Overall Rankings | By Position: | SP | RP | C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF | DH | UT
Here is the free-agent class of 2008-09, ranked from Nos. 1 to 183. The rankings are based on a number of variables, including each player's history, age and potential, and should serve as an outline as to how free agency shakes out 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.
8) Ben Sheets, SP: Sure, he hasn't made his full complement of starts since 2004. But if healthy, he's better than Burnett and nearly Sabathia's equivalent.
10) Derek Lowe, SP: SIGNED One of baseball's best pitchers the last seven years signed a four-year, $60 million deal with the Braves after turning down a shorter offer by the Mets. Story.
12) Ryan Dempster, SP: SIGNED Making the most of coming off a career year (17-6 record, 2.96 ERA), Dempster re-signed with the Cubs for four years and $52 million. Story
19) Brad Penny, SP: SIGNED The Dodgers didn't exercise a $9.25 million option because of a sore arm and a belligerent attitude, so the Red Sox signed him to a one-year, $5 million deal hoping that his arm problems are behind him. Story.
21) Jon Garland, SP: SIGNED Gives up lots of hits, strikes out no one but logs a guaranteed 200 decent innings, which prompted the Diamondbacks to give him a one-year, $7.25 million deal to follow Brandon Webb, Dan Haren and Doug Davis in their rotation. Story.
29) Randy Johnson, SP: SIGNED Not only is he motivated (five wins shy of 300), but from July 6 to the end of the year, his ERA was 2.56 and he struck out 91 in 98 1/3 innings. He stays in the NL West, this time with the Giants on a one-year, $8 million deal. Story
30) Koji Uehara, SP/RP: SIGNED Offered $3 million a decade ago by the Angels, he turned it down and has dominated with the Yomiuri Giants as a starter and closer. Now he'll pitch for the Orioles for the next two years. Story.
37) Braden Looper, SP: SIGNED Solid, if not overwhelming, Looper signed a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers for $4.75 million with a mutual option for 2010.
45) Kenshin Kawakami, SP: SIGNED Previously among the best pitchers in Japan, he lost some zip on his fastball but has enough left to land a three-year deal from the Atlanta Braves.
51) John Smoltz, SP/RP: SIGNED Leaving the Braves after 21 seasons couldn't have been easy, but Smoltz signed an incentive-laden one-year deal with the Red Sox that guarantees him $5.5 million. Story.
53) Pedro Martinez, SP: Hasn't looked like Pedro since 2005, and to be even a facsimile, he can't walk nearly four batters per nine innings like he did in '08.
70) Tom Glavine, SP: SIGNED Arm surgery is one thing. But elbow and shoulder? That's tough for anyone, let alone a 43-year-old. Leave it to the Braves to give him a $1 million deal with performance bonuses that could add $3.5 million. Story.
74) Mark Prior, SP: SIGNED The Padres signed the injury-riddled right-hander to a minor-league deal.
83) Kenny Rogers, SP: Decent option if he does decide to play. Second-half ERA (7.93) could scare teams away.
88) Odalis Perez, SP: SIGNED The truest sign of how bad Washington was in '08: Perez started on opening day. Now he'll return to the Nats on a minor-league deal.
100) Curt Schilling, SP: Oh, what the hell.
116) Sidney Ponson, SP: For being on his 115th chance.
129) Mark Hendrickson, SP/RP: SIGNED The tall left-hander might be better suited in a relief role, although he likely will compete for a starting job with the Orioles, who signed him to a one-year deal. Story.
131) Jon Lieber, SP/RP: Is there another season left in the arm? He turns 39 right before opening day.
132) Orlando Hernandez, SP: Teams could bring him back at 60 and he'd still throw the same stuff he does now at 43. He'll get a look somewhere if he wants it.
133) Livan Hernandez, SP: Teams could bring him back at 60 and he might have a difficult time fitting through the doorway. As is, he's not very good at 33.
143) Josh Fogg, SP: SIGNED Penance for accepting the nickname "The Dragon Slayer" is a 7.58 ERA the next season. So he'll go back to Colorado on a minor-league deal and try to earn the nickname again.
145) Bartolo Colon, SP: SIGNED Injured and overweight the last several years, the former Cy Young Award winner will get $1 million and another $2 million in incentives from the White Sox to compete for a spot in the rotation.Story.
146) Mark Mulder, SP: Also a sad story: The victim of injuries has thrown only 17 1/3 innings since June 20, 2006. He probably will end up with a minor-league deal.
155) Kip Wells, SP/RP: So promising once, he hasn't finished with an ERA under 5.00 since 2004.
170) Tony Armas Jr., SP: SIGNED A pitcher who failed to reach his potential gets a shot with the Mets, who brought him in on a minor-league deal. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-metsmoves&prov=ap&type=lgns">Story.
5) Francisco Rodriguez, RP: SIGNED Coming off a record 62 saves, K-Rod didn't get the deal he sought, but the Mets stepped up with a three-year, $37 million contract with a vesting option for a fourth year at $14 million. Story
23) Juan Cruz, RP: This year's version of gonna-try-to-make-him-a-closer. Certainly has the stuff, with an NL-best 12.4 strikeouts per nine.
50) Joe Beimel, RP: Great ERA (2.02) is a bit misleading – 20 of 60 inherited runners scored.
52) Darren Oliver, RP: Even worse than Beimel with inherited runners (41 percent scored). Still, second-half ERA of 1.95 and nearly equal righty/lefty splits make him valuable.
63) Dennys Reyes, RP: Nearly unhittable against lefties (.537 OPS), too, but value drops because he's mostly a one-out guy.
65) Will Ohman, RP: Workhorse's 83 games pitched ranked second in baseball in 2008.
67) David Weathers, RP: Still an effective right-handed reliever – and a rare one that gets out lefties, who had a .635 OPS against him in 2008.
69) Eddie Guardado, RP: SIGNED At 38 and four years removed from his last 30-save season, Guardado signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers.
87) Trever Miller, RP: SIGNED The left-hander who helped the Rays to the World Series by getting situational outs accepted $500,000 for one year from the St. Louis Cardinals after his physical showed a labrum tear, dashing his hopes for a two-year, $4 million deal. Story
97) Chad Cordero, RP: Former NL saves leader could miss all of 2009 recovering from a labrum tear. Would likely sign an incentive-loaded multiyear deal.
98) Luis Ayala, RP: SIGNED The Twins signed the sinkerball specialist to a one-year, $1.3 million deal to set up Joe Nathan.
103) John Parrish, RP: SIGNED The rare left-handed reliever who's better against right-handed hitters, Parrish signed a minor league deal with the Orioles that would pay him $850,000 if he makes the team. Story.
111) Keith Foulke, RP: Rather good in his return from retirement, particularly in short stints. His ERA through 15 pitches was 2.14, and after was 8.68.
113) Eric Gagne, RP: SIGNED Not close to the Gagne of old after he stopped pumping himself full of performance-enhancing drugs. So he took a minor-league deal with the Brewers, the same team that paid him $10 million last year.
125) Julian Tavarez, RP: Hey, he's always up for throwing at batters, if nothing else.
128) Casey Fossum, RP: SIGNED The left-hander signed a minor-league deal with the Mets.
137) Matt Herges, RP: He returned to form after a career year in 2007, allowing 79 hits in 64 1/3 innings.
139) Ron Villone, RP: Truly an anomaly: survived Joe Torre and lived to tell about it without a scar on his pitching arm.
142) Mike Timlin, RP: Wait. He's really not Bob Howry's twin?
148) Tom Gordon, RP: Flash missed most of the season, and at 41 could be a long shot to play again.
154) Glendon Rusch, RP: SIGNED The Rockies signed the soft-tossing left-hander to a one-year, $750,000 minor-league deal to be a spot starter and long reliever.
156) Juan Rincon, RP: Used to be a great setup man. Used to take steroids. Any correlation?
162) Brendan Donnelly, RP: SIGNED The former Angels stalwart is still trying to rebound from 2007 elbow surgery as well as steroid allegations in the Mitchell Report. The Rangers gave him a minor league deal. Story.
175) Jason Johnson, RP: SIGNED Eleven big-league seasons under his belt, Johnson signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees.
176) Ricardo Rincon, RP: And its cosmic counterpart: left-handed, has pulse.
181) Elmer Dessens, RP: He finished fifth-worst in last season's rankings. Moving down in the world.
182) Chad Fox, RP: SIGNED Fox, who has pitched a grand total of 22 innings in the majors since 2004, signed a minor-league deal with the Cubs.
35) Ivan Rodriguez, C: The paucity of catchers increases his value significantly, because otherwise, teams would be more concerned with 18 years of major league squatting.
38) Jason Varitek, C: SIGNED Miscalculated the market and signed a cut-rate deal with the Red Sox. Edes column
92) David Ross, C: SIGNED Lots of raw power (38 home runs between '06 and '07) disappeared in '08. He did show improved plate discipline, though, and could be a sleeper signing for the Braves, who got him for two years at $3 million. Story
149) Paul Lo Duca, C: It's bad when you're below a bunch of guys recovering from injuries.
164) Toby Hall, C: He is better known in the White Sox clubhouse for his facial hair than his talent.
165) Paul Bako, C: Rather Dunnian – perhaps even Howardian – in his strikeout prowess: 90 in 299 at-bats.
166) Javier Valentin, C: Actually isn't half-bad.
167) Gary Bennett, C: Actually is.
168) Adam Melhuse, C: He holds the lowest batting average among available catchers at .167. A mark of honor in these quarters.
183) Vance Wilson, C: SIGNED Wilson hasn't played in the major leagues since 2006, but the Royals signed him to a minor-league contract.
2) Mark Teixeira, 1B: SIGNED Switch-hitting, power-hitting, Gold Glove-winning, in-the-middle-of-his-prime, Scott Boras-represented first baseman signs an eight-year, $180 million deal with the Yankees, stunning the Red Sox, Nationals and Orioles. Edes Story
60) Eric Hinske, 1B/OF: SIGNED Huge power and little else, Hinske signed a one-year deal with the Pirates.
81) Rich Aurilia, 1B: SIGNED Great against left-handed pitching, Aurilia signed a minor league deal with the Giants that will pay him $1 million if he makes the team.
110) Tony Clark, 1B: SIGNED The veteran and strong clubhouse presence will return to the Diamondbacks, for whom he played from 2005-2007 and the second half of last season, on a one-year, $800,000 contract. Story.
117) Richie Sexson, 1B: From consistent 30-homer masher to … below Sidney Ponson. Oy.
120) Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B: Showed tremendous plate discipline with 44 walks to 28 strikeouts, even if all his power is sapped.
122) Ben Broussard, 1B: Another whatever-happened-to-him case. He went from a consistent 15-homer, 60-RBI guy to nothing overnight.
140) Mark Sweeney, 1B/OF: SIGNED Sweeney signed with the Mariners, but when the club added Ken Griffey Jr. it diminished his chances of making the team.
9) Orlando Hudson, 2B: SIGNED A victim of being a Type A free agent with injury issues, Hudson signed with the Dodgers after spring training began for one year at $3.38 million, which performance bonuses that could boost the deal to $8 million. Story.
48) Ray Durham, 2B: Can't run much and is slow in the field, too, but high on-base percentage and doubles power make him a nice one-year fill-in.
39) Mark Grudzielanek, 2B: High batting average and above-average fielding make up for Grudzielanek's lack of power and patience.
57) Jeff Kent, 2B: RETIRED The all-time home run leader among second basemen calls it quits in a teary farewell speech at Dodger Stadium and now waits five years for a Hall of Fame verdict. Brown story.
79) Felipe Lopez, 2B/SS: SIGNED The Diamondbacks, apparently impressed by his strong September, signed Lopez to a one-year, $3.5 million deal to replace Gold Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson. Story
153) Marcus Giles, 2B: SIGNED Although he sat out last season, the Phillies signed him to a minor-league deal as insurance in case Chase Utley isn't ready to start the season.
91) Russell Branyan, 3B: SIGNED Almost always starts the year in the minors, only to get recalled and crank home runs. Hit 12 in 132 at-bats for Milwaukee, and wasn’t half bad on defense, either. He’s off to the Pacific Northwest, signing a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Mariners. Story
6) Rafael Furcal, SS: SIGNED After an ugly episode that prompted the Braves to vow never to deal with Furcal's agent again, the shortstop returned to the Dodgers in a three-year, $30 million deal that includes a vesting option for 2012. Brown story
26) Orlando Cabrera, SS: Still good with the glove, but he simply can't hit well. Only once in his 11 full seasons has his OPS been better than league average.
73) David Eckstein, SS/2B: SIGNED Even though he took a drastic pay cut from $4.5 million to $850,000, the former shortstop is excited about the opportunity to play second base every day for the Padres. Story.
82) Omar Vizquel, SS: SIGNED Perhaps bound for the Hall of Fame, the slick-fielding Vizquel will spend a year tutoring prospect Elvis Andrus after signing a minor-league deal with the Texas Rangers. Story.
127) Adam Everett, SS: SIGNED The Tigers believe he can improve their defense and signed him to a one-year contract worth about $1 million. Story
169) Luis Rivas, 2B/SS: One of the rare cases of Minnesota rushing a player, Rivas never recovered from early failures and is little more than a bounce-around guy.
3) Manny Ramirez, OF: That $100 million he was telling his buddies in Boston about seems pretty far-fetched now unless the Yankees overpay.
32) Garret Anderson, OF: He still will hit .300 with 15 home runs, not take any walks and look like Grandpa Abe Simpson when he's running.
33) Juan Rivera, OF: SIGNED The Angels re-signed the power-hitting left fielder to a three-year, $12.75 million deal even though his production has declined the last two years because of injury. Brown story
44) Jim Edmonds, OF: He looked cooked before a renaissance in Chicago. At 38, Edmonds won't get anything more than an incentive-laden one-year deal.
84) Moises Alou, OF: Even at 42, he can still rake. When healthy. Which, unfortunately, is never.
93) Emil Brown, OF: Nice counting stats (13 home runs, 59 RBIs) belie his terrible on-base percentage, bad baserunning instincts and laughable defense.
95) Brad Wilkerson, 1B/OF: SIGNED Hit 30 home runs and walked 100 times only four years ago, so someone is bound to take a flyer. Turns out it's the Red Sox, hoping he can replace Sean Casey as a bat off the bench.
108) Luis Gonzalez, OF: This year's best candidate for 40-something to get squeezed by youth movement.
126) Jay Payton, OF: Sub-.300 OBP for consecutive seasons isn't exactly a résumé booster.
150) Kevin Mench, OF: SIGNED Mench reached agreement on a one-year, $1.8 million contract with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s Central League.
161) Scott Podsednik, OF: Gone is his speed on the basepaths and range in center field. Which renders him … a minor leaguer.
172) Trot Nixon, OF: SIGNED A long way from his glory days with the Red Sox, Nixon signed a minor-league deal with the Brewers.
178) Juan Encarnacion, OF: The saddest case of all: Freak injury – struck by a batted ball while in the on-deck circle – will, in all likelihood, end his career.
64) Nomar Garciaparra, UT: Another injury-filled season begs the question of whether the 35-year-old can return to two-years-ago form, let alone that of his prime.
86) Ramon Vazquez UT: SIGNED The Pirates are hoping he can keep his hot hitting going after batting a career-high .290 last season for Texas, agreeing to a $4 million, two-year contract with Vazquez. Story
102) Damion Easley, UT: He can play every position but catcher. Biggest issue at 39 is his speed: grounded into 15 double plays in 316 at-bats.
136) Alex Cintron, UT: Never developed into an everyday guy, but Cintron is serviceable in a utility role.
138) Chris Gomez, UT: SIGNED The consummate journeyman, Gomez may have found his ninth team by signing a minor-league deal with the Orioles.
141) Ramon Martinez, UT: Three more seasons and he'll actually have had as long of a career as the good Ramon Martinez.
159) Miguel Cairo, UT: Seattle gave Cairo, Bloomquist and Vidro nearly 700 at-bats combined last season. Is it any wonder the Mariners lost 100 games?
180) Juan Castro, UT: SIGNED The 14-year veteran with a career OPS of .579 signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers.
31) Jason Giambi, DH: SIGNED The power-hitting admitted steroids user will return to the scene of his best years, signing with the Oakland A's for one year at $4.5 million with an option for 2010. Story.
75) Cliff Floyd, DH: SIGNED Great in a 250-at-bat role, which is what he should get with the Padres as an outfielder and mentor.
89) Frank Thomas, DH: No need to Willie Mays it anymore.
157) Jose Vidro, 1B/DH: Coming off the third-worst DH season of all time for players with at least 300 at-bats, his .612 OPS was unfathomably bad.