It is not inconceivable that the top two members of this year's top-heavy free-agent class will find new homes this winter, but it is unlikely. Albert Pujols occupies the No. 1 spot in the fourth annual Reiter 50—SI.com's ranking of the 50 best players likely to hit the open market, which will be online this week—but despite his rejection of an offer reportedly worth around $200 million during spring training, it's difficult to imagine Prince Albert leaving St. Louis. Yankees ace CC Sabathia, No. 2 on the list, is likely to opt out of a contract that calls for him to earn $23 million in each of the next four seasons—but he will almost certainly re-sign with New York for a richer deal.
There are, however, several stars who are likely to find greener pastures than the ones in which they presently graze. Here are five elite players who are the best bets to change teams this off-season.
(Reiter 50 rank: 3rd)
AGE: 27 Position: 1B
2011 STATS: .299/.415/.566, 38 HRs, 120 RBIs
CURRENT TEAM: Brewers
BEST FIT: Cubs
Fielder didn't exactly bid adieu to Milwaukee after the Brewers' NLCS elimination, but there was a lot of past tense in his final press conference. ("Playing here was awesome," he said.) The burly slugger could move to the Cubs, who are starved for offense—their 654 runs was their lowest total since the strike-shortened 1994 season. Fielder would become the face of new president of baseball operations Theo Epstein's top-to-bottom rebuilding effort.
JOSE REYES (4th)
AGE: 28 Position: SS