1. Albert Pujols- St. Louis Cardinals. St. Louis is the best fit for Pujols, and the fact that they just won a ring WITHOUT Adam Wainwright makes it all the more enticing for him to re-up his contract with the Red Birds.
2. Prince Fielder- Chicago Cubs. This is an interesting situation because Fielder is a fit with not only Chicago but also Seattle, the Nationals and his more recent employer the Milwaukee Brewers.
3. CJ Wilson- Washington Nationals. Go where the money is and as of now that place is the nation’s capitol. Wilson could be dynamite with wunderkind Stephen Strasburg and promising talent Jordan Zimmerman.
4. Jose Reyes- New York Mets. Reyes is going to ask for a lot, and the Mets will probably overpay to keep him. New York could have to choose between Reyes and David Wright, which is a tough call no matter how you slice it. But at the end of the day it’s probably harder to find a top-tier shortstop than third baseman.
5. Jimmy Rollins- Philadelphia Phillies. Phillies need to retain Rollins not just because of his value, but if Reyes skips town the division rival Mets could offer the long-time Phillie more money than the City of Brotherly Love.
6. Michael Cuddyer- Minnesota Twins. Minnesota letting one of their longest tenured players and All-Star Rep walk via free agency. Fat Chance.
7. Aramis Ramirez- Florida Marlins. The Marlins need a third baseman and something tells me with the new stadium and Ozzie Guillen they might overspend a tad to get good players. This is exhibit A. No disrespect to Ramirez — he’ll get his money, but the Marlins might overpay to outbid the other contenders for A-Ram’s services.
8. Mark Buehrle- Chicago White Sox. Like Cuddyer are the Chi Sox really going to let Buehrle go?
9. Edwin Jackson- New York Yankees. One of Yankees many pitfalls was lack of starters. Don’t think for a second that Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon are going to re-sign for the money they got last year. It’s a long shot, but New York could certainly use the help. A 1-2-3 of Sabathia, Nova and Jackson isn’t bad either.
10. Jonathan Paplebon- Boston Red Sox. See Cuddyer and Buehrle. That, plus the lack of premier closers makes this a no brainer.
11. Carlos Beltran- Boston Red Sox. Boston needs a new right fielder. Plus they tend to be OK with making big money risks. And that’s exactly what Beltran is, not exactly JD Drew 2.0 but somewhere in the neighborhood. Not a great defender but still can swing it.
12. David Ortiz- Oakland A’s. I know it’s weird, but the Red Sox need to make way for their top prospects and Big Papi is a road block. Baltimore, Toronto and Seattle are other possibilities, but I think Oakland is the only club who might offer him a contract.
13. Hiroki Kuroda- Los Angeles Dodgers. He doesn’t want to play anywhere else and wants to re-sign with the team. Even vetoed trades to contenders at the deadline. With the numbers he put up I’m sure the Dodgers will oblige.
14. Heath Bell- San Diego Padres. See numbers 6, 9 and 10. He’s not going anywhere.
15. Carlos Pena- Seattle Mariners. Pena can hit 35-40 homers in a season. That number probably goes down to 25-30 in the Great Northwest’s cavernous Safeco Field, but the Mariners will take that production one way or another. Here’s hoping it’s not Jack Cust 2.0.
16. Roy Oswalt- Texas Rangers. Another former top-tier arm settling for a one-year contract for around 4-11 million dollars in Texas. Do the names Rich Harden and Brandon Webb sound familiar?
17. Coco Crisp- Cleveland Indians. Cleveland needs an outfield bat that can hit at the top of the order and be a leadoff-esque type hitter since they will presumably let Grady Sizemore walk.
18. Kelly Johnson- Florida Marlins. Again the fish could over pay here but on a one year deal for 2-5 million. Johnson is a good value at second base and would give the Marlins a nice power-laden infield of Hanley and Aramis Ramirez on the left and Johnson and Gaby Sanchez on the right.
19. Grady Sizemore-Seattle Mariners. Sizemore is from the state of Washington and spent the bulk of his career playing under Seattle skipper Eric Wedge in Cleveland. Natural fit.
20. Erik Bedard-Seattle Mariners. Bedard could easily land up back in Seattle to fill the rotation spot left by former teammate Doug Fister. The Blue Jays are another option.
21. Paul Maholm-Toronto Blue Jays. If Toronto can get the potential Maholm has out of him this could be a bargain.
22. Chris Capuano- Pittsburgh Pirates. Somebody has to replace Maholm and Capuano can do that while eating innings and pitching quality baseball.
23. Ramon Hernandez- Cleveland Indians. Gives the tribe a much needed offensive boost at catcher.
24. Jason Kubel- Chicago Cubs. Nice offensive bat to hit around Prince Fielder if they both sign. Epstein is going to draw some big name guys in.
25. Ramon Santiago-Detroit Tigers. Durable utility player hit well in the playoffs and provides the Tigers with infield depth. Mets could be a possibility if they offer him the starting role.
26. Jamey Carroll- Minnesota Twins. Carroll fits in well with the Twins style of ball and wouldn’t be obnoxiously expensive.