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Free-agent rankings

Jeff Passan
Yahoo Sports

Here is the 143-man free agent class of 2008, broken down by position, with their overall ranking preceding their name and their opening day age appearing in parentheses. The ranking is based on a number of variables, including history, age and potential, and was determined after talking to executives, scouts and agents.

As the offseason progresses, Yahoo! Sports will update the page with news of signings and their impact on the other free agents.


FIRST BASEMEN

58. Tony Clark (35) –
SIGNED
Negotiations to return to the Diamondbacks fell through, so the veteran clubhouse leader signed a one-year, $900,000 deal with the Padres to back up Adrian Gonzalez. Story.

68. Sean Casey (33) –

SIGNED
Veteran professional hitter signs a one-year, $800,000 deal with the Red Sox to back up Kevin Youkilis. Story .

72. Doug Mientkiewicz (33) –

SIGNED
Defensive whiz with a diminishing bat signs a minor-league deal with the Pirates. Story.

81. Ryan Klesko (36) – Nice bat off the bench.

83. Mark Sweeney (38) –

SIGNED
Needs 50 pinch hits for first all-time and will have chance to get closer by returning to the Dodgers. Story.

90. Greg Norton (35) –

SIGNED
Declining power numbers forces Norton to take a minor-league deal with the Mariners. Story.

108. Eric Hinske (30) –

SIGNED
Sign of career in decline: Hinske goes from a $14.75 million deal to a minor-league contract from the Rays. Story.

114. Robert Fick (34) –

SIGNED
Ten-year veteran returns to Padres, where he played well in 2005, agreeing to a split contract. Story.


SECOND BASEMEN

25. Kazuo Matsui (32) –

SIGNED
Big postseason helped Matsui repair reputation and sign a three-year, $16.5 million contract with the Astros. Story.

30. Luis Castillo (32) –

SIGNED
Completed deal with Mets for $25 million, four years. Story

31. Tadahito Iguchi (33) –

SIGNED
Padres use Iguchi as a one-year, $4-million bridge while top prospect Matt Antonelli matures. Story.

73. Mark Loretta (36) –

SIGNED
Accepted arbitration and will return to the Astros even though they signed Kazuo Matsui. Story.

82. Marcus Giles (29) –

SIGNED
Career in free-fall, he signs a minor-league deal with the Rockies. Story.

86. Jose Valentin (38) –

SIGNED
The Mets gave Valentin a minor-league deal with an invitation to major league spring training.

96. Damion Easley (38) –

SIGNED
Re-signed with the Mets for $950,000 over one year.

98. Tony Graffanino (35) – Versatile, and a bat with some pop.

106. Miguel Cairo (33) –

SIGNED
Intangible guy is valued by the Mariners, who give him a one-year, $850,000 deal with incentives that could add $150,000. Story.


SHORTSTOPS

44. David Eckstein (33) –

SIGNED
Blue Jays take job from slick-fielding John McDonald and hand it to Eckstein for one year at $4.5 million. Story.

63. Cesar Izturis (27) –

SIGNED
The Cardinals signed good-glove, no-bat switch-hitter to a one-year, $2.85-million deal. Story.

104. Chris Gomez (36) –

SIGNED
Versatile infielder gets a one-year, $1 million deal from the Pirates. Story.

127. Chris Woodward (31) – Somehow, entering his 10th season.

128. Royce Clayton (38) – Could sign with his 12th team.

137. Ramon Martinez (35) –

SIGNED
Dodgers re-sign utility infielder, but give him only a minor-league deal after he batted .194 in 2007. Story.

143. Neifi Perez (34) – Officially the worst player in the class of '08, and he's still got time left on his amphetamine suspension. Could this be the end of the Neifi Index?


THIRD BASEMEN

1. Alex Rodriguez (32) –

SIGNED
One more record contract – this time $275 million – will take him to the end of his career in pinstripes. Story

7. Mike Lowell (34) –

SIGNED
Agrees to $37.5 million, three-year deal with Red Sox. Story

26. Mike Lamb (32) –

SIGNED
Twins sign underrated veteran to a two-year, $6.6 million contract. Story.

28. Pedro Feliz (32) –

SIGNED
Slick fielder with power bat and little patience signs a two-year deal for $8.5 million with the Phillies. Story.

91. Geoff Blum (34) –

SIGNED
Versatile glove, clutch bat goes home to Astros in a one-year, $1.1 million deal. Story

95. Aaron Boone (35) –

SIGNED
Nationals signed him as a utility infielder for one year at $1 million. Story.

105. Abraham Nunez (32) –

SIGNED
Former Phillies backup signed a minor-league deal with the Brewers. Story.

111. Russell Branyan (32) –

SIGNED
Veteran with a dollop of power signs a minor-league deal with the Brewers on the day full squads report to spring training. Story.

129. Jeff Cirillo (38) – May just retire.


OUTFIELDERS

2. Andruw Jones (30) –

SIGNED
The Dodgers took advantage of a slow market, signing Jones to a two-year, $36.2 million deal. Henson story.

3. Torii Hunter (32) –

SIGNED
Signed a five-year deal worth $90 million with Angels. Story

4. Barry Bonds (43) – Love him or hate him, the old man can still rake. UPDATE: Don't think anyone's going to be signing him anytime soon.

6. Kosuke Fukudome (30) –

SIGNED
Former Japanese Central League MVP signed a four-year, $48-million contract with the Cubs. Story.

10. Aaron Rowand (30) –

SIGNED
Career year is springboard for a five-year, $60 million deal with Giants. Story.

12. Mike Cameron (35) –

SIGNED
Will sit out the first 25 games as discipline for testing positive for amphetamines, then will play center field for the Brewers, who gave him $7 million for one year. Story.

15. Jose Guillen (31) –

SIGNED
The Royals landed Guillen's big bat and unpredictable attitude to the tune of three years at $36 million. Story

17. Brad Wilkerson (30) –

SIGNED
Mariners give him a one-year, $3-million deal as a prelude to trading outfielder Adam Jones for Erik Bedard. Story.

29. Milton Bradley (29) –

SIGNED
Injury-prone and tempermental, Bradley still fetches $5 million from the Rangers for one year. Story.

32. Corey Patterson (28) –

SIGNED
What a fall. The Cubs paid him $4.3 million last year to avoid arbitration, then he becomes a free agent and has to sign a minor league deal with the Reds on March 3. Story.

42. Geoff Jenkins (33) –

SIGNED
Phillies try to replace the loss of Rowand's bat with Jenkins, who signed a two-year deal worth $13 million. Story.

49. Shannon Stewart (34) –

SIGNED
Despite batting .290 with 12 homers last season, all Stewart can get is a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays after spring training begins. Story.

50. Kenny Lofton (40) – Aiming for team No. 12, too.

52. Luis Gonzalez (40) –

SIGNED
Doubles machine stays close to Tampa home, signing a one-year, $2-million deal with the Marlins. Story.

57. Shawn Green (35) – Remember when he was a star?

62. Cliff Floyd (35) –

SIGNED
Rays sign injury-prone left-handed slugger to a one-year, $3-million deal. Story.

65. Bobby Kielty (31) –

SIGNED
Red Sox bring him back with a one-year, $800,000 non-guaranteed contract. Story.

76. Rob Mackowiak (31) –

SIGNED
Solid hitter signs a one-year, $1.5-million deal with the Nationals. Story.

87. Reggie Sanders (40) – In 17 seasons, has never played more than 140 games.

100. Rondell White (36) – Injuries wracked his promising career as well.

101. Preston Wilson (33) – Speaking of injuries, coming off a 64-at-bat season.

102. Darin Erstad (33) –

SIGNED
Injury-plagued gamer signs a one-year deal with the Astros for $1 million, plus incentives. Story.

104. Trot Nixon (33) –

SIGNED
Diamondbacks sign the veteran to a minor-league deal as insurance in case Chad Tracy doesn't rebound from knee surgery.

105. Willie Harris (29) –

SIGNED
Speedster signs with Nationals for one-year and $800,000, his fifth team in eight years. Story.

107. Jeff DaVanon (34) –

SIGNED
Veteran reserve signs a minor-league deal to play for the team his father, Jerry, played for in 1969. Story.

113. Orlando Palmeiro (39) – Old pro just keeps trucking, even with .613 OPS last year.

130. Jerry Hairston Jr. (31) –

SIGNED
Two straight years of near-.200 batting average and he's left with a minor league deal with the Reds on March 3. Story.


CATCHERS

5. Jorge Posada (36) –

SIGNED
Yankees paid him $52.4 million over four years on the eve of free agency. Story

38. Michael Barrett (31) –

SIGNED
By accepting arbitration, Barrett will return to the Padres for the 2008 season. Story.

43. Paul Lo Duca (35) –

SIGNED
Former All-Star agrees to a one-year, $5-million deal with the Nationals. Story. .

56. Yorvit Torrealba (29) –

SIGNED
NLCS hero regrouped after 3-year deal with Mets fell through, re-signing with Rockies for $7 million over two years. Story

75. Rod Barajas (32) –

SIGNED
A year after turning down a multi-year deal from the Blue Jays, Barajas accepts a one-year contract from them for $1.2 million. Story.

94. Ramon Castro (32) –

SIGNED
Re-signed with the Mets for $4.6 million over two years. Story.

110. Jason Kendall (33) –

SIGNED
Signed a one-year deal with an option for 2009 with the Brewers. Story

117. Damian Miller (38) – And yet he's ahead of this guy, and a dozen (!) others.

119. Mike Lieberthal (35) –

SIGNED
The 14-year veteran retires after a stellar career in which he batted .274 with 150 home runs. Story.

120. Raul Casanova (35) –

SIGNED
The Mets are bringing him into camp as a non-roster invitee.

123. Jose Molina (32) –

SIGNED
Returns to Yankees for two-year $4 million deal. Story

125. Gary Bennett (35) –

SIGNED
Despite being exposed in the Mitchell Report as a user of performance-enhancing drugs, the veteran is signed by the Dodgers to a one-year deal to back up Russell Martin. Story.

126. Doug Mirabelli (37) –

SIGNED
Red Sox sign him to a one-year, $550,000 deal to primarily catch knuckleball specialist Tim Wakefield. Story.

132. Paul Bako (35) – These are backup catchers. This is getting tough.

133. Mike DiFelice (38) –

SIGNED
Veteran has played in 538 games since 1994. The Rays will give him a chance to play in a few more as a non-roster invitee.

134. Josh Paul (32) –

SIGNED
Another non-roster invitee signed by the Rays as a potential backup to Dioner Navarro.

135. Jason LaRue (34) –

SIGNED
The .148-hitting LaRue signed a one-year, $850,000 deal with the Cardinals. Story

136. Kelly Stinnett (38) – Don't forget him! A robust .159.

141. Sandy Alomar Jr. (41) – The best yet, with a .136 average!

142. Sal Fasano (36) –

SIGNED
Signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays.


DESIGNATED HITTERS

34. Sammy Sosa (39) – Wants $7 million to swing and miss at breaking balls.

37. Mike Piazza (39) – Coming off worst season of his career. Does he have one more in him?

59. Mike Sweeney (34) –

SIGNED
Career .299 hitter coming off a $55-million contract and a major injury signs a minor-league deal with the A's.Story.


STARTING PITCHERS

9. Andy Pettitte (35) –

SIGNED
Put off retirement to return to the Yankees. Story

13. Hiroki Kuroda (33) –

SIGNED
Dodgers land the pitcher known as "Mr. Complete Game" in Japan, signing him to a three-year, $35.3-million deal. Tim Brown story.

14. Carlos Silva (28) –

SIGNED
After losing out on Kuroda, Mariners give the eminently average Silva a four-year, $44-million deal. Story.

16. Livan Hernandez (33, allegedly) –

SIGNED
Twins give the slow-tossing, innings-eating righthander $5 million for one year. Story.

19. Freddy Garcia (32) – Surgery, shmurgery. If he's healthy, he's a legit No. 2, and he can be had at a bargain for the risk-taking types.

20. Tom Glavine (42) –

SIGNED
He returns to Atlanta for one-year, $8 million contract. Story

21. Kenny Rogers (43) –

SIGNED
After dumping Scott Boras as his agent, 43-year-old left-hander re-signed with the Tigers for one year at about $8 million. Story.

22. Kyle Lohse (29) – Were these rankings on potential salary instead of accomplishment, he'd be in the top 10.

23. Bartolo Colon (35) –

SIGNED
A Cy Young award winner two years ago, the injury-prone Colon settles for a minor-league deal with the Red Sox more than a week into spring training. Story.

27. Jason Jennings (29) –

SIGNED
The Rangers took a flyer on a once-effective right-hander whose career imploded into injury and ineffectiveness last year, giving him a one-year, $4 million deal. Story.

35. Randy Wolf (31) –

SIGNED
Padres take a chance on injury-prone yet effective left-hander, giving him a $4 million guarantee and the chance to make $8 million in 2008. Story

39. Jeff Weaver (31) – That one-year deal didn't work out so well.

41. Jon Lieber (37) –

SIGNED
A 20-game winner for the Cubs in 2001, the right-hander returns to Wrigley for one year and $3.5 million, content to be swingman or No. 5 starter. Story.

45. Josh Fogg (31) –

SIGNED
Only months after helping the Rockies get to the World Series, Fogg has trouble finding a job, finally signing with the Reds for one year at $1 million. Story.

51. Kip Wells (30) –

SIGNED
Veteran gets $3.1 million and a chance to make another $1.5 million in bonuses over one year with the Rockies despite going 7-17 with a 5.70 ERA last year. Story.

53. Kris Benson (33) –

SIGNED
Coming off rotator cuff surgery, the right-hander signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies. Story.

54. Matt Clement (33) –

SIGNED
Injury-plagued right-handers signs a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Cardinals. Story.

71. Odalis Perez (30) –

SIGNED
Left-hander with soft stuff and even softer belly signs a minor-league deal with the Nationals. Story.

77. Byung-Hyun Kim (29) –

SIGNED
Pirates sign the inconsistent right-hander to a one-year, $850,000 deal after spring training begins, saying he will be a reliever. Story.

78. Steve Trachsel (37) –

SIGNED
Veteran innings-eater who made 25 starts for Orioles last year returns with a minor-league deal.. Story.

79. Brett Tomko (34) –

SIGNED
Even after last year's double flame-out with the Dodgers and Padres, the right-hander gets $3 million over one year from the Royals. Story.

85. Eric Milton (32) – Last time he did this, received one of the worst contracts in the history of free agency.

89. Rodrigo Lopez (32) – On the off chance that he can come back from a ligament and flexor tendon tears.

92. Tony Armas (29) – Yeah, he's worse than a guy with a blown-out arm.

112. Russ Ortiz (33) – Incidentally, he pitches like a guy with a blown-out arm.

115. Mark Redman (34) –

SIGNED
Left-handed starters are continually reborn, as Redman's one-year deal with the Rockies proves. Story.

116. Aaron Sele (37) – Does it with guile.

122. Jaret Wright (32) –

SIGNED
Chronically injured right-hander gets a minor-league deal from the Pirates. Story.

140. John Thomson (34) – Pitched 188 innings over three seasons.


RELIEF PITCHERS

8. Mariano Rivera (38) –

SIGNED
Accepts Yankees' $45 million, three-year offer. Story

11. Francisco Cordero (32) –

SIGNED
Reds tossed $46 million over four years at Cordero, hoping he can solve their blown-save problems. Story.

18. Masahide Kobayashi (33) –

SIGNED
Indians signed closer who had 20 saves seven straight years in Japan to a two-year, $6.25 million deal. Story

24. Eric Gagne (32) –

SIGNED
Signs for $10 million over one year with the Brewers despite late-season flameout with the Red Sox. Brown story.

33. David Riske (31) –

SIGNED
One of baseball's best relievers agreed to a $13 million, three-year contract with Milwaukee. Story

36. Scott Linebrink (31) –

SIGNED
The White Sox locked up the veteran set-up man for four years, giving him $19 million. Story.

40. Kerry Wood (30) –

SIGNED
The Cubs wanted the former flamethrower back and paid $4.2 million for the privilege of one more season. Story.

46. Troy Percival (38) –

SIGNED
Comeback of former dominant closer is complete; he signed a two-year, $8-million deal with the Tampa Rays. Story.

47. Yasuhiko Yabuta (31) –

SIGNED
The Royals signed the 34-year-old right-hander to a two-year, $6-million deal to become the primary set-up man. Story.

48. Ron Mahay (36) –

SIGNED
In a surprise, the Royals land the coveted left-hander with a two-year, $8-million deal. Story.

55. Octavio Dotel (34) –

SIGNED
Injury-prone right-hander hits the jackpot, signing a two-year, $11-million deal with the White Sox. Story.

67. Kazuo Fukumori (31) –

SIGNED
Japanese veteran signs with the Rangers for $3 million over two years. Story.

60. Bob Wickman (39) – Probably will retire, but just in case, he still can get hitters out.

61. Matt Herges (38) –

SIGNED
He will return to Colorado, where he reinvented himself and revitalized his career. Story.

63. Mike Timlin (42) –

SIGNED
Reliable old hand returns to Red Sox for one year and $3 million. Story.

64. LaTroy Hawkins (35) –

SIGNED
The hard-throwing veteran right-hander got the same $3.75-million, one-year deal from the Yankees that the Rockies declined. Story.

66. Armando Benitez (35) – Just when you think Captain Meltdown is over the hill, he comes back and surprises.

67. Luis Vizcaino (33) –

SIGNED
Rockies sign reliable right-hander to a two-year, $7.5-million deal. Story.

69. Jeremy Affeldt (28) –

SIGNED
Situational left-hander is rewarded for a solid season with the Rockies by garnering a one-year, $3 million deal from the Reds. Story.

70. Shawn Chacon (30) –

SIGNED
A week into spring training, hard-throwing right-hander signs a $2 million, two-year deal with the Astros and will be given an opportunity to start. Story.every-other-year-he's-good plan, which is bad for whichever team signs him.

74. Doug Brocail (40) –

SIGNED
He's 40, but a strong season with the Padres gets him a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Astros. Story.

80. Trever Miller (34) –

SIGNED
The Rays give a $2-million, one-year deal to Miller, who held left-handed hitters to a .209 batting average last season. Story.

84. Ray King (34) –

SIGNED
Situational lefty who held left-handed hitters to a .187 average last year signed a minor league deal with the Nationals.

88. Jorge Julio (29) –

SIGNED
Indians sign inconsistent hard thrower to a minor-league deal after he faded down the stretch for the Rockies.

93. Rudy Seanez (39) –

SIGNED
After pitching in 73 games for them last season, the Dodgers sign the durable right-hander to a one-year, $550,000 deal.

97. Arthur Rhodes (38) –

SIGNED
Left-hander will try to come back from elbow-ligament surgery with the Mariners, who gave him a minor-league deal.

99. Antonio Alfonseca (35) – Now we're getting to the dregs.

109. Mike Myers (38) –

SIGNED
The quintessential one-out lefty gets a minor-league deal with the Dodgers.

118. Brian Moehler (36) –

SIGNED
Astros give the 10-year veteran a minor-league deal. Story.

121. Ron Villone (38) –

SIGNED
One of a long list of players implicated in the Mitchell Report to sign with the Cardinals, getting a minor league deal.

124. Jay Witasick (35) – Best performance of 2007 was here.

131. Jose Mesa (41) – Once was great. Now? Eek

138. Chris Reitsma (30) –

SIGNED
Mariners gave a minor-league deal to the right-hander, who has had problems with injuries.

139. Elmer Dessens (37) –

SIGNED
Versatile swingman coming of a two-year, $3.4 million deal gets a minor league contract from the Pirates. Story.