Now that the calendar has turned to February, we can start thinking ahead to those magical words ... pitchers and catchers report.

Oh baby.

Of course, this isn't such a sweet sound to a litany of still-unsigned major-league free agents. Let's try to put together a team!

The task starts off a bit rough, however, because there are no free agent catchers left. We'll have to circle back when putting together our lineup.

Best free agents available

First base - Justin Morneau and Ike Davis are still out there, but I think I'll go with Pedro Alvarez here based upon the big-time power potential. He's only going to be 29.

Second base - Now that Howie Kendrick is off the board, we're deciding between Rickie Weeks and Alberto Callaspo with Skip Schumaker and Jonathan Herrera as bench depth options. I'll go with Callaspo.

Shortstop - Though Jimmy Rollins remains unsigned, the easy choice here is Ian Desmond.

Third base - It's a bit of a coin flip between Juan Uribe and David Freese. We'll take both and use one as a DH.

Outfield - Dexter Fowler is the easy choice here. Past him, Austin Jackson, Will Venable, Shane Victorino, Matt Joyce, Ryan Raburn, David Murphy, Chris Denorfia and David DeJesus are options.

Starting pitchers - Yovani Gallardo is the top man here. Past him, there are a bunch of upside selections like Mat Latos, Tim Lincecum, Justin Masterson, Alfredo Simon and Cliff Lee.

Relievers - There are a lot of guys who could be helpful hanging around unsigned, and it's not uncommon for relievers to linger this long. Tommy Hunter, Casey Janssen and Jason Frasor are a few of the bigger names.

So let's try to make a 25-man roster!

Ian Desmond and Dexter Fowler headline our team.
Ian Desmond and Dexter Fowler headline our team. (USATSI)


1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Austin Jackson, LF
3. Ian Desmond, SS
4. David Freese, DH
5. Juan Uribe, 3B
6. Pedro Alvarez, 1B
7. Will Venable, RF
8. Ike Davis, C
9. Alberto Callaspo, 2B

Hey, Davis was a pitcher in college so I'm gonna totally guess that he'd be non-horrifying behind the plate in working with pitchers. It's the best we can do.

We need a four-man bench, so let's take Jimmy Rollins, Justin Morneau, Shane Victorino and Ryan Raburn.


1. Yovani Gallardo
2. Mat Latos
3. Justin Masterson
4. Tim Lincecum
5. Cliff Lee

We'll keep Alfredo Simon around in the bullpen for a replacement in case someone gets injured.


Closer: Jason Frasor
Setup: Tommy Hunter, Casey Janssen, Ryan Webb, Eric O'Flaherty, Tyler Clippard
Lefty specialist: Randy Choate
Long: Alfredo Simon

Let's also keep Greg Holland around on the DL in case he's ready to return from Tommy John surgery in September.

How does it look? It definitely isn't good -- and would have been a lot better just a few weeks ago -- but it's not horrible. It possibly wouldn't be the worst team in the league. Again, given that it's February 1, this is a bit surprising.