2012 MLB Free Agents Rankings
This is the second installment of this list (pitchers found here: https://thebaseballhaven.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/2012-free-agent-class-starting-pitchers/ and hitters found here: https://thebaseballhaven.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/2012-free-agent-class-hitters/), as the first didn’t have the top names for the pure fact that you probably knew who they were. The player’s position and age as of Opening Day 2012 are shown. There are also players with opt-out clauses or options on this list, those players have an asterick next to their name (*), as well as details of the contract.
1. Albert Pujols, 1B, 32
He is the prize. Chicago and St. Louis are really the only places he could end up.
2. Prince Fielder, 1B, 27
Probably the wisest of the long-term contracts that will be handed out this offseason due to his age, Fielder will be sought after by San Francisco, the Angels, and the Cubs (if they lose out on Fielder).
3. C.C. Sabathia, LHP, 31* (opt-out clause after 2011)
If he opts-out, Sabathia would get more than the $25 million annually that Cliff Lee received from Philadelphia last offseason. He will be courted by many, but may just be using it as leverage to get a contract that extends to when he is ready to hang it up.
4. Jose Reyes, SS, 28
The ultimate risk-reward of the 2012 class. If Reyes plays 162 games in a season and he doesn’t lose his tools due to minor injuries, he is gold. If he gets hurt and loses his tools over a 7-year deal, it could be the worst $100 million deal this side of Michael Vick. He will probably stay with the Mets but he could receive offers from Boston or Philadelphia (if Rollins leaves).
5. C.J. Wilson, LHP, 31
His arm doesn’t have the mileage and his results speak for themselves. He will be a very rich man after this Winter. The Mets, Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Rangers, Marlins and Braves could all be looking his way.
6. Chris Carpenter, RHP, 36* (Team option, $15 million or $1 million buyout)
Carpenter earned a lot of respect after his dominant game five start in the NLDS against Philadelphia. His contract is one that could be on the chopping block in St. Louis if they need to make sure they are paying Albert Pujols. He may sign for less money if the Cards buy him out, but he would be a great veteran on a two or three year deal for a contender if he does move on.
7. Roy Oswalt, RHP, 34* (Mutual option, $16 million or $2 million buyout)
His option is steep and his arm and production aren’t the same as they once were. He could call it quits if he wants to, but he could get offers from Atlanta and Washington to be a leader for their young rotations.
8. Mark Buehrle, LHP, 33
Old-reliable. The man shows up and does a fine job every season. He could be headed for a decline, but he is an innings-eating leader for wherever he lands. St. Louis or a reunion with Ozzie Guillen with the Marlins is the call here.
9. Jimmy Rollins, SS, 33
His greatness is overlooked due to the number of great shortstops he has played with during his tenure in Philadelphia (Reyes, ARod, Jeter, etc.). Rollins may end up finishing his career where it started, but he could also look to cash in one last time. He is coming off of another solid season, still showing solid speed and the ability to drive the ball.
10. Nick Swisher, OF, 31* (Team option, $10.25 million or $1 million buyout)
Swisher is highly undervalued and would be a nice addition to several clubs. New York will keep him at the $10.25 million and could lock him up in an extension prior to next offseason. He has played in 150 each of the last three seasons while averaging 32 2B, 27 HR, 85 RBI and an .854 OPS since landing in New York in 2009.
11. Heath Bell, RHP, 34
12. David Ortiz, 1B/DH, 36
13. Edwin Jackson, RHP, 28
14. Ryan Dempster, RHP, 34* (Player option, $14 million)
15. Carlos Beltran, OF, 34
16. Grady Sizemore, OF, 29* (Team option, $8.5 million, $500K buyout)
17. Aramis Ramirez, 3B, 33* (Team option, $16 million, $2 million buyout)
18. Adam Wainwright, RHP, 30* (Options vested due to 2010 Cy Young, but Team had the ability to void if he had an arm injury and finished 2011 on the DL – he had Tommy John and missed the 2011 season)
19. Jose Valverde, RHP, 34* (Team option, $9 million)
20. Francisco Rodriguez, RHP, 30* (Team option, $17.5 million, $3.5 million buyout)
21. Jonathan Papelbon, RHP, 31
22. Ryan Madson, RHP, 31
23. Erik Bedard, LHP, 33
24. Jonathan Broxton, RHP, 27
25. Joel Pineiro, RHP, 33
26. Josh Willingham, OF, 33
27. Jason Kubel, OF, 29
28. Aaron Hill, 2B, 30
29. Kelly Johnson, 2B, 31
30. Rafael Furcal, SS, 34* (Team option, $12 million)
31. Michael Cuddyer, 1B/2B/OF, 33
32. David DeJesus, OF, 32
33. Coco Crisp, OF, 32
34. Carlos Pena, 1B, 33
35. Cody Ross, OF, 31
36. Jason Marquis, RHP, 33
37. J.D. Drew, OF, 36
38. Alex Gonzalez, SS, 35
39. Bartolo Colon, RHP, 38
40. Ryan Ludwick, OF, 33