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Tuesday, November 12
Updated: February 11, 2:53 PM ET
Top 50 free agents

Player 2002 stats Comment/Prediction
1. Jim Thome
52-118-.304-1.122 OPS Signed: Phillies, 6 years, $85M
Prediction: Phillies
He was the best hitter in the AL in 2002, but a warning: he's hit much better in Cleveland than on the road the past 3 years (1.253 OPS at home in '02, .986 on the road).
2. Greg Maddux
16-6, 2.62 Signed: Braves, accepted salary arbitration
Prediction: Diamondbacks
Could get upwards to $18 million for the 2003 season. Is the anchor of a very new-look staff in Atlanta. And is coming off a season in which he posted a sub 3.00 ERA for the ninth time in his career.
3. Jeff Kent
37-108-.313-.933 OPS Signed: Astros, 2 years, $18.2M
Prediction: Giants
Had 108 RBI in '02, his sixth straight year with at least 100. No longer will he hit in front of Barry Bonds. But batting behind Lance Berkman and Jeff Bagwell should be a nice consolation prize.
4. Tom Glavine
18-11, 2.96 Signed: Mets, 3 years, $35M
Prediction: Braves
Glavine had a 2.96 ERA last year, but everyone forgets his previous three years were: 3.57, 3.40 and 4.12. Still very good, but more in line with a 15-game winner than 18.
5. Ivan Rodriguez
19-60-.314-.895 OPS Signed: Marlins, 1 year, $10M
Prediction: Cubs
Coming off three straight injury-plagued seasons and despite being just 30 has a lot of wear and tear on his body from years of catching. Has hit .300 or better eight years in a row. Could make Marlins a real threat in NL East.
6. Roger Clemens
13-6, 4.35 Signed: Yankees, 1 year, $10.1M
Prediction: Yankees
At the age of 40, will enter the 2003 season needing only seven wins to reach 300 in his illustrious career. In all likelihood, expect him to be the Yankees' Opening Day starter.
7. Cliff Floyd
28-79-.288-.920 OPS Signed: Mets, 4 years, $26M
Prediction: Red Sox
After Jim Thome, was the best hitter on the open market. If healthy, could have a monster season in '03 as he'll likely hit between Roberto Alomar and Mike Piazza in the Mets' lineup.
8. John Olerud
22-102-.300-.893 OPS Signed: Mariners, 2 years, $15.4M
Prediction: Mariners
One of baseball's most underrated performers. He had .403 OBP last year to match his career average (.404). No reason to expect his performance to drop in the next two seasons.
9. Hideki Matsui
50-107-.334 in Japan Signed: Yankees, 3 years, $21M
Prediction: Yankees
Godzilla comes to New York. The 28-year-old, three-time Japanese Central League MVP is expected to be a corner outfielder for the Yankees. Hit 50 home runs last season in Japan.
10. Jamie Moyer
13-8, 3.32 Signed: Mariners, 3 years, $15.5M
Prediction: Mariners
Moyer can earn up to $21.5 million based on other clauses in the deal. He just turned 40 and is determined to prove he can last three more years. Don't bet against him.
11. Ray Durham
15-70-.289-.825 OPS Signed: Giants, 3 years, $20.1M
Prediction: A's
Crosses the Bay to join the Giants, where he'll assume the leadoff spot in the batting order and in all likelihood the second-base job. A solid on-base guy (.374 OBP in 2002).
12. Steve Finley
25-89-.287-.869 OPS Signed: D-Backs, 2 years, $11.25M
Prediction: Rangers
He's 38 in March, but shows no signs of slowing down. The D-Backs are only paying $4.5M in 2003, but that $6.75M in 2004 could come back to haunt them. The list of championship teams with 39-year-old center fielders is a short one.
13. Paul Byrd
17-11, 3.90 Signed: Braves, 2 years, $10M
Prediction: Braves
Came back from a two-year disappearing act to win 17 games in '02. Is headed to the right place to work under pitching coach guru, Leo Mazzone.
14. Jose Hernandez
24-73-.288-.834 OPS Signed: Rockies, 1 year, $1M
Prediction: Brewers
He nearly broke the single-season strikeout record last year. But in all honesty he had a good season overall, quite possibly the best of any shortstop in the NL. A good, cheap signing for Rockies.
15. Edgardo Alfonzo
16-56-.308-.851 OPS Signed: Giants, 4 years, $26M
Prediction: Dodgers
Despite hitting only 16 homers in '02, did have a .391 OBP. Figures to be a huge upgrade for the Giants at the top of their batting order (hitting in either the second or third spot). Giants better hope his creeky back doesn't flare up however.
16. Reggie Sanders
23-85-.250-.779 OPS Good (23 homers, 85 RBI), but definitely not great (.250 BA). Is he a ticket to the World Series? Has been to the Fall Classic each of the last two years with Diamondbacks and Giants. With Brian Jordan wanting a trade out of L.A., Sanders stays in the NL West.
Where he'll end up: Dodgers
17. Frank Thomas
28-92-.252-.834 OPS Signed: White Sox, 4 years, $22.5M
Prediction: White Sox
As expected, stayed put because no other team wanted to bring on a big contract. Strictly a DH at this point and is coming off two straight subpar seasons.
18. Mike Remlinger
7-3, 1.99 Signed: Cubs, 3 years, $10.65M
Prediction: Phillies
Remember when middle relievers were baseball's version of the salaryman? Not anymore. But Remlinger is worth it if he keeps pitching like he did during his four years in Atlanta.
19. Ugueth Urbina
1-6, 3.00, 40 SV Signed: Rangers, 1 year, $4.5M
Prediction: Rangers
Despite being one of the few closers on the market, there wasn't a great deal of interest in him. Had 40 saves in 2002, so he does bring stability to an otherwise shaky Rangers pen.
20. Kenny Rogers
13-8, 3.84 Pitched 200 or more innings for the fifth time in his career. Is a good middle-of-the-rotation starter if expectations aren't too great for him.
Where he'll end up: Rangers
21. Chuck Finley
11-15, 4.15 Played a major role for the Cardinals down the stretch, going 7-4, 3.80 in 14 starts. Will be 40 by the time the regular season starts next year.
Where he'll end up: Cardinals
22. Kenny Lofton
11-51-.261-.763 OPS After a down year in '01, got somewhat back on track in '02, especially after a midseason trade to the Giants. How much he can provide over the long haul of a season remains to be seen.
Where he'll end up: Giants
23. Steve Trachsel
11-11, 3.37 Signed: Mets, 2 years, $8 million
Prediction: Mets
Hey, on the bright side, Trachsel's ERAs since 1999: 5.56, 4.80, 4.46, 3.37. That's a good trend. On the dark side, that trend is unlikely to continue. There is also a $5 million option that could kick in for 2005.
24. Robin Ventura
27-93-.247-.826 OPS Signed: Yankees, 1 year, $5M
Prediction: Yankees
Drew Henson, where are ye? Not in a Yankee uniform, bonus baby! (Anyone got Mel Kiper's number?) The Yankees get Ventura at a reasonable rate for a guy with good power and a good OBP.
25. Woody Williams
9-4, 2.53 Signed: Cardinals, 2 years, $14.9M
Prediction: Cardinals
At 36, can he stay healthy enough (and pitch well enough) to justify big deal? Cards pay a lot to find out.
26. David Bell
20-73-.261-.762 OPS Signed: Phillies, 4 years, $17M
Prediction: Phillies
He's no Scott Rolen, but less expensive. Not that $4M a year is a bargain for Phils. But will get along better with Larry Bowa.
27. Fred McGriff
30-103-.273-.858 OPS Signed: Dodgers, 1 year, $3.75M
Prediction: Red Sox
Becomes the Dodgers' everyday 1B with the departure of Eric Karros. Has 478 career homers after hitting 30 HRs in '02. His 103 RBI gave him four straight years of 100 or more. Will be 39 entering '03 season.
28. Mike Stanton
7-1, 3.00 Signed: Mets, 3 years, $9M
Prediction: Rangers
Moves to the other side of town, where he'll assume the same role as lefty set-up man. Posted a 3.00 ERA in 78 innings in '02. At 35, Mets can only hope his arm holds up for three more years.
29. David Justice
11-49-.266-.785 OPS Mr. Postseason! Has been to the playoffs each year since 1991. May decide to retire, but if he doesn't would definitely have teams interested in him for the right price. Is a health risk.
Where he'll end up: A's
30. Bill Mueller
7-38-.262-.743 OPS Signed: Red Sox, 2 years, $4.5M
Prediction: Giants
Is a good fit for the Red Sox in that he provides a solid glove at third base along with an above average career .370 OBP.
31. Jon Lieber
6-8, 3.70 Signed: Yankees, 2 years, $3.5M
Prediction: Cubs
Underwent reconstructive elbow surgery in early August and likely won't be able to pitch much, if at all, in 2003. Could pay dividends for Yankees in '04.
32. Ruben Sierra
13-60-.270-.736 OPS Signed: Rangers, minor-league contract
Prediction: Tigers
Wasn't quite the answer to the Mariners' left-field woes as he hit .270 with only 13 homers and faded in second half. Could be a decent reserve for the Rangers.
33. Rick Helling
10-12, 4.51 Signed: Orioles, minor-league contract
Prediction: Brewers
Hasn't had an ERA below 4.00 his entire career (six full years). With a decent spring, could make O's rotation.
34. Roberto Hernandez
1-3, 4.33, 26 SV Signed: Braves, 1 year, $600,000
Prediction: Rockies
Is beyond his prime, but did have 26 saves in '02. Provides depth to a depleted Braves bullpen. Will be used as the primary right-handed set-up man to closer John Smoltz.
35. Todd Zeile
18-87-.273-.778 OPS Signed: Yankees, 1 year, $1.5M
Prediction: Rockies
Had a resurgence offensively, but don't forget he did so while playing half his games at that hitter-heaven called Coors Field. Is expected to only be a part-time player for the Yankees.
36. Ramiro Mendoza
8-4, 3.44 Signed: Red Sox, 2 years, $6.5M
Prediction: Rangers
When his sinker sinks, he's nearly unhittable. When it doesn't, he usually gets rocked. Could be used as a starter, but more likely will remain in the bullpen.
37. Tom Gordon
1-3, 3.38 Signed: White Sox, 1 year, $1.4M
Prediction: Royals
Elbow problems have limited him over the last four years. But, if healthy, could pay dividends as he still throws a nasty hook.
38. Todd Hollandsworth
16-67-.284-.807 OPS Signed: Marlins, 1 year, $1.5M
Prediction: Giants
When healthy, is a productive player. Could be exposed, however, if he plays on a full-time basis.
39. Chris Hammond
7-2, 0.95 Signed: Yankees, 2 years, $4.8M
Prediction: Braves
Will he be able to excel under the bright lights of New York, like he did last year in compiling a minuscule 0.95 ERA in 76 IP for Atlanta? Only time will tell.
40. Robert Person
4-5, 5.44 Was shut down in mid-July due to injury after winning only four games. Did win a career high 15 games in 2001.
Where he'll end up: Orioles
41. Terry Adams
7-9, 4.35 Signed: Phillies, 1 year, $2.9M
Prediction: Dodgers
Will be used as a reliever, where he was most effective last season (3-2, 2.38 in 27 relief appearances). Struggled as a starter in '02: 4-7, 5.00 in 19 starts.
42. Julian Tavarez
10-12, 5.39 Signed: Pirates, minor-league contract
Prediction: Marlins
Will likely get his wish to start, but has proven to be better when used out of the bullpen. Bucs better be ready to deal with his, at times, volatile personality.
43. Omar Daal
11-9, 3.90 Signed: Orioles, 2 years, $7.5M
Prediction: Pirates
Provides Orioles with their lone lefty starter. Has won in double figures in three of the last four years, but does have a career 4.40 ERA.
44. Dave Veres
5-8, 3.48 Signed: Cubs, 1 year, $2M
Prediction: Cardinals
Was solid in a set-up role (3.48 ERA) in '02 and can close in a pinch, if needed. Joins an improved Cubs bullpen.
45. Jimmy Haynes
15-10, 4.12 Signed: Reds, 2 years, $5M
Prediction: Mets
Won a career high 15 games and also started a career high 34 games in '02. Tough to envision him doing it again though Reds are sure counting on him to do so.
46. Rey Sanchez
1-38-.286-.662 OPS Signed: Mets, 1 year, $1.3M
Prediction: Red Sox
He'll be given the keys to play shortstop ... that is until 19-year-old phenom Jose Reyes proves ready to take over. Mets get a fine defensive player at a relatively cheap price.
47. Shawn Estes
5-12, 5.10 Signed: Cubs, 1 year, $3M
Prediction: Reds
The Cubs were desperate for a left-handed starter and that's exactly what they get here. Problem is, he's not very good as evidenced by the fact that he hasn't finished a season with an ERA under 4.00 since '97.
48. Marquis Grissom
17-60-.277-.831 OPS Signed: Giants, 2 years, $4.25M
Prediction: Dodgers
A surprise signing to say the least. No way is he a starting center fielder at this stage in his career, especially for a team which hopes to return to the World Series.
49. Ismael Valdes
8-12, 4.18 Signed: Rangers, 1 year, $2.5M
Prediction: Orioles
Started last season with the Rangers before being traded to the Mariners. Finds himself now back with Texas, where he was 6-9, 3.93 in 23 starts in '02.
50. Greg Colbrunn
10-27-.333-1.004 OPS Signed: Mariners, 2 years, $3.6M
Prediction: Diamondbacks
Will provide Mariners with a dependable right-handed bat off the bench. Could even see action as a DH, depending on the health of Edgar Martinez.

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