The 2012 MLB season reached a conclusion last month, and the San Francisco Giants marched through the playoffs and won the World Series.
With the season at an end and the winter meetings rapidly approaching, general managers are scrambling in attempt to address needs and fill out their rosters through free agent acquisitions.
A key signing can immediately put an irrelevant team into contention, while a lack of action can result in competitors being surpassed by their division rivals.
But unfortunately for them, the players get to decide where they go and whom they play for. With that in mind, where will the top MLB free agents choose to sign?
OF Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
Josh Hamilton is a MVP-caliber player when he's healthy and on the field, which makes him a valued commodity.
Hamilton's situation is unique in that he's a recovering drug addict and alcoholic, which means he'll be better off under his safety net in Texas.
Some things are more important than an extra buck, and Hamilton will realize that.
2013 Team: Texas Rangers
SP Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Angels
Angels already have Jered Weaver leading the way in their rotation, so there's not a desperate need to overpay for Zack Grienke.
A team like the Los Angeles Dodgers has more of a need for a starting pitcher and certainly has the means to scare the Angels away in a bidding war.
2013 Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
OF B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay Rays
Both the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies are eying B.J. Upton in free agency, and since it's two division rivals competing for the contract, this should get heated (according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times)
The Braves had a solid 2012 season, while the Phillies were highly disappointing, giving them more of a reason to spend big money and please fans.
2013 Team: Philadelphia Phillies
OF Michael Bourn, Atlanta Braves
Michael Bourn of the Atlanta Braves is a key defensive asset and a productive hitter at the plate.
If the Braves lose out on B.J. Upton, which could very well happen, it will drastically increase their need for an outfielder, which means they'll look to retain Bourn.
Money could be an issue, but don't be surprised if Bourn and Atlanta get this deal hammered out.
2013 Team: Atlanta Braves
SP Dan Haren, Los Angeles Angels
Dan Haren went 16-10 in 2011, but his record took a decline after finishing 12-13 last season.
Although Haren is less effective than his 2008 self, who went 16-8 and entered the Cy Young debate, he is still a capable starter who has produced over 12 wins in eight consecutive seasons.
The Angels have Jered Weaver and aren't desperate to re-sign their starting pitcher talent, but at the same time they aren't letting everyone leave.
If the Angels cannot keep Zack Grienke, expect them to make an effort to bring back Haren.
2013 Team: Los Angeles Angels
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