Well the Hot Stove has begun, ladies and gentlemen, and that means our Yankees get to flex their most hated weapon, the almighty Steinbrenner checkbook. There are many free agents out there, and I just feel like expressing where I believe the cream-of-the-crop will end up.
1. Derek Jeter, SS, 2011 Opening Day age: 36.
Does anyone seriously expect the Captain to go elsewhere? I don't.
Prediction: 3 years, $53 million.
2. Mariano Rivera, Closer, 2011 OD age: 41.
Once again, can anyone picture Mo in any other jersey? He'll be back.
Prediction: 1 year, $15 million, with option for 2nd year at $15 million.
3. Cliff Lee, Starting Pitcher, 2011 ODA: 32.
Three teams have been brought up to be serious contenders for Lee's services, the Yankees, Rangers, and Nationals. Yes that's not a typo, the Nats. But, I still expect Lee to follow the money and go to NY.
Prediction: Yankees, 5 years, $110 million.
4. Adam Dunn, 1B/DH, 2011 ODA: 31.
Dunn is a home run hitting machine, and a lot of teams would love to have his bat. He has expressed his distaste for playing DH, which limits his options to sign.
Prediction: Atlanta Braves, 2 years, $27 million.
5. Jayson Werth, OF, 31.
Werth might be one of the best right handed outfielder bats in the game, and he has a few suitors. The White Sox, Red Sox, Phillies, and A's come to mind. Werth will go where he can get the most money, but expect him to look where he can succeed the most, too.
Prediction: Boston Red Sox, 4 years, $55 million.
6. Carl Crawford, OF, 29.
Crawford is one of the most well-rounded players in the league, and will command top dollar- most expect more than his counterpart Werth. The Yankees could make a run at him, but don't expect it Yankee fans.
Prediction: Los Angeles Angels, 6 years, $108 million.
7. Victor Martinez, C/1B, 31.
V-Mart is a great hitting catcher, but his skills behind the plate are comparable to Jorge Posada's. He'll demand top catching dollars, though, hitting talents that can catch don't come along often like this.
Prediction: Detroit Tigers, 4 years, $60 million.
8. Rafael Soriano, Closer, 30.
Soriano had a great season for the Rays last year, and he proved he could be an elite closer, in the toughest division in the league no less. There are always teams searching for a reliable closer, and few are more reliable than this guy.
Prediction: Chicago White Sox, 2 years, $27 million.
9. Paul Konerko, 1B, 34.
Konerko is one of the most productive players in the league, but rarely gets recognized for it. He'll get paid well, but I think he'll stay put in Chi-town.
Prediciton: Chicago White Sox, 4 years, $51 million.
10. Adrian Beltre, 3B, 31.
Beltre had a great bounceback season after some very mediocre ones in Seattle. He'll get some money for what he did in Beantown last year, but where is tough to decide.
Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals, 3 years, $32 million.
That's what I think for these top players, feel free to comment on what you guys think.