Keith Law ranks the top-50 free agents at ESPN Insider. Some interesting notes:
- He lists Mike Gonzalez 16th, ahead of Rafael Soriano, saying they are the two best relievers on the market, but he considers Gonzo healthier and more valuable from the left side.
- Rafael Soriano is 19th, and the thing that jumped out at me is that Law says he should be looking for K-Rod type money in a contract. Francisco Rodriguez got a 3-year, $37 million deal after leading the AL in saves, Soriano has been a full-time closer for less than a year, and as my 2009 review of him showed, he regressed throughout 2009. I can't see a team desperate enough to give Soriano that type of money, or even close. Maybe I'm misjudging the market for relievers.
Billy Wagner is ranked 23rd, and Law says of him that the biggest concern is if he can handle the closer's workload, and that an incentive-laden contract for games finished would make sense for the signing team. I can see the Braves being open to something along those lines.
- He mentions a Japanese reliever named Ryota Igarashi, and I can see the Braves taking a chance on him if he chooses to come to the States.
- Adam LaRoche is listed 29th, and while the review is not glowing -- pointing out his overall averageness and his first half swoon -- Law seems to think that some team will still pay him like a regular first baseman in both salary and years. This could easily put the Braves out of the running. I still think our best option is to offer him arbitration and act excited if he accepts, keeping him around for one more year.
- I noticed that there were a lot of free agent second basemen. Teams needing a second baseman and not wanting to give up the draft picks to sign one of the free agents may create a market for Kelly Johnson.
Good overview of the free agents by Law, if you're an insider you should check it out.