Teams have been busy buying up free-agent talent, but several of the deals have come out of the blue. Josh Hamilton, for example, seemed to be gathering little long-term interest until the Angels suddenly popped up with the five-year, $125 million deal that gave Hamilton a new home in a matter of hours.
Even more surprising than where many free agents have ended up, however, are the players who are still on the market after the winter meetings flurry.
Big names like Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher are now being picked over after players of lesser skill or pedigree have already been scooped up. With roster spots being taken and considerable talent still on the market, things could get really interesting soon.
Several teams are still looking for key pieces, whether it’s a deal for a position player like Bourn, Swisher or Adam LaRoche or another rotation piece like Edwin Jackson or Kyle Lohse. In the American League East especially, where the Yankees and Red Sox have seen themselves lapped by the quick-dealing Blue Jays, grabbing another pitcher and fielder is not out of the question.
Plenty of MLB teams still have needs across their rosters, and the key free agents remaining are all but guaranteed to find a home. The question now is at what price. Desperate teams could pay the big bucks, while other free agents could see lesser deals now that their negotiating time has drifted into December.
Take a look at some of the surprises still available on the free-agent market.