Tuesday, November 15, 2005

FROM THE RED STATES

While surfing the ESPN.com web site I came upon an article by Steve Phillips listing his top 50 free agents and where he predicts they will end up. I'm sure most are aware of his mock press conferences he has been doing on Sportscenter the past week or so, so for those who are interested, heres how he predicts...

top 10
Konerko-Red Sox
Damon-Red Sox
Clemens-retires
Furcal-Cubs
Wagner-Phillies
Ryan-Mets
Burnett-Blue Jays
Matsui-Yankees
Giles-Cubs
Hoffman-Padres

11 through 20

Farnsworth-Braves
Millwood-Indians
R. Hernandez-Mets
Molina-Padres
Morris-Orioles
Washburn-Rangers
Wickman-Indians
T. Jones-Marlins
Gordon-D'Backs
Waever-Angels

21 through 30

Grudzielanek-Cardinals
A. Gonzalez (FLA)-Braves
Garciaparra-Dodgers
P. Wilson-Orioles
Piazza-Angels
F. Thomas-Indians
J.Jones-Tigers
Sanders-Cardinals
K. Rogers-Dodgers
Burnitz-Padres

31 through 40

Rincon-Yankees
Tavarez-Mets
Howry-Yankees
C. Everett-Nationals
Mueller-Dodgers
Lofton-Padres
Ausmus-Astros
Olerud-Mets
Durham-Mariners
Randa-Dodgers

41 through 50

Elarton-Nationals
Loaiza-Nationals
Moyer-Mariners
Dotel-Mets
Encarnacion-Nationals
B. Williams-Orioles
Sosa-Devil Rays
Millar-Twins
Byrd-Reds
Eyre-Red Sox

Well acording to Phillips, he thinks the Cardinals won't be big players in the free agent market, and I tend to agree with him there. The Cardinals, I suspect will be more active via the trade. The mainn needs of the Cardinals are outfielders who aren't drawing Social Security, bullpen, and maybe another starter given the probable loss of Morris. I expect Marquis to be traded, and also expect them to go with the rookie Anthony Reyes as the 5th starter. Reyes was a team mate of Mark Prior and many have said he was the best pitcher on that team. That remains to be seen, but Reyes does posses a mid 90's fastball and a big league curve. That leaves CY Young winner Carpenter, Mulder, Suppan, Reyes, and Marquis but I think the Cardinals make a trade with Marquis because he has worn his welcome out in St.Louis.

The biggest needs are outfielders and I agree with Phillips that Sanders will be re-signed. I also think the Cardinals will be players in the Brian Giles sweepstakes. If they miss out on Giles, Encarnacion, Matsui, or Jacque Jones could be viable options.

As far as the pen another lefty is a necessity as Ray "Burger" King has requested to be traded and I hope the Cardinals meet his request as he too has worn his welcome out in St. Louis. I know this is the case when other players are complaining about not being able to get any food at the post game spread once Ray gets in there.

Phillips also predicts the Cubs to be very active, signing two of his top 10 free agents (Furcal and Giles). I'm not sure where the Cubs are on salary but I certainly question their ability to afford two of the top 10, but who knows.

One thing is for sure, this offseason should be interesting as teams try to meet needs from a less than high profile free agent list. I look for more trades being made as teams set themselves up for a more active free agent list next off season.

Should be interesting.