By Chad Jennings
Each offseason, it’s pretty easy to find free agent rankings. And it’s just as easy to, one by one, cross those free agents off the list.
These are the the position players who ranked among the top 25 free agents according to MLB Trade Rumors. I’m choosing their list just because, I don’t know, it’s just the one I picked, and the point is the same regardless of the source: It’s not even Thanksgiving and a lot of the top hitters are already off the market.
Here, I’m listing only the positions players — with their overall ranking on the MLBTR list — because it’s the position market that’s seen the most movement this winter. The pitching market really hasn’t done much. It’s worth noting that guys who might interested the Yankees — guys like Stephen Drew, Rickie Weeks and recently re-signed Chris Young — did not fall within MLB Trade Rumors top 25.
Here are the names initially considered to be among the best position players available. The top tier has been chipped away. How many of the remaining hitters truly fit the Yankees roster?
4. Hanley Ramirez — signed with Red Sox
Top position player on the market; also one of the most significant injury risks.
5. Pablo Sandoval — signed with Red Sox
Top third baseman on the market; solves infield issue in Boston.
6. Victor Martinez — re-signed with Tigers
Top pure hitter on the market; signed through his late-30s.
7. Melky Cabrera — still available
Coming off a bounce-back season; Yankees not in the market for an outfielder.
8. Russell Martin — signed with Blue Jays
Top catcher on the market; turned resurgent season into five-year deal.
9. Nelson Cruz — still available
Coming off career-high 40 homers; Yankees are committed at DH and right field.
10. Yasmany Tomas — still available
The top international free agent; another outfielder who doesn’t fit the current Yankees roster.
16. Chase Headley — still available
Yankees showed immediate interest; strong fit as mid-season addition in 2014.
19. Aramis Ramirez – re-signed with Brewers
Never truly a free agent; mutual option exercised to keep Ramirez in Milwaukee.
20. Colby Rasmus – still available
Inconsistent but still young; Yankees have no need for another left-handed center fielder.
21. Jed Lowrie — still available
Could be an option at second or short; offensive power was down this season.
23. Asdrubal Cabrera — still avaiable
Could be an option at second or short; offense is down but still 29 years old.
24. Nick Markakis –– still available
Seemed close to re-signing with Orioles; another outfielder who doesn’t fit the Yankees roster.
25. Adam LaRoche — signed with White Sox
Left-handed power hitter; should split time between first base and DH in Chicago.