Free Agent Predictions: 1B/DH, Catcher

A weak market for first baseman and designated hitters is backed up, literally and figuratively, by a strong crop of catchers.

Top 10 1B/DH
NO. PLAYER TEAM CONTRACT M's Factor
1 Paul Konerko Chicago 4/$47m 0%
2 J.T. Snow San Francisco 2/$10m 0%
3 John Olerud Toronto 1/$4m 0%
4 Frank Thomas Chicago 1+/$3m+ 0%
5 Carl Everett Baltimore 2/$11m 1%
6 Tino Martinez Baltimore 1/$4m 1%
7 Erubiel Durazo Chicago 1/$2.5m 0%
8 Travis Lee Oakland 1/$2m 1%
9 Kevin Millar Minnesota 1/$2.5m 2%
10 Wes Helms St. Louis 1/$2m 10%
Top 8 Catchers
NO. PLAYER TEAM CONTRACT M's Factor
1 Ramon Hernandez Arizona 3+/$22+ 2%
1 Bengie Molina NY Mets 3/$23 0%
3 Kenji Johjima Seattle 3/$16m 85%
4 Mike Piazza Toronto 2/$11m 0%
5 Brad Ausmus Houston 1+/$3.5m 0%
6 Todd Pratt San Diego 1/$2m 0%
7 Einar Diaz Philadelphia 1/$1.5m 0%
8 Gary Bennett Baltimore 1/$1m 0%

With Richie Sexson entrenched at first base and so many other areas of need, the M's are likely to be a dormant buyer in these two areas.

Konerko will have many suitors, including Boston and Anaheim, but in the end the Angels have other answers at first base, primarily uber prospect Casey Kotchman, for the ripe old price of $316,000, and the Red Sox have a bullpen to fix first.

If Boston can deal Manny Ramirez early enough this winter, they will become the frontrunner for Konerko, but until then, the Pale Hose are his most likely landing place.

The catching market is pretty good, considering there are four legit starters, including Johjima. With Piazza, who wants to catch, landing in the AL is a certainty so the future Hall of Famer can DH at least half the time.

Pratt is the best of the backup catchers on the market and could be thrust into a starting role somewhere.

Hernandez and Molina have many of the same suitors, including the free spending ways of the New York Mets.

One of them is likely to sign in New York, and the other will choose between Arizona, Houston, Baltimore, Toronto and the Dodgers.

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