Chart: Free-agent talent available this winter

  • Updated: September 21, 2013 - 8:22 PM

AVAILABLE FOR A PRICE

Free-agent signings can energize a fan base, because they provide an influx of talent without giving up anything but money. But even if the Twins suddenly became uncharacteristically aggressive in the free-agent market, they would find it difficult to fill their shopping list. Which might be why General Manager Terry Ryan said last week that “if we’re going to do anything … it’s probably not going to be in free agency.” A look at some of the free-agent talent available this winter to address their most pressing needs:

OUTFIELD

Age and injuries make the choices risky for the Twins, who figure to have several prospects arriving in the next two to three years. Among the possibilities (statistics through Friday):

Shin-Soo Choo. Little chance the Reds will let the Korean slugger get away after hitting 21 home runs and putting up a .426 on-base percentage.

David DeJesus. His $6.5 million option may be too pricey for the Rays, and at 33, he’s no longer a leadoff hitter. But 33 extra-base hits in 400 plate appearances, and the ability to play all three positions, could make him a good option for a year or two.

David Murphy. His 2012 season, with an .859 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, was All-Star level for the Rangers. His 2013, when both percentages fell by 100 points, makes him expendable. But he’s only 31.

THIRD BASE

Virtually every free agent is 35 or older, making them poor risks. Among them: Placido Polanco, Michael Young, Kevin Youkilis, Eric Chavez, Juan Uribe. There is one exception: 30-year-old Mark Reynolds, cut by Cleveland in August and picked up by the Yankees. But he owns one of the highest strikeout rates in history, a bad fit on a Twins team that already makes too little contact.

STARTING PITCHING

No position is riskier or more expensive, but there is some talent in this pool, including a couple of former Cy Young Award winners in Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum. The latter is intriguing, since he’s only 29, but he earned $22 million this year and posted a 4.40 ERA. Perhaps more realistically:

Scott Feldman. He’s only 30 and owns a 4.13 ERA over the past three seasons with fewer than one homer per nine innings, despite playing in home-run bandboxes for the Rangers, Cubs and Orioles.

Phil Hughes. The Twins discussed acquiring him during the Johan Santana talks six years ago, but he never lived up to his first-round promise with the Yankees, posting ERAs above 5.00 two of the past three years. Still, he is only 27, and a significantly better pitcher (a 4.10 career ERA) away from Yankee Stadium.

Joba Chamberlain. Another Yankees disappointment, he is only 28; the Nebraska native might fare better outside New York. It’s a risk, since Yankees stuck him in the bullpen, where he has averaged only 40 innings for four years. But his ERA was 4.18 as a starter, with a high strikeout rate (and walk rate, too).

Ervin Santana. Still only 30, he posted a 3.16 ERA for the Royals in almost 200 innings, a high point in an up-and-down career. He’s homer-prone, but Target Field would help with that. He earned $13 million this season, and will be looking for a raise, so it would require a non-Twins-like commitment.

Phil Miller

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Houston - S. Feldman
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Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 23 4th Qtr 1:53
UCF 17
Troy 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
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(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Colorado 3:00 PM
Seattle
New England 4:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
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