We have all heard the big names of this 2010 free agent class. Everybody knows about Cliff Lee, Adrian Beltre, Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford and Victor Martinez. Jorge de la Rosa's name has been bandied about. Carl Pavano is a free agent. Those two might get some buzz. But who are the sleepers? Who are the free agents that will surprise us with good seasons to help someone in a pennant run? Who will be 2011's Aubrey Huff, Melvin Mora, Adrian Beltre and Colby Lews that out of nowhere gets picked up and helps a team drive toward the playoffs? You know they're out there. Huff and Mora are free agents again. Here are a few who could have an impact:
Lance Berkman: Berkman has been slowed a lot by injuries the past few seasons. His body seems to be brittle at times which has made him age faster than some. But this writer still believes he can really help someone. Berkman would prefer not to be a full time DH, which limits him to the National League. But there are plenty of teams he can help. If Adam Dunn goes elsewhere, Washington is a possibility. The Bay Rays need a first baseman and a DH. This Fan thinks Berkman is going to have a very good season.
Lyle Overbay: The Fan has picked on Overbay in the past. He was over paid with the Blue Jays, but he has some nice qualifications. He gets his fair share of walks, still has pop in his bat and plays a pretty decent first base. He is an excellent option for the Bay Rays to replace Pena. He would easily be an upgrade over what Pena has done the past couple of years. Overbay can help somebody at the right price.
Magglio Ordonez: This Fan isn't sure most people know how good this guy's career line is. His career slash line: .312/.371/.511. A lot will depend on the health of his ankle and how much he is willing to take a pay cut from his far out contract of recent years. But he could help the Padres, the Pirates and the Athletics. He might have one more good year left in him if he is in the right situation.
Manny Ramirez: Yes, the Fan knows. He really does. But what if his down season last year really was due to injury? What if he could land in the right place and hit somewhere near three quarters of his lifetime averages? Couldn't that help somebody? Who knows if anyone wants the potential headaches, but Manny just might not be done.
Brandon Webb: Webb has missed a lot of time due to various injuries. But if he can come back near to his form, he could really help someone. The Twins, with their spacious ball park (somewhat like San Diego) would be an ideal place for him. The Cardinals could probably figure out how to make him effective again. It just seems like Webb will end up someplace and do well.
Kevin Millwood: Yeah, he's scary, eh? But put him in the right situation like maybe St. Louis or Minnesota and Millwood could have a very good season. He'll never be lights out, but he can get you some innings and keep you in the game.
Chirs Capuano: Capuano finally looked healthy last year after several years on the shelf. He was rusty after such a prolonged absence, but looked better as the season went along. In the right situation, Capuano could have a very nice season for somebody.