Players filed for free agency yesterday, 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 left fielders.
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.
There are no elite players in this year’s group of free agent left fielders, but there are some intriguing players.
Josh Willingham tops the list, as the 32-year-old has proven throughout his career that he is more than capable with the bat. After another solid year, Willingham has now posted OPS’s north of .810 for six straight seasons. Despite playing half of his games in Oakland, Willingham tallied career highs in home runs (29) and RBI’s (98).
Beyond Willingham, there are some other options, but they all come with question marks. Raul Ibanez had another 20 home run, 80+ RBI season in Philadelphia, but how much does the 39-year-old have left in the tank? Ryan Ludwick and Jonny Gomes have had their moments, but each has struggled in recent years.
It will be interesting to see where these second-tier guys end up and how much they are able to contribute in 2012.