Only a little more than two weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting, and while most teams seem to have a majority of their rosters set, there are still some free agents available that could possibly make an immediate impact. Here is a quick list of key players still looking for a 2012 contract.
No doubt the best free agent still on the market. There is some risk here in that he has continued to battle back issues, only tossing 139 innings in 2011. However, Oswalt still had a solid 3.69 ERA with Philly last season. Supposedly he wants Texas or St. Louis only, while Boston and Houston have been reported to have shown interest as well. I like Oswalt with a National League team and still suspect he has one or two more years left in the tank as long as his health holds up.
The former Cuban just recently became an official citizen of the Dominican Republic, which now makes him bid-eligible for MLB teams. He’s a 6 foot, 215 pound, 26 year old outfielder with power and also hits for average. He’s expected to get a very large contract, even more so than the $30 million contract Aroldis Chapman received. The teams to have the most interest appear to be the Marlins. Cespedes said it would be nice to play for a team within a large Cuban population. Buyers beware though: Cespedes’ skills are questionably average, as he hits in a hitter friendly league, in a hitter friendly ballpark with lots of protection and mediocre pitching at best.
Potential teams include the Red Sox, Orioles and Cardinals. Jackson has a no-hitter on his resume and has a commanding fastball, so he’s legit. However, with a career 4.46 ERA, he’s a legit number three pitcher at best. Great pick-up as long as a team doesn’t overpay.
Sure, he only hit 13 home runs with Baltimore last year. But he still hit .290. With the right team, I still believe he could definitely be a Pat Burrell circa 2010 type (20 home runs in 373 AB’s)
Teams need to make sure he’s 100%. If he is, the dude is going to get back to his career average around .245. He also hit 20 home runs last year. Keep him in a limited role to keep him healthy and he could be a steal with a one-year contract. The Mets and Yanks have been said to be showing interest.
The dude’s ERA was 3.69 last year. He had a great bounce-back season from his horrid year in the Bronx. How is no one jumping on him? Well, on one hand Vazquez is infamous for having one bad year followed by a good year, followed by another bad one—that inconsistency, and many think he will retire. But then again, so did Roger Clemens, Brett Favre, Micheal Jordan… you get the idea.
He’s almost 40 years old. Has tested positive for steroids multiple times. Is facing a 50-game suspension even if a team signs him. Apparently Oakland has interest? Gimme a break.
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