As I have done here each of the last four years, I'm going to run a contest, beginning today, matching the MLB.com Free Agent Frenzy contest.
The rules are pretty simple. You'll find, after the jump, the 15 free agents that MLB.com lists in its contest. Choose the team you think the free agent is going to sign with, and your "confidence" level expressed in a point value. In other words, if you are absolutely, positively certain that Mark DeRosa is going to return to the Cubs (NOTE! Joke! I'm not suggesting this, just using it as an example), you'd assign that pick 15 points. If you'd love to see Aroldis Chapman in a Cubs uniform, but you think that's extremely unlikely, give that pick one point.
Leave your picks in the comments to this post. We'll have the same deadline for picks as the MLB.com contest: one week from today, 4 pm CST on Monday, November 23. A winner will be chosen after all 15 free agents are signed. I'll need a volunteer to keep track of the entries -- and incidentally, because one of the players in last year's contest (Ben Sheets) never signed, we never did choose a winner. If someone wants to go through last year's entries and let me know who won, I'll send out the prize -- same prize this year as last, a copy of "The Cubs", a comprehensive history of the Cubs by Glenn Stout. Like the MLB.com contest, if any of these free agents remains unsigned on March 1, we'll declare the contest over and name a winner.
Here are the 15 players for this year's contest:
Jason Bay, OF Erik Bedard, SP Russell Branyan, 1B Aroldis Chapman, SP Johnny Damon, OF Mark DeRosa, 3B Jermaine Dye, OF Chone Figgins, 3B Vladimir Guerrero, DH Rich Harden, SP Matt Holliday, OF John Lackey, SP Hideki Matsui, DH Miguel Tejada, SS Jose Valverde, RP
And, I'll begin with my own picks (if, somehow, I win, the prize will go to the 2nd-place finisher).
15: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees 14: Chone Figgins, White Sox 13: Hideki Matsui, Yankees 12: John Lackey, Angels 11: Jermaine Dye, Rays 10: Jason Bay, Red Sox 9: Jose Valverde, Astros 8: Miguel Tejada, Mariners 7: Matt Holliday, Mariners 6: Rich Harden, Red Sox 5: Mark DeRosa, Cubs 4: Johnny Damon, Yankees 3: Russell Branyan, Rays 2: Vladimir Guerrero, White Sox 1: Erik Bedard, Brewers