Free Agency: Who’s Left?

With 52 days remaining until Opening Day, 16 days until the first Spring Training game, and only 5 days left before pitchers and catchers must report; I was thinking about free agency and how there is still opportunities for teams to shake up their rosters.  The Twins made two minor league moves this past week, signing SS Doug Bernier and OF Antoan Richardson according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America.  Aside from the minor league caliber player, who is left on the market that could still make an impact at the major league level in 2013?

Here are some of the top free agents left at each position (see the MLB Trade Rumors Free Agent Tracker here):

Catchers:

Rod Barajas (37): 2012 Pittsburgh – 361 PA, .206 AVG, 11 HR, 31 RBI, -1.0 WAR.

Matt Treanor (36): 2012 LA Dodgers – 122 PA, .175 AVG, 2 HR, 10 RBI, -0.4 WAR.

First Basemen:

Casey Kotchman (29): 2012 Cleveland – 500 PA, .229 AVG, 12 HR, 55 RBI, -1.1 WAR.

Carlos Lee (36): 2012 Houston/Miami – 615 PA, .264 AVG, 9 HR, 77 RBI, -0.4 WAR.

Second Basemen:

Orlando Hudson (35): 2012 Padres/White Sox – 283 PA, .204 AVG, 3 HR, 28 RBI, -0.1 WAR.

Ryan Theriot (33): 2012 San Francisco – 384 PA, .270 AVG, 0 HR, 28 RBI, -0.4 WAR.

Third Basemen:

Scott Rolen (37): 2012 Cincinatti – 330 PA, .245 AVG, 8 HR, 39 RBI, 0.3 WAR.

Chone Figgins (35): 2012 Seattle – 194 PA, .181 AVG, 2 HR, 11 RBI, -1.2 WAR.

Shortstops:

Jason Bartlett (33): 2012 San Diego – 98 PA, .133 AVG, 0 HR, 4 RBI, -0.9 WAR.

Munenori Kawasaki (31): 2012 Seattle – 115 PA, .192 AVG, 0 HR, 7 RBI, -0.4 WAR.

Outfielders:

Bobby Abreu (38): 2012 Angels/Dodgers – 257 PA, .242 AVG, 3 HR, 24 RBI, -0.4 WAR.

Michael Bourn (30): 2012 Atlanta – 703 PA, .274 AVG, 96 R, 42 SB, 6.0 WAR.

Grady Sizemore (30): 2012 Cleveland – Missed season due to injury.

Scott Podsednik (36): 2012 Boston – 216 PA, .302 AVG, 19 R, 8 SB, 0.3 WAR.

Johnny Damon (39): 2012 Cleveland – 224 PA, .222 AVG, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 0.1 WAR.

Designated Hitters:

Jim Thome (42): 2012 Phillies/Orioles – 186 PA, .252 AVG, 8 HR, 25 RBI, 0.3 WAR.

Starting Pitchers:

Dallas Braden (29): 2012 Oakland – Missed season due to injury.

Kyle Lohse (34): 2012 St. Louis – 16-3, 2.86 ERA, 211.0 IP, 3.9 WAR.

Carl Pavano (37): 2012 Minnesota – 2-5, 6.00 ERA, 63.0 IP, -0.8 WAR.

Joe Saunders (31): 2012 Arizona/Baltimore – 9-13, 4.07 ERA, 174.2 IP, 1.3 WAR.

Carlos Zambrano (31): 2012 Miami – 7-10, 4.49 ERA, 132.1 IP, 0.2 WAR.

Relief Pitchers:

Jason Isringhausen (40): 2012 Angels – 50 GP, 4.14 ERA, 45.2 IP, 0.0 WAR.

Francisco Rodriguez (31): 2012 Milwaukee – 78 GP, 4.38 ERA, 72.0 IP, -0.2 WAR.

Jose Valverde (34): 2012 Detroit – 71 GP, 3.78 ERA, 69.0 IP, 0.5 WAR.

Brian Wilson (30): 2012 San Francisco – 2 GP, 9.00 ERA, 2.0 IP, -0.1 WAR.

If this were the 90′s and still in the steroid era, this might be a pretty solid list of veterans that still have what it takes to play at the major league level.  As 2013 rosters shake out, teams are getting younger and younger with the average age of an MLB player right around 26 or 27.  Either age, injuries, or greedy agents in the case of Lohse and Bourn are preventing most of these free agents from landing a roster spot.

As far as the Twins’ needs are concerned, middle infielders are scarce, and starting pitching is either outrageously expensive, undependable, or really aren’t that much of an upgrade.  I imagine guys like Lohse, Bourn, Wilson, Valverde, Saunders, and Rolen will eventually catch on somewhere.  Unfortunately for some impatient Twins fans, Saunders may be the only free agent that could land in Minnesota still.

Follow Twins Rubes on Twitter @twinsrubes.

2 thoughts on “Free Agency: Who’s Left?

  1. Ouch… There isn’t much here that does much for me. Lots of good players but not the right fit. Just saw that Saunders signed a 1year deal with Seattle too

  2. Wow – looks like Saunders got a 1 year deal from Seattle. I wasn’t too excited about him, but knowing he ultimately signed for just one year is a little disappointing we couldn’t get him.

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