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...

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