Potential Free Agents

Updated: October 29, 2006, 7:11 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Washington's Alfonso Soriano filed for free agency Sunday along with San Francisco pitcher Jason Schmidt.

Oft-injured Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood also was among 24 players who filed on the second possible day, as was St. Louis Cardinals backup catcher Gary Bennett, the first member of the World Series champions to leave.

A total of 89 players have filed since the World Series from a potential free-agent class of about 200. Players can file through Nov. 11, and free agents can talk money with all teams beginning the following day.

Moved from second base to the outfield by the Nationals, the 30-year-old Soriano batted .277 with 46 homers, 95 RBIs and 41 steals. Soriano joined Jose Canseco (Oakland 1988), Barry Bonds (San Francisco 1996) and Alex Rodriguez (Seattle 1998) as the only players with 40 homers and 40 stolen bases in the same season.

He made $10 million this year after losing in salary arbitration. Soriano had asked for $12 million.

Schmidt's $10 million option for 2006 was exercised by the Giants, but knew they might lose him as a free agent this offseason. The 33-year-old right-hander seemed ready for a change of scenery from San Francisco, which has endured two straight losing seasons and three in a row out of the playoffs.

Some scouts seemed more interested in Schmidt this season than Oakland's Barry Zito, who is expected to leave the A's and sign with a big-spending team.

Schmidt was the Giants' lone All-Star this season and went 11-9 with a 3.59 ERA in 213 1-3 innings.

Under new rules this offseason, free agents do not face any deadlines to re-sign with their former teams. In the past, players had to re-sign by Dec. 7 (or Jan. 8 if offered salary arbitration) or else could not return to their former teams until May 1. The deadlines were eliminated in baseball's new labor contract.

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AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this report.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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