There are a ton of Canadian free agents in this years group of Major League free agents including Jeff Francis (Vamcouver, BC), Erik Bedard (Navan, ON), Rich Harden (Victoria, BC), Matt Stairs (St. John, NB), Jesse Crain (Toronto, ON), Adam Stern (London, ON) and Luke Carlin (Quebec).
Francis won 17 games in 2007 with Colorado and pitched hurt in 2008 and 2010, while Bedard has pitched four consecutive seasons with his ERA under 3.77, but missed the entire 2010 season with shoulder trouble. Harden’s ERA in 2008 was 2.07 in 148 innings, but has struggles the past two seasons. Stairs found his power stroke in 2010 and slugged .475 in 78 games and would be a great DH or pinch hitter in 2011 and Crain pitched in 71 games in 2010 with a 3.04ERA and holds a career 3.42ERA over 376 games. Stern brings speed and defense with him everygame and Carlin is a dependable defensive catcher.
All these Canadians would make a great low cost, possible high reward pickup for all 30 teams as teams look for starting pitchers (Francis, Bedard, Harden), setup guys (Crain), DH/pinch hitters (Stairs), speedster (Stern), defensive catcher (Carlin) or even a closer (Harden!)
Minor League free agents include Ryan Braun (pitcher), Cole Armstrong (catcher), Scott Thorman (1st base), RJ Swindle (pitcher), Emerson Frostad (catcher), Shawn Bowan (3rd base) and Peter Orr (2nd base).
To view a list of all the Minor League free agents click HERE.