The five-day grace period given to teams to sign their own free agents has come and gone with very little movement. Today begins unrestricted free agency, and with plenty of fan fare. Jayson Werth, Cliff Lee, and Carl Crawford head a decent class of players looking to cash in on their 2010 season. On this thread we’ll keep you posted on everything happening in the hot stove league.
-Early reports from the New York Post and New York Daily News have the Yankees, of course, going after Rangers starter Cliff Lee. However, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson says Lee will listen to a pitch made by the Washington Nationals. The Nats are longing for an ace with Stephen Strasburg undergoing Tommy John surgery recently. Do the Nationals have what it takes to pry Lee away from the Yankees or Rangers? And how much of a slap in the face would it be if Lee ended up in the NL East with a team other than the Phillies?
–Keith Law has ranked the top 50 FA’s (insider only) hitting the market beginning today and Jayson Werth was placed third behind Lee and Crawford. The question, as we are well aware, is whether or not the Phillies want to pony up near nine figures to keep Werth. Is it worth it to sign a 31 year old outfielder to a five year deal for that kind of dough?
-Early reports have Scott Boras looking for Matt Holliday-type money, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Can’t say we didn’t know that, however, Boras is basically letting it be known on the record what his intentions are for his client. Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe says five years, $75 million is possible in a contract for Werth, slightly less than what Boras seems to be angling for. Cafardo also says he doesn’t see Boston giving in to the demand for that many years.
-J.C. Romero, Jose Contreras, and Chad Durbin are all free agents. Which will come back? I’ll take a guess and say Romero is all but definitely gone for good. The Phillies feel comfortable with Antonio Bastrado enough to make him the go-to lefty out of the pen. The Contreras/Durbin argument is a toss-up. Do you go with the younger Durbin who has been a bullpen staple for the Phillies over the last three seasons or the older Contreras who had a breakout year as a relief pitcher? Durbin said just after the season ended that the chances of him returning were “50-50.” Durbin will be looking for a multi-year deal, but I haven’t heard or seen any reports about what Contreras will ask for. Which guy would you go for?
-Update, 6:55 pm: Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com says the Phillies are interested in bringing in some cheap bullpen help. He says they are looking at Eddie Bonine of the Detroit Tigers.