As we approach the New Year, five of MLBTR’s top ten free agents remain on the board. Alex Gordon, Justin Upton, Chris Davis, Yoenis Cespedes, and Ian Desmond all have widespread interest, of course, but they each seem intent on waiting for the right offer to materialize. Beyond that, other notables such as Wei-Yin Chen, Kenta Maeda, Dexter Fowler, Scott Kazmir, and Ian Kennedy are still without a ball club.
Last week, MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk asked readers to predict who will be the first to come off of the board in each group. In the “A” squad, nearly 39% of you predicted that Gordon would be the first to sign. However, this poll was conducted before Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that the incumbent Royals have been told by the outfielder’s camp that they have “no chance” to re-sign their franchise cornerstone as things currently stand. Gordon’s camp is seeking a contract that will pay him upwards of $20MM per season, and Kansas City has reportedly only offered $12-$13MM per year over four years.
In the next group of free agents, MLBTR readers ID’d Kazmir as the player most likely to sign first. Kazmir, unlike other players in that tier, does not have a qualifying offer attached. Of the players in that poll, less than 4% said that Kennedy would be the next to sign with a team. Things have been oddly quiet for Kennedy who decided to reject the qualifying offer from the Padres back in November. The Marlins are known to have interest in him, but he is likely too expensive for them, and we haven’t heard much in the way of specific teams talking with his camp. Maeda took nearly 24% of the vote – an indication that roughly one-quarter of MLBTR readers expect the free agent market to progress pretty slowly since the deadline for him to sign is on January 8th at 5pm ET/4pm CT.
When looking at the ten best free agents left, who do you think will be the last to land with a team? (MLBTR app users can weigh in here)