Players filed for free agency today, and Major League Baseball has released its list of its 2012 free agents. Clubs have exclusive negotiating rights with their players until Thursday, when they will be able to sign with any team. Here is a look at the 2012 free agent class of first basemen.
Players and teams have until Monday night to make decisions regarding their options. Players with either club and/or their own options are in italics.
This is the big group of 2012. To see this, you don’t have to look any farther than the top two names of this free agent list; Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.
The duo led all National League first basemen in home runs and each posted OPS’s north of .900. Both of these guys are certain to get paid, as Fielder is set to move on from the club that drafted him while Pujols is expected to remain in St. Louis.
Beyond the pair, there are some second tier options for clubs to pursue. Michael Cuddyer, Casey Kotchman, and Carlos Pena all had solid 2011 seasons that could earn them multi-year deals. Pena hit 28 bombs and posted an OPS of .819, Kotchman had a career year in Tampa and Cuddyer led the Twins in several offensive categories including hits (150) , home runs (20) and on base percentage (.346).