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November 6 - Meet the Free Agents

Now that the dust has settled and the St. Louis Cardinals have brought home a World Series trophy it
is time for baseball agents to get their notebooks open, calculators collaborated and bank accounts
open for deposit. It is free-agent signing time for Major League baseball.

This year’s harvest will be one of the worst crops in years with Barry Zito, Jason Schmidt, Carlos Lee
and Alfonso Soriano top candidates ripe for picking.

This years top free agents :

1)
Alfonso Soriano of - Soriano is clearly one of the top players in the game and has the ability to
make a team an instant contender. (Unless of course that team is the Nationals). He is coming off
arguably his best season and hit a career high in homers last season. The Giants are prime
suspects if Bonds leaves, or even if he stays but most likely they will be outbid by a bigger market with
money to burn such as Anaheim, Philadelphia, Chicago or Los Angeles.
Prediction : Phillies

2) Barry Zito lhsp – Zito has taken the A’s on a roller coaster ride over the past several seasons, but
overall his numbers are good. We all know that come free agent time, left-handed pitchers get as
much attention as Pamela Anderson in a string bikini. Look for Zito to get overpaid and then continue
to produce both brilliant and horrendous outings. Zito loves the Bay Area but will settle for his
hometown.
Prediction: Padres

3) Carlos Lee of – Lee is one of those players that you keep telling your friends he’s not that good but
yet every season he puts up another 30-plus home run and 100-plus rbi season. At 30 years old, Lee
is in the prime of his career and will be a menacing force in someone’s lineup should someone pony
up the dough. Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco and Texas are likely bidders.
Prediction: Re-sign with Rangers

4) Daisuke Matsuzaka rhsp – This Japanese fireballer nicknamed “the monster” will most likely
scare away most teams with his price tag. A bidding war as well as a very lucrative contract will greet
Matsuzaka when he arrives in U.S. soil. The Yankees are dying for pitching and have plenty of blank
checks laying around.
Prediction: New York Yankees

5) Aramis Ramirez 3b – After Soriano and Lee its a Wyle Coyote-like drop off to Mr. Ramirez for
offense. Aramis started off slow in 2006 but played most of the season without Derek Lee to protect
him in the lineup. The Cubs still may re-sign him but Anaheim, Boston, San Diego, Philadelphia or
Detroit may be waiting with open arms.
Prediction: Angels

6 ) Gary Matthews Jr. of – Matthews had a break out year in 2006 and all signs point to even better
years to come. Potential buyers are Chicago Cubs, St. Louis, Houston, Colorado and any other team
looking for speed and defense.
Prediction: Chicago Cubs

7) Jason Schmidt rhsp – Schmidt and San Francisco will probably part ways despite 71 wins over
the past five seasons. Overworked during much of the 2003 and 2004 seasons Schmidt’s arm
showed signs of fatigue over the past two years. When on, his stuff is electric and completely un-
hittable. When off, San Francisco General Hospital reported higher incidences of hands broken on
coffee tables. Someone will overpay and most likely it will be Seattle yet again. Schmidt is a
Washington native.
Prediction: Mariners

8) Roger Clemens rhsp – Hopefully we won’t have to endure more retirement drama this off-season.
(I think Brett Favre and reruns of Paris Hilton’s simple life gave us all we can handle). I’m hoping
Roger’s comfortable couch in his Texas home watching reruns of Who’s the Boss will put us out our
misery quickly.
Prediction: Retires

9) Barry Bonds of –  The only way Giants owner Peter Magowan will end his relationship with his
magical slugger is if Dr. Phil arrives in San Francisco and explains to Peter that cross-dressing as
Paula Abdul, being a clubhouse cancer and mistaking steroids for flaxseed oil does not make for a
winning partnership. Bonds will most likely break Aaron’s record and it will kill Magowan if he does it
in a Tiger’s uniform.
Prediction: Re-sign with Giants

10) Mike Mussina rhsp – There is nothing amazing about Mussina at this point in his career but the
bottom line is he’s a proven winner. The Yankees will try to re-sign Mussina, but hopefully will not
overpay yet again for an aging pitcher. Luckily the Orioles will.
Prediction : Orioles

11) Nomar Garciaparra 1b/if – Nomar showed his bat still has pop last year. San Francisco seems
to be courting him which is no surprise since they can’t seem to stay away from older players with
nagging injuries. Baltimore is in desperate need of a first baseman. Detroit could also be a
possibility.
Prediction : Orioles

12) Seung-Yeop Lee 1b – At age 30, this Japanese slugger has clubbed over 400 career homers and
may be poised to take his game to the states and most likely to Baltimore who is in desperate need
of a first baseman. Wait is there a broken record here? He may also elect to stay with his Yomiuri
Giants.
Prediction : Stays in Japan or Orioles

13) Juan Pierre of – Pierre had a down year in Chicago though he rebounded nicely in the second
half. A team with a big ballpark could use Pierre roaming the grounds. Look for Florida, San
Francisco, San Diego, Washington, Colorado, Milwaukee or Philadelphia to make a push for the
speedster.
Prediction : San Diego

14) Andy Pettitte lhsp – Left-handed pitching is at a premium and expect Houston, New York Mets
and St. Louis to make a run.
Prediction : New York Mets

15) Frank Thomas 1b/dh – Thomas showed he still can play and left opposing pitchers and fans
agog with his mystical home runs. The A’s and Thomas have a great relationship after Oakland gave
him an opportunity last year. He’ll re-sign and they’ll live happily every after.
Prediction : Re-sign with
Athletics


Other Notables:

Tom Glavine lhsp : Braves
Ted Lilly lhsp : Cardinals
Mark Mulder : Athletics
Randy Wolf : re-sign with Phillies
Jeff Weaver : Diamondbacks
Eric Gagne : Indians
Ray Durham : Rangers
Sean Casey : Tigers
Julio Lugo : Reds
Pedro Feliz : Royals