About every baseball writer tends to do a piece each year to pick where at least the top few free agents will go. To follow the crowd, TBO will conduct this shot-in-the-dark as well, but also pick some notable ones as well. Feel free to pick some of your own, but you might have a better chance at the lotto.
Ramon Hernandez - Mariners: Jack has a sizeable task ahead of him if he is intent on improving the Mariners’ offense. Hernandez is the best option available at catcher. This move would be similar to Detroit’s signing of Victor Martinez last season, giving Hernandez a few at bats at DH, while splitting time behind the plate with Miguel Olivo.
Ryan Doumit - Twins: Doumit is the perfect fit for the Twins. They need a catcher that can hit, allowing the team to let Mauer play 1B and DH more. Ryan also can play right field and platoon with prospect Joe Benson. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s played first base, important with Morneau’s recent issues.
Albert Pujols - Cardinals: The Cardinals will do what it takes to keep him in Cardinal red. Although they are still “searching” for a manager, it’ll likely be the Pujols-recommended Jose Oquendo, just another measure to ensure he stays put.
Prince Fielder - Mariners: The Mariners need offense, badly. Jack drafted Fielder while in Milwaukee and he fits in with what the Mariners need. Second place to the Florida Marlins, thinking they’d trade Gaby Sanchez to the Rays or another team for pitching.
Carlos Pena - Cubs: The Cubs will likely stay away from committing too much money to a player that will likely eventually need to stay in a DH role (his defense isn’t even that great now).
Kelly Johnson - Tigers: Stability at second base has been needed for a while in Detroit. Johnson can make this lineup look even better.
Aaron Hill - Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks were pleased with Aaron’s production last season after they acquired him, just not his option price. I believe they will re-sign him.
Jamey Carroll - Blue Jays: Toronto needs some OBP near the top of the lineup and a second baseman.
Jose Reyes - Brewers: Prince Fielder is as good as gone in Milwaukee. The money they save could go to a much-needed defensive boost in their middle infield and a premiere leadoff hitter.
Jimmy Rollins - Phillies: It’s doubtful the Phillies have enough funds to go after Reyes and Rollins is the next-best option available. He’s also a Philly icon, it’s bound to happen that he re-signs.
Clint Barmes - Giants: The Giants don’t have a pile of money to spend on the holes in their lineup, but something needs to be done about shortstop. Barmes would be a good, cheap option.
Rafael Furcal - Cardinals: If Pujols doesn’t break the bank for the Cards, Furcal is likely to come back. There seems to be mutual interest between the two parties.
Aramis Ramirez - Cubs: Theo and crew will likely make a big push to keep Ramirez in a Cub uniform to keep from losing their best cleanup-hitting bat.
Josh Willingham - Indians: Michael Brantley is moving to centerfield and a hole exists in left. The Indians seem to be going all-in and may be willing to pull in the power-hitting Willingham.
David DeJesus - Dodgers: DeJesus gives the team a left-handed platoon-mate for Jerry Sands in left field. He can also serve as a defensive replacement.
Jason Kubel - Athletics: The A’s need offense and Kubel’s a good OBP guy. He’s also an outfielder, a pressing need for the team.
Juan Pierre - White Sox: With few options in their system and Carlos Quentin rumored to be traded, the White Sox will try to keep some stability in their outfield. Keeping Pierre around will maintain a leadoff presence as well.
Coco Crisp - Giants: The Giants have been rumored in connection with Crisp for a while.
Grady Sizemore - Mariners: The Mariners’ quest to improve their offense comes down to filling a gap in left with an upside bat. Jack’s love of defense will be quelled as well. For Sizemore, he returns Washington, where he grew up.
Carlos Beltran - Red Sox: The Red Sox have been often rumored to be interested in Beltran and I don’t think that interest will fade away.
Michael Cuddyer - Cubs: The Phillies have plenty of interest, but I can see the Cubs swooping in to fill their hole in right field.
David Ortiz - Red Sox: There’s plenty of rumors of Toronto being interested in ‘Big Papi’, but I just can’t see him outside of a Red Sox uniform.
Johnny Damon - Athletics: Yes, a return engagement for Damon in Oakland. Johnny helps to fill the outfield void for Billy Beane, is experienced at DH, and has shown he can be a leader for a young team.
C.J. Wilson - Chicago Cubs: The Cubs are going to need good starting pitching to contend with the rotations of the Brewers and the Cardinals.
Yu Darvish - Blue Jays: The Jays seem to be the most interested in Darvish.
Edwin Jackson - Marlins: Starting pitching is one of their main focuses this winter and they have the money to do it.
Mark Buehrle - Marlins: After losing out on Fielder, the Marlins will hone in on improving the rotation as much as possible. They could deal away Nolasco for help elsewhere on the team and sign Buehrle, reuniting him with Ozzie Guillen.
Hiroki Kuroda - Dodgers: Kuroda has let it be known that he’s not really interested in playing for other teams. If he’s still in the Majors, he’s still with the Dodgers.
Roy Oswalt - Nationals: The Nationals have already expressed interest in Oswalt. The former ace, should also be a good mentor for Steven Strasburgh.
Javier Vazquez – Retires.
Hisashi Iwakuma - Rangers: The Rangers are going to need to replace C.J. Wilson and they were interested in him last winter.
Paul Maholm - Reds: The Reds need better starting pitching and they have a limited budget, Maholm may fit in.
Bartolo Colon - Baltimore: Colon proved last season that he still has the stuff to pitch in the AL East….at least until he wore down late in the season.
Erik Bedard - Royals: The Royals have mentioned a few times that they are looking at improving their rotation depth. They’ve also been interested in trading for Bedard in the past.
Jeff Francis - Padres: Francis may be a good fit in the spacious Petco park.
Chris Capuano - Mariners: Seattle needs a little more depth in their rotation. After snatching up Fielder, they’ll have to go relatively cheap, that’ll be Capuano.
Tsuyoshi Wada - Twins: The Twins need starting pitchers and they were interested in Iwakuma last winter. They may be interested in Wada as well.
Freddy Garcia – Yankees: There’s mutual interest between the two parties, it should happen.
Aaron Harang - Padres: He’s a southern California native and other teams know that Harang doesn’t have much left.
Jason Marquis - Mets: Marquis has always wanted to pitch for his home town. A short-term deal with the Mets may be the end result.
Joel Pineiro - Pirates: A return to the NL may be best for Pineiro and the Pirates are looking for experience in their rotation again.
Bruce Chen - Royals: Chen has eaten plenty of innings for the Royals the past couple seasons and there seems to be mutual interest.
Jonathan Papelbon - Red Sox: Sox blood flows through his veins.
Ryan Madson – Phillies: Madson wants to be a closer, the Phillies have resisted as they’ve liked him putting out fires. But they can’t lose Madson, they’ll give in and let him close.
Francisco Rodriguez - Marlins: It’s going to be tough to get good starting pitching in this market. Closing down a game is getting out of control going to be important if the Marlins are going to want a successful first season in their stadium. Having an unsettled closer spot doesn’t help things.
Heath Bell - Padres: He wants to stay there, but he also wants paid. They’ll work something out.
Frank Francisco - Twins: The Twins seem to go cheap lately on closers and Francisco will probably be one of the cheapest closers on the market.
Jonathan Broxton - Braves: The Braves are likely going to look for upside veteran arms with closer experience to fill out the holes in their pen like last season. Broxton is a Georgia native and could be a good fit.
Joe Nathan - Mets: The New York Mets want to groom Bobby Parnell for the closer spot, but they will likely need a backup if Parnell fails. Having Nathan help groom Parnell wouldn’t hurt either.
Kerry Wood - Cubs: It seems like Cubs or retirement for Wood, it’s likely the Cubs will welcome him back.