MLB

Top 2011 MLB Free Agent Prediction List

| by Hardball Times

Free agency predictions and notes from your friends at THT

 

This year's free agent class is a relatively polarizing one. There are a few top names readily available at each position, but the depth is extraordinarily shallow. When the best available third basemen is Adrian Beltre and the second best available third basemen is a dead heat between former no-walk White Sox Juan Uribe (which is not to say that he was not valuable for the Giants over 2009-10) and the relatively punchless modern Miguel Tejada (totally fizzled up?), the prevalent scarcity becomes relatively obvious. Scarcity is a horrible thing from a team's budget perspective because it allows those top players to charge a market premium for their services (cough cough Carl Crawford cough cough) that teams will ultimately get a poor return on (cough cough the Angels made this mistake before with Torii Hunter cough cough). It also means otherwise poor/relatively poor players that usually get low-risk/moderate-reward-type contracts get, as my friend Adam likes to say, paaaaaaid.

Accordingly, a handful of us thought it might be interesting to toss our two cents in on where we thought the top names would land. If nothing more, this will serve as a basis for bragging rights in four or so months. Despite the lack of firm science behind our picking methodology (though we have explained some of our more controversial picks below the chart), the picks are...

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NAME Jeffrey Gross Rich. Barbieri Brad Johnson Vince Caramela
Cliff Lee Nationals Yankees Yankees Rangers
Carl Crawford Angels Angels Angels Red Sox
Adrian Beltre Red Sox Rockies Angels Blue Jays
Jayson Werth Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Angels
Adam Dunn Cubs Nationals White Sox White Sox
Victor Martinez Tigers Rangers Tigers Tigers
Rafael Soriano Diamondbacks Angels Angels White Sox
Mariano Rivera Yankees Yankees Yankees Yankees
Paul Konerko White Sox Diamondbacks Cubs Diamondbacks
Derek Jeter Yankees Yankees Yankees Yankees
Hiroki Kuroda Rangers Rangers Mets Rockies
Jorge De La Rosa Pirates Brewers Rangers Nationals
Carl Pavano Twins Braves Cardinals Mariners
Jake Westbrook Rockies Cardinals Rockies Cardinals
Aubrey Huff Giants Giants Giants Cubs
Juan Uribe Giants Giants Dodgers Rangers
Carlos Pena Nationals White Sox Nationals Rays
Jim Thome Rays Twins Twins Athletics
Vladimir Guerrero Rangers Tampa Bay White Sox White Sox
Manny Ramirez White Sox White Sox Rangers Retires
Magglio Ordonez Tigers Tigers Tigers Twins
Orlando Hudson Cardinals Mets Cubs Cardinals
Lance Berkman Rangers White Sox Rays Braves
Derrek Lee Orioles Orioles Diamondbacks Orioles
Andy Pettitte Yankees Yankees Yankees Yankees
Jon Garland Cardinals Mets Padres Twins
Javier Vazquez Nationals Mariners Nationals Padres
JJ Putz Angels Cardinals Nationals Red Sox
Scott Downs Red Sox Braves Yankees Diamondbacks
Hideki Matsui Mariners Mariners Unsigned Retires
Brandon Webb Mariners White Sox Nationals Royals