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First baseman Mark Teixeira, one of the first players to file for free agency after helping the Los Angeles Angels to the American League West title, tops the annual ranking of all Major League players compiled by the Elias Sports Bureau.
Teixeira's score of 98.889 -- representing his production relative to other AL players in his position bracket -- is the highest among the 926 big leaguers surveyed by Elias.
The rankings reflect cumulative performance in the two most recent seasons -- 2007-08 in this instance -- and are primarily compiled to identify "ranked" players for the purpose of determining the compensation owed to their original teams by the clubs signing them as free agents.
Of the 926 listed players, 188 are ranked "A" -- worth one Draft pick, plus a compensation pick between the regular first and second rounds of the Draft.
Another 195 are ranked "B" -- worth a Draft pick in the compensation round, behind all the picks given in compensation for Type-A players.
Of course, hardly all players ranked "A" or "B" are free agents, or eligible for the open market. The 15-day period for filing for free agency began Thursday, and approximately half of the 65 first-day filers were among the 383 ranked players on the Elias list.
Besides Teixeira, the only other free agent topping players at his position is left-hander CC Sabathia, who scored 98.110, best among National League starting pitchers.
Ironically, Teixeira, who totaled 33 homers and 121 RBIs between the Braves and the Angels, and Sabathia, who went 17-10 with Cleveland and Milwaukee, both split their seasons between the two leagues.
In the Elias rankings, first basemen are pooled with designated hitters and outfielders, as are all other infielders (second and third basemen, and shortstops). Catchers, starting pitchers and relievers have their own categories.
Francisco Rodriguez, the prolific free-agent closer who set a new MLB record for saves with 62 for the Angels, ranks sixth among AL relievers with a score of 87.196; Minnesota's Joe Nathan tops that list at 92.845.
Here are the other top-ranked players:
Outfield: Magglio Ordonez, Tigers (96.316)
Designated hitter: David Ortiz, Red Sox (94.545)
Catcher: Joe Mauer, Twins (89.401)
Second base: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox (85.714)
Shortstop: Michael Young, Rangers (88.0)
Third base: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees (95.031)
Starting pitcher: Roy Halladay, Blue Jays (95.058)
First base: Albert Pujols, Cardinals (95.385)
Outfield: Matt Holliday, Rockies (98.125)
Catcher: Russell Martin, Dodgers (85.328)
Second base: Chase Utley, Phillies (92.411)
Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins, Phillies (85.714)
Third base: David Wright, Mets (89.560)
Reliever: Takashi Saito, Dodgers (88.678)