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Top 50 Free Agents: 21-30

21. Greg Maddux, Padres

He will keep pitching until he can’t, and he still can. The Padres love his veteran presence and his performance on the mound and will probably give him another one year deal, worth 8-10 million dollars.

Prediction: Padres

22. David Eckstein, Cardinals

The Cardinals would love to have him back but there has been no indication that he is leaning towards it. He has said he would love to be there, but if they do not overwhelm him with a contract he will leave. I think teams like the White Sox or Tigers might offer big for someone like Eckstein, and he may walk. But now that the Tigers have acquire Renteria, it leaves the White Sox as the front-runner.

Prediction: White Sox

23. Michael Barrett, Padres

Michael Barrett had an off year this year but is definitely a prospect to break out. I expect the Mets, Marlins, and Rockies to be most interested, but we’ll see what happens. There has been no indication that the Padres would like to keep Barrett, so it looks like they will take their chances.

Prediction: Marlins [Updated on 11/02]

24. Luis Castillo, Mets

Castillo did very well for the Mets and I am sure they will try to bring him back, but I think it depends how the Mets view their future. He has said he does not want to test the market, but instead sign with the Mets long term.

Prediction: Mets

25. Tomohiro Nioka, Japan

The Pirates may look to trade Jack Wilson this off season for pitching, and I think it makes sense that they sign this veteran shortstop out of Japan. He knows how to play and I think he would put up numbers considerable to Akinori Iwamura’s. It wouldn’t take much to sign him, and worst comes to worst they end up splitting time with one of their utility infielders.

Prediction: Pirates

26. Joe Borowski, Indians

Borowski was great for the Indians and they will probably give him one more year before they look elsewhere.

Prediction: Indians

27. Barry Bonds, Giants

There are few teams that are interested in bringing in Barry Bonds. They include the Tigers, Twins, and Angels. If I were the Twins, I would bring him in to play DH, but at a much reduced price loaded with incentives. I do not see Bonds accepting anything too low, so he might retire. However, he wants the 3000 hit mark-and will play just one more year to get it.

Prediction: Twins

28. Scott Hatteberg, Reds

Probably in his last year, but will be kept to platoon with Votto to ease him in. Hatteberg still has a good bat, and will definitely contribute for the Reds.

Prediction: Reds

29. Hiroki Kuroda, Japan

Kuroda is starting to draw a lot of interest from the Red Sox and Cubs. The Mariners are remaining quiet, but I expect them to go hard for him as soon as it is allowed. I think he might want to go to the Red Sox, but the Cubs tried to sign him last year and I think they will try again.

Prediction: Cubs

30. Kenny Lofton, Indians

Kenny Lofton has not lost a step, and will enter the market looking for a team who needs a one year guy. The Orioles are an option because they have holes, while the Mariners, Brewers, and Athletics remain options as well. I think the Orioles will be able to keep Patterson, but Payton and Gibbons were not impressive and Lofton would provide a one year guy to hold that spot and allow the Orioles to look around for a long term player.

Prediction: Orioles