MLB Trade Rumors released a note about where they predict the top 50 free agents will end up signing this off-season. I've highlighted the ones that will have an effect on the Giants.
3. Jason Bay - Red Sox. It's been rumored the Red Sox are willing to offer four years and $60MM to Bay. That seems to be a fair opening bid, given his defensive struggles.
I hope this is not what ends up happening, as Jason Bay is the premier free agent that I can see the Giants acquiring this off-season. Bay ending up as a Giants is very unlikely (seeing as he is a very sought-after FA), however I really want him on this team, and I am sure the Giants brass is keeping a close eye on him as well.
9. Adrian Beltre - Twins. The Twins made a large upgrade at shortstop by acquiring J.J. Hardy. Beltre would give them fantastic left-side infield defense and another possible 20 home run bat. The Twins had interest in trading for Beltre a year ago, though the Scott Boras client added them to his no-trade clause.
I have no idea how likely it is that Beltre will end up as a Giants. If this is any indicator he probably won't. However, it would be a nice move seeing as we could then send Pablo over to first base. I don't know how keen on this the Giants brass is though.
16. Nick Johnson - Giants. A jolt of OBP at first base would do the Giants good. They were involved in talks for Johnson around the trade deadline.
I am not sure how I feel about Nick Johnson coming over to the Giants. He is a very disciplined hitter (something very few Giants are capable of). His very good OBP is something this team really needs, and it certainly would make up a much better team. However, I just don't want to try to get OBP from a first baseman. I am not ready to give up on Garko or Ishikawa. I think both of these guys (Garko moreso than Ishi) have the potential to be great starters. I would feel better about getting an upgrade elsewhere (outfield). However, if Nick Johnson is the best FA the Giants can get, then let's bring him on.
21. Adam LaRoche - Braves. Did LaRoche's scorching stint with the Braves last year price him out of their range? The Mets, Orioles, A's, Mariners, Giants, D'Backs, and Rangers might also be in the market for a first baseman.
If the Giants are going to be looking for an upgrade at firstbase, Adam LaRoche might be an option if Nick Johnson does not work or (or is LaRoche comes with a cheaper price tag). He has a nice career .834 OPS, which would be very welcome on the Giants. Keep this guy in mind. I have the same problems with LaRoche that I have with Johnson.
25. Brad Penny - Mets. Penny is just one of many different arms the Mets might consider as they attempt to bolster their rotation depth. No other free agent starter throws harder, so Penny's upside is still tantalizing.
He was awesome with the Giants. I'm sad to see him leave, if in fact he does not resign with the Giants. Our rotation won't be as awesome as it was at the end of the season with him.
28. Bengie Molina - Nationals. Molina is difficult to place, especially if he demands more than $5MM. With Jesus Flores coming off shoulder surgery, the Nats will probably add a veteran on a one-year deal. The Mets also may sign a catcher.
Big Money might fit in well with the power-hitting Nationals. Again, sad to see this guy go, but his time with the Giants is definitely up. Time for Buster to step in.
38. Juan Uribe - Mariners. Uribe was quietly very valuable in 2009, playing all around the infield for the Giants. Uribe's shortstop-third base flexibility could fit for Seattle.
A very good player. This guy deserves a starting position. If the Mariners are going to give him that, then he more than deserves it and at a good price. He was very good with the Giants and I have nothing but love for this guy.
40. Jermaine Dye - Rangers. The Rangers signing both Byrd and Dye might be a stretch, though Dye should be used strictly at DH. Given his second half decline he should be affordable.
There is talk that this guy could be a pickup for the Giants if Bay does not work out. I am really against this. His defense is just awful (worse than Bay's apparently) and he is getting old. Injury prone as well. Just say no to Dye.
48. Xavier Nady - Diamondbacks. The D'Backs will probably tender a contract to Conor Jackson, but Nady could still be helpful at first base and left field. He's a Scott Boras client, but he missed most of the season due to Tommy John surgery.
A backup option if Bay does not pan out. Nady has two problems: he is a Scott Boras client and he is injury prone.