Jon Heyman of SI.com ranks the best available free agents.in this offseason’s crop. He also includes projected contract details for each of them from baseball executives and player agents.
1. Crawford, Rays OF. A terrific all-around player who’s batting .305 with 15 home runs, 82 RBIs and 44 stolen bases and is at 29 is in his prime now. The Rays made an offer but just can’t afford this type of player. The Yankees and Angels could be among many bidders. Maybe the Giants, too.
Executive: $126 million, 7 years. Agent 1: $120 million, 7 yrs. Agent 2: $96 million, 6 years. Me: $115 million, 7 years.
2. Lee, Rangers SP. It’s been a tale of two seasons for Lee, who came to Texas hailed as one of the game’s best pitchers, if not the very best after going 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA for Seattle. A balky back appears to have limited his effectiveness in Texas, where he’s 4-5 with a 4.10 ERA. He’s clutch and never had arm trouble, though.
Executive: $108 million, six years, Agent 1: $100 million, six years. Agent 2: $105 million, 5 years. Me: $120 million, six years.
3. Werth, Phillies OF. Boras mentioned how Werth played center field the month Shane Victorino was out, and that will clearly be a selling point. Werth is a very good all-around player but not quite the hitter Matt Holliday, who got a seven-year, $120 million deal from the Cardinals last offseason, is.
Executive: $85 million, five years, Agent 1: $80 million, 5 years. Agent 2: $96 million, 6 years. Me: $90 million, five years.
4. Jeter, Yankees SS. “You are paying for more than performance, you are paying for legacy,” one executive said.
Executive: $60 million, 3 years. Agent 1: $50 million, 2 years. Agent 2: $100 million, 5 years. Me: $60 million, 3 years.
5. Adam Dunn, Nationals 1B. Consistent but one dimensional power hitter has said he believes he will work something out to remain in Washington.
Executive: $60 million, four years. Agent 1: $25 million, 2 years. Agent 2: $42 million, 3 years. Me: $25 million, two years.
6. Beltre, Red Sox 3B. Superb defender has set himself up nicely with another big walk year.
Executive: $48 million, 4 years. Agent 1: $30 million, three years. Agent 2: $42 million, 3 years. Me: $40 million, 3 years.
7. Victor Martinez, Red Sox C. Superb offensive player (.296, 18, 73) Boston hopes to bring back, though their initial two-year offer was rejected. Some teams don’t like him as a catcher, but a few do, including Boston.
Executive: $48 million, four years. Agent 1: $60 million, 4 years. Me: $36 million, three years.
8. Rivera, Yankees RP. Boras mentioned how Soriano is the best closer available since Rivera seven years ago. Well, Rivera’s available again.
Executive: $40 million, 2 yrs. Agent 1: $20 million, 2 years. Agent 2: $40 million, 2 years. Me: $36 million, 2 years.
9. Konerko, White Sox 1B. Big year at the right time.
Executive: 36 million, 3 years. Agent 1: $36 million, 3 years. Agent 2: $42 million, 3 years. Me: $30 million, 2 years.
10. Carlos Pena, Rays 1B. Poor batting average (.201) could hurt him.
Executive: $36 million, 3 years. Agent 1: $33 million, 3 years. Agent: Me: $20 million, two years.
Read the full list here.
Looking over Heyman’s list, I don’t see any position players that would fit in with the current configuration of the Mets. Ideally, I see Carl Crawford as the perfect player for the Mets and Citi Field, but that won’t happen unless Beltran is moved.
Pitching wise, I don’t believe the Mets will get into a bidding war with the Yankees for Cliff Lee, but they may focus their attention Ted Lilly or Carl Pavano, neither of whom seem all that appealing.
Whom ever the Mets tab as their new GM, it’s clear that he or she may have to move some players and clear some salary before doing anything substantial via free agency.