Ok I know what you’re thinking. 2013?
2013 means the players’ final year was 2008.
Already this year, we have seen the retirements of Mike Mussina, Greg Maddux and Jeff Kent (and a nice point was made by Jayson Stark—in what turned out to be their final games, Kent PH for Maddux, thus ending both careers). All either a certain HOFer or close to it. Throw in the fact that 2013 would see the 2nd year on the ballot for three very controversial figures—Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa. Curt Schilling could also be on his 2nd year on the ballot if he isn’t a first-time inductee in 2012.
But that may not be all.
Frank Thomas remains unsigned, and he has 521 HR and two MVP awards. Junior Griffey is unsigned and he has 611 HR.
And more. What happens if the following are, like Thomas and Griffey could be, forced into retirement because of lack of interest in them or because of the inability to come to terms? What if the following can’t find a team, can’t agree to a deal or will retire rather than accept what they feel is an unacceptable offer? (Like Pettitte may do…)
Andy Pettitte (215 wins, 15-9 in postseason), Manny Ramirez (I expect him to go back to the Dodgers, but imagine if he is “frozen out” this offseason?) 527 HR. Bobby Abreu (I don’t expect him to get much HOF support, but .300-241 HR, 318 SB). Pedro Martinez, with his .684 winning pct. (Whitey Ford’s was .690) 214 wins and 2.91 ERA is still available. Garrett Anderson (like Abreu, I don’t see that much support, but .296, over 2300 hits), Ivan Rodriguez (MVP, .301—for a catcher—2605 hits), Jim Edmonds (382 HR, same as Frank Howard and Jim Rice and who was an infinitely better defensive OF than those two), Tom Glavine and his 305 wins (Two CYA’s, two runnerups and two thirds), Kenny Rogers and his 219 wins, Moises Alou (.303, over 2100 hits, 332 HR same as Bobby Bonds.
The point isn’t to say all are HOFers. All aren’t. But there are some serious numbers out there still available. Serious numbers that could be joining Mussina, Maddux and Kent on that 2013 HOF ballot, and together with what looks to be the “steroid holdovers”—Clemens, McGwire, Bonds, Sosa—that 2013 ballot may be a very interesting one.
It looks like Nomar could wind up with the Phils, but he is out there (.314 but not the major numbers due to injury). MLBTR states that Sean Casey (.302) is going to retire.
Brandon Lyon signed with the Tigers. He had 26 saves for Arizona last year, but a coyote-ugly ERA for a closer of 4.70. 21-29, 51 saves, 4.46 for is career. The righty is 29.
More from MLB Trade Rumors:
According to Pete Caldera of the North Jersey Record, the Yankees are still talking with Andy Pettitte. Caldera’s source says the club isn’t confident Pettitte will accept a one year offer for about $10MM, but they prefer him to other remaining free agents.
Caldera adds that the Yankees are prepared to have their young starters compete for the final rotation spot in Spring Training. If Ben Sheets is willing to accept a one year deal the Yankees could become seriously interested, but there’s no indication Sheets would consider that.
MLBTR has more about one-year offers:
Bill Madden of the New York Daily News has an article up that talks about the lack of activity in the free agent market affecting older free agents like Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn.
Madden cites an interesting prediction from an unnamed baseball executive near the end of his report. He writes:
The same executive predicted that most of the over-30 free agents left on the market will wind up having to settle for one-year deals “because, with all the uncertainty about the next couple of years, clubs just don’t want to commit risky money on older players or players with injury histories.”
I’ve read on MLBTR about Garland/Dodgers and Sheets/Rangers.
As I wrote earlier this week, there are bargains out there.