Where Will They Land?….

With just over a month remaining until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, there are a lot of big names remaining on the free agent market.

Here are my predictions as to where some of the bigger names remaining will land:

Derek Lowe – Braves. The Braves missed out on A.J. Burnett, failed to trade for Jake Peavy and lost John Smoltz to the Red Sox. They are determined to be competitive this year and I believe they will overpay to land Lowe.

Ben Sheets – Brewers. Nobody will ever question Ben Sheets ability. When healthy he has #1 starter stuff. Unfortunately for Sheets, he hasn’t stayed healthy for a full season since 2004. Teams aren’t going to commit to a pitcher who has only started 22.17,24 & 31 games the last 4 years. Therefore, he returns to the Brewers on a 1 year deal

Oliver Perez – Mets. Perez is the ultimate pitching enigma. In the last 3 years Perez is a combined 9-2 with a 2.45 era against the Yankees and Braves but is 2-5 with a 7.47 era against the Nationals and Giants.  I am convinced he will be nothing more than a #3 starter and a .500 pitcher as his lifetime record of 55-60 indicates. After the Mets lose out on Lowe, they will re-sign Perez.

Orlando Hudson & Adam Dunn – Nationals. The Nationals should be thankful Mark Teixeira signed with the Yankees. I think everyone agreed signing Teixeira would have been Arod on the Rangers, part 2. The Nationals have money to spend and in this market they will land 2 solid players for below market value.

Bobby Abreu – A’s.   With the Rays (Burrell) and Cubs (Bradley) filling their corner OF needs, the market for Abreu is shrinking by the day. Though getting up there in age (Abreu will be 35 in March), Abreu remains one of the most consistent players in baseball. With a lifetime OBP of .405 he is a typical Billy Beane player. I think he joins fellow former Yankee, Jason Giambi on the A’s.

Orlando Cabrera – Angels. I have always liked Orlando Cabrera. I think it has something to do with him being a key part of the Red Sox 2004 World Series team. Cabrera is a winner. He has been to the post season 4 times in the last 5 years and as I mentioned earlier, Cabrera was a rock for the Red Sox in their 2004 post season run. The Angels need offense and Cabrera would be an upgrade over Erik Aybar and Maicer Izturis at least until Brandon Wood is ready.

Pedro Martinez – DiamondBacks. Pedro Martinez should retire and start preparing his HOF speach but he won’t. The Mets signing of Tim Redding yesterday I believe eliminates Martinez from the Mets plans. So where does a broken down 37 year old pitcher who has only starter 48 games the last 3 years go? The retirement community of America…Arizona.

Manny Ramirez – Giants. Last but not least let’s talk about Manny. I think at this point there are 3 teams Manny can go to. The Dodgers, Giants and Yankees. I am of the theory that the longer Manny and his agent Scott Boras drag this out the more of a player the Yankees become. However, at the end of the day Manny is about money and there is only one team on this list that likely will gave Manny the years and money that he is looking for. The same team that gave Barry Zito a 7 year $126MM contract…the San Francisco Giants.


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