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MLB Free Agent Forecast

12/23/2011 9:21 AM ET
By YESNetwork.com
With the 2011 campaign comfortably in the books, Major League Baseball's free agents are now permitted to sign new deals. With that in mind, we asked three writers from three different web sites to give their input on which players they think will be signing where. You might be surprised to learn which players will be wearing new uniforms in 2012, according to our panel. And as always, we also urge you to add your predictions for the hot stove season. Simply enter your free-agent thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

Ed Valentine
SBNation.com
Joe Pawlikowski
RiverAveBlues.com
Jon Lane
YESNetwork.com
Cardinals
Sure, Tony La Russa retired and that might be
a problem. I don't see how St. Louis lets him get
away, though.
SIGNED: LAA
Cardinals
It's hard to imagine the Cardinals signing Matt Holliday two years ago and then letting the best player in baseball walk.
SIGNED: LAA
Cardinals
Phat Albert is St. Louis and the Cardinals. He's perfect for the city and the franchise, and doesn't venture from his comfort zone.
SIGNED: LAA
Cubs
Theo Epstein needs to make a splash, and this would help him do it.
Brewers
Fielder is their only major free agent, and after a deep playoff run the Brewers could be primed for another big season in 2012.
Cubs
Theo Epstein needs a big name and a big bat. Fielder fits both requirements, and then some.
Giants
This is where I thought Reyes would go last season in a trade, and where I think he goes
now. Unless he winds up
in Boston.
SIGNED: MIA
Nationals
They figure to spend big this winter, and Reyes fills an obvious need at both shortstop and in the
leadoff spot.
SIGNED: MIA
Marlins
Reyes and Ozzie Guillen usher in a new era in Miami while Hanley Ramirez shifts over to second base.
SIGNED: MIA
Rangers
I think C.J. wants to stay right where he is.
SIGNED: LAA
Tigers
They should have money to spend, and could create a superb one-two combo with Justin Verlander and Wilson.
SIGNED: LAA
Rangers
Yankees will study hard but ultimately back off Wilson's asking price. Wilson found success in Dallas, so he stays there.
SIGNED: LAA
Yankees
The Yankees have been burned before in this market, but they need top-flight young starting pitching and there aren't
a lot of ways to get it.
Yankees
Darvish costs only money, which the Yankees have
in abundance. With needs in the rotation they figure
to bid big on Darvish.
Yankees
The Yankees have the money and have learned from Kei Igawa. Darvish is a rare talent with a great chance to blossom in the United States.
Ed Valentine
SBNation.com
Joe Pawlikowski
RiverAveBlues.com
Jon Lane
YESNetwork.com
Phillies
Unless Philadelphia
wants to make a huge
play for Reyes.
SIGNED: PHI
Phillies
A few teams have needs
at shortstop, the Phillies included. Keeping the devil they know makes sense.
SIGNED: PHI
Phillies
From a perverse point of view it'd be hilarious to see Reyes in Philadelphia, but Phillies will retain a franchise staple at shortstop.
SIGNED: PHI
Brewers
They will have money if they lose Fielder.
SIGNED: MIL
Brewers
They have a need at third, and could make a big splash this winter.
SIGNED: MIL
Orioles
The O's hire another big bat that will produce runs, but won't help poor rotation.
SIGNED: MIL
No idea
Jackson is running out of teams. He'll be a consolation prize for some team who loses out on the starter they really want.
Nationals
If they miss out on Wilson they'll still want a proven starter. Jackson's age, 28, makes him more
attractive.
Nationals
Jackson is after long-lost stability. The Nats are determined to become contenders and the durable right-hander will help.
Giants
They still have a need, so this might be a fit.
SIGNED: STL
Giants
They need to upgrade
their offense, worst in the NL in 2011. Beltran is familiar and fills a
position of need.
SIGNED: STL
Giants
Beltran enjoyed his time in San Francisco. The Giants are willing to pay and both sides need one another.
SIGNED: STL
Nationals
If he has worn out his welcome in Boston.
SIGNED: PHI
Red Sox
With other closer options on the market other teams might look elsewhere. Boston likely doesn't
want to weaken its pen.
SIGNED: PHI
Red Sox
Papelbon is best remembered for his meltdowns, but overall had a terrific 2011 season. Daniel Bard isn't ready, so BoSox will ante up.
SIGNED: PHI
Ed Valentine
SBNation.com
Joe Pawlikowski
RiverAveBlues.com
Jon Lane
YESNetwork.com
Yankees
A huge upgrade over Bartolo Colon and/or Freddy Garcia. Seems
like a better fit for the Yankees than Wilson.
SIGNED: MIA
White Sox
He says he wants to stay there or go to St. Louis.
It's doubtful the Cardinals can afford him.
SIGNED: MIA
White Sox
ChiSox are in transition and looking to go younger, but loyalty will be a two-way street to retain one of the game's most consistent winners.
SIGNED: MIA
Rays
This is a team desperate for offense, and they tried last season with Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. If Big Papi leaves Boston, this makes sense.
SIGNED: BOS
Red Sox
They could still use his bat in the middle of their lineup. It's unlikely new
GM Ben Cherington creates controversy by allowing Ortiz to walk.
SIGNED: BOS
Red Sox
Big Papi may hate the drama, but he thrives in the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry and will be motivated to rebound from 2011 crash.
SIGNED: BOS
Phillies
Who would close if they
let him get away? They probably want nothing to do with K-Rod.
Phillies
They've expressed a need for a closer, and it's likely Madson fits best into their price range.
Phillies
Phillies have been unstable at closer since Brad Lidge's perfect 2008. Madson was the man in '11 and Phils will push hard to retain him.
Twins
I'm not sure why he would leave.
SIGNED: COL
Reds
They could use another outfielder, though the Twins clearly could stand to retain Cuddyer's bat as well.
SIGNED: COL
Twins
Twins off a down season and need to retain Cuddyer's pop while hoping Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are healthy.
SIGNED: COL
Dodgers
The guy would have
plenty of options if he wanted them, but apparently he wants to
stay in LA-LA Land.
Dodgers
He'd be a great option for any contender, but he's expressed no desire to play anywhere but LA.
Dodgers
Kuroda has said he prefers Los Angeles. Proud franchise can slowly return to baseball matters once McCourt mess is expunged.
Ed Valentine
SBNation.com
Joe Pawlikowski
RiverAveBlues.com
Jon Lane
YESNetwork.com
Japan
I seriously don't know
what the market will be for Bionic Bartolo. Somebody might give him a chance, but I don't know who.
Marlins
They could use starters, and will use Colon to provide rotation depth.
Red Sox
You've seen the state of the Red Sox rotation, right? Figure on Big Bart getting an incentive-laden deal to vie for a spot.
Rangers
Texas tried to move Neftali Feliz into the rotation a year ago, but had no one to close. K-Rod would solve that.
Rangers
Neftali Feliz could move
to the rotation even if Wilson stays. They'll need a closer, and Rodriguez seems the perfect fit.
Marlins
K-Rod takes his act to South Beach to fill a closer's void. Can he and Guillen play nice with one another?
Nationals
Word is Washington is itching to spend money, and a veteran like Oswalt can help the Nationals.
Diamondbacks
He's a professed NL man, and the Diamondbacks
will have some money to spend this off-season.
Rangers
Back woes will scare teams away, but Rangers will need to replenish rotation and Oswalt will come at a decent price.
Yankees
This could be a mistake for the Bronx Bombers, but I think they will bring Garcia back to New York.
SIGNED: NYY
Yankees
There is mutual interest. An arbitration offer could seal his return.
SIGNED: NYY
Yankees
Old warhorse proved he's a true professional in 2011. The Yankees want him back and the feeling will be mutual.
SIGNED: NYY
???
Damon wants 3,000 hits, but I have no clue who will give him the chance. Most likely an A.L. team unable to find the hitter they really want.
Cubs
His days as a starter are almost over, and he could get decent playing time as a LF and PH in Chicago.
Orioles
Damon wants to remain with the Rays, but land in Baltimore where O's need leadership with an edge.
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