Greg Holland’s reported agreement with the Cardinals took the remaining top-tier free agent off the market, somewhat fittingly prolonging the most drawn-out free agent market in recent history to a wire-to-wire affair. With the season now underway, and all of our top fifty free agents under contract, we thought it’d be interesting to look at the most notable names still remaining. It’s not certain that all of the below-listed players are still intent on continuing their playing careers, but surely many of them hope to do so — or, at least, did when the offseason got underway.
Ryan Hanigan, Chris Herrmann, Derek Norris, Carlos Ruiz, Cameron Rupp, Geovany Soto
Rupp is probably the most notable name on the list, as he’s just 29 years of age and is coming off of a three-year run over which he compiled a .236/.301/.417 batting line with 39 home runs in 1,049 plate appearances. Herrmann opened eyes in 2016 but came back to earth last year; he and the others mostly look to be depth options at this point.
Erick Aybar, Darwin Barney, Stephen Drew, Yunel Escobar, J.J. Hardy, Brandon Phillips
There are some notable players here, many of whom have enjoyed lengthy runs as regulars. Both Escobar and Phillips have maintained solid offensive output over the past several years, though neither is capable of playing shortstop. J.J. Hardy certainly still is capable of handling the glove at short, but his bat has collapsed.
Both of these veterans are capable of playing center, so they could find themselves in some demand if a need for a versatile bench outfielder arises. Of course, neither has distinguished himself offensively in recent seasons.
Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera, Andre Ethier, Franklin Gutierrez, Matt Holliday, Adam Lind, Brandon Moss, Jhonny Peralta, Ryan Raburn, Mark Reynolds, Michael Saunders, Seth Smith
It’s rather remarkable to see such a long list of recognizable sluggers out of work, though that certainly dovetails with the widely observed recent market developments. There’s good reason to believe that many of these players can still handle the bat at the game’s highest level, but at this point it seems some of them may end up moving on to other pursuits.
R.A. Dickey, Scott Feldman, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, Scott Kazmir, John Lackey, Jeff Locke, Ricky Nolasco, Jake Peavy, Chris Young
Many teams are also betting on young starters rather than handing off rotation spots to innings eaters. In some seasons in the past, we’d have expected to see a few make-good, low-guarantee MLB deals — or minors pacts with real shots at making the majors — given out to some of these hurlers. Instead, there’s a lot of experience waiting by the telephone. (It’s worth noting that Dickey rather clearly would have commanded a solid guarantee after his productive 2017 season, but has a strict geographic interest area and may not have been interested in pursuing contracts at all.)
Antonio Bastardo*, Joe Blanton, Josh Collmenter, Gallardo, Jason Grilli, Daniel Hudson, Eric O’Flaherty*, Dustin McGowan, Jason Motte, Chad Qualls, Young
This list is short on lefties (*), proving yet again that it pays to be a southpaw. Hudson, a hard-throwing 31-year-old released at the tail end of camp, is sure to draw plenty of interest. The outlook is decidedly less optimistic for the others, though in most cases minor-league deals ought to be available.
Alexei Amarista signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies. He is starting the year in AAA
Cut him some slack, Steve’s just getting back up to speed from vacation.
We went Lake Mille Lacs. He kept wanting to go bass fishing but I insisted on walleye. It turned ugly. We’re not on speaking terms anymore, and he denies the trip even happened.
Lol what the heck!?!
I’m really hoping this is just a joke, and not some figment of an obsessive fan’s imagination…
What if it was true?
Something tells me it’s not true.
They still have walleye in Mille Lacs?
What about the recently released Jarrett Parker? Shouldn’t he be on the list as well.
You just made the list!
hey………Drink it in mannnnnn
The Mets signed Fernando Abad 5 days ago.
I’m rooting for Matt Holliday.
First half: .262/.366/.511 with 15 home runs.
2nd Half: .179/.225/.300
Ended the Season: .231/.316/.432 with 19 home runs, 64 RBI
Never saw someone help the kids more, and few classier people than Matt Holliday.
Oakland fans aren’t fond of him. The guy didn’t seem to be too happy about getting traded to the A’s and didn’t care to try all that hard.
Still never touched home plate.
lol I thought I was the only one who remembered that. Your right. He should really go back and touch the plate.
Why ? He don’t give a darn about you
Wonder how much that viral infection he got really affected his performance. Regardless he was a great clubhouse guy!
How Mark Reynolds isn’t signed is insane. Who cares about the Coors Field Effect he still deserves some kind of contract.
Reynolds is one my favorite FA’s.
The problem is the Coors splits, which may be keeping him out of job. Blame the Rockies (Rox didnt make offers?)
I agree, it’s crazy. A team should have picked him up by now. I think the Yankees, Indians, A’s, Marlins, and Pirates are all ok fits.
He slugged .397 on the road. That’s not acceptable production for a bat-only first baseman.
Mel hall ruled
Charlie Blackmon is the same. At coots awesome away from there he’s okay. Just another way over rated Rockies player
Matt Holliday jumps off that list if for no other reason than leadership. Class act.
One of those catchers will be a Brave soon!
Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rupp get a chance in Atlanta if Suzuki needs any time on the DL after getting plunked.
Highly unlikely but at this point, would it hurt calling up Jackson? Unless the Braves care about his clock, why not just give him a look until Flowers and Zuk are back. He can’t be worse than what is available.
Over estimating their market. OK their bad. But sitting at home instead of taking an “insulting” offer? Priceless.
I’d give my left nut to get another crack at the pinata.
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out Drew.
looks like a roster for an expansion team
I think I could piece a 4th place team out of this…
Who’s down to play FA Contest with these ; )
Kazmir…Garza…Kapler….Tampa Bay-Philly connection? I wouldn’t be surprised if the Phils took a flier on one of these guys to see if there’s anything left in the tank…
Should Parker be on this list now? At least a few AL West teams could use a corner bat that hits 3 jacks vs the A’s for cheap
Many of these guys need to understand that the “good ol’ days” of wild west (name your price and get it) baseball are over.
This is the era of building young players from within, and attempting to stay at or near the salary cap.
Sorry fellas, but the Steinbrenner-like days are over. I mean, did anyone really want to see a day where one player was making $50 million per YEAR?!?!?
If that happened, you’d be paying $30 for a hot dog, and $15 for a Coke.
Well, you probably aren’t going to like the next contracts of Kershaw, Trout, Harper, and Machado…
Although, they certainly won’t make $50mil per year, but they are definitely going to set record highs for a starting pitcher, a shortstop/ third baseman, and bith Harper and especially Trout are definitely setting a new record for outfielders all fairly soon…Stay tuned, unless their is some type of collusion from all the owners and front offices, it is going to get ridiculous!!
When they go barking by with soda and hot dogs and it’s 95 degrees and the family is thirsty and bored in a one run game in July …..sodas $8 each …… ya give me 5 and hot dogs $8 each too ya ummm …same…. 5 of those too, ya . So I owe ya both $40.Great here’s an extra $5 each come back in a couple innings we will be needing another refill.
Hey Bud Light dude up here,$10, One left great, little warm is it? I’ll take it , bring me a cold one too,….. wife then gripes about two $10 beers , never mind the $80 concessions!
I’m a bit surprised by Lind being on this list. I understand he’s bat-only and teams don’t usually carry pure pinch-hitters anymore, but 303/362/513 is a pretty nice bat off the bench/DH.
Looks like the braves will be signing one of these catchers.
hes with Angels AAA team
Most surprised by the pitchers on this list. There is still quite a bit of baseball left this season and there are some rotations in the league that don’t look like they will be able eat all of the innings. I’m looking at you Rays!
some of these guys might wind up on playoff teams…
From that list, Melky Cabrera surprises me most. What happened here?
He’s basically bat only, and doesnt have the power of those left on the list.
There aren’t any middle class teams any more; the kind who would sign a veteran innings eater or extra bat.
These guys are now too expensive for rebuilding clubs but not good enough for a contender.
They are caught up in the current in or out dynamic of the game.
This is a clear cut case of age discrimination.Plus millions of $$$$$$
Maybe its time for a couple more expansion teams. These guys need a job.
The list of relievers would be a better bullpen than what the Tigers have assembled
I want the DH to finally be established in the NL. It not only makes the game a little more interesting with the extra pop, but it also gives 15 other guys the chance to continue their careers with a healthy amount of ABs. And it seems the only argument against the DH is it is the history of baseball and it’s part of the game. Before 47, it was also the part of the game that African Americans could not play in MLB, but they changed that. Obviously, very different things but it’s the evolution of the game it always changes.
I must have missed the part where AL teams have a 26th roster spot for their DH. That’s great news!
The DH and the color barrier are a great comparison
I feel like I could win a World Series picking from this list to form a squad in 2013.
The Giants already have that on lock
I wonder if any of those RH bats would be a better option than the Rays DHing Refsnyder? Defensive flexibility is cool and all, but getting shutout blows.