Last winter, having already signed CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett to multi-million, multi-year contracts, Brian Cashman made a sudden and aggressive push for Mark Teixeira. Three huge signings in one winter — plus a trade for Nick Swisher — were made partially because Cashman looked ahead to this free agent class and realized it wasn’t nearly as strong as last year’s group. The time to make big moves was last year.
Might this winter call for the opposite thinking? Is this a time to think small with an eye on next year?
The list of potential free agents after the 2010 season includes MVPs Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer — each of whom could very easily re-sign before actually hitting the market — as well as names like Carlos Pena, Victor Martinez, Carl Crawford, Adam Dunn, Josh Beckett, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Javier Vazquez, Brandon Webb and Huston Street. Players like Kerry Wood, Magglio Ordonez and Lance Berkman have options that might or might not be picked up for 2011. Some of those guys will never actually make it to free agency, but it’s an awfully strong group.
Oh, and there are these two names to consider as well: Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.