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Top 100 Free Agents - Nos. 30-21

No. 21


Nos. 100-76
Nos. 75-51
Nos. 50-31

30. Kevin Millwood* (34) - Technically, Millwood is signed for 2010. The Rangers, though, will be able to void the final year of his deal if he can't complete 180 innings this season. It's a mark he failed to reach in either 2007 or 2008, so it's quite possible that he will end up being set free. However, if he stays healthy and keeps pitching like he's done thus far in 2009 (3-2, 2.78 ERA), the Rangers should be satisfied to have him back at $12 million.

29. Hank Blalock (29) - Blalock hasn't been both healthy and productive in the same season since 2004, but he did hit .290 with 22 homers in 466 at-bats between 2007 and '08 and he's off to a pretty good start while being used primarily as a DH this year. If teams still view him as a possibility at third base, then his market will likely be quite a bit stronger. With Justin Smoak and Max Ramirez waiting in the wings, the Rangers almost surely will want to move on and could make him available in advance of the July 31 deadline.

28. Mike Cameron (37) - As consistently underrated as any player in the game, Cameron is still an above average defensive center fielder at age 36 and a 20-homer guy. He strikes out a ton, but his power, walk rate and speed still make him a valuable contributor on offense. The Yankees and White Sox are among the teams that should be regretting not acquiring him after the Brewers made him available over the winter. He may not command more than a one-year contract at his age, but he's a legitimate $10 million-per-year outfielder.

27. Andy Pettitte (37) - The Yankees were both smart to stick to their guns and fortunate that Pettitte didn't want to go anywhere else during last winter's negotiations. It's still early, but he's been their best pitcher so far, going 2-1 with a 3.82 ERA. If he remains healthy and he wants to keep pitching, then he'll probably take another one-year deal to stay with the Bombers.

26. Mark DeRosa (35) - When DeRosa was traded from the Cubs to the Indians for three youngsters, none of whom qualified as top prospects, it made it quite clear that the Penn product is looked upon more favorably by writers and announcers than by the league's GMs. Still, DeRosa was a legitimately excellent hitter last season and he remains an option in the infield. Really, though, he's below average at third and a clear liability at second. His bat may play in an outfield corner for a couple of more years -- that's certainly not something I would have ever imagined writing five years ago -- but he likely will be overcompensated under the terms of the two- or three-year deal he gets this winter.

25 Todd Wellemeyer (31) - There's typically only one or two free-agent pitchers per year that one can argue still have their best days ahead of them. Wellemeyer is 31, but his arm is probably more like 28 with all of the time he spent in middle relief (not to say that wouldn't take a toll, but the fact is that Wellemeyer was so mediocre for most of his career that he was never overused). Of course, he needs to bounce back from a rough April, as he's currently 2-2 with a 5.28 ERA. If he finishes with numbers close to last year's marks (13-9, 3.71 ERA, 1.25 WHIP), then someone will give him $30 million for three years.

24. Coco Crisp* (30) - Crisp is hitting just .238 for the Royals, but with 21 walks and 14 extra-base hits and 22 runs scored in 28 games, he's been a fine regular to date. Should he maintain his 800 OPS, there's little doubt that the Royals will exercise his $8 million option for 2010. If he instead fades back to the 700-750 range -- which is where he finished all three of his seasons in Boston -- the decision will be more difficult. Crisp is above average defensively and should age fairly well, but a small-market club could find it has better uses for the cash.

23. Jermaine Dye* (36) - Typically very inconsistent on a year-to-year basis, Dye has nevertheless been very productive in his four-plus years as a member of the White Sox. It was rumored that he might be dealt over the winter, but the White Sox decided it wasn't necessary to shed his $11.5 million salary. There's a mutual option on his deal for 2010. The White Sox can pick up their half for $12 million or buy him out for $1 million. He's currently hitting .292/.340/.551, so it's possible they'll exercise it. However, they'd save a lot of money by moving Carlos Quentin to right and turning left field over to Dayan Viciedo.

22. Brandon Webb* (30) - Bear with me for a second: Webb is under control for $8.5 million in 2010, making the Diamondbacks' team option a no-brainer if he comes back healthy in June or July. So, it's foolish to rank him as a top-three free agent, which he'd certainly be if not for the option. If, on the other hand, Webb has a setback and turns out to need major shoulder surgery, the Diamondbacks may have little choice but to let him go. The Red Sox, Yankees or Dodgers would then likely swoop in then.

21. Carlos Delgado (37) - Some argued for Delgado as an MVP candidate in 2008, and he's off to a better start this year! Of course, Delgado was hitting .188 a month into last year and .228 at the end of June. He was outstanding over the final three months, causing writers to value his contributions over those who did for six full months. Delgado is at .256/.362/.449 through his first 22 games in 2009. He'll likely remain a quality one-year option as a first baseman or, better yet, as a DH in 2010, but at 37, he should have already received his last multiyear contract.