Major League Baseball Free Agents 2010 – 2011: The Rich Get Richer
About one month after the Giants surprised the world and won the World Series, free agency is already in full effect. There have been several key moves, including some for the newly crowned champs. The Giants lost the services of Juan Uribe and Series MVP Edgar Renteria, and replaced the two with an aging and regressing Miguel Tejada. The Yankees and Rangers are fighting over the services of Cliff Lee, and the Yanks are in the process of resigning their two aging cornerstones, SS Derek Jeter and closer Mariano Rivera.
The AL East goes from tough to tougher for pitchers. Adrian Gonzalez has officially been traded to Boston by the San Diego Padres. Gonzalez leaves the pitcher friendly Petco park to swing for the fences in hitter friendly Fenway. I can only imagine how his numbers will skyrocket. The Red Sox didn’t even give much up for the services of Gonzalez. No starting players were sent to San Diego, and it seems as though Theo Epstein has fleeced the Padres organization. The Sox add a legit power, average, and excellent fielding cleanup man to an already potent lineup that is due to get Kevin Youkilis, Mike Cameron and Dustin Pedroia back. I assume that spells the end of Adrian Beltre’s term in Boston, but Gonzalez will more than compensate for his loss.
The Chicago White Sox have presumably replaced the services of Paul Konerko with a younger more consistent power threat by the name of Adam Dunn. Dunn has hit the second most home runs in the majors over the past five years, only behind Albert Pujols himself. Manny Ramirez is unlikely to be retained by the White Sox and has been rumoured to want to sign with the Blue Jays.
With so many moves reshaping the landscape of the baseball universe, it is exciting to see what larger moves remain. Three big prizes have yet to be claimed. Ace Cliff Lee has yet to choose his home. Carl Crawford is likely to join a new club as the Rays can’t afford to retain him. Look to the Angels, Rangers or Red Sox. Prince Fielder is a hot commodity and will be best suited for a designated hitter role in the American league. He would look great in a Jays jersey, but I doubt that Rogers will splurge for his services.
Lance Berkman just signed with the Cardinals and he’ll provide some protection for Pujols and Matt Holliday. I think that a move back to the national league will suit him well. The trend seems to be that the best teams in baseball are just getting better. “The Rich get Richer” or so to speak. There are still game changers out there. Jayson Werth is looking for a new home, so is Carl Pavano. Time will tell where the rest of the stud free agents go, but this year has a bumper crop of talent out there for teams to improve themselves.