Where Will The Remaining Big Name Free Agents End Up?

Posted on 04 February 2012 by Mark Sherrard

With only a little over two weeks until pitchers and catchers report, there are still a handful of big name free agents left on the market.

Here is a look at where they might end up:

Yoenis Cespedes
Cespedes is the best free agent available at this time and there are a number of teams interested in him. The two biggest suitors for his services are the Miami Marlins and the Chicago Cubs. However, the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers are also involved.

The Marlins would love to add Cespedes to their roster and, with the large Cuban community in Miami, he would be a great draw for their team. They are moving into a new stadium and have spent big this offseason, signing Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell. Cespedes could be the final piece to their puzzle.

The Cubs are in rebuilding mode, but see Cespedes as a building block for the future. They have some money to spend, but probably won’t go overboard, perhaps turning their attention to fellow Cuban Jorge Soler if the bidding on Cespedes gets too high.

As for the other teams, the White Sox may appeal to Cespedes, as they have Cubans Alexi Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo on their roster. The question is whether they have the money to compete with the other teams.

My guess is the Marlins will overspend to get Cespedes.

Prediction: Marlins – 6 Years, $45 million

Roy Oswalt
According to Ken Rosenthal, Oswalt appears intent on pitching for either the St. Louis Cardinals or the Texas Rangers. Problem is, neither team has an opening in their rotation.

The Cardinals are attempting to trade Kyle McClellan in an attempt to clear salary space for Oswalt. Meanwhile Texas met with Oswalt on Monday, but have not made an offer and, according to Jeff Wilson of the Texas Star-Telegram, are not likely to sign him.

The Red Sox have expressed interest and reportedly made an offer to Oswalt last week, but seem to have moved on.

Given Oswalt’s preferences, it seems that the Cardinals may be the only possibility.

Prediction: Cardinals – 1 Year, $5 million plus incentives

Johnny Damon
Damon probably will not sign anywhere until his price comes down. He is currently seeking $5 million or more for a one-year deal and has received very little interest at that price.

The Mets could be a suitor, if his price drops, as they are looking for a left-handed outfielder.  However, they are looking at other options as well.

The Tigers were a possibility, but after signing Prince Fielder, they probably are out of the mix.

The Yankees have also been mentioned as a possibility and could use him as a DH.  But they are looking at other options too.

Prediction:  Mets – 1 Year, $2.5 million plus incentives

Vlad Guerrero
Like Damon, Guerrero is also looking for a deal north of $5 million and he also has received little interest.

Guerrero’s agent has been in contact with the Yankees, but otherwise his market has been pretty quiet.  The Yankees need a DH to replace Posada, so Guerrero could be a fit.

Prediction:  Yankees – 1 Year, $2.5 million plus incentives

Manny Ramirez
One of the most intriguing names on the market, Ramirez sat out all of 2011 after testing positive a second time for using performance enhancing drugs.  He will need to serve a 50-game suspension no matter who he signs with.  Thus, he should come cheap.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the A’s and Orioles have shown the most interst, however it is unclear if either team has made an offer.  The rumors linking him to the A’s have been swirling around for a while now and that is where he will probably end up.

Prediction:  A’s – 1 Year, $1 million plus incentives

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