After the Encarnacion signing, AA has a lot of options as to filling out the rest of his roster. 3B remains the key issue, but we can also consider 1B, DH, and LF/RF as 'open.' AA has said he won't build using free agency, however, leaving a route closed is hardly profitable or reasonable. So using a handy tool known as a free agent tracker, compiled by Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan, here's a list of free agent that are still available at the positions metioned, and whether or not I believe that they'd fit well with the team.
Adrian Beltre, 3B - The skill is there with the bat. The glove is nothing special. He'll want a long term deal after his big year in Boston, and that would scare me off. If he takes a year to be a stopgap and give Brett Lawrie a little more time, I'm all for it. Which he won't, so don't blow your cash.
Manny Ramirez, DH - Farrell likes him. BBB seems to like him. I don't. He's aging, he's been linked to steroids, and he wouldn't fit well with the direction this team wants to take, which is building up players, not acquiring declining players who aren't going to be good when we are competing. If he was in his prime I'd be all for it. He's only getting worse, however, and this is one old horse we shouldn't be betting on.
Derrek Lee, 1B - OK bat. Decent glove. Good power. Not bad. But he'd just be a stopgap at first or the DH who sees some time on the bag. I'd be OK with him on a two-year deal max.
Adam LaRoche, 1B - An upgrade over Lyle. Again, two years max.
Jim Thome, DH - One of those guys who seems to defy age...unlike Manny, he hasn't been linked to steroids and he's known all around the league as a good clubhouse guy. Like Manny, he couldn't really do anything other than DH. I've had a soft spot for him for years, but I gotta say no.
Vladimir Guerrero, DH - Wouldn't that be ironic....the guy I watched hammer the Jays routinely while with the Expos come back and DH for us. No likey though...he runs like my grandmother, and once he gets into a funk, he's got nothing.
Johnny Damon, OF/DH - He's not bad...I'm surprised he hasn't gotten a deal yet, to be honest. I'd prefer it not be from us though. He's got the power, he has some legs left so he could stick in a corner spot, I just have this nagging feeling he's going to break down this year.
Russell Branyan, 1B/DH - He turned 35 last week and is an injury risk. Has some pop, but I'll pass, thanks.
Brad Hawpe, OF - Early washout? Seems that way...he's only 31. AA's gone the low risk route before with guys like Morrow and Gonzalez, maybe Hawpe fits his mold? I'd rather not take that particular chance, thanks.
Jorge Cantu, 3B/1B - Already discussed. Consensus appeared to be no. I'm wouldn't rule him out, myself. He's 28, and has some ability.
Nick Johnsno, DH - The typo was intentional.
Troy Glaus, 1B/DH - We tried that already...
Jerry Hairston, Jr., IF - He could play third. Or we could save our money and put JonnyMac there...nevermind, he could play third. Honestly, he's a career utility guy. I'll pass.
Orlando Cabrera, IF - Let's all start drinking should this come to pass...
Andruw Jones, OF - Could play either corner, is still 33, and might come cheap. If he meets that last one, give him a year or two.
Conclusion- not a lot left out there. I wouldn't mind Lee or LaRoche, and I won't be outright P.O.'d about Andruw Jones or Jorge Cantu. Other than that, steer clear of FAs.