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By Keith Allison (Flickr: David Robertson) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsLots of big name free agents are finding new homes in this hot stove season, and it already feels like the 2015 MLB season is just around the corner. First Victor Martinez and Michael Cuddyer signed with the Detroit Tigers and New York Mets, then Russel Martin signed a huge deal with the Blue Jays, and most recently the Red Sox shocked the baseball world by not only signing Pablo Sandoval away from the Giants, a team he won 3 World Series with, but also prying Hanley Ramirez out of Los Angeles, bringing him home to the team that signed him as an International Free Agent all the way back in 2000.

It's safe to say the 2015 MLB hot stove season (aka the free agent offseason) has officially begun! From now until Opening Day, teams will be looking to add some of the top free agent players in the game.

This is part 4 of a 5 part series. We already looked at free agents 50-41, 40-31, and 30-21, and are now going to analyze #20-11. Keep in mind, we are looking at MLB Free Agents, so you won't find Yasmani Tomas and the rest of the international players who are looking to sign. This will just be players with MLB experience looking to find a new home.

 

Top 50 MLB Free Agents for 2015: 20-11

20. Brandon McCarthy (SP)

Brandon McCarthy has had a rough career up to this point. He has had plenty of issues with his shoulder, missing parts of 7 seasons including all of 2010. In 2014 he had a resurgence after being traded to the Yankees. In 18 starts to start the year with the Diamondbacks, he went 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA. In pinstripes, McCarthy improved with a 7-5 ERA and a 2.89 ERA, which is what majorly added to his offseason value. His injury past might put him at a discount to some teams. Although I don’t say it often, the Yankees are smart to pursue him as a cost-friendly option, and is a nice option for them going forward with their documented rotation issues.

2015 Most Likely Team: Yankees

 

19. Colby Rasmus (3B)

I believe Rasmus is going to be the diamond in the rough of 2015 Free Agency. Rasmus played only 104 games in 2014 due to a sore hamstring in May and a lack of production towards the end of the year led to his benching. His .225/.285/.448 slashline is a far cry from his 2013 career highs of .276/.338/.501. I really don’t know where he is going to go, as there aren't too many rumors going around about Rasmus. The Tigers traded away Austin Jackson, and are losing Torii Hunter to free agency. With that in mind, Rasmus could fill the hole in The Motor City.

2015 Most Likely Team: Tigers

 

18. Hiroki Kuroda (SP)

There were plenty of issues with the Yankees rotation in 2014. CC Sabathia was hurt for almost all of the season and is all but irrelevant going forward. Masahiro Tanaka exploded early for the year and then hurt himself. Michael Pineda had his controversy with the pine tar then a lack of production. Hiroki Kuroda seems to be the one consistent piece for the pinstripes the last few years. He's had an ERA in the mid 3.00’s, racked up between 146-167 Ks and had at least 32 starts every year he has been in the Bronx. I see no reason for either side to not want to stay together.

2015 Most Likely Team: Yankees

 

17. Alex Rios (OF)

In all of my research for where Rios might land, all I have found is that he is a ‘backup option’ for plenty of teams. That means he might sit around waiting for the phone to ring for a while this offseason. 4 HRs, 17 SBs and a .709 OPS isn’t horrible, but when looking at Rios’ 2013 18/42/.756, it is a big red flag for a guy who will be 34 on Opening Day. The Giants lost Michael Morse, so my best guess is that Rios will take over his role as the veteran outfield depth.

2015 Most Likely Team: Giants

 

16. Aramis Ramirez (3B)

Aramis Ramirez accepted his $14 Million 2015 option with the Brewers. It was a smart move, as I don’t think he would have gotten much more than that on the free agent market. With Pablo Sandoval leaving San Francisco for Boston, it would have been interesting to see if the Giants took a shot at Ramirez, who is a similar player to Kung Fu Panda but with more power and consistency. Now looking towards next offseason, he’ll be 36 and a lot of his appeal with depend on how he does this year with the Brew Crew.

2015 Team: Brewers

 

15. Chase Headley (3B)

Just as I thought Aramis Ramirez was an option for the Giants post-Sandoval, Chase Headey is now in the running for that job. The Yankees, who Headley finished the season with after being traded from the Padres, are also in the running for him. Alex Rodriguez is far from a productive guarantee in 2015, and Headley could be brought in as insurance for A-Rod. This leaves Headley to go for the best deal, and the Yankees should be able to outbid the Giants.

2015 Most Likely Team: Yankees

 

14. Andrew Miller (RP)

I love that on a list with so many great relievers, a guy like Miller, who is not a closer, is such a highly coveted free agent. It shows how great his stuff has been recently that a reported 22 teams have contacted Miller’s agent. He only recorded his first save this year with Baltimore after being traded from Boston, and has a career 4.91 ERA. Yet his strong 2014 with a 2.02 ERA led by his electric fastball that tops out at 94 and his slider are what has made him so valuable. The Red Sox, who have shown they are going to spend big, are in the running for him. Yet after losing their own closer, Toronto is going to pursue Miller hard and I like him landing with the Blue Jays.

2015 Most Likely Team: Blue Jays

 

13. Jake Peavy (SP)

Another guy traded from the Red Sox, Jake Peavy is a great middle of the rotation guy, as he showed winning World Series titles back to back years in Boston and San Francisco. He wasn’t the best during the Giants run, but his 2.17 ERA, and 6. K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 are going to get the 33 year old a nice multi-year deal. I really don’t see a reason he doesn’t resign with the Giants. He fits into their rotation well, and he is good friends with Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson The Giants should have plenty of money to spend this offseason now that their #1 priority in Pablo Sandoval left.

2015 Most Likely Team: Giants

 

12. David Robertson (RP)

The top reliever in this class, David Robertson is going to get himself paid handsomely over the winter. He is only 29 years old, and his 39 saves are more than the Yankees could’ve asked for in the wake of Mariano Rivera’s retirement. I love his elite 13.9 K/9 and 4.17 K/BB rate, which shows he is doing more than just ending games, he’s dominating hitters. I have the Yankees retaining a lot of their players, and Robertson is no different.

2015 Most Likely Team: Yankees

 

11. Adam LaRoche (1B)

I love Adam LaRoche. The Nationals, however, don’t have room for him. He's landed in the South Side of Chicago, where he will likely split 1B / DH duties with cuban phenom Jose Abreu.  Laroche will bolster their infield, and is an above average defensive first baseman. At 35, his best years are behind him, but he has kept his production up. His 2014 line of 26 HR, 92 RBI and .259 BA are right at his career average. I also love his 82 BBs, a career high, which helped bolster his best ever .362 OBP. The White Sox have lost Paul Konerko to the retirement home, and Jose Abreu, with his achilles issues from last year, is not an every day 1B type, so LaRoche should fit in well on the south side.

2015 Team: White Sox

 

There you have it. The last installation of this series, where we go after #10-1, will highlight the best of the best this offseason. I'll be covering the big 3 starting pitchers, the biggest hitters, some  of whom have already landed, and a few more guys. Make sure you come back to see which players I predict correctly and which I get way, way wrong.

 





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