The ultimate free-agent tracker - by position
Here is the free-agent class of 2009-10, ranked from Nos. 1 to 131. The rankings are based on a number of variables, including each player’s history, age and potential, and are as much about predicted performance as market value, providing a general outline as free agency unfolds between now and spring training.
Bookmark this page and return frequently. As the offseason progresses, Yahoo! Sports will update it with news of signings and their impact on the other free agents.
2. John Lackey(notes), SP: SIGNED This time when Lackey yelled “This is mine!” it was in response to Theo Epstein handing him a contract that will pay him $82.5 million over five years to pitch for the Red Sox. Story
4. Aroldis Chapman, SP: SIGNED Based on potential for greatness, he’s No. 1. Based on potential for calamity, he’s No. 131. Lefties who throw 100 mph don’t grow on trees. In fact, they don’t grow but every 25 years or so, and here is this generation’s. So it’s understandable that the Reds signed him for $30 million over five years. Story
6. Randy Wolf(notes), SP: SIGNED The Dodgers did Wolf an immense favor not offering him arbitration. So the Brewers signed him to a three-year, $29.75 million deal without giving up draft picks. Story
7. Rich Harden(notes), SP: SIGNED The most dominant pitcher in the class, in terms of stuff and disabled list stays, Harden signed a one-year deal for $7.5 million with the Rangers, who hold an option for a second year at $11.5 million. Story
8. Erik Bedard(notes), SP: SIGNED Remember when Seattle gave up Adam Jones(notes), Chris Tillman(notes), George Sherrill(notes) and two others for him? There’s a word for that. Hahahahaha. And that is your No. 8-ranked free agent, whom the Mariners’ trainer said might not recover from a torn labrum until May or June. Seattle decided to keep him for at least one more year. Story
14. Joel Pineiro(notes), SP: SIGNED Found his mojo for a season with Dave Duncan in the secret lair where all the Cardinals’ pitching miracles blossom. Parlayed it into a two-year, $16 million deal with the Angels. Story
16. Jarrod Washburn(notes), SP: Another Jekyll-Hyde case: Is he the 2.64 ERA marvel from Seattle or the 7.33 ERA disaster from Detroit? Somewhere in between, and that should be enough to get him a healthy two-year deal.
30. Brad Penny(notes), SP: SIGNED Thrived in San Francisco after a disastrous four months in Boston and landed a one-year, $7.5 million deal with the Cardinals that could grow to $9 million if he pitches 204 innings. Story
38. Justin Duchscherer(notes), SP: SIGNED Among the unlikeliest two-time All-Stars, Duchscherer missed last year recovering from elbow surgery, then was sidelined by depression. He rejoins Oakland as a front-line starter on a one-year deal. Story
40. Doug Davis(notes), SP: SIGNED How a left-hander with marginal stuff survives walking a major league-high 103 batters is incredible. Then again, Davis beat cancer, so stranding runners is a picnic. Enjoy, Brewers fans. Story
41. Jason Marquis(notes), SP: SIGNED He pitched well – for a half, at least – in Colorado and kept his postseason streak alive at 10 years. That might be tough to continue now that Marquis signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Nationals. Story
42. Jon Garland(notes), SP: SIGNED Average stuff, average year, average innings-eater. The durable right-hander signed a one-year contract with the Padres worth $5.3 million and landed “in a place that I saw myself being.” Story
58. Vicente Padilla(notes), SP: SIGNED One good month with the Dodgers is all it took to regain the credibility Padilla lost slowly during his four years with the Rangers. He’s staying in L.A. for another year. Story
79. Jose Contreras(notes), P: SIGNED The command remains elusive, but if Contreras turns into a reliever, as he did with Colorado at the end of the season, he could reinvent himself and extend his career into his 40s. The Phillies take a one-year chance at $1.5 million. Story
131. Chris Capuano(notes), SP: SIGNED Alert on a potential feel-good story: The former All-Star is attempting a comeback after two Tommy John surgeries by signing a minor league deal with the Brewers. He hasn’t pitched since 2007.
11. Rafael Soriano(notes), RP: SIGNED Explain, again, why someone with 102 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings and a .583 opponents’ OPS won’t even retain his job as closer with the Braves? Billy Wagner will close, paving the way for Soriano to be traded to the Rays. Story
25. Billy Wagner(notes), RP: SIGNED Wagner, 38, satisfied any lingering concerns about his health, signing a one-year deal to become the Braves’ closer. The six-time All-Star gets $6.75 million in 2010 and the deal includes a $6.5 million club option for 2011 with a $250,000 buyout. Story
37. Fernando Rodney(notes), RP: SIGNED A disaster in non-save situations (6.08 ERA), Rodney closed out games well and will compete with Brian Fuentes(notes) as Angels’ closer after signing a two-year, $11 million contract. Story
46. Ryota Igarashi(notes), RP: SIGNED With a fastball that pushed 100 mph before Tommy John surgery, Igarashi is the hardest thrower to jump to the major leagues from Japan. He joins the Mets on a two-year contract. Story
47. LaTroy Hawkins(notes), RP: SIGNED Threw 84 1/3 innings with Houston over the last year and a half, and his ERA was 1.71. Not a bad get for the Brewers, who will pay him $7.5 million over two years. Story
53. Darren Oliver(notes), RP: SIGNED Playoff disasters aside, he’s been a model reliever from the left side and signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Rangers, the team he began his career with 16 years ago. Story
62. Chan Ho Park(notes), RP: SIGNED A dynamite year as a reliever (2.52 ERA out of the bullpen) for the Phillies landed him a late contract with the Yankees for $1.2 million that could grow to $1.5 million with incentives.
94. Joaquin Benoit(notes), RP: SIGNED Missed all of 2009 with a torn rotator cuff but his effectiveness before that – with an especially heavy changeup – made him a good bet for the Rays, who gave him a minor league contract.
103. Chad Bradford(notes), RP: It’s sort of funny that a pitcher who throws no harder than an average high schooler missed the 2009 season’s first three months because of elbow surgery. Anyway, he’s healthy, and at least one team will take a nibble.
106. Danys Baez(notes), RP: SIGNED Back, and quite successful at that, after missing all of 2008. The terrible strikeout rate remains worrisome, but the Phillies think he has at least two years left. Story
51. Brett Myers(notes), P: SIGNED Village idiot has talent and age on his side. Diminished stuff (a fastball down to 89 mph), injury history, big mouth and off-field stupidity cancel out the positives. He signed a one-year, $5.1 million contract with the Astros that includes a $2 million buyout on an $8 million mutual option for 2011. Story
55. John Smoltz(notes), P: Is he a starter? Is he a reliever? Is he even pitching? While the 42-year-old’s peripherals were excellent in St. Louis – a 40-to-9 K-to-BB ratio in 38 innings – his role and landing spot remain in limbo.
93. Todd Wellemeyer(notes), P: SIGNED Needs to infiltrate Duncan dungeon, recapture mojo. He’ll get a chance with the Giants, who gave him a minor league deal that pays $1 million if he makes the 40-man roster. Story
101. Kelvim Escobar(notes), P: SIGNED Missed all of 2008 and made one start in 2009 before shoulder injuries shut him down. Could start. Could relieve. Might not do either. If he pitches, though, jump him 50 spots, because he can be that good. The Mets apparently are willing to take the gamble. Story
108. Hisanori Takahashi, P: SIGNED Starter coming from Japan hopes to find as much success as the last Takahashi – Mets left-handed reliever Ken, who followed up his solid 2009 by asking for a one-way ticket out of the disaster in Flushing. This Takahashi also signed with the Mets – a minor league contract – and will compete for the No. 5 starter role.
130. Rich Hill(notes), P: SIGNED Finished 2009 with a 7.80 ERA. Look on the bright side. He still has that curveball, and he’ll have a chance to display it after signing a minor league deal with the Cardinals.
43. Bengie Molina(notes), C: SIGNED Only 53 times this decade has a player exceeded 450 at-bats without drawing 20 walks. Molina did it for the fourth straight time last year, which is one reason the Giants signed him for one more year. Story
70. Miguel Olivo(notes), C: SIGNED Power (23 home runs) and game-calling abilities (AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke(notes) often credited Olivo last year) was torpedoed by a vomitous 126-to-19 K-to-BB ratio. Nonetheless, the Rockies gave him $2.5 million in 2010, and the contract includes the same amount as a vesting option in 2011. Story
81. Gregg Zaun(notes), C: SIGNED The Brewers signed Zaun to a one-year deal with a club option that guarantees him $2.15 million to hold down the fort until prospects Jonathan Lucroy(notes) and Angel Salome(notes) are ready. Story
88. Ivan Rodriguez (notes), C: SIGNED A two-year deal for $6 million with the lowly Nationals might not be the most distinguished way to go out for a likely Hall of Famer, but he should get playing time and be able to mentor Stephen Strasburg(notes). Story
113. Mike Redmond(notes), C: SIGNED Eminently employable because he fulfills the one similarity among every long-lasting, no-power backup catcher: He can talk with the best of ‘em. Cleveland landed him for a one-year deal. Story
121. Jason Kendall(notes), C: SIGNED Kendall’s career stats have him pegged as a possible Hall of Famer, according to Bill James’ HOF Monitor. Now he’s got a two-year, $6 million deal with the Royals to pad his numbers. Story
122. Jose Molina(notes), C: SIGNED The Blue Jays signed Molina on the eve of spring training to a one-year deal worth $400,000, with another $400,000 if he makes the team. The Blue Jays hold a 2011 option for $1.2 million.
15. Russell Branyan(notes), 1B: SIGNED The only thing that changed for Branyan last year were his at-bats. Given them, he hit 31 home runs. If he’s healthy, the Indians will get an inexpensive power source for signing him to a one-year deal.
22. Nick Johnson(notes), 1B: SIGNED When he stays healthy, he puts up a .290 average and an on-base percentage in excess of .400. The Yankees admired that resume enough to sign Johnson to a one-year, $5.75 million deal. Story
49. Carlos Delgado(notes), 1B/DH: Written off in the middle of 2008, he responded with a .303/.386/.606 second half. Does he have another comeback in his 37-year-old body – and will it happen in the AL, where his game is best suited?
72. Aubrey Huff(notes), 1B/OF: SIGNED Had a career season a year early. Now Huff is little more than a middling bat on the wrong side of his best days. He takes his bat to San Francisco for one season. Story
34. Orlando Hudson(notes), 2B: SIGNED Lost his job at the end of the season to Ronnie Belliard(notes) and won a Gold Glove based on reputation. That said, he’s still a consistent .800 OPS guy when healthy, a reason the Twins signed him for a one-year, $5 million deal. Story
35. Felipe Lopez(notes), 2B: SIGNED Despite a track record of hitting and fielding at an above-average level, Lopez remained unsigned until Feb. 27 when the Cardinals gave him a one-year, $1 million deal with incentives that could pay him another $200,000. Story
63. Ronnie Belliard(notes), 2B: SIGNED Deserving of the 2009 Unrequited Joe Torre Man-Crush, hitting .351/.398/.636 in 24 games with the Dodgers, who signed him again, this time to a one-year, $825,000 deal. The team can terminate the contract if Belliard reports to camp heavier than 209 pounds. Story
83. Adam Kennedy(notes), 2B: SIGNED Bounce-back year – actually, bounce-back month of May, and average rest of the year – doesn’t guarantee a starting job, but he should be able to get a major league deal somewhere. The Nats scoop him up. Story
5. Chone Figgins(notes), 3B: SIGNED A Gold Glove-caliber third baseman with positional versatility, on-base acuity and true leadoff skills, he has agreed with the Mariners to a four-year, $36 million deal. Story
27. Placido Polanco(notes), 3B: SIGNED Solid, unspectacular. In other words, the archetype for this free-agent class. He agreed to a three-year, $18 million deal to return as a third baseman to Philadelphia, where he played from July 2002 through 2005. Story
85. Melvin Mora(notes), 3B: SIGNED Faded hard after a strong 2008 season. Tough to blab about playing time when you slug .358 at a corner-infield position. Maybe the thin air in Colorado will help – Mora signed a one-year, $1.3 million deal. Story
26. Marco Scutaro(notes), SS: SIGNED It takes just one team to give a 34-year-old utilityman with one good season a multiyear contract, and that team is the Red Sox, who signed Scutaro to a two-year deal with a mutual option for a third year. Scutaro likely will play shortstop, although Dustin Pedroia(notes) might move there with Scutaro playing second. Story
29. Miguel Tejada(notes), SS/3B: SIGNED Steroid user? Check. Perjurer? Check. Lied about his age? Check. That’s some kind of a triple crown. But he can still put up a sparkly average and is willing to move to third base, so someone will employ him. The Orioles take him back, at least for one year. Story
56. Orlando Cabrera(notes), SS: SIGNED Well, his defense regressed significantly, his offense was as milquetoast as ever and he turned 35. The Baseball Twinkie survives nonetheless, signing a $3 million deal with the Reds. Story
128. Khalil Greene(notes), SS: SIGNED Never recovered from anxiety issues, and between that and his diminished numbers, it’s a surprise the Rangers gave him a major league deal worth $750,000 to serve as utility infielder. Story
1. Matt Holliday(notes), LF: SIGNED Which player is he: The Oakland disappointment or the St. Louis marvel? Here’s betting on the latter. The Cardinals are making that same bet to the tune of a seven-year, $120 million deal. Story
3. Jason Bay(notes), LF: SIGNED Tall order for agent Joe Urbon: procure a five-year contract for a defensively limited corner outfielder who turns 32 this year. Of course, the guy can hit, and the Mets are happy to have him – to the tune of four years, $66 million. Story
18. Mike Cameron(notes), CF: SIGNED The Red Sox signed Cameron to a two-year, $15 million deal. He stays in incredible shape and at 36 last year he banged 24 home runs, drew 75 walks and played his typical solid defense. Story
21. Coco Crisp(notes), CF: SIGNED Primed for a nice bounce back after showing increased ability to take a walk – and his continued superlative defense. The Athletics recognized the value, signing Crisp to a one-year, $5.25 million contract. Story
28. Johnny Damon(notes), LF: SIGNED Go here, click on the home run box and try to argue that the newfound power last year was anything but a new Yankee Stadium mirage. After tortuous non-negotiations with the Yankees, Damon agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with the Detroit Tigers. Tim Brown story
75. Randy Winn(notes), OF: SIGNED He hit age 35 last year and watched his offensive production take the clockwise trip into the sewer system. Fortunately, Winn’s defense remained stellar, and the Yankees signed him to a one-year, $2 million deal to split time in left field. Story
78. Scott Podsednik(notes), OF: SIGNED Actually acquitted himself reasonably in the outfield – a troublesome endeavor in years past – and swung well enough to defibrillate his career. The Royals signed him for a year and $1.75 million, and the deal includes a club option for the following season. Story
84. Marcus Thames(notes), OF: SIGNED Aside from one of his typical six-week-or-so hot streaks – in 2009, it was 10 home runs in 107 at-bats between June 8 and July 18 – he’s little more than a right-handed power option off the bench. The Yankees signed him to a minor league contract. Story
86. Rocco Baldelli(notes), OF: Same situation as last year. He can’t play full-time, so he’ll find a team that needs a right-handed bench bat – and everyone, of course, needs a right-handed bench bat.
87. Reed Johnson(notes), OF: SIGNED Plays hard. Wears killer chin beard. Neither can overcome the reality that a tepid stick and a below-average glove means fourth outfielder. The Dodgers gave him a one-year deal. Story
123. Brian Giles (notes), OF: SIGNED Old (39 on opening day), with baggage (lawsuit related to alleged domestic violence) and coming off a brutal season (.191/.277/.271). Sounds like a recipe for a minor league deal, which the Dodgers gave him. Story
12. Mark DeRosa(notes), UT: SIGNED The St. Louis experiment turned out something of a disaster – a .291 on-base percentage … yikes – but DeRosa remains a six-position salve that the Giants plan to use as they signed him to a two-year deal. One issue: He turns 35 in February. Story
54. Juan Uribe(notes), UT: SIGNED The power returned in 2009, and his versatility helps. That walk rate is uglier than a letter from the IRS, but the Giants re-signed him for a year at $3.25 million. Story
91. Craig Counsell(notes), UT: SIGNED Slugged better than .400 for the first time since 2000 and played second and third base well enough for the Brewers to bring him back for one year at $2.1 million. Story
99. Omar Vizquel(notes), UT: SIGNED Vizquel will play a 22nd year, this one as a backup with the White Sox, who signed him for one season at $1.375 million to mentor Alexei Ramirez(notes) and Gordon Beckham(notes). Story
120. Nick Green(notes), UT: SIGNED The Dodgers signed Green, who for a brief period last season seemed like the answer to the Red Sox woes at shortstop, to a one-year, $500,000 deal to provide insurance in case Rafael Furcal(notes) is again injured.
127. Robb Quinlan(notes), UT: SIGNED It’s a bad sign for a utilityman when his greatest value comes from his bat and he’s coming off a .243/.275/.339 season. So he had to settle for a minor league deal with the Angels, the same team that paid him $1.1 million in 2009.
31. Vladimir Guerrero(notes), DH: SIGNED Though he runs like a horse that needs to be put down, Guerrero isn’t going by way of Mr. Ed. If he passes a physical, he’ll be Ranger in 2010 for $5 million. Story
65. Gary Sheffield(notes), DH/OF: Oh, Sheff. Always good for a delusional sketch of the world. Surely, if given reign over this list, he’d put himself in the top 10. And that is why we love him. Question is, will anyone else, even after he slugged .453 at Citi Field?
95. Andruw Jones(notes), DH/OF: SIGNED Three years removed from consistent production, Jones signed a one-year, $500,000 deal with the White Sox. He can earn another $1 million through incentives. Story