If our in house experts are correct we would not have a protected 1st round pick in 2013 so the likelihood of signing a Type A free agent [Bourn, Swisher] could drop significantly...I still like Bourn but imagine what ATL would do with our #11 pick...whoever they drafted would probably haunt us for a decade so let's pass then. Both rejected qualifying offers so I believe that means they cannot re-sign with their former team until some time in early March---a non-issue since ATL got Upton and NYY re-signed Ichiro. So who's left [no pun intended], so let's focus first on preferably righties [a few of the best options in bold italics]?
From the Free Agents List at MLBTradeRumors:
Bobby Abreu (39)
Endy Chavez (35)
Johnny Damon (39)
Mark DeRosa (38)
Matt Diaz (35)
Kosuke Fukudome (36)
Scott Hairston (33)
Bill Hall (33)
Raul Ibanez (41)---always wanted this guy, always hits, another lefty DH type
Austin Kearns (31)---a shell of what he was in 2003-07
Don Kelly (33)
Darnell McDonald (34)
Ryan Raburn (32)
Juan Rivera (34)
Cody Ross (32)
Vinny Rottino (33) ---been there done that
Delmon Young (27)
Rick Ankiel (33)---only good seaon was in 2008...now a .230 hitter and lefty
Michael Bourn (30)
Nyjer Morgan (32)---Milledge type personality---is it worth the risk?
Scott Podsednik (37)---lefty who stole 30 bases in 2010---hurt, now looks well past his prime
Grady Sizemore (30)
Jeff Baker (32)---pinch hitter/5th outfielder---no thanks
Ben Francisco (31)---early promise fizzled...a pinch hitter now
Ryan Sweeney (28)---same as Francisco
Nick Swisher (32)---switch hitter 28 93 .262 wants multi-year deal at $13M per
1) Hairston is an obvious choice--SA would have to match the two year offers out there so soemthing around Ludwick money [$15M/2 years] is likely. Hairston is a known commodity and valuable man off the bench if he ends up being passed by newer players. He can play either corner so if Duda is in left Hairston fills RF.
2) Cody Ross is 31 and can also play all three OF spots and averages 22 83 .262 over a full season---almost exactly what he hit in BOS last year.
3) Juan Rivera is an interesting choice...now 34 the former Angel and Yankee averages in a 580 AB season 20 83 .274 with no speed, He can play 1B so on days Ike is sitting that adds a little punch. Last year in 311 ABs he went 9 47 .244---another useful tool but not exciting. He has neevr made more than $4m in a season so he carries a low price tag....better as a fourth OFer than a starter.
4) Mark DeRosa---now 37 and hurt he was good in 2006-09 averaging 18 78 .285 but he looks done. He does play six psoitions so more of a bench guy now.
5) Delmon Young---27 and averages 16 89 .284 in a full season---good hitter but plays only LF, DH and 1B and we are booked there at this moment. And he would cost $10M per...doable only if Duda is traded first.
6) Grady Sizemore (30)---recuperating from microfracture surgery--see Beltran---may be worth waiting til June to see if you caught lightning in a bottle---former All Star may be worth a make good incentive laden contract and let Kirk and Cowgill play in the meantime. May like the fact that the Mets had a player return to form after this procedure---but didn't Beltran use his own docs????
There is always the salary dump market---ASoriano, VWells---to name a few potential stopgap players while we wait for the kids.