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Hot Stove Special: Remaining Free Agent Hitters

In this special, we break down the remaining free agent hitters heading into the new year. Be sure to stay tuned for the pitching edition, coming soon.

Top names like Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, Aramis Ramirez, and Carlos Beltran may be gone, but that doesn't mean that your favorite team is out of options. There are still plenty of solid hitters remaining on the free agent market. Below, like at the beginning of the Hot Stove season, is a position by position breakdown of remaining free agents. Coming soon: Remaining Pitching Free Agents.

Catchers

Jorge Posada

2011 stats: 14 HR, 44 RBI, .235 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 40.

The catching department, which began shallow, has only shrunk with Ryan Doumit, Ramon Hernandez and Rod Barajas signed to new teams. The veteran Posada is arguably the best bet for a team looking for catching depth, but he spent much of last season as a DH and more than likely could not catch every day. The Rays are reportedly interested in his services.

Chris Snyder

2011 stats: 3 HR, 17 RBI, .271 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 31.

Snyder is on the decline, but he is only one year removed from hitting 15 home runs in 2010, albeit while batting .207. If he can stay healthy, he could be a solid platoon option.

First Basemen

Prince Fielder

2011 stats: 38 HR, 120 RBI, .299 AVG, 1 SB, 2012 age: 28.

Prince, widely regarded as the top free agent left, will boost a team's offense exponentially from the middle of the order. A proven power hitter, you can't go wrong with signing him. The Cubs and Rangers are interested in his services while the Mariners have reportedly shown interest, though GM Jack Zduriencik has shot down speculations.

Carlos Pena  

2011 stats: 28 HR, 80 RBI, .225 AVG, 2 SB, 2012 age: 34.

Carlos won't provide nearly as much as Fielder would, but if a team is looking for power and doesn't want to dish out too much Princely money, Pena is the way to go.  

Casey Kotchman

2011 stats: 10 HR, 48 RBI, .306 AVG, 2 SB, 2012 age: 29.

Kotchman's name has not popped up in headlines this offseason, but the veteran can and will bring solid defense with a well-rounded bat to whichever team he joins.

Second Basemen

Jeff Keppinger

2011 stats: 6 HR, 35 RBI, .277 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 32.

Non-tendered by the Giants in December, Kepp is a consistent contact hitter who can play anywhere in the infield. He owns a .281 career average.

Ryan Theriot

2011 stats: 1 HR, 47 RBI, .271 AVG, 4 SB, 2012 age: 32.

The Louisiana native has been up and down throughout his career, but provides a solid middle infield option who can start or back-up.

Shortstops

Orlando Cabrera

2011 stats: 5 HR, 51 RBI, .238 AVG, 8 SB, 2012 age: 37.

With shortstops Alex Gonzalez, Jimmy Rollins, Jose Reyes and Yuniesky Betancourt all off the market, O-Cab becomes the top shortstop left on the market. Though not a top of the order catalyst or middle of the order bopper, Cabrera would provide depth in the middle infield.

Third Basemen

Wilson Betemit

2011 stats: 8 HR, 46 RBI, .285 AVG, 4 SB, 2012 age: 30.

Betemit is a contact hitter who can provide some occasional pop, and with Aramis Ramirez in Milwaukee, he is cleared as the top third baseman left.  

Greg Dobbs

2011 stats: 8 HR, 49 RBI, .275 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 33-34.

Dobbs is basically a less experienced Wilson Betemit who typically plays off the bench while earning spot starts here and there. Though he does not lack Betemit's years, Dobbs has never been a full time starter in his eight year career.

Outfielders

Yoennis Cespedes

2011 stats (Cuban League): 33 HR, 99 RBI, .333 AVG, 11 SB, 2012 age: 26.

Well, he's not a free agent yet, but the Cuban phenom is expected to become one sometime this month. A five-tool player, Cespedes could fit onto any team and that lucky team will not be disappointed. Any team in need of an outfielder should seriously consider Cespedes, which translates to "Grasses" in Spanish. 

Coco Crisp

2011 stats: 8 HR, 54 RBI, .264 AVG, 49 SB, 2012 age: 32.

Crisp is an average hitter, but has electrifying speed. Tying with Brett Gardner to lead the AL in steals last season, Crisp could be a leadoff option or bat in the lower-third of the lineup.

Johnny Damon

2011 stats: 16 HR, 73 RBI, .261 AVG, 19 SB, 2012 age: 38.

Damon, despite nearing 40 years old, has shown with every new team he plays for that he still has enough left in the tank to take on a full time role. He stole his 400th career base last season.

Cody Ross

2011 stats: 14 HR, 52 RBI, .240 AVG, 5 SB, 2012 age: 31.

Ross is five or six type hitter with 20 home run potential. The hero in the Giants 2010 World Series run, Ross had an off-year last season, but he is hoping to get back to the form that allowed him to hit 24 home runs in 2009.

Raul Ibanez

2011 stats: 20 HR, 84 RBI, .245 AVG, 2 SB, 2012 age: 40.

Though past his prime, Ibanez could still be a solid platoon option or could assume an every day role if need be. Set to turn 40 in June, he shouldn't require more than a one- or two-year deal.

Juan Pierre

2011 stats: 2 HR, 50 RBI, .279 AVG, 27 SB, 2012 age: 34.

Pierre may not be able to serve an everyday role because of his subpar defense, but could be an excellent pinch running or hitting option. 

Hideki Matsui

2011 stats: 12 HR, 72 RBI, .251 AVG, 1 SB, 2012 age: 36.

Godzilla is looking to join his fourth team in as many years and will provide a power bat to whichever team signs him.

-- 
Teams followed in this update: Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves

If your team is not included, please leave a comment.

HR: home runs. RBI: runs batted in. AVG: batting average. SB: stolen bases. ERA: earned run average. BAA: batting average against. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage

Zack Silverman

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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