So with that in mind, and figuring that no one gets released today (which is unlikely), here's my pecking order for protecting players:
- Jon Pettibone
- Ethan Martin
- Trevor May
- Zach Collier
- Julio Rodriguez
- Leandro Castro
- Jiwan James
- Colby Shreve
- B.J. Upton- He's the youngest of the big time centerfielders, and probably costs the least of them. Yes, his average has been down, but he's a plus defensive player who can hit 25 homers and steal 30 bases.
- Josh Hamilton- Big contract what? Who cares? If the ownership is willing to spend it and not cry poverty after, why would you not want a top five offensive player in the game? Sure his defense may decline, but he also may end up on a corner spot.
- Michael Bourn- It's not that I don't want Bourn, I'd be thrilled to get him. His age being the same as most of our team, high number of strikeouts, and essentially being another lead-off man are what get me. He's the best lead-off man available though, and a Gold Glove level outfielder, as well as a perennial steal leader contender. If we sign him and hit him second or first, it's a win for us.
- Jeff Keppinger- He plays all over the diamond, and is solid at third. He's a .288 career hitter. He's relatively cheap. I'm waiting for a reason not to like this guy.
- Mike Adams- Want to lock down the 8th inning? Sign the best guy for that job.
- Kevin Youkilis- I'm not against Youk, at least not as much as I was before. His OBP and home run numbers make it a solid move. I fear his clubhouse issues from Boston, and his falling average, but he'd still be a more dynamic offensive presence than we've had at third in a while.
- Angel Pagan- He lead the league in triples, plays a really solid outfield, steals bags, and just won a World Series. He'd be higher if I didn't remember him as a Met.
- Mike Gonzalez- Say what? Say why not. The lefty would be a good addition to the back-end of the pen, having been a successful set-up man, lefty-specialist, and closer.