With the season nearing it’s conclusion, at least from a fantasy perspective, I thought I would look forward to the 2010 season, something that Mike Sheets in Under the Tag, and Ted Carlson in Five Tool Blog have started to do. I’ll take a bit of a different take not listing my top-10′s or top-30 overall but instead I’ll hit on a some of the free agents out there that could be plying their trade for a new team come next season.
Carlos Delgado: Looks like his ’09 season might end with a mere 94 at-bats on the back of his ball card do to that right hip surgery. He hit 38 homers with 115 RBI last season but he will be 38 next year and hit just 24 home runs while batting .258 in 2007. He’ll have to sign an incentive laden deal, perhaps to DH.
Adam LaRoche: Again one of the hottest hitters in the game in the second half (.314-9-24 with a .919 OPS in 44 games). Maybe he should start training really hard in January so that he could hit like this in the first half. No reason the Braves don’t bring him back.
Placido Polanco: Anyone out there looking for the prototypical #2 hitter? His average has slipped this season (.277 versus a career .303 mark), but he is on the cusp of a career-high in RBI (just four short with 63) while producing another excellent contact rate (0.93 do to only 35 strikeouts on the year). This is likely as good as it gets at this point, but that isn’t all that bad is it?
Miguel Tejada: A huge question mark this coming offseason. Is Tejada the man who hit .329 with a .830 OPS in the first half of the aging/slowing veteran who has hit just .255 with a .645 OPS since the All-Star break? Might end up at third base wherever he signs.
Adrian Beltre: Wear a cup Adrian. That’s all I have to say.
Chone Figgins: Not the prototypical corner infielder since he has an almost total lack of pop. Still, don’t know of many teams that would turn away a .300 hitting, 40 steal, 100 run option at the top of their lineup.
Melvin Mora: Trying to prove that he still has some game left in that soon to be 38 year old body of his. After a pathetic first half (.259/.326/.335) he has been pretty solid the past two weeks (.405-3-7 in 11 games).
Jason Bay: The Sox won’t let him go, not after another big-time offensive season (.261-31-98-87-12 in just 456 ABs).
Johnny Damon: Will he remain with the Yankees? Since he scores 90 runs every year and will be coming off the best power season of his career he will likely get one more major dollar deal. Still, he is likely best suited for DH at this stage of his career. My brother’s 16 month old daughter almost throws as well.
Matt Holliday: A Scott Boras client, Holliday has hit like Stan Musial since joining the Birds (.378-11-39-31 with a 1.125 OPS in 156 ABs). Don’t know the last time you checked, but in case you hadn’t heard, Boras is the biggest pain in the a – - in the universe, that is if you are a team trying to sign a player. Boras/Holliday won’t be giving the Red Birds a discount, and Boras will get his man the money he “deserves” on the market. Still, the Cardinals simply can’t let him go can they?
Jermaine Dye: Five straight years of at least 25 homers and 75 RBI (once he knocks in three more runs this year), Dye is as consistent a run producing right fielder as there is in the game. He will be 36 in June but he should still have a few productive years left despite his profound struggles of late (.184 in his last 185 ABs).
Vlad Guerrero: Injured to start the year Vlad has been, well Vlad, hitting .298 with a .904 OPS since the All-Star break. He may be limited to DH duties the rest of his career but the man can still hit .300 with 25 home runs if healthy.
Aubrey Huff: Hasn’t lived up to last season’s huge effort (.304-32-108-96) and has looked lost at the plate of late (he has hit just .215 over his last 44 games and .210 since the start of August). He’ll be hard pressed to sign a deal that exceeds a couple of years at anything remotely approaching his current level of pay ($8 million).
By Ray Flowers