Yahoo! sports baseball writer Jeff Passan ranked the top free-agents for this offseason.
His list begins with Cliff Lee ranked No.1 and ends with Ben Sheets at No.164.
I gathered and listed all the remaining unsigned free-agents from his list below.
I think a few of these players would look good wearing Cubbie blue. Those players are listed in bold type.
To trade or not to trade for Matt Garza? The right-hander is 27-years-old and a five-year veteran.
Last three seasons in Tampa Bay:
-(34-31), 3.86 ERA.
-Started 30,32,32 games.
-Tossed six complete games.
-Threw 200+ innings twice (’09-’10) & 184 IP in ’08.
-Struck out 467 vs. 201 walks.
-Started five playoff games going (2-1) with a 3.48 ERA.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, Garza is close in similarity score to John Danks (977 out of 1,000) and Mike Pelfrey (967).
He’s similar through age 26 to Kip Wells (982), Steve Trachsel (982), Brad Penny (972), Jason Marquis (971) and Darryl Kile (970).
Is Garza worth a package of young Cub prospects? You tell me.
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I like the idea of the Cubs going after Brandon Webb and Jeremy Bonderman.
Both these guys potentially give the Cubs that power-arm and innings eater they desperately need in the rotation.
Webb, 31, hasn’t pitched since Opening Day 2009 because of a shoulder injury. But his track record is brilliant having won 14, 16, 18 & 22 games since 2005. That includes the 2006 Cy Young Award and top three finishes in 2007-08.
The Cubs won’t get him on the cheap, but it’s likely Webb will sign for a short-term deal. If so, I think it’s in the Cubs favor to take a risk on a guy who could very well revert to his old form. Quite frankly, I think it’s a no-brainer.
Two names keep resurfacing around the Cubs this offseason: first basemen Adrian Gonzalez and Lyle Overbay.
While it’s true the Cubs have a void a first base, neither guy should be of any interest to Chicago.
No question Gonzalez is an all-around stud. He hits to all fields, he hits for power and plays a good first base. But he also becomes a free agent after the 2011 season and is expected to fetch a new deal in the $15-$20M range.
If the Cubs are trying to shed payroll and build for the future, why part with 3-4 top-prospects in exchange for another very expensive contract?
Lyle Overbay turns 34 in January. He hit .243 with 20 HR and 67 RBI for Toronto –numbers Tyler Colvin matched in his rookie season–.254, 20 HR, 56 RBI–and in 19 fewer games played, nonetheless.
Overbay has a decent glove, but moving Colvin to first couldn’t be any worse. Such a move also opens an outfield spot for prospect Brett Jackson, who has the look of an everyday big leaguer.
Any money or young talent that goes towards landing Gonzalez or Overbay is much better spent pursuing another starter or quality bullpen arm.
The Cubs need pitching, pitching, pitching! Forget the high-priced first basemen.
CC points East towards New York
It’s no coincidence MLB’s top tier free-agents are heading towards the East coast.
Not only do East coast teams typically have more money to spend on F.A.’s but, they have to spend in order to compete within the East Divisions.
If the Yankees don’t sign CC, A.J. and Teixeira, they’re probably finishing behind Boston, Tampa Bay and Toronto in the division.
Meanwhile, even if the Dodgers let Manny walk and stand pat with its currant roster heading into spring training, chances are they’re still competing for the division crown against its Western rivals.
And, because West coast clubs don’t have to reel in the cream of the free-agent crop to compete, they won’t spend any unnecessary money to do so.
Sure, it’s possible we’ll see another Furcal-type signing out West but, most of the big fish will swim East.
East Coast Signings:
West Coast Signings: