Free-agent rankings

Jeff Passan

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) – 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.

SIGNED

68. Sean Casey (33) – Veteran professional hitter signs a one-year, $800,000 deal with the Red Sox to back up Kevin Youkilis. Story .

SIGNED

72. Doug Mientkiewicz (33) – Defensive whiz with a diminishing bat signs a minor-league deal with the Pirates. Story.

SIGNED

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

83. Mark Sweeney (38) – Needs 50 pinch hits for first all-time and will have chance to get closer by returning to the Dodgers. Story.

SIGNED

90. Greg Norton (35) – Declining power numbers forces Norton to take a minor-league deal with the Mariners. Story.

SIGNED

108. Eric Hinske (30) – Sign of career in decline: Hinske goes from a $14.75 million deal to a minor-league contract from the Rays. Story.

SIGNED

114. Robert Fick (34) – Ten-year veteran returns to Padres, where he played well in 2005, agreeing to a split contract. Story.

SIGNED

SECOND BASEMEN

25. Kazuo Matsui (32) – Big postseason helped Matsui repair reputation and sign a three-year, $16.5 million contract with the Astros. Story.

SIGNED

30. Luis Castillo (32) – Completed deal with Mets for $25 million, four years. Story

SIGNED

31. Tadahito Iguchi (33) – Padres use Iguchi as a one-year, $4-million bridge while top prospect Matt Antonelli matures. Story.

SIGNED

73. Mark Loretta (36) – Accepted arbitration and will return to the Astros even though they signed Kazuo Matsui. Story.

SIGNED

82. Marcus Giles (29) – Career in free-fall, he signs a minor-league deal with the Rockies. Story.

SIGNED

86. Jose Valentin (38) – The Mets gave Valentin a minor-league deal with an invitation to major league spring training.

SIGNED

96. Damion Easley (38) – Re-signed with the Mets for $950,000 over one year.

SIGNED

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

106. Miguel Cairo (33) – Intangible guy is valued by the Mariners, who give him a one-year, $850,000 deal with incentives that could add $150,000. Story.

SIGNED

SHORTSTOPS

44. David Eckstein (33) – Blue Jays take job from slick-fielding John McDonald and hand it to Eckstein for one year at $4.5 million. Story.

SIGNED

63. Cesar Izturis (27) – The Cardinals signed good-glove, no-bat switch-hitter to a one-year, $2.85-million deal. Story.

SIGNED

104. Chris Gomez (36) – Versatile infielder gets a one-year, $1 million deal from the Pirates. Story.

SIGNED

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

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

137. Ramon Martinez (35) – Dodgers re-sign utility infielder, but give him only a minor-league deal after he batted .194 in 2007. Story.

SIGNED

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

SIGNED

7. Mike Lowell (34) – Agrees to $37.5 million, three-year deal with Red Sox. Story

SIGNED

26. Mike Lamb (32) – Twins sign underrated veteran to a two-year, $6.6 million contract. Story.

SIGNED

28. Pedro Feliz (32) – Slick fielder with power bat and little patience signs a two-year deal for $8.5 million with the Phillies. Story.

SIGNED

91. Geoff Blum (34) – Versatile glove, clutch bat goes home to Astros in a one-year, $1.1 million deal. Story

SIGNED

95. Aaron Boone (35) – Nationals signed him as a utility infielder for one year at $1 million. Story.

SIGNED

105. Abraham Nunez (32) – Former Phillies backup signed a minor-league deal with the Brewers. Story.

SIGNED

111. Russell Branyan (32) – Veteran with a dollop of power signs a minor-league deal with the Brewers on the day full squads report to spring training. Story.

SIGNED

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

OUTFIELDERS

2. Andruw Jones (30) – The Dodgers took advantage of a slow market, signing Jones to a two-year, $36.2 million deal. Henson story.

SIGNED

3. Torii Hunter (32) – Signed a five-year deal worth $90 million with Angels. Story

SIGNED

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

SIGNED

10. Aaron Rowand (30) – Career year is springboard for a five-year, $60 million deal with Giants. Story.

SIGNED

12. Mike Cameron (35) – 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.

SIGNED

15. Jose Guillen (31) – The Royals landed Guillen's big bat and unpredictable attitude to the tune of three years at $36 million. Story

SIGNED

17. Brad Wilkerson (30) – Mariners give him a one-year, $3-million deal as a prelude to trading outfielder Adam Jones for Erik Bedard. Story.

SIGNED

29. Milton Bradley (29) – Injury-prone and tempermental, Bradley still fetches $5 million from the Rangers for one year. Story.

SIGNED

32. Corey Patterson (28) – 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.

SIGNED

42. Geoff Jenkins (33) – Phillies try to replace the loss of Rowand's bat with Jenkins, who signed a two-year deal worth $13 million. Story.

SIGNED

49. Shannon Stewart (34) – 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.

SIGNED

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

52. Luis Gonzalez (40) – Doubles machine stays close to Tampa home, signing a one-year, $2-million deal with the Marlins. Story.

SIGNED

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

62. Cliff Floyd (35) – Rays sign injury-prone left-handed slugger to a one-year, $3-million deal. Story.

SIGNED

65. Bobby Kielty (31) – Red Sox bring him back with a one-year, $800,000 non-guaranteed contract. Story.

SIGNED

76. Rob Mackowiak (31) – Solid hitter signs a one-year, $1.5-million deal with the Nationals. Story.

SIGNED

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

SIGNED

104. Trot Nixon (33) – Diamondbacks sign the veteran to a minor-league deal as insurance in case Chad Tracy doesn't rebound from knee surgery.

SIGNED

105. Willie Harris (29) – Speedster signs with Nationals for one-year and $800,000, his fifth team in eight years. Story.

SIGNED

107. Jeff DaVanon (34) – Veteran reserve signs a minor-league deal to play for the team his father, Jerry, played for in 1969. Story.

SIGNED

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

130. Jerry Hairston Jr. (31) – Two straight years of near-.200 batting average and he's left with a minor league deal with the Reds on March 3. Story.

SIGNED

CATCHERS

5. Jorge Posada (36) – Yankees paid him $52.4 million over four years on the eve of free agency. Story

SIGNED

38. Michael Barrett (31) – By accepting arbitration, Barrett will return to the Padres for the 2008 season. Story.

SIGNED

43. Paul Lo Duca (35) – Former All-Star agrees to a one-year, $5-million deal with the Nationals. Story. .

SIGNED

56. Yorvit Torrealba (29) – NLCS hero regrouped after 3-year deal with Mets fell through, re-signing with Rockies for $7 million over two years. Story

SIGNED

75. Rod Barajas (32) – 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.

SIGNED

94. Ramon Castro (32) – Re-signed with the Mets for $4.6 million over two years. Story.

SIGNED

110. Jason Kendall (33) – Signed a one-year deal with an option for 2009 with the Brewers. Story

SIGNED

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

119. Mike Lieberthal (35) – The 14-year veteran retires after a stellar career in which he batted .274 with 150 home runs. Story.

SIGNED

120. Raul Casanova (35) – The Mets are bringing him into camp as a non-roster invitee.

SIGNED

123. Jose Molina (32) – Returns to Yankees for two-year $4 million deal. Story

SIGNED

125. Gary Bennett (35) – 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.

SIGNED

126. Doug Mirabelli (37) – Red Sox sign him to a one-year, $550,000 deal to primarily catch knuckleball specialist Tim Wakefield. Story.

SIGNED

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

133. Mike DiFelice (38) – 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.

SIGNED

134. Josh Paul (32) – Another non-roster invitee signed by the Rays as a potential backup to Dioner Navarro.

SIGNED

135. Jason LaRue (34) – The .148-hitting LaRue signed a one-year, $850,000 deal with the Cardinals. Story

SIGNED

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 a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays.

SIGNED

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

SIGNED

STARTING PITCHERS

9. Andy Pettitte (35) – Put off retirement to return to the Yankees. Story

SIGNED

13. Hiroki Kuroda (33) – Dodgers land the pitcher known as "Mr. Complete Game" in Japan, signing him to a three-year, $35.3-million deal. Tim Brown story.

SIGNED

14. Carlos Silva (28) – After losing out on Kuroda, Mariners give the eminently average Silva a four-year, $44-million deal. Story.

SIGNED

16. Livan Hernandez (33, allegedly) – Twins give the slow-tossing, innings-eating righthander $5 million for one year. Story.

SIGNED

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

SIGNED

21. Kenny Rogers (43) – 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.

SIGNED

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

23. Bartolo Colon (35) – 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.

SIGNED

27. Jason Jennings (29) – 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.

SIGNED

35. Randy Wolf (31) – 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

SIGNED

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

41. Jon Lieber (37) – 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.

SIGNED

45. Josh Fogg (31) – 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.

SIGNED

51. Kip Wells (30) – 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.

SIGNED

53. Kris Benson (33) – Coming off rotator cuff surgery, the right-hander signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies. Story.

SIGNED

54. Matt Clement (33) – Injury-plagued right-handers signs a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Cardinals. Story.

SIGNED

71. Odalis Perez (30) – Left-hander with soft stuff and even softer belly signs a minor-league deal with the Nationals. Story.

SIGNED

77. Byung-Hyun Kim (29) – Pirates sign the inconsistent right-hander to a one-year, $850,000 deal after spring training begins, saying he will be a reliever. Story.

SIGNED

78. Steve Trachsel (37) – Veteran innings-eater who made 25 starts for Orioles last year returns with a minor-league deal.. Story.

SIGNED

79. Brett Tomko (34) – 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.

SIGNED

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

SIGNED

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

122. Jaret Wright (32) – Chronically injured right-hander gets a minor-league deal from the Pirates. Story.

SIGNED

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

RELIEF PITCHERS

8. Mariano Rivera (38) – Accepts Yankees' $45 million, three-year offer. Story

SIGNED

11. Francisco Cordero (32) – Reds tossed $46 million over four years at Cordero, hoping he can solve their blown-save problems. Story.

SIGNED

18. Masahide Kobayashi (33) – Indians signed closer who had 20 saves seven straight years in Japan to a two-year, $6.25 million deal. Story

SIGNED

24. Eric Gagne (32) – Signs for $10 million over one year with the Brewers despite late-season flameout with the Red Sox. Brown story.

SIGNED

33. David Riske (31) – One of baseball's best relievers agreed to a $13 million, three-year contract with Milwaukee. Story

SIGNED

36. Scott Linebrink (31) – The White Sox locked up the veteran set-up man for four years, giving him $19 million. Story.

SIGNED

40. Kerry Wood (30) – The Cubs wanted the former flamethrower back and paid $4.2 million for the privilege of one more season. Story.

SIGNED

46. Troy Percival (38) – Comeback of former dominant closer is complete; he signed a two-year, $8-million deal with the Tampa Rays. Story.

SIGNED

47. Yasuhiko Yabuta (31) – The Royals signed the 34-year-old right-hander to a two-year, $6-million deal to become the primary set-up man. Story.

SIGNED

48. Ron Mahay (36) – In a surprise, the Royals land the coveted left-hander with a two-year, $8-million deal. Story.

SIGNED

55. Octavio Dotel (34) – Injury-prone right-hander hits the jackpot, signing a two-year, $11-million deal with the White Sox. Story.

SIGNED

67. Kazuo Fukumori (31) – Japanese veteran signs with the Rangers for $3 million over two years. Story.

SIGNED

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

61. Matt Herges (38) – He will return to Colorado, where he reinvented himself and revitalized his career. Story.

SIGNED

63. Mike Timlin (42) – Reliable old hand returns to Red Sox for one year and $3 million. Story.

SIGNED

64. LaTroy Hawkins (35) – The hard-throwing veteran right-hander got the same $3.75-million, one-year deal from the Yankees that the Rockies declined. Story.

SIGNED

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

67. Luis Vizcaino (33) – Rockies sign reliable right-hander to a two-year, $7.5-million deal. Story.

SIGNED

69. Jeremy Affeldt (28) – Situational left-hander is rewarded for a solid season with the Rockies by garnering a one-year, $3 million deal from the Reds. Story.

SIGNED

70. Shawn Chacon (30) – 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.

SIGNED

74. Doug Brocail (40) – He's 40, but a strong season with the Padres gets him a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Astros. Story.

SIGNED

80. Trever Miller (34) – The Rays give a $2-million, one-year deal to Miller, who held left-handed hitters to a .209 batting average last season. Story.

SIGNED

84. Ray King (34) – Situational lefty who held left-handed hitters to a .187 average last year signed a minor league deal with the Nationals.

SIGNED

88. Jorge Julio (29) – Indians sign inconsistent hard thrower to a minor-league deal after he faded down the stretch for the Rockies.

SIGNED

93. Rudy Seanez (39) – After pitching in 73 games for them last season, the Dodgers sign the durable right-hander to a one-year, $550,000 deal.

SIGNED

97. Arthur Rhodes (38) – Left-hander will try to come back from elbow-ligament surgery with the Mariners, who gave him a minor-league deal.

SIGNED

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

109. Mike Myers (38) – The quintessential one-out lefty gets a minor-league deal with the Dodgers.

SIGNED

118. Brian Moehler (36) – Astros give the 10-year veteran a minor-league deal. Story.

SIGNED

121. Ron Villone (38) – One of a long list of players implicated in the Mitchell Report to sign with the Cardinals, getting a minor league deal.

SIGNED

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

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

138. Chris Reitsma (30) – Mariners gave a minor-league deal to the right-hander, who has had problems with injuries.

SIGNED

139. Elmer Dessens (37) – Versatile swingman coming of a two-year, $3.4 million deal gets a minor league contract from the Pirates. Story.

SIGNED

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