We last checked in on the top available free agents almost a month ago, and since then, four of our top ten — Jose Bautista, Mark Trumbo, Michael Saunders and Neftali Feliz — have come off the board. Here’s a look at the top ten remaining at this point, with rankings from MLBTR’s November Top 50.
15. Jason Hammel. Hammel’s reported market has been curiously quiet all winter despite a typically solid 2016 season in Chicago. Since the new year, he’s been connected to the Orioles, Rangers and Yankees, although the Orioles look less likely now than they did before adding Trumbo. Hammel also changed agents this winter; one imagines it’s been a frustrating offseason for him.
16. Matt Wieters. Mark Polishuk took a close look at Wieters’ market earlier this weekend. The Braves’ recent signing of Kurt Suzuki would seem to limit Wieters’ options somewhat. A return to the Orioles to share the catcher position with Welington Castillo is a possibility, although, as Mark pointed out, that arrangement doesn’t seem to bode well for Wieters’ chances of landing a big free-agent contract in the future. Wieters has also been connected to the Angels.
21. Mike Napoli. With Edwin Encarnacion and Trumbo off the board, Napoli could be the next 1B/DH domino to fall. A return to the Rangers might be the strongest possibility at this point, and since the Rangers had interest in Trumbo, it might make sense for talks to intensify now that Trumbo is off the board. Texas has also recently been connected to fellow righty slugger Chris Carter, however.
23. Greg Holland. Holland reportedly could pick his team in the next week, capping an offseason in which he’s been connected to nearly everyone. Holland reportedly hopes for a two-year deal with an opt-out after the first year; it’s unclear which teams might consent to that arrangement, given that such a contract would require Holland’s new team to assume most of the risk of his return from injury while limiting its reward.
24. Travis Wood. Reports on Wood’s market have been few and far between this month. One potentially interesting development, though, has been the Rangers’ signing of Tyson Ross. Ross had also been connected to the Cubs, and it appeared possible the Cubs could attempt to re-sign Wood as a backup plan as they search for rotation depth.
30. Brandon Moss. Most of the news surrounding Moss in the past month has connected him to teams that no longer seem especially likely to sign him, such as the Orioles (who re-signed Trumbo), Blue Jays (who re-signed Bautista) and Phillies (who signed Saunders). The Rays have been connected to a variety of veteran hitters this offseason and would seem to be a possibility for Moss, although they might prefer a right-handed hitter. With a number of sluggers still available (including Napoli, Carter, Pedro Alvarez and Mark Reynolds), Moss might have to continue to wait for his rolling stone.
31. Joe Blanton. The veteran righty makes his first appearance on this list after a strong season (2.48 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 2.9 BB/9) in the Dodgers bullpen. He’s recently been connected to the Rockies, although there have been few reports on his market.
34. Sergio Romo. As with Blanton, there has been little recent reporting on Romo’s destination, although it recently emerged that the Brewers had interest in Blanton before adding Feliz. Feliz and Santiago Casilla recently signing could conceivably lead teams still looking for late-inning help to turn to Romo, however.
38. Fernando Salas. There’s been virtually nothing on Salas this winter, except one report that made him one of an extremely long list of relievers connected to the Marlins’ before that team’s additions of Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa. One would think, though, that the 31-year-old would attract some late interest, particularly given his excellent 2016 stretch run with the Mets. Unlike Holland and Romo, he doesn’t have much closing experience, although he was successful in a half-season run as the Cardinals’ closer in 2011.
39. Boone Logan. The veteran lefty is one of several solid southpaw relief options remaining on the open market, including Wood (although it’s unclear whether Wood will start or relieve next year), Jerry Blevins and J.P. Howell. Other lefties (including Brett Cecil, Mike Dunn, Marc Rzepczynski, and, of course, Aroldis Chapman, although he’s clearly in a different category than the rest) have done quite well for themselves this winter; it’s unclear whether the crop of remaining lefty free agents will be able to do the same.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Red Sox should sign Blevins. Abad is the worst pitcher I’ve ever seen and they need lefty relievers
Would you say he’s a… oh, I can’t.
What is Logan looking for in a contract?
2 yrs $12 M total
Hammel to the Orioles..DD get it done!
toronto and the Mets both need a lefty and a righty reliever.
Mets should gamble on Holland….and swoop in and hrab Weiters
mets need to unload Bruce. convert Wheeler to a reliever, sign Logan or Blevins and buy-low on Joe Smith.
Yeah because it makes sense to sell low on smith right
Yes on Bruce
YES on Wheeler
Sign Travis Wood, Blevins, Salas.
Problem is no one wants Bruce for $12M, they’d have to throw in money
Logan would be a nice fit for the Dodgers
Hope the dodgers stay away from Blanton. Time to move on .
He was so reliable for us in the regular season though…maybe we can just leave him off the playoff roster lol
I don’t know your personal logic, but for a lot of dodger fans they don’t like Blanton because of two pitches he threw that happened to be in the playoff. He was an outs machine in the regular season, a major plus in the pen. I hope we do get him back, and if anything maybe the poor playoff performance will make him a bargain.
We ran him into the ground with super high usage. Any reliever would have crumbled. People with the move on mindset might be particularly salty because it was just bad luck his arm chose to break down at the worst time. If he’s healthy, I’d welcome him back to the Dodgers no problem, money has to be right though.
Well hopefully our rotation stays healthy this season and our starters can get past the 5th inning more often so our bullpen isn’t so taxed come October
Agree completely. Overused because of the lack of reliable depth in the bullpen down the stretch. He was a workhorse, so it’s really no surprise he hung two at the worst possible time.
With the untimely death of Ventura, the most logical destination for Hammel is KC
Agreed but I hope he goes to Baltimore.
KC is certainly going to need to address their rotation now, unfortunately.
So, a brief rundown of Brandon Moss’ stats reveal a terrible defender and a lousy BA and OBP but power to the tune of 28 homers last year. And he’s a lefty.
That means the Orioles will( please God, no NO) probably sign him before I finish my lament.
Moss is a solid defender, generally. Probably overall not much less value than Trumbo.
You think Moss is a solid defender?
I didn’t see that last year watching every game he played in on MLB.com
Blah blah blah
Cub fans know why there is limited interest in Jason Hammel.
No we don’t. At least I don’t. He was very solid last year for the Cubs. The only thing I can think of is bad medicals.
Yep. He was left off the playoff roster due to health and specifically forearm issues. Chances are really good his medicals look like dookie, he’s asking for more $ and/or years than teams feel comfortable with or most likely, both.
The problem is that most of these players have significant blemishes. Old, one dimensional, coming off bad years, coming off injuries, over-priced. A few of them are going to be quite valuable to the teams that sign them. But the rest…
The Jays should check in on wieters, also they should look into Blevins and Logan for their lefty needs. Wouldn’t hurt to see if they could grab holland too.
Weiters will not be going to Toronto. He is looking for a starting job.
And where would Wieters play? Martin is locked in at catcher. Some form of Morales, Bautista, Smoak, Pearce at 1B/RF/DH. Wieters is not going to sign to be a backup.
Angels make too much sense for Wieters, so it probably won’t happen…
If the Os don’t get hammel then they should get Logan. He is a solid reliever.
Surprised at how many LH’ed relievers are still on the market, and pretty decent ones at that, IMO.
Makes sense. They all saw what Brett Cecil got and all were better than Cecil last year.
There’s 21 more days remaining until pitchers and catchers report. I’m surprised Travis Wood is still on the board.
Don’t understand why the Angels aren’t signing the top 2 guys on the list. Yeah, I know people don’t really look at them as contenders or anything, but they won 85 games in 2015 & 98 games in 2014. The problem is that their rotation was decimated by injuries, & unlike their cross-town rivals, the Angels didn’t have the depth to overcome them. Their rotation will still have question marks next season, so having a guy who’s made 30+ starts each of his last 3 seasons like Hammel is probably their most pressing need right now. Plus, as the post said, the market for him is slow, so he’d probably obtainable at a reasonable price.
Catcher & offense are also needs, & Wieters would help both. And like Hammel, b/c the market for him is slow, he could probably be had at a reasonable price.
I woulsnt sign any of these players except napoli because he has a nice beard and good power. Other then that all these players stink and out to go to japan or retire. They haven’t signed for a reason thats for sure.
Where’s David Hernandez in this list?
Indians should sign Boone Logan.