Now that pitchers and catchers are at Disney, and Mickey is teaching Cristhian Martinez the gloved forkball, we're back to talking about players who are actually playing the game we all love.
There is very little left to do beyond perhaps finding one more veteran starter to stock at AAA until needed. The list of such pitchers available is dwindling by the day, however, so if that is to happen, it should happen soon.
I am curious on the offseason for certain players. Here's some notable names still seeking employment (availability based on MLBTR's free agent tracker):
Bobby Abreu - He can still take a walk with a little power and speed still. Pro-rated over 600 AB, he would have had 10 HR and 15 SB, which isn't bad. His defense is badly faded, but for a 4th or 5th outfielder, he'd not be a bad choice.
Michael Bourn - certainly hasn't lost a step in the field, though his steals numbers were down some playing for Fredi last season. The biggest victim of the new qualifying offer.
Dallas Braden - He's not going to be able to pitch until mid-season, but he's got some talent. If you could give the guy an incentive-based deal, he'd be more than worth it.
Todd Coffey - not a dominating reliever or anything, but he's certainly better than most 10th-12th guys on pitching staffs around the majors. Plus, you'd get to see the guy sprint to the mound every day!
Jose Contreras - had an unlucky season (5.27 ERA, 2.87 xFIP), but had injury, and he's over 40. That said, he wasn't half bad in relief, and it's surprising no one's tossed him a minor league deal with ST invite.
Francisco Cordero - Coming off a 7.55 ERA and 2.00 WHIP season, his first full season ERA over 4.00 in his entire career. He could be a buy-low guy, or perhaps there's a major loss of stuff that we've not heard about.
Johnny Damon - The key to championships, Caveman had by far his worst season in 2012. He's not announced a retirement, but it may be time.
Livan Hernandez - Last season broke a streak of throwing 175+ innings every season since 1998. He's best throwing sunflower seeds at this point of his career.
Bobby Jenks - He's coming back from a season and a half off, but he's a career ~9 k/9 guy. I could see him being a solid 6th/7th guy for someone still.
Kyle Lohse - coming off arguably his best season, he's grown into the Brad Radke clone he was always touted to be before he decided to use Ron Gardenhire's office door as a punching bag.
Roy Oswalt - It sounds as if he's waiting on a major league deal. His back makes him nowhere near a candidate for 30 starts anymore, but he's two seasons removed from a 2.75 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 211 innings, so there could be one more solid year in his arm/back.
Carl Pavano - I don't think it's any surprise why he's not signed. I just am still dumbfounded how he hurt his spleen while shoveling snow.
Scott Podsednik - Not a starter anymore, but still has speed and could be a solid 5th outfielder with decent defense, solid pinch running, and a good contact pinch hitter.
Francisco Rodriguez - K-Rod had by far his worst season last year at 4.38 ERA and 9 K/9. There's someone in baseball that could use this guy if his contract numbers come down.
Scott Rolen - He makes late-career Chipper look like an Iron Man on the field. He's lost plenty of defensive prowess, which has always been his calling card. He's 38 this season, and it could be time to hang them up.
Grady Sizemore - 5 years removed from a solid full season. He's looking at a backup job at this point in his career, but just on name value, I'm surprised someone hasn't gobbled him up.
Ryan Theriot - Not good defensively anywhere, not taking a walk, but he's a decent contact guy who can play around the infield and left field for some time. I'm surprised he's not already signed for a bench somewhere.
Jose Valverde - Example #1 of why saves alone are overrated. He was 5th in AL Cy Young voting in 2011 after going 49-49 in save chances. Never mind that all of his peripheral numbers were what they'd always been. His K numbers dropped for the 7th straight season to the point where he's not a back end guy anymore. That said, he's still a solid reliever.
Brian Wilson - Remove the hype about "The Beard". He had a great two-season run in 2009-2010. He's been an okay closer since, and now he's coming off a major injury. He's expecting an 8-figure, multi-season deal for some reason, and he won't be signed until those numbers come way down.
Carlos Zambrano - He's not a staff ace who will throw 200+ innings anymore. He's got a ton of off-field crap as well. All that said, he's still been solid (albeit not great) the last couple seasons, and no one is touching him. If Brett Myers can get a contract, no off-field stuff should be inhibiting.