|The Reiter 50: Ranking Top Free Agents|
|The fourth annual Reiter 50 -- SI.com's ranking of the top 50 domestic players likely to be available on the free-agent market, which officially opens in full at 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday -- is extremely top-heavy, even without the weighty presence of CC Sabathia. The big lefty, who would have been No. 2 on this list, signed a new five-year, $122 million contract with the Yankees on Monday night, which will keep him as New York's ace. But even if he had become a free agent, there was little chance that he would have ended up pitching anywhere but New York, just as the odds that Albert Pujols -- the Reiter 50's clear-cut No. 1 -- leaving St. Louis went from negligible to infinitesimal with the Cardinals' improbable World Series run.|
The real No. 1, then, is the Brewers' Prince Fielder, and he and Mets shortstop Jose Reyes are the only genuinely available free agents who look like possible future MVP's. There are no likely future Cy Young award winners and that is good news for the Rangers' C.J. Wilson, whose services will be in high demand. The market is saturated with good closers, outfielders and first basemen, but features few answers for those in need of someone who can play second base, third base or, certainly, catcher.
Still, while there are few superstars who might by themselves spark a championship run, there are many productive regulars available who might bolster one. Teams will be hunting for the next Lance Berkman, who far outplayed the one-year, $8 million contract that the Cardinals gave him last December, winning Comeback Player of the Year honors, helping St. Louis to a title and earning a new, one-year, $12 million deal along the way. Below you will find the best 50 players who will be available to the highest bidder this winter.
|Top Free Agents: 26-50|