The free agent market officially opened for business at 12:01am last night, but no, the Yankees haven’t signed Cliff Lee yet. Hardy har har.
Anyway, Keith Law posted his list of the top 50 free agents last night, and of course topping the list is Mr. Lee. Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, Adrian Beltre, and Victor Martinez round out the top five. All three articles (1-10, 11-30, 31-50) are Insider only, but I can tell you that seven Yankee free agents made the list: Andy Pettitte (“should give [a team] 25 to 30 starts without drama”) comes in at number nine, Derek Jeter (“does still hit left-handed pitching well and has an excellent feel for the game”) at #13, Mariano Rivera (“batters know the cutter is coming and still can’t do much except wave at it”) at #18, Kerry Wood (“very respectable eighth-inning guy who can close in a pinch”) at #33, Lance Berkman (“he has value for his ability to get on base and his average power”) at #44, Nick Johnson (“standard ‘if healthy’ disclaimer”) at #48, and Javy Vazquez (“perhaps an offseason of rest will see his fastball tick back up”) at #50. A few former Yanks also made the cut, namely Carl Pavano (#7), Jake Westbrook (#10), Johnny Damon (#27), and Hideki Matsui (#46).
I recommend reading all the capsules if you have Insider, it’s a great look into a free agent class that frankly seems rather shallow after the top 15 or so players. In fact, ten of the last 16 players on the list are basically middle relievers, maybe setup men or capital-C closers. I guess it’s just a down year when Juan Uribe is one of the 20 best free agents.