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In the 2004-2005 off-season, an entire team of superstars can be put together with names like Beltran, Delgado, Drew, and Pedro hitting the market.

Here is a guess as to who could be on the all off-season team:

C: Jason Varitek
1B: Carlos Delgado
2B: Pokey Reese
SS: Orlando Cabrera
3B: Adrian Beltre
LF: JD Drew
CF: Carlos Beltran
RF: Magglio Ordonez

SP: Pedro Martinez
SP: Russ Ortiz
SP: Matt Morris
SP: Roger Clemens
SP: Jaret Wright
RP: Armando Benitez


But I digress from the real point of this article. In this article I will actually rate the top free agents for the upcoming off-season. Without further ado I rank who I believe are the most valuable players for next season:

  • Carlos Beltran (Houston Astros): Represented by Scott Boras, Carlos Beltran will likely command a very large paycheck. He plays Gold Glove caliber center field, steals bases with amazing efficiency, blasts home runs, and does all the little things that you would want from a cornerstone of a franchise. This guy is Vladimir Guerrero with more speed but less of an arm.

    A Guess for Next Year: New York Yankees

  • Adrian Beltre (Los Angeles Dodgers): Another Boras' player, Adrian Beltre is absolutely hitting everything. For the season he had a .334 batting average with forty-eight homers while playing half his games in pitcher-friendly (quite an understatement) Dodger Stadium. While his agent compares Beltre’s free agent in waiting season to A-Rod’s free agent in waiting season, teams will look at previous stats and see that Beltre has not quite produced at his present level throughout his career.
    A Guess for Next Year: Anaheim Angels

  • Pedro Martinez (Boston Red Sox): The enigma that he is, Pedro Martinez has been great this season as well as not so great. I don’t know what to expect from him next season and I bet that most teams won’t know what to expect either, but they most likely will get a good player, most likely along the lines of what he has done this year.

    A Guess for Next Year: Boston Red Sox

  • Magglio Ordonez (Chicago White Sox): The White Sox have an injured superstar on their hands and they want to sign him to a long-term deal. The only problem is that they don’t know how much money to throw at a right fielder with a seriously ailing knee. My bet is that Ordonez will return to form next season as he has something to prove to himself and his teammates (new or not) next year.

    A Guess for Next Year: Chicago White Sox

  • Carlos Delgado (Toronto Blue Jays): Every once in a while, Carlos Delgado has one of those seasons that make people drool. This year wasn’t one of them, but perhaps in the near future (next season) will be one. He definitely has the power to put up forty homers and bat in the middle of any lineup.

    A Guess for Next Year: Baltimore Orioles

  • Richie Sexson (Arizona Diamondbacks): Big Sexy Richie Sexson has the power potential to slam quite a few homers, usually around thirty five. This year has been the exception to the rule because he has not been healthy. I expect a full return to his former self for next year.

    A Guess for Next Year: Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Russ Ortiz (Atlanta Braves): Over the past few seasons, Russ Ortiz has been quite a hoss, pitching around 210 innings a year with quite a good ERA. He has a very good chance to be a staff ace next year, no matter where he goes.

    A Guess for Next Year: Baltimore Orioles

  • JD Drew (Atlanta Braves): In very recent years, JD Drew has been very injury prone. People labeled him as the next Mickey Mantle, but he hasn’t quite lived up to those standards yet. This year Drew has hit .305 with 31 homers, a career high in the homerun category. If a team were to sign him, they better have an option of the DH.

    A Guess for Next Year: Chicago Cubs

  • Jaret Wright (Atlanta Braves): Taking a chance on some unknown player named Jaret Wright last year, Braves GM John Schuerholz knew he it would be a risk. The GM handed the youngster over to Leo Mazzone and let the pitching coach do his work. Now throwing more four-seam fastballs, Wright has been completely dominating.

    A Guess for Next Year: Atlanta Braves

  • Nomar Garciaparra (Chicago Cubs): The Boston Red Sox basically dumped Garciaparra at the trading deadline, thinking he was nothing but a dead weight. Perhaps by coincidence the Red Sox have taken off, but that doesn’t change the fact that Nomar is a good player. With a season of rehabilitation for his ankle, the former Beantown shortstop should return to a higher level of performance for the 2005 season.

    A Guess for Next Year: Chicago Cubs

  • Matt Clement (Chicago Cubs): Traded from the Florida Marlins, Matt Clement caught fire in the friendly confines. His K/9 rate is good at 9.45 and his ERA (3.68) over 181 IP isn’t that bad. I think Clement is a very, very good pitcher who could attract some serious interest next year in the free agent bin.

    A Guess for Next Year: Baltimore Orioles

  • Jeff Kent (Houston Astros): Having another good year for a second baseman, Jeff Kent has clubbed 27 homers and hit .289 for an offense that hasn’t been that great this season. He has played his normal sub par defense, but his contributions on the other side of the field more than make up for it.

    A Guess for Next Year: New York Yankees

  • Odalis Perez (Los Angeles Dodgers): When the Atlanta Braves traded Odalis Perez to the Dodgers they got Gary Sheffield in return. Well, Sheffield has moved on, but Perez remains a Dodger and is pitching quite well, despite only having seven wins the young lefty has a 3.35 ERA over 188.1 innings. I don’t know why he has had such a low number of decisions, but hopefully teams won’t look at that number this off-season.

    A Guess for Next Year: Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Roger Clemens (Houston Astros): Perhaps ranked a little on the bad side here, I don’t know if a) the Rocket wants to return and b) if he has more gas in him. His numbers have gone up as the season progressed from an ERA of 1.95 in April to 4.25 in August. I think that the Rocket might be showing his age just a little as of late and won’t be able to stick out a full good season next year. Yes, I know I shouldn’t write off one of the best pitchers of all time.
    A Guess for Next Year: Houston Astros

  • Steve Finley (Los Angeles Dodgers): A thirty-nine year old center fielder with good glove and bat, Finley can definitely help out a team next year. His stats (.272, 34) for this season have been depressed just a bit due to a weak offense in Arizona and a poor hitter’s stadium in Los Angeles. I think he can most definitely hit 35 homers again next season, wherever he goes.

    A Guess for Next Year: Arizona Diamondbacks



    I decided to end my list after the top 15, but there are plenty of very, very good players remaining. Having Jason Varitek behind the plate allows a team to have a very good hitter in their lineup, as well as a very good veteran presence in the clubhouse. Eli Marrero is a jack of all trades kind of guy, certainly very useful to have around. Pokey Reese is out there, and he should get a contract to cover a lot of ground. Orlando Cabrera, Jose Valentin, and Neifi Perez all make for plenty of depth at the shortstop position. Troy Glaus and Corey Koskie are both adept third baggers that can play on both sides of the field. Jermaine Dye should garner some attention, along with utility man Frank Catalanotto (rated by Sports Illustrated as one of the most useful players in MLB). On the mound are several stars like Derek Lowe, Brad Radke, Orlando Hernandez, Paul Byrd, Shawn Estes, Kris Benson, Kevin Millwood, Eric Milton, Chris Carpenter, Matt Morris, David Wells; in the bullpen, a team can add Troy Percival, Bob Wickman, Armando Benitez, Chad Fox, Jose Mesa, or Steve Kline this off season.

    So, for all the owners out there, let your team spend a little bit this off-season. There’s going to be plenty of good talent to be had.