With the 2008 rankings in the books — yo it’s in the books, ya’ll! — we set our eyes on the top free agents during this 2008 offseason. First we look at some hitter free agents and how they might be affected for fantasy baseball purposes. This won’t be a list of all the free agent hitters. If you want that, it’s here. This is just a list of some of the bigger free agent hitters that I feel like discussing and how their free agency may affect them for 2009. Also, this list won’t mention any guys that are potentially moving this offseason via trade. I hear Billy Butler might be traded so that might affect his 2009, but he won’t be mentioned here, except, ya know, right there where I just mentioned him. Anyway, here’s the top 2008 free agents, the hitters’ edition:
Manny Ramirez – His move from the hitter’s park of Fenway to the pitcher’s park of Dodgers Stadium showed that wherever he ends up, he can hit. I’m more worried about motivation for Manny in 2009. Depending on the scope of the deal he eventually lands, he may phone-in the rest of his career. Yo, career, this is Manny. I’m not playing today. I’m IM’ing with Big Papi. Say hello to your mother for me.
Mark Teixeira – The lineup Teixeira ends up in could have a factor on his 2009 production, but Teixeira flip-flops leagues and hits fine — just not as much as he supposedly can. I say “supposedly can” because somewhere along the line he was labeled a 45 home run guy. He’s not a 45 home run guy, unless he goes to Coors.
Milton Bradley – He was in a great hitter’s park in 2008 — See 2005 and 2006 Teixeira — and Bradley’s an injury flake. Don’t let a Major League team overpaying this offseason for Bradley convince you you need him on your fantasy team. Sorry, Milton Bradley is not fun for all ages.
Pat Burrell – Be interesting to see the Mets make a run for Pat the Bat just so they can avoid facing him. Burrell will potentially lose a few home runs with a move, but he’s 30/95/.250 hitter just about everywhere — for at least another couple of years.
Bobby Abreu – If he goes to, say, the Mariners — yuck. If Abreu goes to the Padres — yuck with two sides of blech. Leaving the Yankees could hurt Abreu’s value. If you’re considering keeping him, you need to keep this in mind.