Johnson has earned a glowing reputation among his peers and the scouting community for his ability to develop power arms, including David Price, Mike Minor, Sonny Gray, Jeremy Sowers and plenty of others.

He’s had as much impact on our program as anyone,” Corbin told BA in the fall of 2010. “I think what D.J. has done with these kids is far-reaching. He’s kept them healthy, he’s made each one of them better. You look at the kids, the pitchers specifically, that have come out of our program, being able to pitch at the next level—it goes without saying . . . We would not have our success without having him on our staff.”
  • Ø The Angels are shopping Dan Haren and Ervin Santana before deciding on their options. They have three days to make a decision on those guys so if something happens it has to happen quickly. The Cubs have been linked to Ervin Santana more because of his age, price, and upside where as Haren is more expensive and older. The Cubs are ultimately going to look at these guys to fill their gap in the rotation but it is not known if that will be through trade or wait to see what the Angels do. Only time will tell.
  • Ø More on this story from Mike DiGiovanna from the LA Times has a piece from Dipoto saying the team could exercise one or both options, trade one or both, or decline both options. All scenarios are in play. So at least he is not denying it.
  • Ø Javier Baez may have ended his AFL season with a hurt left thumb. Good news is he should only miss about two weeks.
  • Ø Barney got the Fielding Bible Award and is now up for a Gold Glove which will be announced tonight at 8 PM CT.
  • Ø BleacherNation is where it is at! They have the latest on the possible breakup of the Cubs and WGN. If the breakup nets us as fans its own Cubs channel in 2014 having all 162 games and made available through all cable companies nation-wide then I say DO IT!
  • Ø The Cubs are expected to re-engage the Braves about Randal Delgado among other pitchers given the Braves surplus of pitching.
  • Ø A source told me do not be surprised if Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters are on a different team by Opening Day 2012. Both really don’t completely fit the mold of the Cubs new plan going forward.
  • Ø The Rays and Cubs could be a good match up for a trade giving the Rays need for an offensive upgrade the Cubs starving for pitching. A source tells me the Cubs love the idea of trading for Jeremy Hellickson or Alex Cobb but the Rays would rather trade James Shields, Wade Davis, or Jeff Niemann.
  • Ø In case you missed it the Cubs lost Volstad to the Royals (I now freaking love the Royals!). The Cubs outright Corpas, Mather, Parker, and Germano to Iowa. The Cubs also claimed 26 year old RHP Carlos Gutierrez from the Twins and in a corresponding move the Cubs DFA Anthony Recker.
  • Ø Alberto Cabrera is going to be moved to the starting rotation which I think is a great move.
  • Ø The Cubs could look at Placido Polanco as a stopgap at third for a couple years. Other names mentioned in the past are Kevin Youkilis and Scott Rolen (although Rolen may retire).
  • Ø The Cubs are hoping to get a great deal on an outfielder who wants to start everyday and end up on a contender half way through the 2013 season which maybe a hard sell. The really like Cody Ross, Angel Pagan, and Shane Victorino but they maybe too expensive. A couple other possibilities are Tori Hunter and Ichiro Suzuki.
Until Next Time…