Last year, the MLB free agent market took awhile to get sorted out. After New Year's Day, a number of free agents finally signed that would have a huge impact on the 2012 season, including Fernando Rodney, Coco Crisp, Hisashi Iwakuma, Darren Oliver, Wei-Yin Chen, Norchika Aoki, Yu Darvish, Hiroki Kuroda, Cody Ross, Yoenis Cespdes, and of course, Prince Fielder (among many others).
But this winter, things are a little different. Of Keith Law's top 50 free agents (Insider required), just six of the top 30 and 11 of the top 50 players don't have homes yet. There is also a glut of top players available at certain positions, and a complete lack of players available at others. For instance, do you want a reliever? No problem, we've got veteran closers like Matt Capps, Francisco Cordero, Francisco Rodriguez, Kyle Farnsworth, Rafael Soriano, Jose Valverde, Brandon Lyon, Kevin Gregg, Bobby Jenks, and Jon Rauch available, as well as lefties like Mike Gonzalez, JP Howell, Manny Parra, and Hisanori Takahashi. But if you're looking for a corner outfielder, you're essentially looking at bench playrs like Scott Hairston, Juan Rivera, Austin Kearns, Kosuke Fukudome, and Bobby Abreu. Not exactly a buyer's market at this point in the year.
There are still some great options left on the market, and here's the "best of what's left" at every position.
Catcher: I really hope you don't need a starter behind the plate, because your best options are Rod Barajas, Jesus Flores, Miguel Olivo, Kelly Shoppach, Chris Snyder, and Yorvit Torreabla. Shoppach and Olivo were the only ones that played above replacement level in 2012, and Olivo was barely over the neutral mark. So uh...good luck with that.
First Base: Adam LaRoche is still out there, but the odds are that he'll return to the Nationals, which would make Michael Morse expendable for Washington. But if LaRoche does go back to Washington, and you don't want to pay the price in young talent for Morse, there are a few veterans still on the free agent market that could interest some teams, like Lance Berkman, Aubrey Huff, Casey Kotchman, and Carlos Lee. Of course, Berkman and Huff barely played in 2012, and Kotchman and Lee were awful, so it's not as if any of that quartet would be a good consolation prize.