As we head towards the end of December, there are still some solid free agents that remain unsigned. Lets take a look at some of these players and where they could possibly wind up.
1) Michael Bourn – Many of the potential top suitors for the speedy outfielder have gone different directions. Teams that may still be in the mix for Bourn include the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. While the Marines are reluctant to give up their first round pick in 2013 (which would be the compensation for signing Bourn), perhaps they would re-consider knowing Bourn can help to jump start their dismal lineup. The Indians would rather sign Nick Swisher, but if they miss out on the power hitting outfielder, then they may turn their sights to Bourn. The Rangers and Cubs are looking to make a splash as well. It has been a disappointing offseason for the Rangers after losing out on Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton on the free agent market, as well as coming up short on trade attempts for James Shields and perhaps Justin Upton.
2) Nick Swisher– As mentioned above, the Indians have a ton of interest in Swisher. The Rangers are also looking for a big bat to help ease the loss of Hamilton. While Swisher wants to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, it is very unlikely that will happen as the Dodgers are set in their outfield. Perhaps the Philadelphia Phillies could also come in with a strong push for the 32-year-old switch hitter.
3) Edwin Jackson– While the San Diego Padres have had a ton of interest in the 29-year-old right-hander, it appears that the club will not offer Jackson more than a three-year deal. Reports have indicated that the Rangers and Cubs appear to be the front runners and perhaps the only two teams left in the Jackson sweepstakes.
4) Kyle Lohse– The 34-year-old had a terrific 2012 season for the St. Louis Cardinals. Some may question whether he can duplicate his numbers or if he’ll begin to decline due to age. He will cost the team that signs him (unless it’s the Cardinals of course) a draft pick so that has turned some teams away to look at other options. Due to the reasons listed, I expect Lohse to re-sign with the Cardinals.
5) Adam LaRoche– The power hitting first baseman had a huge 2012 season for the Washington Nationals. The 33-year-old hit 33 home runs and also had 100 RBIs. The Nationals remain very interested in bringing him back, although at the moment they still don’t appear willing to offer LaRoche the three-year deal he is looking for. Like Lohse, due to draft pick compensation and age, the suitors aren’t coming as strongly towards LaRoche as one might think.