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Best remaining free agents

By January 2, 2013

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More than half of the free agents who will be signed this season have been signed, and unlike last season, more of the big names are off the board. Four of the top five remaining free agents are clients of agent Scott Boras, which isn't a surprise. A look at the best of what's left:

1. Michael Bourn: The market hasn't been there for Bourn so far, and this Boras client should find a home soon. Speed guys don't historically translate well into their 30s, and Bourn turned 30 last week.

2. Adam LaRoche: The Nationals moved on with Michael Morse moving to first base. The Rangers certainly need a bat or two, so he would seem like a fit there as an upgrade over Mitch Moreland. And yes, he's a Boras client.

3. Rafael Soriano: The Yankees' fill-in closer last season is still looking for that ideal spot. He's by far the best reliever on the market right now. Soriano, yet another Boras client, could have taken $14 million for this season and stuck with the Yankees as a setup guy/Mariano Rivera fall-back, but the long-term deal hasn't been there, especially since the team that signs him must surrender a first-round pick.

4. Shaun Marcum: He's stuck in neutral as well, with perhaps teams worried about his arm injury history. The Indians were kicking the tires before deciding on Brett Myers instead. The 31-year-old starter will get a flier from somebody, but probably nor for more than a year or two.

5. Kyle Lohse: Went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA last season, a career year at the same time he's a free agent. But he's 34, and the odds of him repeating that seem remote, which is perhaps why he's still out there. And yes, he's another Boras client.

6. Mike Napoli: Seemed he was destined for the Boston Red Sox just a week or two ago on a three-year deal, but contract language has been the hangup. If the Red Sox bail, they could go after LaRoche instead.

7. Delmon Young: The ALCS MVP obviously can hit, but he's also had issues off the field. And he's not a great fielder, which dramatically limits his potential suitors. It's either a team that needs a DH (not many) or is willing to overlook his deficiencies (not many).

8. Joe Saunders: A left-handed innings-eater, he'll be pitching in the majors for many years to come, barring injury, because he's a decent .500-ish lefty. Just hasn't found the right home yet. Could be back in Baltimore.

9. Francisco Rodriguez: The all-time single-season saves leader was an overpaid setup guy in Milwaukee, and his off-field issues don't make him a fan favorite, either. There's a glut of relievers still out there that needs to sort itself out before K-Rod finds a 2013 home.

10. Jose Valverde: If you get the 2011 Valverde, it's a bargain at this point. If you get the 2012 Valverde who lost his closing job in the playoffs, he's not even worthy of being on this list.

Top 40 free agents of 2013 (with contracts)

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