Landing spots for surprise stars

Free-agent fits for Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana and Marlon Byrd

Updated: October 9, 2013, 1:34 PM ET
By Dan Szymborski | ESPN Insider

Marlon Byrd Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesMarlon Byrd could end up being a hot commodity this winter.

Six teams still have a shot at winning the World Series, but as simple math tells us, 24 teams are licking their wounds and looking at 2014. With only one true megastar available in free agency this offseason, Robinson Cano, teams will mostly be looking at the good-to-very-good tier of players.

Although these players aren't as expensive as the elite class, evaluating them can be quite tricky given that most will have a weakness that may give their teams a headache in the coming years. Perhaps the three trickiest players to evaluate are a few of 2013's surprise stars: Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana and Marlon Byrd.

Let's take a look at how they project going forward as well as where they fit best.


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Ubaldo Jimenez, P, Cleveland Indians

It took the Indians two years to get the player they thought they were acquiring from the Rockies back in 2011, but better late than never. Jimenez's revival, a sterling 1.82 ERA in the second half, was a key factor in Cleveland's .612 winning percentage after the All-Star break.