The following are some left fielders the Braves might look to target in the upcoming free agency period. No players with WARPs under 0.5 were considered because, hey, even the Braves have standards.
Player (2009 WARP)
Jason Bay (6.3)
Carl Crawford (4.7) $10MM club option with a $1.25MM buyout
Matt Holliday (4.6)
Manny Ramirez (3.9) $20 MM player option
Johnny Damon (3.0)
Marlon Byrd (2.2)
Fernando Tatis (2.1)
Randy Winn (1.9)
Gary Sheffield (1.5)
Gabe Kapler (1.1)
You may be noticing that the Braves' 2009 left fielder, Garret Anderson, was excluded from this list. Yeah, that's because his WARP was a 'professional-hitting' 0.1.
Jason Bay will be the cream of the left field free agent crop, 1.6 wins ahead of Carl Crawford, who likely won't repeat his 2009 output during any other season in his career.
You have to imagine the Red Sox & Yankees will be furiously competing for Jason Bay and Matt Holliday.
There might be some decent value to be had from Johnny Damon, but he's represented by Scott Boras and is projected to be a Type A free agent. I could see it getting very close to spring training without Damon having signed a contract.
If the Braves want to go the safe, cheap route, Randy Winn is probably the way to go. Otherwise, they'll likely have to overspend to bring home any of the big names on this list.
Don't forget that our 2010 Free Agent Targets page will be continuously updated throughout the offseason, where you can link to our analysis of the Braves' other vacancies heading into 2010.
This article also appears at the Braves Baseball Blog.