The annual free agent frenzy is waning, after the they-got-how-much signings of players like C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Francisco Rodriguez, and we've entered another annual phase.
The guys who were certain they'd be signed by now but aren't.
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As we stand a month before camps open, there are future Hall of Famers – Ken Griffey Jr, Manny Ramirez – and strong HOF candidates like Tom Glavine, Ivan Rodriguez, Frank Thomas and Omar Vizquel still unsigned.
There are dozens of free agents still on the market, and not all are going to get signed in the next few weeks. Some are going to wind up with spring training invites and the chance to make a team out of camp.
As always, somewhere in the remaining free agent group are players who are going to surprise in 2009. Some will continue a downward spiral in their careers, but others – ah, the annual treasures – will be the bargains that produce.
It might be a starting pitcher like Paul Byrd, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia or Livian Hernandez. Maybe a reliever like Eddie Guardado.
Among the hitters available, there's Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn and Ramirez, then take-a-chance guys like Garret Anderson, Orlando Cabrera, Griffey, Rodriguez.
Want a little fun today, check out this list of free agents – signed and unsigned – and pick out a few of the remaining guys who will be the surprises of 2009. Any the Seattle Mariners should grab?
Someone is going to make a mistake in the next month, someone else is going to strike pay dirt with a shrewd-and-a-little-lucky pick up. Play general manager and find the best bargain.
Who knows, maybe the Mariners will wind up inviting him to spring training?