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TOP 50 FREE AGENTS:
(With short biography and prediction of where player will end up)
(Predictions were made on 9/11/04)
 
 
Additionally, RotoWorld's Matthew Pouliot's predictions can be found here and here for pitchers.

Note: Players with club, player or mutual options for 2005 season not included on list
Another Note: Last year ESPN got 10 out 50 predictions right on their 2003 Top 50 FAs List, I'm shooting for 20 on my own list this year!
 
1. Carlos Beltran- Agent Scott Boras wants something in the area of a 6-year 120million dollar deal for his 5-tool perrenial All-Star, but probably won't get exactly what he wants, but something close. The Astros' late surge have caused Beltran and Boras to meet several times lately to discuss his future. Although, he could bolt to the Yankees, he may choose to avoid the lights, and stay in the west with the Astros. Prediction: Signs big deal with Houston
2. Pedro Martinez- Boston wants him back, but he'll explore the Free Agent market. He wants to be the highest-paid pitcher in the game, because he probably is the best. Boston will eventually have to give in. Prediction: Re-signs with the Red Sox at 17M a year for the next 3 years, after the Yankees try to sign him
3. Magglio Ordonez- The #2 OF otpion for teams after Beltran, his season has been cut-short by injury, but he has proven himself as an offensive threat, and severeal teams will be looking for him including both New York clubs. The Cubs also want him, if they let Moises Alou(who would then sign a 1-year deal in Florida). Prediction: Winds up with the New York Mets alongside Mike Cameron and Richard Hidalgo, after he gets his 15M option declined and signs for less. Cliff Floyd would be traded to an AL Team, or moved to 1B.
4. Carlos Delgado- Despite struggles this season, he is one of the top offensive 1B in the league. LA had been trying to trade for him and Orioles will need a 1B and have cash. He won't be making the 18.5M he's making this year, but he'll still get a big contract. Prediction: Lands in the City of Angels (LA)
5. Richie Sexson- The D-Backs are working with agent Casey Close to re-sign Sexson, despite missing most of the season with an injury, but Sexson will be overpaid for. Wants 10M year on at least a 3-year deal. Prediction: Will re-sign with a big 3-5 year deal with Zona.
6. Carl Pavano- Pavano has been lights-out since last year's World Series. Florida has no choice but to put a lot of money on the table until Pavano signs. Prediction: Florida/Miami won't let him leave.
7. Garret Anderson- The unsung hero has to be re-signed as the veteran above the incoming youngsters in Anaheim's rich farm system. Prediction: Re-signs Actual: Re-signed with the Angels thru 2008, in April
8. JD Drew- Another one of Scott Boras' kids, Drew has stayed-free of injuries and has a great year. He will go to the highest bidder, and that probably won't be the Braves. Prediction: Lands with Cubs on a 3-year deal
10. Adrian Beltre- In his first Free Agent year, he starts producing. The Duds' may have let him go a year ago, but now the will offer tons of money to Scott Boras, to re-sign him at all costs. Angels could make a run for him. Prediction: Sticks with Dodgers, after entertaining every possible offer
10a. Mike Lowell- these 3 guys, all have 2004 Team Options, but I list them because they are top 3 players with options and I had a top spot left open. Lowell has 14M player option. Prediction: Exercises option Actual: The Marlins ammended his deal to guarantee his contract thru 2007
10b. Edgar Renteria-his option was taken away after STL didn't decide on his 2004 option early enough. He has been a valuable part of their teams and should continue. As a premier SS, he should be making 10-12M a year, however STL will probably offer 8M a year for a few years. Prediction: Lands with BOS, if they can't re-sign Cabrera, otherwise he stays with STL
10c. Billy Wagner- Due to his injuries, his option should be declined by Philly. Prediction: Re-signs for less Actual: Philly picked up his option for the 2005 season
11. Brad Radke- Is making 10million this year, and the Twins don't want to offer up more. Prediction: Should return on a 2-3 year deal.
12. Kris Benson- will get a 3-year contract from the Mets. Prediction: Re-signs
13. Derek Lowe- Boston will want him back, despite early struggles, but the Indians have 7 to 12M to spend next season, and with a young core they could make a serious run next year. The need a #1 or 2 guy next to CC Sabathia and Derek Lowe would be a good fit. Pedro and Millwood would be there top guys, but Lowe is probably the best they can afford. Prediction: Lands with the Indians
14. Kevin Millwood- He's had struggles this year, and after a couple years of 1-year deals will pack his bags for a big contract he will demand. Prediction: Lands with the Tigers has their ace, and the Tigers will make a serious run
15. Jason Varitek- The top catcher on this year's market, Jason's is represented by Scott Boras. He is one Boston's best players, and they really need him, but there probably going to lose him. Last year was the year of catchers switching teams, but several teams will need a top catcher. He should command 8-10M year on a 3-4 year deal. The Dodgers will make a run, but will probably not be able to put up Red Sox money Prediction: Jason will get a big deal from the Red Sox, otherwise if the Red Sox run out of money, will be wearing White Sox
16. Jaret Wright- Atlanta will do everything possible to re-sign Jaret, who has come back with flying colors after a bad half-season with the Padres' last year after coming back from his surgeries. Prediction: Will get sweet deal to stay with the Braves for a while.
17. Armando Benitez- With Mota waiting to be a closer, Benitez will attract attention elsewhere and will get another 1 year deal and have another good season, if he goes somewhere he's happy and comfortable. Prediction: Lands with Indians, after Bob Wickman is let go
18. Aramis Ramirez- Ramirez is arbitartion eligible. The Cubs have no choice to re-sign Aramis to a 6-7 year deal as a cornerstone opposite Derek Lee with 2B and SS up in the air. Prediction: Re-signs
19. Matt Morris- Injuries and ups and downs have hurt his value, but he's still a solid #3 pitcher with incosistent stuff. After rejecting a 2-year deal for 15M earlier this year, it is highly unlikely for him to return to the Cards. Prediction: Lands with the Braves
20. Nomar Garciaparra- He ranks low to his injuries and struggles with Boston, but if he carries the Cubs to and through the playoffs, he will be re-signed at a big cost. If the Cubs fail miserably, he's probably headed elsewhere. Because the Cubs didn't make the playoffs, I'm guessing he'll go to SoCal, thus the Angels. Prediction: Signs with Anaheim
21. Roger Clemens- Despite his great season, he may retire once again. But if the Astros' win the World Series, and he has lots of fun, he may keep going, and the Astros' will let him pitch as long as he wants. Prediction: Rocket won't be switching teams, can re-sign with Houston, but will likely retire.
22. Russ Ortiz- He's had a couple good years in Atlanta, but will get more money by heading elsewhere, as a top of the rotation guy. Prediction: Dashes to the New York Yankees
23. Troy Glaus- despite missing most of the year to injury, dropping his value, Glaus is till a top MLB 3B. The Angels may re-sign him to a 1-year deal while the work Casey Kotchman into the mix. He will probably get more money on a multi-year deal elsewhere, but with Adrian Beltre and Aramis Ramirez ahead of him, his price will drop. Prediction: Lands with the Mariners, who move Scott Spezio to 1st and Raul Ibanez to LF and Bucky Jacobsen to DH
24. Lance Berkman- Is arbitartion eligible. Houston will re-sign him to a 5-6 year deal. Prediction: Re-signs
25.Orlando Cabrera- Has done a great job in Boston and he's young. He will command big bucks, but Boston could re-sign Pokey Reese for cheap and put him at short with Mark Bellhorn or one of their young guys at second. If Cabrera re-signs it would have to be a 4-6 year deal, in my opinion. The White Sox, D-Backs and Giants all will be looking for shortstops. Prediction: Most likely stays with Boston, but another out there possibilty, Alfonso Soriano traded to Boston and Orlando Cabrera signs with Texas with Michael Young back at 2B
26. Esteban Loiaza- After an All-Star year in 2003, he wasn't as strong with the ChiSox, and struggled under the lights in New York. Texas showed interest for him. A change of scenery back to his hometown in San Diego, could bode well. Prediction: Signs 2-3 year deal at a good price with San Diego.
27. Eric Milton- The lefty will draw a lot of interest. The Yankees want him. The Phillies however will offer a big contract. Prediction: Signs with the Yankees
28. Odalis Perez- A lefty starter, he's going to get interest. The Dodgers' want to keep him and will. Prediction: Re-signs.
29. David Wells- The veteran could retire if he wants, but can find work if he wants. He won't sign if he doesn't get the money he wants. The Padres' probably won't have room for him next year. Prediction: Retires or Re-signs with Padres for 1-year 4M + 6M in incentives
30. Jose Mesa- At the trading deadline, he refused to leave the Pirates, and with no closer on the near horizon, the Pirates' have no reason to let him go and he seems to want to stay with poor club. He's done a great job this year and will do the same next year. Prediction: Re-signs with Pirates, unless gets a LOT of money from somewhere else. Actual: Re-signed on a 1-year incentive-laden deal with a 2006 option
31. Mike Matheny- Known for his defense and handling of the staff, Mike isn't bad offensively and he has lots of value to a team. The Cards' do have Yadier Molina and Cody McKay as back-ups, but the Cards' love Matheny and vice versa. Prediction: Should re-sign to multi-year deal(prob. 2 years)
32. Troy Percival- After an injury-riddled season, Anaheim will probably have to sever ties with their closer. He can still get the job done though. If the Giants, decide not to re-sign Rob Nen, who missed the season with injury, Percival could be a fit. Prediction: I am really unsure about where he's going so I'll just say Astros or A's, if Lidge or Dotel fails
33. Cory Lidle- The veteran will have a chance to be re-signed by the Phillies if he pitches well down the stretch. Otherwise, San Diego would like him and several other teams could sign him as a bargain. Prediction: He could fill a spot in Atlanta
34. Matt Clement- He's getting better and better every year and will continue to prosper and bloom with experience, the Cubs want to keep him, but he'll probably get better money elsewhere. Prediction: Theo Epstein would like him in Boston to fill Derek Lowe's spot
35. Chris Carpenter- After a couple injury filled seasons, has had a great 2004. Prediction: Will be re-signed to a 2 year deal worth probably 3-4M a year with lots of bonuses
36. Jermaine Dye- The A's probably won't re-sign him anywhere near the 11M he is making this year. Due to injuries, his stock has dropped, but he's still a great hitter. Prediction: Re-signs with a 2-year 14ishM deal
37. Steve Finley- The Padres or Diamondbacks are possibities. The Padres' don't have room for him and the D-Backs' goal was to trade him and then bring him back. Prediction: Unless, get irresitiable offer from a west-coast team will sign with D-Backs.
38. Corey Koskie- a veteran, he still has a good D and can contribute offensively. Twins don't want to spend for than a couple million on the aging 3B, so he's probably headed elsewhere, unless he can't command more money. Predicition: Lands with Reds or in Kansas City
39. John Olerud- With Jason Giambi locked up, Olerud won't return as a bench player. He should be able to find work elsewhere. Prediction: The Orioles need a 1B, and if they lose out on the Delgado sweepstakes, Olerud would do- signs 2-year deal with Baltimore
40. Danny Bautista- Arizona won't keep the veteran, who can still hit and plays well enough defense. Prediction: Seattle will need an OF, when they let Randy Winn go, but they will have to risk on a veteran and Danny will do
41. Billy Koch- despite struggles the past two seasons, he could improve at the closer positon for several teams and he can be effectieve as a setup man also. Prediction: Lands in Cleveland
42. Shawn Estes- Didn't want to be traded at the deadline and has done a great job in Colorado. The Rockies' won't overpay like they did on Denny Neagle and a hundred others, but they'll get him to stay.  Prediction: Estes re-signs on a 2-year deal with a pair of vesting options
43. Paul Wilson- the veteran has had a great year and rejuvenated his career in Cincinati, but thanks to career year, he will probably attract interest elsewhere, and leave the young Reds, for a true contender, with more money. Prediction: Signs with Texas
44a. Steve Kline- After his "finger" incident with LaRussa, he may head elsewhere. Probably the top lefty in baseball, he his incredibly valuable and will attract big bucks from nearly every team. Prediction: With Felix Heredia struggling, Yankees will need a lefty in the pen, and they will overpay for the dominant Kline
44b. Buddy Groom- The other lefty on the market, was sought by several teams at the trading deadline including the Giants, Padres and A's. Prediction: Signs with Padres after the realize they need a lefty
45. Frank Catalanotto- was shopped Toronto at the deadline after being signed to a 1-year deal. He produced despite a couple injuries. He could be a good OF addition to several teams. Prediction: He's not a moneyball type, with more K's than walks, but the A's should sign him Actual: Re-signed with the Blue Jays on a 2-year 5.7M contract, 2 days after I wrote this up :(
46. Alex Gonzalez- He's still a very good shortstop and contributes offensively. Now with the Padres, as a quick solution, he will only re-sign as bench player, which he won't be. Prediction: Jose Valentin will most likely be let go due to his age by the ChiSox,  Alex would fill the void with the Sox
47. Jeff Nelson- Probably the top RH setup man on the block this year, he should easily find work again on a 1 or 2 year contract despite injuries this year. The Yankees won't need his again thanks to Gordon and Quantrill. Prediction: Signs with Cincinnati or Florida
48. Brian Jordan- The Rangers will have to let the veteran who has been bothered by injuries go. He's a power-hitter and should find work somewhere, maybe even back in LA.
49. Aaron Sele- Can still start as the middle of the rotation guy and will get a 1-year deal somewhere needing some veteran help in the staff. Prediction: Lands on the other site of the US in FLA as replacement for Pavano
50. Matt Stairs- Was being shopped by Royals at trading deadline, won't give him more than backup money on a 1-year contract, although a veteran, he can still start 2 out 3 days and provides lefty power off bench. Prediction: Lands on a 1-year contract with the Padres or Giants(whoever has more money leftover for him), both who wanted him at the deadline Actual: I'm wrong again. Stairs re-signs on 1-year deal

Others:
Placido Polanco, 2B
Shea Hillenbrand, 3B
Gabe Kapler, OF
David Delluci, OF
Scott Elarton, SP
Kent Mercker, LHP
Mike DeJean, RHP
Terry Adams, RHP
Matt Mantei, CP
Rob Nen, CP

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