Five players and their current status are outlined below.
Carlos Lee, First Baseman
The 36-year-old is about three seasons removed from his prime, and won’t get anything close to the $18.5 million he earned last season between Houston and Miami. Still any club looking for a decent bat that can still cover first could be interested.
Milwaukee lost first baseman Mat Gamel to a torn ACL for all of 2013, and Lee might be an excellent fill-in.
Freddy Sanchez, Second baseman
Due to his advanced age and year and a half away from the field after a scary shoulder dislocation, Sanchez may not be thrown into the infield right away, but the three-time All-Star and with a career .297 average could be a top pinch hitter in the NL.
Several clubs reportedly asked to see Sanchez’s medical records, and he does not want to retire. A return stint with San Francisco probably won’t be the best route back in the majors, but St. Louis was also in the market for a second baseman, and came up short on many offers this winter.
Scott Rolen, Third baseman
Rolen declined an invitation to Cincinnati’s Spring Training camp, and hits the market as the only third baseman in history with 2,000 hits, 500 doubles, 300 home runs, 1,200 RBIs, and six Gold Gloves, according to ESPN.com.
His shoulder and back are highly questionable, though two of his four seasons with the Reds resulted in All-Star appearances and some MVP votes in 2010. Rolen may be removed from those years, but that hasn’t stopped speculation he could land with the Boston Red Sox.
Kyle Lohse, starting pitcher
The best starter left on the market is hurt by his age (34) and the first-round draft pick clubs would have to surrender to the Cardinals should they sign him. He led the NL with an .842 winning percentage in 33 starts.
St. Louis rival Milwaukee has emerged as a leader to sign Lohse, especially with their troubled staff holding back the NL’s most potent offense in 2012.
Grady Sizemore, Outfielder
Sizemore burst into the majors in 2004, and went on to earn MVP votes for four consecutive seasons.
But he has played in 104 total games the last two seasons, posting a combined .218 average in that time. He’s still considered to be one of the better outfielders left on the market, even while he recovers from a second microfracture knee surgery.
Several reports suggest Sizemore will wait until midseason to join a club.