MLB Trade Rumors is proud to present our 14th annual Top 50 Free Agents list! For the entire list of free agents, plus the ability to filter by signing status, position, signing team, and qualifying offer status, check out our mobile-friendly free agent tracker here.
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MLBTR writers Steve Adams, Jeff Todd, and Connor Byrne joined me in this collaboration, debating free agent contracts and destinations for many hours. We vetted these as much as possible, but with 50 predictions and a volatile free agent and trade marketplace, we know we’ll be off on some. Let us know what you think in the comment section! On to our Top 50 free agents:
1. Gerrit Cole – Angels. Eight years, $256MM. If you could grow the perfect starting pitcher in a lab, the result would look a lot like Gerrit Cole. He has a strong case to be considered the best pitcher in baseball after a second consecutive dominant year for the Astros. The 6’4″, 225-pound righty led all of MLB in wins above replacement and strikeout rate, and he also possesses excellent control of his four pitches. This year he maintained an average fastball velocity over 97 miles per hour, second among starters. Cole paced the American League in ERA (2.50) in addition to leading the Majors in SIERA (2.48). Cole is a true ace, going deep into games and reeling off a quality start nearly 80% of the time. The closest thing to a flaw in Cole’s profile is his occasional proclivity toward the home run, as he’s a flyball pitcher whose 2019 home run rate ranked 34th among qualified starters. That minor “blemish” notwithstanding, Cole stands a good chance of besting his rotation-mater, Justin Verlander, for AL Cy Young honors.
Cole was drafted 28th overall out of his California high school by the Yankees in 2008, but the pitcher chose to honor his commitment to UCLA. Cole’s decision proved to be the correct one financially, as he was drafted first overall by the Pirates three years later. By 2013, Cole reached the Majors, though he missed significant time in 2014 with shoulder fatigue and a lat strain. Cole posted only one dominant season for the Pirates, finishing fourth in the 2015 NL Cy Young voting. He missed time again in 2016 with a triceps strain and elbow inflammation. Cole rebounded with good health in 2017, posting a solid if unspectacular final season for the Bucs.
With two years of club control remaining and escalating arbitration salaries, the Pirates decided to cash Cole in for more controllable players, trading him to the Astros in January 2018. The Astros were able to unlock Cole’s talent, urging significant changes in his approach on the mound. Now, he heads into his age-29 season with agent Scott Boras seeking the largest pitching contract in MLB history.
Two pitching records from the 2014-15 offseason are under threat from Cole: David Price’s total outlay of $217MM and Zack Greinke’s $34.4MM average annual value. Cole is a near-lock to smash through the $217MM barrier, and he has at least some chance of topping Greinke’s AAV mark. A $35MM salary seems more likely if Cole is to accept a seven-year term. It’s also possible that a team might prefer to do an eight-year contract, which could bring down the AAV and the accompanying luxury tax hit. We haven’t seen a significant eight-year contract for a pitcher since Mike Hampton signed with the Rockies 19 years ago. The Astros will likely entertain ways of keeping their ace, but with a burgeoning payroll, owner Jim Crane wouldn’t even commit to attempting to sign him when asked in early October. Cole, for his part, seemingly left the Astros in the dust almost immediately following the team’s Game 7 loss, donning a Boras Corporation hat for his reluctant postgame interview. The Angels, with a huge need for starting pitching and a hometown advantage, will surely make a run at Cole. They could be joined by the Yankees, Dodgers, Nationals, White Sox, Twins, Phillies, Rangers, Cubs, and more in an ownership-level pursuit that seems likely to drag into the new year.
Signed with Yankees for nine years, $324MM.
2. Anthony Rendon – Nationals. Seven years, $235MM. Rendon emerged as one of the five best position players in baseball over the last three seasons, yet the Nationals’ understated third baseman made his first All-Star team this year. Perhaps that’s because of the well-rounded nature of his contributions, with doubles, walks, and stellar defense rather than sheer home run power. Rendon did set a career high with 34 home runs in 2019, though that was a feat accomplished by a whopping 35 players in this juiced-ball season. Previously, he’d maxed out at 25 homers in 2017.
Rendon was drafted sixth overall by the Nationals out of Rice University in 2011, five picks after Cole as part of star-studded draft. He carried a bit of an injury history with him even out of college, but once he reached the Majors in 2013 he maintained pretty good health outside of his 2015 campaign. Since then, Rendon has averaged 146 games per season. His timing is excellent, with a career-best 7.0 fWAR and 154 wRC+ this year. One potential knock on the low-key Rendon is his reputation as a player who treats baseball more like a job than a passion. He’s said he considers baseball “too long and boring” to watch, eschews attention, and has shown signs that he might prefer to retire on the younger side.
Rendon will turn 30 in June, so a seven-year contract would pay him through his age-36 season. His third base counterpart in Colorado, Nolan Arenado, was extended only through age 34. Even Manny Machado signed through age 35 on the open market. We know a seven-year contract is at least on the table, since the Nationals offered that term and $210-215MM (with deferrals) in early September, according to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post. Arenado’s deal, signed in February, included seven years and $234MM in new money, so Rendon may be looking to top that mark. ESPN’s Buster Olney noted in mid-October, “Some friends of Rendon believe that he’s more interested in a shorter-term deal — perhaps a higher salary for a four- or five-year contract — because he might not be devoted to the idea of playing for as long as he possibly can.”
The short-term possibility could put the Dodgers in play for Rendon, as they notably offered Bryce Harper an AAV of approximately $45MM over a four-year period, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi back in February. The Nationals remain the favorite for Rendon, as Harper’s departure left them capacity to sign their third baseman and they’ve already made an aggressive attempt. The Rangers, Phillies, Braves, Cardinals, and Angels could also be suitors.
Signed with Angels for seven years, $245MM.
3. Stephen Strasburg – Nationals. Six years, $180MM. Back on Opening Day, Strasburg’s opt-out decision seemed anywhere from questionable to flat-out unlikely. His 2018 season was a solid but injury-shortened season that saw him toss 130 innings of 3.74 ERA ball with peripherals that largely supported that unspectacular earned run average. He certainly didn’t have a bad year, but the thought of him topping four years and $100MM in an open-market setting didn’t seem particularly plausible.
Fast forward six months, and Strasburg is a World Series MVP who posted a 3.32 ERA over 209 regular-season innings. His strikeout and walk rates continued to be excellent, and at a time when the juiced ball turned the entire league into 30-homer threats, Strasburg cut back on his 2018 home-run rate while logging the second-highest grounder rate of his career. His postseason heroics were the stuff of legend; in 36 1/3 innings, Strasburg pitched to a 1.98 ERA with a 47-to-4 K/BB ratio — including a gutsy 8 1/3-inning effort in a win-or-go-home Game 6 against the Astros in Houston. This is the Strasburg the Nats dreamed of when taking him first overall back in 2009. He’s now posted two six-WAR seasons in his past three years.
There aren’t too many teams in baseball that will plausibly go to this level for a pitcher. Strasburg’s market should have a direct overlap with Cole, meaning that the Nationals, Phillies, Dodgers, Yankees, Twins, White Sox, Rangers and Cubs could all come into play. The Padres seem likely to be involved in Strasburg’s market as well, given his geographic ties. By all accounts, he’s loved his time in D.C., and while paying both Strasburg and Rendon would require an astonishing commitment from the owners Ted and Mark Lerner, it’s a lot easier to write those checks coming off a World Series victory.
Signed with Nationals for seven years, $245MM.
4. Zack Wheeler – Phillies. Five years, $100MM. For teams seeking ace potential without the Gerrit Cole price tag, Wheeler is the top choice. Though the 29-year-old’s 3.96 ERA this season doesn’t jump off the page, he’s displayed the ability to miss bats and added a career-best walk rate. Over his past 350 innings, Wheeler is sporting a 3.47 ERA and a 3.27 FIP with a strikeout per inning and just 2.4 walks per nine. He’s also one of the hardest-throwing starting pitchers in the game, averaging 96.7 mph this year on his fastball. The Statcast profile on Wheeler is strong, with above average fastball and curveball spin rate and low exit velocity and hard-hit percentage.
Wheeler was drafted sixth overall by the Giants out of high school in 2009, joining the Mets in a July 2011 trade for Carlos Beltran. He had Tommy John surgery in March 2015 and wound up going two and a half years between Major League starts. Wheeler has made 60 starts in the last two campaigns, so the surgery is firmly in the rearview mirror.
Though the free agent market has tightened up considerably since Jeff Samardzija signed four years ago, there would seem to be enough competition to get Wheeler to the heights of that five-year, $90MM contract or even take it to the next level. Wheeler received a qualifying offer from the Mets, who seem unlikely to be able to fit him into their budget. The Phillies, Twins, Nationals, Braves, Brewers, Cubs, Giants, Dodgers, Padres, Red Sox, Yankees, White Sox, Astros, Angels, and Rangers could be part of his robust market.
Signed with Phillies for five years, $118MM.
5. Josh Donaldson – Rangers. Three years, $75MM. After an injury-shortened 2018 season, Donaldson bet on himself by signing a hefty one-year, $23MM deal with the Braves. The former MVP returned to glory with a 4.9 WAR campaign, playing in 155 games. He posted a strong 132 wRC+ with his signature excellent third base defense. Five-WAR seasons were the floor for Donaldson from 2013-17, when he starred for the A’s and Blue Jays. Statcast underlines the fact that Donaldson has returned to form, as he ranked seventh in MLB in average exit velocity and 11th in hard hit percentage.
Unlike last winter, Donaldson has been tagged with a qualifying offer. The slugging, slick-fielding third baseman turns 34 in December, likely limiting him to a three-year, high-AAV contract. If the Braves balk, the Rangers, Nationals, Phillies, Brewers, Cardinals, Twins, and Angels could be in the mix.
Signed with Twins for four years, $92MM.
6. Madison Bumgarner – Twins. Four years, $72MM. Bumgarner bounced back with 207 2/3 innings this year after missing significant time in each of the two previous seasons. An April 2017 dirt bike accident resulted in three months lost to a shoulder injury, and then Bumgarner broke his hand in a 2018 Cactus League game after being hit by a comebacker. Bumgarner proved those series of unfortunate events were behind him by making 34 starts in 2019.
From 2011-16, Bumgarner was a lock for 30+ starts, serving as one of baseball’s best regular season pitchers and a postseason legend. Though his Giants haven’t appeared in the playoffs since 2016, Bumgarner sports over 100 innings of 2.11 ERA ball in the postseason to back up his three rings. He hasn’t quite maintained the strikeout rate of his heyday, and he can be prone to home runs, but Bumgarner is only 30 years old and has plenty left in the tank.
The Giants’ brief flirtation with a Wild Card run in July worked to Bumgarner’s detriment as a free agent, as it prevented a trade that would have made him ineligible for a qualifying offer. Now, Bumgarner must navigate the market with the added cost of his signing team losing a draft pick. He’d still be a welcome addition to just about any pitching staff, and his list of suitors should be similar to that of Wheeler. Some of those teams may even prefer Bumgarner, but he’s not an asset on the rise in the way that Wheeler looks to be.
Signed with Diamondbacks for five years, $85MM.
7. Yasmani Grandal – Reds. Four years, $68MM. In each of the last two years, Grandal has trailed only J.T. Realmuto for the highest WAR among catchers. Grandal is the best-hitting catcher in baseball over the last two seasons with a 123 wRC+, a mark that would look good for a player at any position but is downright Herculean compared to the average catcher’s 84 wRC+ in that time. On the defensive side, Grandal has caught more innings than anyone over the last two seasons and continually rates as one of the game’s best pitch framers.
Back in January, Grandal signed a surprising one-year, $18.25MM contract with the Brewers. Though his market was depressed by a qualifying offer and perhaps some high-profile gaffes in last year’s playoffs, the backstop still received plenty of multiyear offers, including a four-year proposal from the Mets in excess of $50MM. Grandal explained in January that average annual value was important to him: “These are guys who have established a market and pay levels for a particular tier of catchers like myself. I felt l would be doing a disservice taking some of the deals that were offered even though they were slightly more long term.”
It certainly appears Grandal’s bet will pay off, as even a three-year, $42MM deal would put him ahead of the Mets offer he spurned. Grandal turns 31 this month and has a good shot at a four-year deal. This time, he hits the market on a positive note and without the anchor of a qualifying offer. The Brewers will likely attempt to re-sign him, but the Reds, Nationals, Braves, Mets, Rays, White Sox, Angels, and Rangers could also be in the mix.
Signed with White Sox for four years, $73MM.
8. Nicholas Castellanos – White Sox. Four years, $58MM. Castellanos is the best outfield bat on the market this winter. His 126 wRC+ over the past two seasons ranks 26th in baseball, only a bit shy of big names like Kris Bryant, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Bryce Harper. Playing in cavernous Comerica Park, Castellanos never reached 30 home runs in a season, but he led MLB in doubles this year and ranked fifth last year. The Tigers sent Castellanos to the Cubs at the trade deadline this year, which ended up having dual benefits: it erased his qualifying offer eligibility, and he went absolutely nuts with a 154 wRC+ and 16 home runs for Chicago in 225 plate appearances. Plus, Castellanos doesn’t turn 28 until March, making him the youngest prominent free agent and 15 months younger than Marcell Ozuna.
On the flip side, one reason trade interest was limited in Castellanos this summer is his suspect defense. After four years of below average third base defense, Castellanos moved to right field in 2019 and remained subpar there. Among those with at least 1,500 innings in right field over the last two years, Castellanos ranks dead last in ultimate zone rating and defensive runs saved. It’s definitely worth noting, though, that virtually every defensive metric of note reflected improvement from 2018 to 2019. Castellanos went from -19 to -9 in DRS, -12.9 to -4.4 in Ultimate Zone Rating and -24 to -7 in Statcast’s Outs Above Average. Scott Boras is surely going to try to sell him as a player whose defensive skills are on the rise along with his bat. Whether he can succeed remains to be seen.
Even if Castellanos just is who he’s been, the result in the short-term is still a solid three WAR type player — albeit one who fits better on an American League team. The Cubs remain an option, and the White Sox, Marlins, Reds, Giants, Diamondbacks, Padres, Indians, and Angels could be possibilities.
Signed with Reds for four years, $64MM.
9. Hyun-Jin Ryu – Rangers. Three years, $54MM. Ryu’s results the last two years are hard to beat. He won the NL ERA crown with a 2.32 mark this year after posting a 1.97 ERA in 15 starts in 2018. Ryu works at around 91 miles per hour, but he’s in the 96th percentile for exit velocity allowed, meaning batters aren’t squaring him up despite the lack of premium velocity. He was consistently excellent in 2019, turning in a quality start more than three-quarters of the time. The southpaw turns 33 in March and should score a solid contract despite his age and lengthy injury history.
After a successful career in the Korea Baseball Organization, Ryu was posted by the Hanwha Eagles and the Dodgers won his negotiating rights in 2012. Following a couple of excellent seasons for the Dodgers, Ryu required shoulder and elbow surgeries and missed almost all of the 2015-16 seasons. After his strong half-season in 2018, the Dodgers issued a qualifying offer, and Ryu accepted. This year, he reached 180 innings for the first time since his rookie campaign and should receive Cy Young votes.
Ryu will be considered a significant injury risk, but he offers the chance at front-of-the-rotation results with a contract in the range of Rich Hill’s deal from three years ago. The Dodgers may look to retain him, but otherwise the Rangers, Nationals, Braves, Brewers, Cubs, Giants, Padres, Red Sox, Yankees, Twins, Astros, and Angels could be suitors. Ryu’s market will be aided by the fact that he’s ineligible for a qualifying offer, unlike the other top starting pitchers.
Signed with Blue Jays for four years, $80MM.
10. Jake Odorizzi – Twins. Three years, $51MM. Odorizzi, 30 in March, blossomed in 2019 and made his first All-Star team. The righty struck out more than 27 percent of batters faced, which was by far a career-best and good for 21st in baseball among those with 150 innings. Odorizzi also has an excellent track record of health, making at least 28 starts in each of the past six seasons. More encouragingly, he’s never been on the IL due to an arm injury.
Odorizzi will not save a team’s bullpen, however, as he ranked 80th in baseball at 5.3 innings per start (minimum 100 innings). Perhaps in today’s game, where teams prefer not to let a starter go three times through the batting order, Odorizzi’s “five and dive” reputation is less of a detriment. He’s also been tagged with a qualifying offer, which will probably stunt his market more than anything. Still, plenty of teams will be shopping in the starting pitching middle class, and Odorizzi is one of the best within that bracket.
Accepted one-year, $17.8MM qualifying offer from Twins.
11. Marcell Ozuna – Giants. Three years, $45MM. Ozuna’s market figures to be similar to that of Castellanos. Ozuna does have one huge season on his resume: his 2017 campaign for the Marlins wherein he posted a career-best 143 wRC+ with 37 home runs. Miami traded him to the Cardinals afterward, and his offense in St. Louis was pedestrian. Ozuna’s 108 wRC+ over the past two seasons is worse than a more affordable free agent like Yasiel Puig. Plus, unlike Castellanos, he’s been saddled with a qualifying offer. Ozuna’s arm pretty much limits him to left field, where he has received above-average defensive marks.
There is a silver lining here, and it’s in Ozuna’s Statcast numbers. Ozuna’s average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage were both in the 93rd percentile or better this year, suggesting that his current skill level will produce better results in the future. Plus, he turns 29 this month, so he’s young enough to present some upside. Assuming Ozuna turns down his qualifying offer from the Cardinals, he’s expected to sign elsewhere. The Giants, Marlins, Reds, Padres, Indians, Tigers, and Royals could make sense.
Signed with Braves for one year, $18MM.
12. Didi Gregorius – Reds. Three years, $42MM. A Curacao native who was born in Amsterdam, Gregorius was a rising shortstop prospect with a rocket arm and below average power when he was sent from the Reds to the Diamondbacks as part of a major three-team deal in December 2012. After a couple of lackluster seasons in Arizona, the Yankees acquired Gregorius in another three-team deal, boldly installing him as Derek Jeter’s replacement. The team was able to unlock Gregorius’ power, as he hit 72 home runs from 2016-18. In 2017-18, Gregorius totaled 8.9 fWAR – third in all of baseball and ahead of Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, Javier Baez, Trea Turner, and Carlos Correa. During that time he provided a large impact on both sides of the ball, with a 115 wRC+ and his typical excellent defense. However, Gregorius injured his elbow during the 2018 ALDS, requiring Tommy John surgery in October of that year. He made his 2019 season debut on June 7th.
Gregorius’ bat did not return to previous levels in 2019, with a 84 wRC+ after a particularly rough September. With a normal offseason during which Gregorius will turn 30, there’s a good chance he’ll return to form as one of the game’s best shortstops. Plus, the Yankees declined to make a qualifying offer, so he hits the market unencumbered. Though solid multiyear deals will be offered, Gregorius’ best play might be to take a strong one-year deal and re-enter the market. Should the Yankees choose to install Gleyber Torres as their regular shortstop in 2020, Gregorius could land with the Reds, Brewers, Marlins, or Phillies.
Signed with Phillies for one year, $14MM.
13. Will Smith – Twins. Three years, $42MM. Smith may be the most coveted reliever on the free agent market this winter. The 30-year-old southpaw made his first All-Star team this year, serving as the Giants’ closer and racking up 34 saves. Though he works around 93 miles per hour, Smith has been piling up strikeouts for the last two seasons. During that time he’s punched out nearly 36 percent of batters faced, which ranks seventh among relievers with at least 100 innings. And it’s not as if those punchouts came from out of nowhere. He’s improved since the start of 2018, but Smith has whiffed a third of the hitters he’s faced since moving to the bullpen back in 2013.
Much like Bumgarner, Smith would have benefited from a midseason trade. Now, a qualifying offer puts a drag on his market and could get in the way of a four-year deal. He should still be immensely popular, with the Twins, Nationals, Phillies, Mets, Cubs, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays among the many teams seeking bullpen help.
Signed with Braves for three years, $40MM.
14. Dallas Keuchel – White Sox. Three years, $39MM. Coming off a solid 2018 season for the Astros, Keuchel became the poster boy for last winter’s free agent freeze. The soft-tossing southpaw waited until after the June amateur draft to sign, removing the qualifying offer that helped dragged down his market.
Keuchel’s work for the Braves in 19 starts was acceptable but not exceptional. He posted a solid 3.75 ERA, but that included his typical lackluster strikeout rate and more than a hit per inning. Keuchel did shine in groundball rate, ranking first in MLB among those with 100 innings. Rare as flyballs were for Keuchel, 24 percent of his left the yard, so he was still homer-prone in the end. How much of that is attributable to the juiced ball is difficult to ascertain, but he’s never struggled to that extent. In fact, as recently as 2018, only 11.3 percent of Keuchel’s flyballs became home runs.
Keuchel is not eligible for a qualifying offer this time around, so he should be able to find a multiyear deal from a team looking for a veteran innings eater. Given last winter’s fiasco, he’ll be best served keeping an open mind to all offers, including those from rebuilding clubs.
Signed with White Sox for three years, $55.5MM.
15. Cole Hamels – Braves. Two years, $30MM. Hamels is headed toward the twilight of his career, with his 36th birthday around the corner. The southpaw change-up artist has an admirable career record. His 39.3 WAR from 2007-15 ranks sixth in MLB, nudged between likely Hall of Famers Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke and CC Sabathia. Hamels is still an above average starting pitcher, as evidenced by a 3.30 ERA in 39 starts for the Cubs since they traded for him at last year’s deadline. His Chicago renaissance was in full swing for his first 16 starts of 2019, featuring a 2.92 ERA, but an oblique strain in late June knocked him out for over a month. Hamels posted a 5.79 ERA in 10 starts after his return, creating some cause for concern.
Though Hamels’ days as a 210-inning workhorse are probably long gone, he’s a solid addition if he can provide 300 innings over the life of a two-year deal. The Cubs declined to issue a qualifying offer, so Hamels’ first-ever foray into free agency will be uninhibited. The Braves, Phillies, Brewers, Giants, Dodgers, Padres, Red Sox, Yankees, White Sox, Twins, Astros, Angels, and Mariners could be options, though the veteran Hamels would presumably prefer to latch on with a contending club at this point of his career.
Signed with Braves for one year, $18MM.
16. Jose Abreu – White Sox. Two years, $28MM. Six years ago, the White Sox signed Abreu to a six-year, $68MM that was a record for an international free agent at the time and still stands as the largest contract in franchise history. Abreu, a Cuban defector who turns 33 in January, has been a steady presence for Chicago over those six years, averaging 150 games, 30 home runs, and 102 RBI per season. He won the AL Rookie of the Year in 2014 and made the All-Star team three times. By measure of wRC+, Abreu is at 116 over the past two seasons, and that represents a reasonable expectation over the next two. The White Sox greatly value Abreu’s clubhouse presence, and a return seems a near-lock. The team’s qualifying offer was a starting point. If multiyear talks go awry and Abreu turns down the QO, the draft pick loss plus the first baseman’s age could serve to limit interest. Still, the Marlins, Nationals, Brewers, Red Sox, Twins, and Rangers could be options in the unlikely scenario of a White Sox divorce.
Accepted one-year, $17.8MM qualifying offer from White Sox. Later reworked as a three-year, $50MM contract.
17. Michael Pineda – Brewers. Two years, $22MM. The Twins signed Pineda to a two-year, $10MM deal in December 2017, with the understanding that the righty was a 2019 stash due to Tommy John surgery. That worked out mostly as planned, as the big righty provided 26 starts of 4.01 ERA ball before being slapped with a 60-game PED suspension in September. The suspension was ill-timed not only due to his impending free agency but also because there could now be some skepticism as to the validity of the 3.10 ERA, 9.3 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 he logged in 87 innings (15 starts) upon returning from a brief IL stint in mid-June.
At the same time, there’s cause to believe that Pineda’s case may be the rare suspension in which a banned substance was not related to PED use. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, “He originally got an 80-game suspension, but it was reduced to 60 on appeal, as a compelling case was made that a banned diuretic he used was not a masking agent for PEDs.” As far as Pineda’s free agency goes, the main effect of the suspension is that he’ll miss the first 39 days of the 2020 season. So, whoever signs him will have to accept a May debut.
Pineda, 31 in January, has generally posted solid strikeout rates, excellent control, and inflated home run rates in his career with the Mariners, Yankees, and Twins. Those trends continued in 2019, and he could fill the number three or four starter spot for quite a few clubs. Plus, Pineda doesn’t come with a qualifying offer attached. He’s the type of starter that will have a broad market; non-contenders in search of innings with a tick of upside could find his price point palatable, and contending clubs could be enticed by the strong results he generated in his final 15 starts.
Signed with Twins for two years, $20MM.
18. Mike Moustakas – Braves. Two years, $20MM. If we keep predicting a multiyear deal for Moustakas, will he finally get one? Time will tell! Moose, who was hitting 38 home runs before everyone starting doing it, has signed consecutive one-year deals the last two winters. He’s not one to draw many walks, though he’s improved in that regard, and he’s smacked 101 home runs over the past three seasons. Moustakas’ third base defense rates as acceptable, and he’s even shown he’s capable of handling second base. It’s a solid 2-3 WAR package that could still be useful to the Brewers. The Braves, Nationals, Phillies, Orioles, Indians, Twins and Rangers could get involved as well.
Signed with Reds for four years, $64MM.
19. Kyle Gibson – Cubs. Two years, $18MM. Gibson was drafted 22nd overall by the Twins out of Mizzou in 2009, after he dropped down draft boards due to a stress fracture in his forearm. At the time, Gibson was considered a possible future ace on the fast track to Minnesota. However, the righty went under the knife for Tommy John surgery in September 2011, delaying his big league debut until 2013. He was 25 years old by then, which is why he’s reaching free agency heading into his age-32 season. Gibson’s injury history also includes a shoulder strain in 2016.
Gibson made 188 starts in his Twins career spanning parts of seven seasons, displaying good durability and decent results. His strikeout and walk numbers have generally been sub-par or average. While Gibson’s strikeout rate has risen over the past two seasons, so too has the entire league’s. Where Gibson succeeds is in his ground-ball rate; in fact, his 50.6 percent mark over the past three seasons is the best among all big league pitchers who have thrown at least 500 innings. Unfortunately, an inordinate amount of Gibson’s fly-balls have left the yard, including more than 20 percent of them this year. Gibson was posting a decent 2019 season as of August 3rd, with his ERA down to 4.02, but he was rocked in his next five starts and hit the IL for ulcerative colitis.
Gibson feels his season-long gastrointestinal issues may stem from “E. coli that he contracted in the Caribbean during a volunteering trip,” according to Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com. He lost upwards of 20 pounds last winter as a result and wasn’t fully able to put the weight back on for the ’19 season. Gibson has shown that at his best, he can make 30 starts and provide around 2.5 WAR, so he fits well in the Roark-Miley-Teheran-Porcello aisle of starting pitchers.
Signed with Rangers for three years, $30MM.
20. Tanner Roark – Blue Jays. Two years, $18MM. Roark, a veteran of seven MLB seasons, has never landed on the injured list. He’s made at least 30 starts in five of the past six seasons, with the exception being 2015 when he was bumped to the bullpen upon the Nationals’ signing of Max Scherzer. His strikeout rate has ticked up over the years, though his lone positive Statcast data point is the excellent spin rate on his curveball. Roark is a hittable 33-year-old righty with a 92 mile per hour fastball whose main attribute is his ability to take the ball every fifth day. It’s not a particularly sexy profile, but durable, league-average innings have value. Some of the less-appealing free agent destinations might be able to lure him with a two-year deal.
Signed with Blue Jays for two years, $24MM.
21. Julio Teheran – Mariners. Two years, $18MM. Teheran made 222 starts for the Braves from 2013-19, a total that ranks fourth in all of baseball. Teheran, 29 in January, made the All-Star team in 2014 and ’16. Over the last three years, however, the righty has settled in as more of a 4.00 ERA type of innings eater. Despite an ERA of 4.09 during that time, his SIERA has hovered closer to 5.00. His control, once an asset, has slipped to an 11% BB rate – third-worst in MLB among qualified starters. Teheran’s fastball velocity is down below 90 miles per hour on average, but he can at least boast of above average spin rates. It’s difficult to get excited about Teheran despite his relative youth, but his durability has value.
Signed with Angels for one year, $9MM.
22. Will Harris – Cubs. Two years, $18MM. Harris, 35, might be the best MLB reliever you’ve barely heard of, at least until the playoffs this year. Since joining the Astros via a November 2014 waiver claim, Harris has posted 297 innings of 2.36 ERA ball. That mark ranks third in MLB over that time — ahead of Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel, and various other well-compensated firemen. As a righty with a 92 mile per hour fastball and only 20 career saves, perhaps Harris’ anonymity makes sense. But Harris is a spin rate monster who specializes in weak contact. He’s got an excellent ground-ball rate and should be a popular free agent this winter even after allowing a pair of critical World Series homers (the latter of which was an improbable, barely-a-homer shot that came on a well-executed pitch; tip of the cap to Howie Kendrick…who we’ll get to in a bit).
Signed with Nationals for three years, $24MM.
23. Drew Pomeranz – Dodgers. Two years, $16MM. Most free agent markets have a buzzworthy reliever, and this year it’s Pomeranz. A former first round pick of the Indians, the southpaw had some solid seasons in relief for the A’s before finding his footing as a starter with the Padres and Red Sox. Pomeranz posted a 3.32 ERA over 62 starts from 2016-17, but his 2018 season was decimated by a forearm flexor strain and biceps tendinitis. He hooked on with the Giants for just a $1.5MM guarantee, but failed in a starting role for San Francisco and was shipped to the Brewers at the 2019 deadline.
From August 2nd onward, Pomeranz was an utterly dominant reliever for Milwaukee. His fastball velocity ticked up to 95-96 miles per hour as Pomeranz struck out nearly half of batters faced, more than Josh Hader during that time. The eye-opening showing, less than 30 innings in total, could even net Pomeranz a three-year deal.
Signed with Padres for four years, $34MM.
24. Wade Miley – Angels. Two years, $16MM. Miley is coming off a solid year for the Astros in which he posted a 3.98 ERA in 33 starts. The veteran southpaw, 33 this month, had a 3.06 ERA after his August 30th start in Toronto. Then the wheels came off, as he was clobbered for 28 hits and 21 earned runs in 11 1/3 innings over his next five starts and was left off the Astros’ ALCS and World Series rosters.
When Miley is going well, he succeeds by way of soft contact. This year he posted an 81st percentile hard-hit percentage and 75th percentile average exit velocity. Miley reinvented himself by ramping up the usage of his cutter, throwing the pitch more than 40 percent of the time starting in 2018 with the Brewers. As he explained last year to Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “You suck enough in this game – and I did, for two straight years – I guess insanity is what comes to mind. I kept doing the same thing and expecting a different result and finally I was just like, ‘I’ve got to make an adjustment.’ That’s what I came up with.”
Despite the late-season swoon, the new version of Miley can provide stability at the back end of a starting rotation. With the exception of 2018, Miley made 29 or more starts each season dating back to 2012. The Angels, Braves, Phillies, Mets, Brewers, Cubs, Pirates, Blue Jays, White Sox, Twins, Giants, Mariners, or Rangers could be fits.
Signed with Reds for two years, $15MM.
25. Corey Dickerson – Padres. Two years, $15MM. Dickerson’s 127 wRC+ topped all free agent outfielders this year, though he did it in just 279 plate appearances due to a shoulder strain and a broken foot. A left-handed hitter, Dickerson has been at least 15 percent above league average with the bat in each of the past three seasons. He’s not big on drawing walks but makes up for it with a relatively low strikeout rate. Dickerson has spent the vast majority of his time in left field, with varying defensive results. He rated poorly in Tampa Bay, which contributed heavily to the Rays’ decision to trade him, only to post brilliant metrics in 2018 and win a Gold Glove Award. He could be a useful addition for teams like the Padres, Marlins, Reds, Giants, Orioles, White Sox, Indians, Tigers and Royals.
Signed with Marlins for two years, $17.5MM.
26. Travis d’Arnaud – Brewers. Two years, $14MM. D’Arnaud, 31 in February, was the 37th overall pick by the Phillies out of high school back in 2007. Drafted for his defensive abilities at catcher, d’Arnaud surpassed his younger brother, Chase, as a prospect and was traded to the Blue Jays in the Phillies’ December 2009 deal for the late, great Roy Halladay. As d’Arnaud’s prospect rating continued to rise, he was included in a second major trade three years later, joining Noah Syndergaard as part of the Mets’ return for R.A. Dickey.
D’Arnaud suffered a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee at Triple-A in the season leading up to his Mets trade, and it was a sign of things to come. The touted backstop’s Mets career spanned 407 games over parts of seven seasons and was wracked by injuries, from a broken foot in 2013 to elbow surgery in 2014 to a broken hand and sprained elbow in 2015 to a rotator cuff strain in 2016 to a bruised wrist in 2017 to Tommy John surgery in 2018. From 2015-18, d’Arnaud had an IL stint lasting at least three weeks in every season. Yikes.
Somehow, once the Mets finally gave up on him in April of this year, d’Arnaud’s fortunes changed. After a one-game stop-off with the Dodgers, d’Arnaud was dealt to the Rays and posted a 107 wRC+ in 365 plate appearances. In June and July, d’Arnaud was not only the best-hitting catcher in baseball, he was the fifth-best hitter in all of MLB. He tailed off significantly after that, but importantly was able to avoid the IL. Notably, for a catcher returning from Tommy John surgery, he threw out an above-average 29 percent of attempted thieves on the bases this season. He’s also long been considered an average or better framer. Compared to veterans Robinson Chirinos and Jason Castro, d’Arnaud offers upside along with ample injury risk. The Rays still make sense, and d’Arnaud could also be of interest to the Brewers, Nationals, Pirates, Tigers, Astros, Angels, and Rangers.
Signed with Braves for two years, $16MM.
27. Chris Martin – Phillies. Two years, $14MM. Martin has one of the most fascinating journeys of any player on this list. As outlined by Tim Tucker in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Martin was drafted out of both high school and community college, but turned those offers down in hopes of improving his stock. Instead, he suffered a torn labrum in college and basically quit baseball after his shoulder wasn’t responding properly. Working at places like Lowe’s and UPS in his 20s, Martin realized his shoulder didn’t hurt anymore, and forged a path from independent baseball to a Major League debut at age 27, to a successful two-year stint with the Nippon Ham Fighters, and back home to Texas on a two-year, $4MM free agent deal. In Martin’s first year for the Rangers, he was limited to 41 2/3 innings because of forearm irritation as well as hamstring, knee, and groin injuries. This year, he ascended to the team’s closer role before being traded to the Braves at the deadline. Martin ended his season on a minor down note, as he was pulled from the NLDS with oblique tightness.
Martin’s stats this year jump off the page. In 55 2/3 innings, he punched out 65 batters and walked just five, with a 50 percent ground-ball rate to boot. His fastball averaged nearly 96 miles per hour. On the worrisome side, he was in the 17th percentile for hard-hit percentage, and more than a fifth of his fly-balls left the yard in his time with the Rangers. Plus, there’s that injury history. As free agent relievers go, Martin, who’ll turn 34 next June, sits on the higher end of the risk/reward spectrum.
Signed with Braves for two years, $14MM.
28. Daniel Hudson – Nationals. Two years, $12MM. Hudson, 33 in March, signed a minor league deal with the Angels in February, was released in March, signed for a million dollars with the Blue Jays a few days later…and then found himself recording the final out of the 2019 World Series with the Nationals. His roller-coaster season was, in many ways, emblematic of the Nationals organization in 2019 and made for a great story. It also makes for a nice free agent case.
On the season for the Blue Jays and Nationals, Hudson posted a fine 2.47 ERA in 73 frames — his best since switching to relief in 2015 — but his strikeout and walk rates weren’t anything special. He did improve his control upon the trade to the Nats. It should also be highlighted that he’s not only one of the hardest-throwing free agent relievers this winter — he also boasts 90th percentile spin rate on his fastball and curve.
Hudson is the rare active MLB pitcher who has twice undergone Tommy John surgery; fewer than 10 hurlers can make that claim. Hudson’s TJS procedures are more than six years behind him, and he already received a two-year free agent deal since, but he did miss a significant portion of the 2018 season with forearm tightness. It would make sense for the Nationals to try to retain Hudson. Otherwise the Phillies, Mets, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Twins, and Astros could be suitors.
Signed with Nationals for two years, $11MM.
29. Avisail Garcia – Marlins. Two years, $12MM. Garcia batted .330 in his excellent 2017 season, but a hamstring strain cost him two months the following year and he posted a replacement-level campaign. The White Sox chose not to tender him a contract after that, and Garcia landed with the Rays on a $3.5MM pact. His bounceback year went pretty well, with a 112 wRC+, a career-best 20 home runs, and solid defense in right field. Still, it all came out to a 1.8 WAR season.
Garcia is only 28 years old, however, and he’s faster and more athletic than you might think, ranking 72nd of 568 big leaguers in average sprint speed — tied with Cody Bellinger and ahead of players like Tim Anderson and Christian Yelich. There’s still some upside here to unlock, but the corner-outfield market also features Castellanos, Ozuna, Puig, Dickerson, Gardner, Calhoun and others. Garcia could land multiple years if a team buys into the potential for upside, but some from that group are going to be left standing with disappointing deals, and 20 homers in an all-time era for power isn’t ideal for a player who’s primarily a corner outfielder.
Signed with Brewers for two years, $20MM.
30. Howie Kendrick – Twins. Two years, $12MM. After serving as the Angels’ starting second baseman for nine years, Kendrick was traded to the Dodgers in December 2014 for Andrew Heaney. In the last few seasons, the now-36-year-old Kendrick transitioned into more of a part-time role, logging time at first base and left field in addition to his time at second base. Kendrick’s high-contact approach has aged like a fine wine, with a 130 wRC+ over the last three years including a stout 146 mark this year. It would make sense for him to land with a contending team with an unsettled first base situation and the occasional need at second base. He makes some sense with the Twins, Rays, D-backs or Brewers, and a return to the Nationals seems quite possible after a pair of season-saving playoff dingers.
Signed with Nationals for one year, $6.25MM.
31. Rick Porcello – Giants. One year, $11MM. Porcello has made 281 starts over the last nine seasons, behind only Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Jon Lester. He also started at least 28 games in each of those seasons from 2011-19, something only Lester can also boast. Porcello, 31 in December, is a paragon of durability. He’s also a paragon of mediocrity outside of his 2015 Cy Young season for the Red Sox, as he’s otherwise settled in as a two-WAR starting pitcher with an ERA in the mid- to high-4.00s.
Porcello will soak up 32 starts a year like clockwork, and his strikeout-to-walk ratios are solid. He’s also got excellent spin rate on his fastball and curve. However, Porcello’s flyball rate is eighth-highest in the game over the past three seasons and his home run rate is sixth-worst. He’d do well in a place like San Francisco, but interest could also come from the Braves, Mets, Cubs, Padres, Blue Jays, White Sox, Royals, Twins, Astros, Angels, Mariners, and Rangers. Porcello should receive two-year offers, but he may prefer to bet on himself with a one-year deal. Doing so would allow him to hit the market again prior to his age-32 season, though with a strong enough year he’d also potentially be subject to a qualifying offer.
Signed with Mets for one year, $10MM.
32. Brett Gardner – Yankees. One year, $10MM. Gardner has been indispensable in his 12-year career with the Yankees, as he just keeps churning out 3-4 WAR seasons. In fact, his 21.9 WAR from 2013-19 ranks 12th among all MLB outfielders, ahead of players like Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, and A.J. Pollock. He’s a well-rounded contributor who generally rates as above average on both offense and defense. The 36-year-old Gardner has typically served as a left fielder, but he proved more than capable of center when he took more than half of the Yankees’ innings at that position in Aaron Hicks’ absence. It’s hard to picture him in anything other than a Yankees uniform, but perhaps some team could lure him with a two-year deal. The Phillies, D-backs, Indians and others could weigh outfield additions, but with Hicks likely out for most of the 2020 season following Tommy John surgery, a Bronx reunion seems all the likelier.
Signed with Yankees for one year, $12.5MM.
33. Robinson Chirinos – Astros. Two years, $10MM. The 35-year-old Chirinos has proven himself to be one of the better-hitting catchers in the game, as his 111 wRC+ from 2017-19 ranks eighth in baseball in a group led by Yasmani Grandal’s 117 mark. He’s clearly a bat-first catcher, ranking poorly in pitch framing and preventing stolen bases despite the Astros’ counseling. Still, it appears he’s become good enough behind the dish, and he should draw interest from most of the team’s listed for d’Arnaud. The Astros have extra incentive to keep him around, as they have virtually nothing on the depth chart behind the dish and Chirinos became Justin Verlander’s preferred receiver in 2019.
Signed with Rangers for one year, $6.75MM.
34. Jason Castro – Angels. Two years, $10MM. Castro, by contrast, is more of a glove-first type of catcher, though his bat was above average this year for the first time since 2013. He walks at a high clip, evidenced by a career 10 percent rate and a mark near 12 percent over the past four seasons, and has above-average power for a catcher. However, he also strikes out frequently (career 27.9 percent), which limits his average, OBP and overall offensive contributions.
Castro’s defensive value is primarily driven by his pitch framing, as his career caught-stealing rate is roughly in line with the league average. His blocking numbers, per Baseball Prospectus, took a nosedive this season, although perhaps that’s to be expected in his first year back from knee surgery. The 32-year-old missed almost all of 2018 due to a torn meniscus in his right knee and ended up ceding about half the playing time in 2019 to Mitch Garver, who had a breakout year for the Twins. As noted when previously discussing d’Arnaud, the Rays, Brewers, Nationals, Pirates, Tigers, Astros, Angels, and Rangers could all be on the lookout for catching help.
Signed with Angels for one year, $6.85MM.
35. Craig Stammen – Mets. Two years, $10MM. Stammen broke in as a starter with the Nationals in 2009 but flourished as a multi-inning reliever beginning in 2012. He missed almost all of the 2015 season with a torn flexor tendon, joining the Padres on a minor league deal prior to the 2017 campaign. Since that time he’s second among MLB relievers with 241 1/3 innings, with a solid 3.06 ERA and 50.6 percent ground-ball rate. Stammen, who turns 36 in March, won’t wow anyone with velocity and saw his swinging-strike rate fell off a cliff this year. Still, he rates well on exit velocity and hard-hit percentage and has a shot at a two-year deal.
Signed with Padres for two years, $10MM.
36. Steve Cishek – Diamondbacks. Two years, $10MM. The sidearming Cishek has a 2.52 ERA over the past four seasons, second only to Kenley Jansen during that time. Cishek’s strikeout and walk rates have been moving in the wrong direction, but he’s a high spin rate guy whose success comes from weak contact. He ranks in the 99th percentile in terms of opponent exit velocity and hard-hit percentage, in fact; this year, Cishek’s average exit velocity of 84.5 miles per hour ranked fourth in all of MLB.
All of that may sound more enticing than two years and $10MM, but Cishek will be 34 next June and posted the second-highest walk percentage of his career in 2019 (10.9 percent). Those control issues were particularly prominent against left-handed batters, whom he walked at a near-15-percent clip. Cishek is a monster against right-handed batters (career .199/.265/.288) but has long had control issues when facing hitters who hold the platoon advantage (.229/.335/.360). There’ll be plenty of overlap with the markets for relievers like Cishek, Stammen, Hudson and Martin.
Signed with White Sox for one year, $6MM.
37. Yasiel Puig – Tigers. One year, $8MM. After Guggenheim Baseball Management bought the Dodgers for $2.15 billion in 2012, one of GM Ned Colletti’s first moves was to sign Puig, a Cuban defector, to a $42MM deal without ever seeing him play in a game. Puig came with huge raw talent and maturity questions from the outset, and it’s arguable that those same concerns still exist. His 2013 season, in which he finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, was bookended by a pair of reckless driving arrests. Puig tallied 9.4 WAR in 252 games for Don Mattingly’s 2013-14 Dodgers, heights he surprisingly would never reach again. Puig’s 2015-16 was marked by a scuffle with a Miami night club bouncer, regular hamstring injuries, and a stint in Triple-A. The 2017 season was a bounceback of sorts, as it was the only year in the past five in which Puig reached two wins above replacement. Last December, Puig’s up-and-down Dodgers career came to an end as he was shipped to the Reds.
His Reds career started quietly, as it took two months for his bat to get going. No stranger to ejections, Puig famously took on the Pirates in a brawl minutes after news of his late-July trade to the Indians broke. Though Puig’s power was absent in his time with the Indians, he still managed to post a 112 wRC+. For all his notoriety, the results on the field have been uninspiring for Puig, and he might have to accept a one-year deal. The Giants could use a corner outfield bat, but I doubt the team’s fanbase would embrace Puig while potentially losing Bumgarner. The Marlins are a fun fit, but Puig wasn’t on speaking terms with manager Don Mattingly at the end of his Dodgers career. Puig did finish on good terms with the Indians, but they aren’t likely to be looking to spend much this winter. Rebuilding teams like the Tigers, Orioles, or Royals could make sense, while the Diamondbacks, Padres, Rays, and White Sox might also look to add an outfielder.
38. Edwin Encarnacion – Rays. One year, $8MM. Encarnacion, 37 in January, just finished his eighth consecutive season with at least 32 home runs. From 2012 to present, no one matched EE’s 297 bombs or 850 RBIs. Though the slugger’s defensive limitations might ultimately limit him to the Hall of Very Good, Encarnacion proved he can still mash with a 129 wRC+ this year. That’s better than fellow free agents Nicholas Castellanos, Jose Abreu, Mike Moustakas, Avisail Garcia, and Marcell Ozuna. The key to fitting Encarnacion into the middle of a team’s lineup is finding a spot for him defensively, as he’s topped out at about 500 innings at first base in recent years and should mostly serve as a designated hitter. The Rays, Blue Jays, Indians, Orioles, White Sox, and Yankees could theoretically find a place for Encarnacion’s bat, though several of those teams have already done so in the past.
Signed with White Sox for one year, $12MM.
39. Alex Wood – Mariners. One year, $8MM. Wood posted a 3.20 ERA over 304 innings from 2017-18 for the Dodgers, but they shipped him to the Reds last December as a way of clearing salary. A back injury delayed Wood’s Reds debut until July 28th — much later than expected. He made seven starts before the back issue returned, knocking him out for all of September. Wood’s injury history also includes nearly four months missed in 2016 due to elbow debridement surgery in 2016 and two separate IL stints in 2017 for inflammation of the sternoclavicular joint. He’s only once made 30 starts in a season. Still, Wood doesn’t turn 29 until January and has demonstrated fine results when he’s been able to take the mound, with a 3.40 career ERA in 839 innings. The southpaw pitches at 89-91 when he’s right, and he was able to do that in his brief time with the Reds this year. This winter it’s mainly a matter of figuring out the severity of Wood’s back injury. He’s a perfect candidate for a one-year deal, possibly from a rebuilding team.
Signed with Dodgers for one year, $4MM.
40. Adam Wainwright – Cardinals. One year, $8MM. Speaking of the Hall of Very Good, Wainwright proved this year that he’s not done yet. The longtime Cardinals starter inked an incentive-heavy deal to stay with the team and made good on it with 171 2/3 innings of 4.19 ERA ball. Wainwright garnered four top three Cy Young finishes in his 2009-14 heyday, but now he’s a back of the rotation righty who has lost some life on his heater (89.9 mph average in ’19) but can still boast an 83rd percentile spin rate on his vaunted curveball.
Signed with Cardinals for one year, $5MM.
41. Brock Holt – Diamondbacks. Two years, $8MM. Holt, 31, has been a slightly above-average hitter over the last two seasons, but he’s best known for his defensive versatility. He’s got at least 200 career innings at all four infield positions as well as the outfield corners. Holt would like to remain in Boston, but it’s possible the team’s budget crunch will force him to sign elsewhere. Arizona GM Mike Hazen and his top lieutenants were all in the Boston front office at one point and have taken chances on former Red Sox talent in the past. If not Arizona, Holt could make sense with the Reds, Pirates, Brewers, Phillies, Nationals and Indians, among others.
Signed with Brewers.
42. Josh Lindblom – Astros. Two years, $8MM. Lindblom might be a vaguely familiar name for avid baseball fans or a complete unknown for others. He totaled 136 2/3 innings with the Dodgers, Phillies, Rangers and A’s from 2011-14 without establishing himself in the big leagues, and he had a brief 10 1/3-inning return with the Pirates in 2017. Like many players with unremarkable careers in the U.S., Lindblom took a chance on an overseas opportunity. He’s spent most of the past three seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization, where he’s experienced a breakout of sorts.
Over the past two seasons, Lindblom has a 2.68 ERA and a 346-to-67 K/BB ratio in 363 1/3 innings. The righty was carrying a sub-2.00 ERA for much of the 2019 season in the hitter-friendly KBO, and while win-loss record doesn’t mean much in 2019, his 35-7 mark over the past two seasons speaks to the success he’s found. Were Lindblom younger, he may well be ranked higher on the list. He’ll turn 33 next June, however, and paired with the shaky MLB track record, that will give some teams pause. That said, Lindblom’s numbers are superior to those of Merrill Kelly during his own KBO breakout, and he inked a two-year, $5.5MM deal with the D-backs upon returning stateside. His fastball stands out in terms of spin rate, but its velocity isn’t particularly eye-catching (90-92 mph). A team looking for upside at a relatively low cost makes sense here — particularly if said team heavily values spin rate and exit velocity. The Astros, Brewers, Dodgers, Twins, Cubs and Angels all seem like viable fits, but there’s no reason to think that a rebuilding team wouldn’t take a flier on a low-cost pitcher with some upside.
Signed with Brewers for three years, $9.125MM.
43. Dellin Betances – Rays. One year, $7MM. Betances, 32 in March, authored a dominant five-year stretch for the Yankees in which he posted a 2.22 ERA and struck out 40.3 percent of the hitters he faced in 373 1/3 innings from 2014-18. Both figures are second in MLB during that time. Betances was also near the top with a 97.4 mile per hour average fastball during that period. However, a shoulder injury appeared during Spring Training 2019 and surprisingly delayed Betances’ season debut until September 15th. He struck out the only two batters he faced that day, but suffered a partial tear of his left Achilles tendon in the appearance. Betances was around 95 miles per hour in that outing, so he’s yet to return to his typical 98-99 mph range. He’d do well to hold a showcase for teams next spring once his Achilles heals and take a one-year deal to rebuild value. He’s a high-risk, high-reward addition to a contender’s bullpen.
Signed with Mets for one year, $10.5MM.
44. Kole Calhoun – Pirates. One year, $6MM. The 32-year-old Calhoun spent parts of eight seasons with the Angels due to an extension signed in 2017. This winter, the Halos chose a $1MM buyout over a $14MM club option to finish off that deal. After a subpar 2017-18, Calhoun bounced back to a 108 wRC+ this year with a career-best 33 home runs in 632 plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the appeal of a 33-homer season isn’t as strong when he was one of a ridiculous 58 players to top 30 big flies with 2019’s juiced ball. Calhoun is an above-average right field defender, so there’s a chance he can serve as a two-WAR stopgap for someone. Calhoun posted a career-best 11.1 percent walk rate in 2019, but he countered that with a career-worst 25.6 percent strikeout rate. Statcast bolsters his stock with a 73rd percentile hard-hit percentage this year.
Signed with Diamondbacks for two years, $16MM.
45. Shogo Akiyama – Diamondbacks. Two years, $6MM. In an free-agent market largely devoid of center field talent, Akiyama should hold appeal to clubs seeking help in that regard. Akiyama, 32 next April, has batted at least .300 for the Seibu Lions of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball in four of the past five seasons, with the lone exception coming in 2016, when he hit .296. He’s walked at a 10.8 percent clip in that half-decade span while punching out only 14.3 percent of the time.
Akiyama has topped 20 homers in each of the past three seasons and swiped 15-plus bags in each of the past five years. In all, since the 2015 season, he’s a .320/.398/.497 hitter. As with any free agent from Japan, particularly one who’ll turn 32 in his first would-be MLB season, there will be questions about whether his abilities will carry over to MLB. He’s a star in NPB, so he should be able to land a multi-year deal to remain in Japan if he doesn’t find a big league offer. But Akiyama is the best free-agent bet to give a big league team a regular center fielder.
A win-now team with ample money to spend probably wouldn’t take on this level of uncertainty, but a team like the Diamondbacks, Rangers, Indians, White Sox or Mariners could view Akiyama as an upside play and take the modest risk.
Signed with Reds for three years, $21MM.
46. Rich Hill – Dodgers. One year, $6MM. Hill’s three-year deal with the Dodgers went about as well as could have been expected, with a 3.30 ERA in 327 innings and another 37 innings in the postseason. When he’s able to take the mound, he’s produced huge strikeout rates, with the 13th-best overall percentage among starting pitchers during that three-year period. Still, since returning to prominence in 2016, Hill has gone on the IL nine times and missed a total of 322 days due to injuries. Aside from the recurrent blisters that accompany his chart-topping spin rates, Hill missed almost three months this year due to a forearm strain. Hill, who’ll turn 40 in March, seems likeliest to return to the Dodgers or go back to his hometown Red Sox on an incentive-heavy one-year deal.
Signed with Twins for one year, $3MM.
47. Michael Wacha – Tigers. One year, $6MM. Drafted 19th overall by the Cardinals in 2012, Wacha was the NLCS MVP a little over a year later. He missed more than two months in 2014 with a stress reaction to the scapula in his right shoulder but bounced back with his lone All-Star campaign in 2015. A similar shoulder injury flared up in August 2016, knocking Wacha out for a month. Healthy again in ’17, Wacha produced middling results. Then in 2018, he missed more than three months with an oblique strain. Wacha was mostly healthy this year until a late September shoulder injury ended his season. He’s still only 28, and he had early career success, but Statcast doesn’t offer much hidden value and there are lingering health issues. He’ll likely prioritize a rotation job and a one-year deal to rebuild value. That seems likeliest to come from a rebuilding team, as most contenders will prefer more certainty when trying to fill out the rotation.
Signed with Mets for one year, $3MM.
48. Ivan Nova – Mets. One year, $6MM. Nova, 33 in January, has made 120 starts over the past four seasons, good for 13th-most in baseball. His hallmark is excellent control, as his flat five percent walk rate is the third-best in the game over that period, nestled between Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. However, Nova’s strikeout rate is third-worst among qualifiers, and he’s prone to the long ball. It’s clearly a back of the rotation package, but Nova is capable of having a decent run when the hits drop in less frequently than usual. For example, he had a 17-start stretch this summer with a 3.02 ERA, though his full-season mark was 4.72. He’s a good fit with a team that merely needs some cheap innings behind a strong top three or four in the rotation, hence the Mets pick. Beyond them, Nova could add some stability to the Angels, Rangers or Nats, and he could also hold appeal to rebuilding clubs in Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City and Seattle as a veteran mentor and source of steady innings.
Signed with Tigers for one year, $1.5MM.
49. Pedro Strop – Red Sox. One year, $5MM. Coming to Chicago with Jake Arrieta in the Cubs’ franchise-altering trade with Baltimore, Strop cemented his place in Cubs lore with a 2.82 ERA over 373 innings spanning parts of seven seasons. His stretch from 2014-18 placed him in the top 15 in MLB in ERA, strikeout rate, and ground-ball rate for relievers. Strop faltered with a 4.97 ERA and reduced velocity this year, possibly due in part to IL stints for hamstring and neck injuries. The 34-year-old righty could easily bounce back in 2020 and should garner widespread interest.
Signed with Reds for one year, $1.85MM.
50. Drew Smyly – Pirates. One year, $3MM. Drafted in the second round out of the University of Arkansas by the Tigers in 2010, Smyly became a major piece of the return when the Rays sent David Price to Detroit at the 2014 trade deadline. The lefty was pitching well until he was diagnosed with a minor tear in his labrum in May 2015. Smyly opted for rehab and was able to return that season. He made a career-high 30 starts in 2016, albeit with a 4.88 ERA. Smyly was dealt to the Mariners the following offseason and pitched in the World Baseball Classic, but he ended up needing Tommy John surgery in July that year and never pitched in an official game for Seattle. The Mariners cut him loose that winter and the Cubs inked him to a two-year, $10MM deal with an eye on rotation depth for 2019. Instead, the club picked up Cole Hamels’ option and shipped Smyly to the Rangers to save money, making the Cubs another team that employed Smyly but never used him on a Major League mound.
Smyly made his Rangers debut on April 1st this year, two and a half years after his previous MLB start. His time in Texas went terribly, and they released him in late June. After a few appearances for the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate, Smyly hooked on with the Phillies and joined their rotation in late July. His dozen starts with the Phillies weren’t too bad, with a 4.45 ERA. Smyly’s 25.9% strikeout rate for the Phillies was good for 22nd among MLB starters during that period. Smyly’s career has been marked by injuries and flashes of brilliance, and the 30-year-old will be an interesting addition somewhere on a one-year deal.
Signed with Giants for one year, $4MM.
- Brett Anderson – signed with Brewers for one year, $5MM
- Todd Frazier – signed with Rangers for one year, $5MM
- Brandon Kintzler – signed with Marlins for one year, $3.25MM
- Martin Perez – signed with Red Sox for one year, $6MM
- Starlin Castro – signed with Nationals for two years, $12MM
- Jonathan Schoop – signed with Tigers for one year, $6.1MM
- Ben Zobrist – no plans to play in 2020
- Eric Thames – signed with Nationals for one year, $4MM
- Hunter Pence – signed with Giants for one year, $3MM
- Jordan Lyles – signed with Rangers for two years, $16MM
- Yoshitomo Tsutsugo – signed with Rays for two years, $12MM
- Homer Bailey – signed with Twins for one year, $7MM
- Eric Sogard – signed with Brewers for one year, $4.5MM
- Gio Gonzalez – signed with White Sox for one year, $5MM
- Jose Iglesias – signed with Orioles for one year, $3MM
Notable deals for unlisted players:
- Blake Treinen – signed with Dodgers for one year, $10MM
- Yan Gomes – re-signed with Nationals for two years, $10MM
- Kevin Gausman – signed with Giants for one year, $9MM
- Kwang-hyun Kim – signed with Cardinals for two years, $8MM
- Adam Jones – signed with Orix Buffaloes for two years, $8MM
- Joe Smith – re-signed with Astros for two years, $8MM
We realize that a Top 50 Free Agents list with one set of specific team predictions will leave some fanbases dissatisfied. A few notes on certain clubs:
- Most teams will meet some needs through trades and free agents who fell short of this list.
- The Orioles, Royals, Indians, Athletics, and Rockies did not end up with any free agents from this list. Certainly they might be in play on some of the more affordable names.
- With this list, we try to present one possible puzzle where everything could happen. Once we start to get picks wrong, it has a ripple effect.
- While some teams’ key needs have gone unaddressed, we wouldn’t recommend reading into it. There are only a handful of impact starting pitchers on the free agent market this winter, and in this iteration we haven’t given one to the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, Cubs, or Padres. Some of those teams will be involved on the big names and one could easily land one. If that doesn’t happen, the trade market presents other scenarios for improvement.
- While we’ve made spending capacity estimates for each of the 30 teams as part of this exercise, those change quickly with trades, non-tender decisions, and unexpected payroll changes. We’ve projected quiet offseasons for the Astros and Red Sox largely because of payroll constraints, but those aren’t set in stone.
Originally published 11-4-19.
My favorite part of this website
This and the offseason outlooks are interesting.
This is the best iteration of it ever. A lot of thought and detail was put into every player.
Agreed – and the projected salaries seem to be very realistic
It appears that a good amount of the FA’s are headed to some team in the East or Central. Dodgers resign Hill and only sign Pomeranz??
If Ryu leaves, LA could sign someone like Odorizzi or Wheeler easily. With their failure to even get out of the NLDS I see their management making a few moves
How does Gausman not make the list at all and end up making $9+ million in one year while Smyly makes the list at a projected $3 million? Gomes gets $5 million a year and Lyles gets $8 mill a year and don’t even make the cut but Smyly makes the cut at a projected $3 mill overall? I’m not really complaining because I know it isn’t an exact science but saying a guy that is projected to make $3 mill is worthy of top 50 placement but guys that make $10 mill, $16 mill or $9 mill+incentives for I e single year seems like a very noticeable miscalculation. $3 mill is a lot less than $16 mill and is definitely a lot less than $9+ mill AAV. The rationale makes sense but those 3 guys should feel really disenfranchised by MLBTR.
Why? Their predictions are trash this year.
I don’t see the Twins getting both Bumgarner and Will Smith. Maybe one or the other.
Why not? Both of those guys fit tremendously well with minny and it makes all the sense in the world in my opinion
Because the twins don’t have the funds. They had a payroll of 72M in 2019. They are just going to more than double it in one offseason? Not realistic.
The Twins’ payroll in 2019 was $120MM on Opening Day, and they added Dyson and Romo at the deadline. It was $130MM in 2018. Your numbers are incorrect.
That’s my fault. I looked at what they have committed for 2020 on Spotrac.
Those “commitments” aren’t correct either. They have less than $30M in guarantees on the books. Could non-tender arb guys, too.
The Chicago Whitesox can spend 1 billion dollars this off-season. Sign Gerrit Cole for 8 years 25o million dollars, Strasburhg for 5 years 200 million dollars, and Anthony Rendon for 8 years 300 million dollars. And that’s the bottom line because the B.A.S.E.B.A.L.L G.O.D said so
Oddly enough, they could buy those players and still fail to make the playoffs.
That’s not $1,000,000,000, it’s only $750,000,000. So where is the other $250,000,000 coming from?
@brewcrew08 you don’t know what you are talking about. If there is one team in all of baseball best positioned to spend money this offseason, it’s the Twins.
I remember my first beer.
My man! We can use Cole and Strasburg as our 4 and 5’s behind Giolito/Kopech/Lopez.
In all seriousness, I’m surprised the White Sox aren’t mentioned as contenders for Rendon and Ryu.
I do agree that they’ll sign Castellanos especially with JD Martinez not being available.
The twins made offers to Arrieta and Darvish. They can sign Cole of they want.
Ace of Diamonds
Highly unlikely, especially since the Angels are signing Cole, Wheeler, and Grandal… OK, maybe not Grandal, but another catcher.
They have over 30M with just Cruz (12M), Gonzalez (9M), Kepler (6.25M) and Polanco (3.83M). Spotrac took arb estimates for guys like Berrios, Rosario, Cron, Rodgers, Buxton, May, Adrianza, Duffey and Wisler. Thats where the the 72M came from. I’m going to trust Spotrac to be pretty close to spot on with how long they have been doing it.
The Twins made lowball offers to Arrieta and especially Darvish. 4 yrs / $100M was so low the Cubs suddenly jumped in to secure the bargain.
The Twins play this game every year. Low ball he heck out of a player and then talk about how they couldn’t get Mike Trout with the “competitive” offer of 2 years and $17M they made to him… etc.
Darvish deal has been a “bargain” thus far? I wish you were in charge of my company’s salary adjustments.
White Sox have Moncada at 3B. Why should they spend $235M to make an unnecessary upgrade when RF, DH, C, and SP need to be addressed so much more? You could move Rendon to 1B, I suppose, but then Abreu’s unhappy about DH’ing full-time. Meanwhile, I suspect JDM will opt out next year when his salary starts dropping. I’d rather wait for him.
On Castellanos, I hope so. For pitchers, I’ve given up on Cole. My big dream is MadBum, but I’d settle for Wheeler.
And they would still suck! Lol
Bumgarner will stay in the National League because he wants to hit.
He’s not going to settle for 4/72. He’d resign with SF and hope to have another good season to secure more. Steve Adams is nuts for that prediction.
He’s going to the Braves. bank it!
I agree. Plus keeping Odorizzi? No way they drop that much money.
Sure they will. Just watch. They know their short window for a world series is wide open.
The Twins have plenty of money to spend this offseason.
Minnesota should have payroll flexibility.
Phillies are getting Bumgarner and Will Smith
So you disagree with them signing Wheeler? Good because Luhnow is bringing him to Houston.
Especially Bumgarner. He’s like that other Duck Dynasty loon Cashner, where he refuses to shave the beard or cut the hair, as if it’s against their long-held beliefs in someway. I predict somewhere down south. Bumgarner in New York would be the modern-day Jed Clampett in Beverly Hills.
Why does that bother you so much?
You’re on a baseball site talking about what some dude looks like?
Woohoo MLBTR staff! Love this annual feature.
woah that list gets more and more intriguing as it continues. i was thinking Stras and Rendon would both return to Washington, but i was uncertain if that was financially likely. nice to see some reassurance though.
Washington will probably try to stay well under the luxury tax threshold, but they could do that easily be deferring salary…
No they can’t. It’s the average annual salary. Doesn’t matter
for CBA purposes how much
It was my understanding that the deferred years counted as well, but I was mistaken. Max Scherzer, for example, has less of his salary counting against the CBT right now, but that’s because of the payment structure being back-loaded through the active years as well as deferred. I had thought that just 15 million counted against the team, but it was 26+.(2019) and over 28m next season.
But more importantly, only Corbin in on the books beyond 2021 and there’s still room to add in 2020.
They should have little trouble bringing both players back if they’re willing to commit to new long-term deals.
Ace of Diamonds
It doesn’t work that way. The luxury tax is an AAV which means you divide the total contact by the number of years and that amount is applied towards the tax. Deferring money only helps the actual payroll for now, but will cost more road. But the AAV will remain constant for the contract.
So Nats bring back Stras, Rendon, and Huddy. Sign Yaz and Will Smith. 2020 WS Champs. Heard it here first!
Phils will steal Strasburg from you chumps as easily as they did Bryce.
Nah! I’ll take the field on that one.
I’m a fan of neither team, but You clearly won stupidest comment of the day with that.. They stole Bryce? How far did they get without him vs with him? Why don’t you more accurately comment on how stupid the Phil’s were for that contract they signed him too? Oh wait, you’d have to have some intelligence for that.
Would love to see the Mariners buy low on a few young(ish)guys like Alex Wood and Michael Wacha.
I agree. Teheran would be a decent pickup as well.
Wood was almost dealt to Seattle a couple of years ago. Easy to see him going there. Porcello, who pitched well at AL West stadiums, would be a good fit as well as a rebound-candidate.
What near trade was this?
The one where Wood almost went to Seattle.
A Seattle-area report suggested the two teams had been discussing a deal that would have sent Wood to the Mariners.
Weird to think Jerry Dipoto might have been in on an affordable starter via trade, I know.
Think Wheeler, Donaldson, Grandal to ATL realistic? I hope lol
braves fan since 1968
thats who i had
I do kind of like the Braves & Hamels idea. A solid veteran to help lead the staff, veteran presence wise.
I’m not sold on Grandal, but the catching market is limited, so he’s prob the best splash Atlanta could make there. But, no more than 2 years. Shea Langeliers will rise fast.
I actually think Atlanta could end up with Grandal, Gibson, Hamels, and Moustakas.
Nope. Braves aren’t spending that much.
Glad thetruth is here to set everyone straight. He said no so it’s not happening.
Erie asked for opinions, and thetruth gave his. Sensitive much?
I think Grandal made it clear last year he wont3settle, so don’t expect him to sign for only 2 years.
Pomeranz would be a solid addition to the Dodgers but they have a lot of room to do more. Betts would be nice.
Mookie would be. But OF is not a hole, and someone’s gotta get cleared already anyway.
Pomeranz. Lol way to shoot for the stars.
Great reading comp. In the same post I literally said getting Betts would be nice.
Rendon to LA. Dodgers have to make a splash to convince fans that their goal is to win the world series, not just make the playoffs. Expect Ryu to return for three years.
Since when do the Twins have that much money to spend? 172M dropped in a single offseason…?
It’s impossible they get all those guys.
The Twins can add $55-$70 a year to the books and be in line with their payroll the last two years and this only has them adding $49 a year so it’s very possible.
Should have 50 million to spend. Arguably they have more than that, but they should have that much.
I like the Castellanos/White Sox prediction but only if JD Martinez doesn’t opt out. I think if he does, they go hard after him.
Martinez isn’t opting out (hence his omission from the list):
CWS already has a poor fielding LFer in Jimenez who has a much higher ceiling than Castellanos. There is no room for 2 poor fielding OFers.
As a Royals fan I hope you’re wrong about Bumgarner! We don’t need reminded 4-5 games a year about. Game seven of 2014.
Tiger fans dont want to see him either.
I can definitely see porcello and ozuna in SF – I would think SF would also be in on roark. I also will be surprised if will smith rejects the QO and signs somewhere else.
SF aren’t spending money.
Why not? Big market team that isn’t contending for another year or two, and signing trade chips sounds like a great idea to me.
there is no reason to think they won’t – SF has a payroll and if they get someone that is worth it as a position player on a 3 year deal or so they stick through the rebuild and they will need to get starting pitchers in general whether it is a 1 year placeholder for a guy to rebuild value or someone to stick around
Lmao, they are not signing Ozuna. He does not fit the Farhan style of play. Neither will Porcello. Farhan would rather wait til the muscial chairs stop playing and pick up depth for much less.
I got SF making Cole happen.
You really think the only guy the Yankees will sign is Gardner? Come on…
We try to put together one scenario/outlook, and it obviously falls apart quickly when things inevitably go a different way.
With the Yankees, we had them re-signing Chapman — which they did today, quickly, thus removing him from the list — and Gardner. They’ll add to the pitching side of things, but we have them taking a more trade-oriented approach to that in this instance, in part because of their already wide-ranging slate of commitments and the fact that they’re already into luxury territory.
Okay, fair enough…like they did with Paxton. I can see that.
I do feel that they’re going to go after guys like Wheeler, MadBum or Ryu as well.
Why would they deplete the farm more? And for who? The Yankees are getting Cole.
The Yankees can’t afford him without a huge luxury tax hit…no way this is happening
The Yankees have already been reported to be pursuing him, have a lot of money coming off the books next year, have the angry NYC media and a fan base demanding an ace acquisition and he grew up a Yankees fan. He’s far more likely to be a Yankee than an Angel.
Ace of Diamonds
not a chance, just like they were getting Ohtani a couple of years ago…
Ohtani chose the Angels because he didn’t want a team with a Japanese legend in it’s history. Do you not remember?
According to Spotrac’s accounting of the payroll, the Yankees could easily get Cole without approaching or exceeding the third level of the luxury tax. The Yankees will be going over the tax, its just a question of whether they’ll stop at the second level or third level
Ace of Diamonds
The Angels can and will match any offer the Yankees make and Cole’s parents live in Orange County. His favorite players growing up were Garret Anderson, and Tim Salmon. He is a current fan of Mike Trout, and Shohei Ohtani. I think he’ll sign with the Angels alright.
I think you have a bit of a lazy take. They’re crossing the luxury threshold – according to your own projections, they’re pushing $207m after pensions and insurance assessments kick in (source: citing MLB Trade Rumors – yanksgoyard.com/2019/11/04/yankees-exceeding-luxur…) before accounting for contracts for Gardy, Edwin, Betances, Romine or Maybin. So, if your projections hold steady, they’re already in luxury tax territory.
Plus, throw in the fact that Ellsbury, Tanaka, and Happ are off the books in 2020, I think it’s much more likely they look to flip someone like Hicks or Stanton (if possible) for payroll flexibility than trade for a pitcher. There’s a large disparity between the top shelf Yankees prospects and everyone else, and I don’t really see any premium arms available in the trade market (Matthew Boyd? One of the Mets?).
The Yanks have been close the past few years but needed an ace. A true, bona fide, perennial Cy Young contender happens to be on the market before age 30 for the first time in a long time. I see the Yankees making a hard push to get him, and not making the same mistake they made with Corbin by failing to tack on the extra year necessary. It doesn’t mean they’ll sign Cole, but I think they make the most competitive offer… at least I hope so.
I think you’re right. This is exactly what I’ve been thinking.
To clarify, the “lazy take” was directed at Steve Adams.
Yankees aren’t flipping Stanton anytime soon unless they take back another terrible contract
And Sox fans whined that Jeter gave the Yanks a sweetheart deal, like it was forged in hell. Heck, just taking that contract was a gift. NOBODY was willing to take that contract. Here’s hoping Stanton lives up to his promise.
Im glad mlbtr isn’t buying into the Yankees signing every big name free agent like last year. Yankees are stuck with Stanton. They cant afford the top of the rotation guys. It’s what it is.
At least they made it past the first round this year. LOL
I’m interested why you think the biggest spending team in MLB history can’t afford Cole (he’s the only true ace available) after considering they’ll be in luxury tax territory whether they like it or not, they have significant contracts coming off the books next season, they are not in immediate danger of facing the 3+ year elevated luxury tax rate penalty, they haven’t had the highest opening day payroll in baseball since 2013, they’ve been close to reaching the WS in two of the last three years and their primary competition is likely losing an ace leaving an opening, etc etc.
Cole, Miley, and a new catcher. I like it but it feels a little short. Still need one more starter, some dependable innings.
I hadn’t considered Castro. Been thinking maybe Yan Gomes and a little more money for pitching, but a good framer would be nice.
Short for what… contention for a wild card? I don’t think it’s short for that. When Verlander and Greinke start pitching like their age, then I’ll start looking at the Astros as if it might be possible.
But while those guys are pitching like aces, and with their current lineup, there is no way the Angles can be expected to compete with them.
Short on overall depth. Heaney is guaranteed to miss time and Pena is out for the year. I’m sure they’ll sign some non top 50 arm, too.
Most teams don’t get 100 starts from their 6 – 12 pitchers, so in that respect, I understand.
But if you 6 – 12 pitchers get 30 starts, I’m good with that.
Short another starter.
1: Cole finally a bonafide ACE! (If it happens)
3: Heaney – he need to stay healthy for once.
4: Ohtani – he has #2 stuff but off TJS and only 50ip in 2018.
5: Canning – could be a #2-3 in 2021.
Honestly they NEED 2 SP this winter, Cole fills the void of Skaggs and then some but he can only pitch every 5th day.
Not digging Miley. Obviously
They are not getting a number two. Ohtani was the number 1 pitching prospect in baseball. I’ll take my changes with Miley being a number five.
You should see the injuries the As are putting in their rotation this year.
please god no on miley. another waste of money.
If the price for Puig is 1-for-8 mil (which I find difficult to believe), the Padres would be all over that.
If he’s 1-for-8, the Red Sox should be all over that too and move Martinez to DH permanently.
The Padres aren’t signing outfielders.
Padres beat writer AJ Cassavell wrote this in October: “There’s a good chance two Padres 2020 outfielders aren’t on the roster right now.”
I didn’t know that, thanks for the info. Still, who are those outfielders? Myers is hard to trade and Renfroe won’t bring back much in return. Margot could be non-tendered but then they need a CF.
Vandals Took The Handles
For 2 years I’ve read that the Padres have the most ML prospects in the history of the world, and that they’re at the end of their rebuild.
Last year they finished dead last in the NLW, although they did have a higher winning percentage then the Marlins and Pirates in the NL. This after extending Wil Myers a number of years ago “to show the young guys how it’s done.” Then 2 years ago they brought in Eric Hosmer as a FA “to show the young guys how it’s done.” Then last year they brought in “superstar” Manny Machado to lead and “to show the young guys how it’s done.” Now the Padres beat writer says that “There’s a good chance two Padres 2020 outfielders aren’t on the roster right now.”
OK. Got it.
This rebuild is neck and neck with the Phillies rebuild – which produced a few young players but mostly veterans brought in via FA or taking on salaries in trade. Brings to mind the saying – “Where’s the beef?”
My belief is that the Padres and Phillies owners are even more confused then the fans, and that both FO’s are on the clock in 2020.
P.S. Great job. That was quite a project.
Most people seem to think that most of the young Padres are the real deal. But yes most of their free agent signings look ridiculous — especially Machado.
Vandals Took The Handles
Went right over your head……
If “most of the young Padres are the real deal”, then why aren’t THEY playing? I’ve read articles and posts on here about how deep and talented the Padres OF’s are. So why do they need 2 from other organizations?
They brought in a 1B and 3B at astronomical sums. Brought in a stop gap 2B last year, and seem to be searching for another. They have 3 C’s, none of which can separate himself from the others – none of which appears to be even a mid-range all-around MLB C. While the SS is fantastic, he’s the only position player they’ve actually developed in this rebuild that appears to be a superior player.
The pitching? All I read on here is that they need to acquire an Ace pitcher because they don’t have anything resembling one.
This is a rebuild? This is the greatest collection of young players in the history of the world?
The Pads system is ranked high mostly because of depth and a majority are at advanced A or lower. Yes Amarillo has a trio of top 100s in Gore, Patino, and Trammel but Trammel isn’t expected until later in 2020 at best. 2020 was always to be the season they would be showcasing players they used the last 3 yrs acquiring.
Set backs happen like back to back seasons lost to injury for Franchy Cordero. Jose Castillo was to break out in 2019 and injury derailed that as well. Mejia and Urias were up and down but both finished strong with consistent playing time. Quantrill started off well but late season adjustments just didn’t happen. Morejon and Baez were rushed to fill roles in a taxed pen. Notice through all of that the only change in the rotation of OFs was sending Franmil to CLE.
I would put more stock in what Jeff is saying if it came from Dennis Lin but the OF has been the biggest problem for 2 seasons now. AJ has been put on notice things must change if he’s going to lead the future. Let not overlook this is the first front office that has largely remained in tact for more than 3yrs since Kevin Towers, Bochy and Grady Fuson a decade and a half ago.
Sorry? The Padres have top rated starting pitcher in the minors. His name is Mackenzie Gore, but he’s only 20! Not far behind him is another elite prospect starting pitcher named Luis Patina. He too is only 20! The point is these guys, who are two of the best in all the minors, should be up next year, but they’re still so young.
One problem the Padres do appear to have is that they look like they have too many elite infielder prospects while they are thin in the outfield. They’ll need to make some trades or sign somebody else for the outfield.
Not sure what you mean about all their young catchers being the same. Unless I’m missing something I thought Mejia had separated himself from the pack while Hedges is not the guy. But of course they have yet another top 100 prospect in the minors who happens to be a catcher, though it looks like he’s a couple years away.
These are always fun.
The projection on Wheeler is 5 years at 100 million? Wow.
I dont think that’s realistic for him
He can probably get around 18 per in my opinion so it’s not too far off.
So besides Waino, who do you think the Cardinals get?
Projecting the Yankees a whopping $10m in this years free agent market. That some high quality projecting.
We didn’t predict that. We had them re-signing Chapman (at 3/53), and they signed him at 3/48 before the publication of this list, so he was removed. There are also plenty of free agents who’ll get paid decent money that aren’t on this list.
The Yankees spent a whole $14MM in free agency just two winters. A light offseason of free-agent adds and an aggressive offseason of trades isn’t exactly unprecedented.
They spent $14mil in FA two winters ago to get under the luxury tax threshold and avoid having to pay the escalated tax rate penalty for being over for 3 straight years – which I believe is the same reason your site cited for the Sox letting Mookie walk in a season. Another lazy take.
If you think that you just made 50 predictions and the only acquisition the Yankees are going to make is re-signing Brett Gardner then you’re a bit out of touch
No chance Cole ends up with the Angels. He already said there’s no hometown discount. If he wants more money, he goes to the Phillies. If he wants to win and sign a good deal, he goes to the Yankees. There’s no chance the Angels can outbid either team or offer a better place to play. It isn’t happening.
The Phillies could do it but with how much they have spent in the last 2 years its no sure thing they offer the most. The predicted deal would likely be the most and the Angels sure paid in it
They definitely can and likely will. They need an ace and Arrieta is gone after next year clearing money.
He’s gonna go home, get paid and play for Madden. And if Moreno opens the wallet for Cole, he’s gonna make more moves.
Be prepared for heartbreak then. “Hometown discounts” don’t really happen anymore (definitely won’t with this guy) and just because Maddon is your manager doesn’t mean all the pitchers suddenly want to play for the Angels. Your milkshake don’t bring all the boys to the yard.
Why would he go to the Phillies? He is more likely to go with angels doyuers or padres to go home persay
At no point did he say he wants to play “home”, he said the opposite recently. It’s ridiculous to think a Yankees fan from SoCal will go to a bad team in a hard division when he’ll have better teams offering better offers for a fact.
Thetruth hurts!…over the Cole to Angels FA projection.
No just annoyed at the weird belief that he will go there. Looking at it logically, it’s highly unlikely.
The Angels have been cheap In free agency for years, this one year they suddenly will spend?
The Phillies who have more money, are a better team in an easier division won’t beat any Angels offer?
The Yankees who Cole grew up a fan of, who need an ace, have money and are already reported to be after him can’t easily beat the Angels by also being a far better team?
Cole will definitely go to the Phillies for a joyous homecoming where he can help stabilize the pitching staff. If Gerrit joins him it would be even better.
The Yankees haven’t been the big spenders in FA that they used to be and probably want to stay away from the luxury tax. I’d say the chances he goes there is less than 3%.
@thetruth. Remember 2011/12?
CJ Wilson $70m
other lesser signings.
They had a few bad signings after that (Hamilton etc) plus had a MLB worst farm in 2014-15, been slowly rebuilding that to about 14th-18th ranked farm system currently. You can’t sign FA EVERY YEAR, lose draft picks EVERY YEAR, and rebuild a farm system.
The Angels are ready to re-enter the FA market after the farm rebuild. The Angels have some money (50-55m? AAV) to spend with more coming off the books in 2021/22. They have Trout signed, brought in Maddon as manager, a solid pitching coach (@CLE) in Callaway and an owner on record saying he will spend more this year.
So yeah, this one year they will suddenly spend on FA.
Ace of Diamonds
Arte has said he is increasing the payroll this year. He didn’t eat 2 years of Ausmus’ salary and sign Maddon for no reason. They have $150M/yr. TV deal, $3,000,000 tickets sold every year plus concession, merchandise sells, etc…
They had a payroll of $160M last season but with $35M coming off the books by saying goodbye to Cahill, Harvey, Bard, Lucroy, Stratton, and declining the option on Calhoun adding another $14M. Gives the Angels. $208-160= $48M + 35M + 14M = $97M below the threshold not counting Arbitration raises. They have plenty of space left below the luxury tax to sign Cole and add another second tier starter and a catcher.
Wow… selective East coast comprehension At it’s best… Cole DID say he wants to go home to start family… He WILL sigh with the Angels.. He was NEVER a long-term yankee fan growing up… and above all.. why would he & Amy choose to live in a dump like ny over OC ???? You are delusional.
Where have you seen he wants to play for the Yankees? I HAVE seen where he’s said he’s “open to going home”.
a) Cole never said he wanted to go back to So Cal to start a family. Can you at least reference a link?
b) No words needed. pinstripealley.com/2008/6/7/547708/see-that-kid-ho…
Who knows where anyone signs but stop with the non-sense about someone’s hometown. CC said the same thing. If you look around baseball there are tons of FA who grew up in a baseball town that choose another team during FA.
Let’s all stop acting like we know anything at all. Let’s just see.
There are no guarantees in baseball. If you have any doubt, talk to an Astros’ fan.
Ace of Diamonds
They have $60+M to spend this offseason and with Cole. Wheeler/Odorizzi, and Ohtani followed by Heaney, and Canning. With Sandoval, Barria, and Suarez as depth I think their rotation will stack up against the Astros just fine. Opening day in Houston Cole vs. Verlander. Game 2 Wheeler vs. Grienke. Game 3 Ohtani vs. McCullers?. I like ours chances. All this is based upon the predictions from MLBTR and others that the Angels actually sign Cole, and a second tier starter…
Oh, so that means LA is guaranteed to land Cole and one of Wheeler/Odorizzi?
We all know they’re going to go after starting pitching, but they’ll have plenty of competition. It’s not a slam-dunk.
Yankees gunna sign Cole and Strassburg and babe ruth. They need a lefty hitter.
Respectfully disagree with this take re: no way Angels can field the best offer. The Angels have handed out 3/4 of a billion dollars to Trout and Pujols – their owner has clearly demonstrated a willingness to invest in his team’s roster. The Angels have been mediocre for a long time and have been lacking an ace. They also have the second best player in baseball history for the prime of his career, so it’s crossing into embarrassment territory for the franchise (if it’s not already there). I think Angels are in pole position, I think they make a competitive offer, and I hope the Yankees make a more competitive offer. I do agree that Cole’s post-WS comments and demeanor (Boras Corp cap) indicate location won’t be as much of a factor as money.
It has nothing to do with the “offer”…. He doesn’t want to play nor live in ny… This is a situation where quality of life comes into play… Boras will merely use ny & phil to try & get as much out of Artie as possible… This is as close to a done deal as it gets. The arrogance of ny fans is incredible..
Arrogance? I said I hope the Yankees make a competitive offer. I never said they’re going to sign the guy. But in your mind it’s arrogant to HOPE the highest spending team in MLB history makes a competitive offer, but it’s not arrogant to assume “he doesn’t want to play nor live in ny”???? How in the world would you know that? Are you his personal chef or something? Or is it because he turned the Yankees down when he was 17 in 2008 so he could go to college for 3 years? But hey you have the inside info, “this is as close to a done deal as it gets” right? Talk about arrogance.
Now go ahead and tell me how I’m wrong, since you’re the boss. And clearly not arrogant in the slightest.
Yeah I agree they gave it away but they’re a gutsy, gritty, confident team. So much depends on where Cole signs in the off-season and who they replace him with assuming he leaves.
Ignore this comment. I posted it in the wrong place.
I have no idea where he will sign but you’re the wrong one to talk about being smug. YOU DON”T KNOW HIM!! stop acting like he’s whispering it into your ear. Stop acting like NY is Scranton, PA.
If he wants to win he goes to the Yankees … or back to the Astros or to the Dodgers or even the Nationals (if they fail to re-sign one of Rendon or Strasburg). Or he goes to the Angels because he wants to play with the two most exciting players in baseball and be near home. The Angels are such a toss up. They could be really good overnight if they sign Cole and someone like Wheeler — or they could crash and burn because of injuries and young players underperforming.
He has stated he doesn’t want to play for a west coast team so why do a few of you think he’s gonna be an Angel? I HATE the Yankees, but my $ is that’s where he goes.
The Dodgers total spend on the top 50 free agents will be $22M? Speechless!
The Astros will be on on a top 5 pitcher and perhaps Grandal. Losing 2 of there best bullpen pieces also. They are not that Cash strapped, not to mention the World Series favorites for next year. I expect they make a splash or pull off some crazy trade for another Ace.
Should have won this one… won’t be back next year!
They could easily be back next year and they could win it.
Nah!!! Window is closed… playoffs but no WS… You don’t easily recover from that… worst I have ever seen… they gave the WS away..
Yeah I agree they gave it away but they’re a gutsy, gritty, confident team. So much depends on where Cole signs in the off-season and who they replace him with assuming he leaves.
How in the world are the Astros the WS favorites next year when they just got beat by the Nationals who look to be negotiating with Stras and can still bring back Rendon but the Astros look almost certain to lose Cole? Certainly they are still a great team without Cole and the likely favorites for the AL West unless the Ange;s go on a wild-spending spree but favorites for the WS? Way too soon to be speculating about that.
Wow these predictions are garbage. There is no way nationals sign both rendon and Strasburg.
of course they can .. they will defer money until 2080. 🙂
What are your predictions?
Good choices. And you put up. I respect that.
No way the Nat’s let them both go. One maybe, but not both.
It’s easy to criticize other people’s choices, I respect anyone who puts their neck out and guesses.
I never know what anyone will do. But my guess is Rendon stays and it wouldn’t surprise me if Stasburg stays.
There is a way they can. Just because you don’t understand economics, doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
Just like the Nationals were going to get destroyed by the Astros… Lemme guess Strasburg is going to SD!?
You should probably stop with the terrible Nationals takes. It’s clear you know little about them or their capabilities.
Unless money deferred comes with interest, which it does not… ever. I’ll take present day value than future less than
Look at Bobby Bonilla, he is still getting $1,000,000 a year every year till 2035… He has he life all set.these days it would be closer to 3 mill a year for 20 years starting the year they retire…
Bonilla is the outlier, deferments like that don’t happen too often.
Cardinals will sign more than Wainwright
I hope, but I’m not optimistic. They have their hands tied. Carp will be very hard to trade, as will be Fowler. Those guys are blocking any significant signings.
I agree with you.. those two are starters on this team unfortunately. They will get another chance for sure..
And, even if they are able to trade them it’s either because they eat a ton of money and/or they take a bad contract back. Fire Mozaliak.
Yikes – bad offseason for the yanks!!
The Twins are gonna Take both Bumgarner & Smith. ?
I like these rankings, but I think the only one I would flip is Lindbloom and Betances. Sure Lindbloom is doing well overseas, but Betances had the 2nd highest fWAR for all relief pitchers between 2014-2018, only being passed by Chapman by just .1 fWAR. Understandably, he was slowed down by injuries this year, but he was one of the game’s top relief pitchers heading into 2019.
I swear I don’t know why but it seems like everyone hates on the Cardinals!!
Guilty as charged. Has to do with homers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.
Cardinals are the annoying rich kid who pretends to be poor . We’re small market…*cough owned by budweiser.
Anheuser-Busch does not own the Cardinals. They sold the team in 1996 to William DeWitt, Jr.
Giants need pitching and infield help much more than outfield help, Ozuna would be a very strange signing. (That being said, thanks for the predictions!)
I think they are going to start Dubon at 2b next year, and in order to improve the other spots in the infield they would have to cut someone making at least 15MM. Doubtful any team takes on much salary at all in a trade for Belt, Crawford, or Longoria. Now if they had any interest in being competitive this year those dudes would need to go one way or another, but being competitive probably isn’t in the cards just yet.
They’ll trade Belt after eating about $8-$9 mill and get an lesser known prospect… Maybe the Rangers
Realistically, belt is atrocious, owed $32m over next 2 years but is worth league min or maybe even a minor league contract. Sfg would have to eat almost that entire $32m or include a prospect or 2. They will wait it out. Maybe trade him @ break next season.
More accurately. The Giants need everything.
Love the article as always… however, if that is all the Rangers can get this offseason, it will be a massive failure. I feel the Rangers will be able to beat a few of those deals if the player is actually interested in Texas.
Rangers will sign a marque FA…this is Dallas…this is a new stadium. Yeah…enough said.
Now we wait…
The hard part. And so much focus will be on Cole, Strasburg and Rendon. For months and months. Yuck!
yeah the dodgers only getting Drew Pomeranz FOH
Honestly…wtf happened to lad? They looked like the weakest 100+ win team in recorded history. Got fat on a terrible division? Seems so…some major questions to answer there. Think a WS is more than 1 or 2 players away man. Could be a major trade out of lad.
Got to Dickerson, and had to stop. This list is horrible.
Who honestly sees Washington retaining both Strasburg and Rendon?
Why would San Diego sign Dickerson when they have the untradeable Myers and Renfroe and top prospects for the corner OF and can’t move Myers to 1B due to Hosmer?
The Yankees get no top SP‘s?
Why would the Giants who need to rebuild spend big money?
Why would the rebuilding Tigers sign Puig?
The Braves sign Moustakas when they have Riley?
Riley isn’t ready to be a 3B fulltime. He needs time to learn to hit offspeed pitches. There’s also some rumbling that Atlanta no longer considers him the future at 3b.
Personally, I see them resigning Donaldson. Low side, 2/50 to high side, 3/72.
Not sure if Donaldson is safe with his health, maybe they could sign someone like Todd Frazier as insurance for Riley?
Even if Donaldson is not safe I see him falling back to them at a discount with that QO millstone around his neck
It isn’t a stretch to think they will or can feasibly retain two of the key players that helped get them a WS title. Boston extended Sale, Bogaerts, and Eovaldi when they already had JD, Price, and Pedroia (among others) on the books. LA retained Turner, Kershaw, and Jansen; San Francisco did the same with core players a little further back.
Seriously, the better question is who doesn’t think Washington will retain them?
Regarding Atlanta, Riley hasn’t proven anything, they’ll need depth, and they’re trying to improve upon their 2019. Losing Donaldson wouldn’t make them better, so yes, Mouse should be a realistic alternative if Josh signs elsewhere.
And just in case anyone thinks Washington doesn’t have the dough, they were 7th in total payroll last season with little distance between them and the Giants, who were 5th.
Nats are a top tier payroll team who play at the luxury tax…. and have a ton of money off the books..
I assume they only keep one of Strasburg and Rendon, but they certainly have the capability to keep both.
They also need to give out referrals, other teams do not.
They can’t afford both. We’re talking about $500 million in one offseason. That’s half a billion. They’ll also have better offers out there.
it’ll barely be $400m for both, if that.
Strasburg 30m x 5-6yrs. 150-180m
Rendon 30-32m x 7yrs 210-225m
Teams don’t look at the total sum, they look at the aav of those signings and how it relates to revenues and luxury tax.
They can afford to sign both – even if it’s a tax hit for a year. They probably sign one. I’d be shocked if they don’t sign one.
The Nats owner is the richest owner in baseball. $500 million in offseason is as doable for the Nats as any team.
I’m sure every team deals with referrals. I do as well, and I would bet many of the fans here have.
Yeah it’s a huge stretch, considering the Red Sox have more money and prestige. So do the Dodgers and Giants. No offense but that’s a silly example to compare 3 big market teams with decades of prestige to a mid market/almost big market team that just won their first ever World Series.
It’s hard to believe that the Nationals and their deferrals can beat any big market team. It’ll be a miracle if they re-sign one of them.
The Braves signing Moose just makes little sense. He’s not good defensively and is very one-dimensional. If Riley improves he’ll be the same player for a lot cheaper and the Braves are cost-conscious.
The Nationals are in the upper=third of the largest media markets and have little committed beyond 2021.
But yeah, keep making definitive statements without doing any research.
I think Dickerson makes a lot of sense for Padres. Their lineup is very RH heavy, and they need a LH outfield bat. Renfroe and Margot have bad platoon splits and don’t hit righties well at all.
As for Wil Myers, the owner also recently publicly declared that the team would be willing to eat a ton of salary to move him. He seems to have worn out his welcome with the organization and is probably on his way out the door, even if they have to send a prospect with him to ship him out.
And who are these top corner OF prospects the Padres have? I think they view Trammel as a CF, but regardless even if he ends up in a corner he isn’t MLB ready. His OPS was under .700 in AA last year. Dickerson’s deal would be up by the time any of Ornelas, Rosario or Hudson Head were ready. They need a short term OF bat.
Eating money won’t solve the problem of other teams not wanting an injury prone league average player. Franchy Cordero is in the picture too. They won’t trade Renfroe as he doesn’t have much value but has upside, so Myers is their LF next year and Renfroe the RF. Where does Dickerson play? They’re not benching Myers unless he craters and the same for Renfroe.
Mariners also load up on decent arms when they’re in a rebuild
This is my single favorite ‘article’ every offseason regardless of site.
I think the Orioles will surprise everyone and sign Strasburg just as a middle finger to the Nats.
Probably not though…it’d sure be funny if he signed with the Phillies
I’m guessing even the Mets and Phillies aren’t half as horrified at the Nats winning the World Series as the Orioles are. Many Nats fans are also Oriole fans or are former Oriole fans, or soon to be former Oriole fans. And it’s not like any Nats fans will be jumping on any Orioles bandwagon anytime soon. The Orioles might steal Ryan Zimmerman from the Nationals but they ain’t going for any top free agents for awhile. They should have gone after Scherzer when he was a free agent, but the Orioles would never do something that bold (though things will change at Camden eventually)
It’s nice seeing the Rangers involved in most of the top free agents. It’ll be nice to see the Rangers FO trying to make a push to contend again.
As a realist, I know 2020 might not be the year for the AL West title, but a wild card spot is plausible.
H-J Ryu is the steal here and will be the first to sign. His agents phone should be running hot.
Ryu is the most hugely underrated. He’ll get more than predicted here. Some of it might come in the form of performance bonuses, but come on he’s a leading CY candidate, and those don’t for $18M/year in any pitching market since 2005.
Our predictions do not include performance incentives. Only guarantees. There is definitely value in the bonus money, and not everyone is able to get it written into his contract, but it is difficult to predict in this format.
Re Ryu, we built in a big injury risk factor.
Perhaps when the most significant injuries are well in the rearview mirror without any sign of them being chronic, then it’s time to not build in a big health risk discount? I think you’ve discounted him by at least 30 percent and that seems extreme. Obviously not everybody gets performance bonuses but Ryu is a ideal candidate for them as they could unlock a lot of value both for himself and his team.
There’s no real value. He peaked and now will barely stay healthy and heavily decline. Anything less will be a miracle. Look at how he can barely stay on the field, how he declined in the second half, how his velocity and K/9 dropped…
I agree with MLBTR here, he’s not getting more than this and even this is way too much. Smart GM’s will stay away.
How is an injury prone SP with declining velocity a steal? He’s a leading contender for worst contract this offseason.
I say he he’s in the top ten in CY voting next year. What you think about that? He’ll be an asset the next couple of years.
He probably would win the CY this year if it was based entirely on performance. Most likely he won’t since he pitches in the wrong timezone, but that doesn’t change any of what he accomplished.
Is there a contest this year ?
I’d like to see Wachovia and Puig in KC
Everyone commenting the Twins won’t spend this kind of money… they have $62m committed to the 2019 payroll. Their highest was 130 something in 2018… after a year like 2019 if the Twins don’t increase payroll to somewhere around 140m people will literally call for the Pohlads to sell the team. That’s 80m they can spend… Bumgarner, odorizzi, Will Smith and Kendrick… that’s about 50-60 million…. I’d argue they will be even more aggressive then outlined here.
It’s mostly just BrewCrew commenting it. It’s just bias. Any one who knows the Twins payroll situation would see that they could be one of the more aggressive teams this offseason.
How are they going to convince the players to choose them over big market teams that don’t play in Minnesota weather?
Minnesota weather? Minnesota weather is ideal for baseball. It’s a summer sport.
It’s quite simple. Minnesota is in a position with their payroll flexibility to outbid the big market teams. For the first time potentially ever…. the Twins can overpay for free agent talent. I guess we’ll wait and see if that actually occurs.
The Puig and Encarnacion predictions are flat out disrespectful. I think Puig gets 2/24+ and Encarnacion gets 1/10+. Puig makes sense on the white Sox, even if they bring in Castellanos.
I never thought about ryu going to the rangers, but that actually makes sense
I would even go to $12MM (Cruz territory) for Encarnacion.
I agree with all points, but I’m leaning Puig gets more than 2 years
Puig on the Sox doesn’t make sense unless they convince Castellanos to DH. Robert in CF, Eloy in LF, Castellanos in RF. Puig is lesser than any of them. It’s a chunk of money to pay to a 4th OF, especially one as potentially disruptive as he can be. No thanks.
Thanks for this list gentlemen!
The White Sox have a 32 million dollar payroll. If the best they do is Keuchel for 3/39 on the pitching front…Hahn better well resign today. Pathetic forecast for a team with more money than any others and a rebuild that is basically complete with Robert and Madrigal hitting in May.
People seem to forget that the player has to agree. The Sox can’t just magically get any player they want even if they write the biggest check.
That’s not the point! Most of the other big market teams have more holes to fill rather than give one player $30 plus million a year and have to worry about going over the luxury tax threshold. The White Sox are one of the few teams that can spend on two high profile players and grab one middle level player where they still have a lot of flexibility! The White Sox young core can attract a few players looking to win!
I’m picking up what you’re putting down, but the lengths of contract is what worries me. One long term high-price guy is a safer bet. But there are a few mids out there who can really help and they probably want years, so we have to be careful I think.
It is difficult for anyone who follows Hahn’s moves since taking over as GM with seeing him giving out a long term deal. Cole is probably looking for a six to eight year deal and the White Sox will pass on that for pitcher with a history of being mediocre along with injuries until the last two seasons. Bumgarner or Wheeler seem to be idea signing for five years to compliment that young pitching core.
I can live with Wheeler. Strasburg should be the major target though. Their lineup with the exception of RF and DH is set for the next 4-5 years with great young talent. Pitching should be priority 1&2 and Grandal should be their bat target. Castanellas would be fine…but we shall see.
So they think the NYYs come away with no more than Gardner? Funny; they will make some moves with CC, Edwin, Betances and Didi walking. Ellsbury’s money comes off next year. An underestimation of NYY posture this off season. They have trade chips, but will not want to deplete their average farm depth.
Perhaps, but that will mean spending beyond the levels they have been willing in recent seasons. They have been very disciplined in free agency of late.
I agree. Also the idea they’d ONLY re-sign Gardner when they have all their starting pitcher issues? I am guessing MLBTR assumes the Yankees will offer Cole/Bumgarner, etc. something fair but not competitive and they’ll simply be outbid by everyone for anyone basically, with the exception of Gardner, whom they presume would stay a career Yankee and deserves a raise but everybody thinks the idea of paying a 4.4 WAR guy $10M to be “veteran team loyalty bonus money” or something. I think the Yankees pay Gardner fairly, try to make up for declining his option that he was very much worth. I hope they give Gardy 1 year/$15.5M as that represents the lost wages of his declined option and a second year at the same value. Aka instead of that $2M buyout and $7.5M deal, they’d have exercised his $12M option and re-signed him to 1 year/$13M to make it a 6 year/$75M deal.
That said I think this is an off season where Cashman is the GM that tacks on the extra year or goes up $1-5M per season to secure talent from the FA pool.
Is there a contest this year?
Wade Miley does nothing to help the Angels. Unless he is the long reliever out of the pen. As for the ones saying the Angels don’t have the money to pay Cole, try again. Simmons, Cozart, Upton, Trout and Pujols are the only ones making over 10 million next year. And thank god Cozart horrible deal is over after next year. So the Angels can sign Cole.
You think the Yankees are going to not sign any top 30 free agents AND let Didi and Betances walk? Yea right
We usually get yelled at for supposedly being Yankees homers, for some reason.
Anyway, most of the reasoning behind our predictions, as regards NYY, comes from a look at their current payroll levels and their recent spending history in free agency.
I hear you and I worry you are right. One can only hope (if one is a Yankee fan) that Hal/Cash take serious stock of 1) losing the postseason AGAIN this year, 2) not winning a WS since 2009, and 3) winning just one WS in the past 19 years. Then, as architects of this horrifically non-Yankee history, they ought to look in the mirror and shriek with shame as poor caretakers of the Yankee brand: WIN NOW and WIN OFTEN. With the WS window open, they ought to be flooring the gas, not soft-pedaling.
Alas, I do not think these are men who take responsibility.
I’m reminded of Hal’s comment: “it shouldn’t take $200MM to win a WS.” True, if you’re willing to wait 30 year in between (see: Royals). If you want to contend at the highest level every year? THAT takes much more than $200 MM a year. And THAT is the Yankee brand. Hal’s lack of appreciation of this fact and his role in the scheme of things are what are so disconcerting. And Cash is just an obedient lapdog.
If Brodie finds a way to have a worse off season than this prediction woof
“Hold my Zima”. – Everyone named Brodie
Wow, hear that Andrew Friedman? MLBTR has even given up on Dodgers spending on anything besides middling relievers. Please prove everybody wrong for a change.
Yeah, I noticed that too. Finally got the memo.
Do you think this is a definitive list with little or no possibility of anything different happening?
That said, where are there major weaknesses that LA can’t address unless they spend big through free agency?
Starting pitching, the bullpen. And no, the point was the Dodgers are constantly being linked in rumors to high-priced free agents none of whom they actually sign. At some point this becomes an actual trend. You can observe a lot just by watching.
Now ask me a hard one.
Most of these projections are so low, it’s like they want to entice a flock of bidders in an all-out war!
2020 is Make or Break year for the White Sox to be in the playoffs.
Renteria has to do his job !
As it would be nice for CWS to make the playoffs in 2020, it’s likely to end up a WC and a one and done. So I think they have to play their cards right this year and next year for the big prize. Too much of their potential is just that, potential young guys. To herd up on a bunch of veterans now seems a formula which leads to problems later. Better to get one or two this season who we really plan to bank on 4-5 years ahead, everything else is just getting us through this next year.
I know you mentioned bigger market teams maybe getting in on some of these players, but you really think out of this top 40 the Yankees will only re-sign Gardner. At least make your “predictions” seem like your not blinded to the fact that they are the Yankees. The same team that needs starting pitching. You got marquee/stars heading to Cincinnati… no one wants to play there. smh…
The reds have stated they are going all in next season the owner is demanding it. They made some bold moves this year and have money to spend this offseason I wouldn’t be surprised if the reds didn’t go all out similar to the Phillies last offseason
Mel Rojas Jr had dominated the KBO past 3 seasons
Bad news for Cole going to the Angels. MLBTR is always wrong.
With new ownership, I think Sherman might try to get Moose back on the Royals. Would love to see that!
i’ve gotten used to dozier at 3rd even though i do miss moose calls….My other choice for moose other than the Brewers would be the angels. I had my dad buy me an angels hat in 2017 when he was in California….Thinking it was possible that moose would be signing with the Angels….And then the Royals brought him back temporarily in early 2018. Still have that angels hat ready to wear if moose goes there.
I’m pretty sure AA would match 3/75 in a heartbeat for JD
What makes the rangers want to go all in suddenly according to MLBTR’s point of view?
Opening a new stadium, trying to draw fans
Ah thank you.
I think many of these players will not get serious offers..
Might see Player Union Rep Tony Clark calling for a player strike if the money is not flowing !
I don’t see a team only giving Betances a one year deal given that he might miss more than half of the season. I see a two year deal with an option for a third.
The salaries (for everyone outside of say the top 10 or so) seem kind of low… like I feel that Rich Hill (despite injuries) can get more than $6mil for a season. And a guy like Encarnacion can probably do better than $8M. one other that stuck out was 2/$20 for Moustakas — I know his market’s been rough the past couple off-season but idk I just feel like at least a handful of those guys a little lower on the list are going to bring in more than $6-$10mil but who knows maybe the market will continue its downward/slow trend and these guys could get squeezed. It just seems to me that there were too many guys in the $6-$10 range and given the lack of quantity at the top tier of FAs that some of the mid/lower tier guys are going to get paid a little bit better. we shall see. It’ll be an interesting off-season. one unrelated comment — please have strop not be the one guy the Red Sox bring in as a FA and/or RP help. he may well have a bounceback season but the Sox pen was so bad they really can’t afford to bank on that from a guy who was showing diminished velocity even when healthy last year!! I’d even prefer them take a flier on a guy like Betances than the 33/34 year old Strop – nothing against him
Boston lost Porcello and holt but get just Pedro Strop?
Doesn’t account for trades.
I think Bumgarner heads to the Cubs. It nicely fills the gap left by Hamels departure and for less money. I love the Will Harris pick though, that would be a great addition. IF Bryant gets traded, look for the Cubs to make a bid for Gregorious as well.
Bryant is going nowhere. And the Cubs won’t sign another soft-tossing RP. They tried that…it failed…miserably.
The “waiting for the core to step up” experiment is over. Bryant and maybe Contreras, Schwarber and Almora are gone. Theo can get a haul for Bryant and maybe Contreras. They’ll make an effort to sign Baez..
Bryant will get traded. He will not resign with the Cubs whether it’s in one or two years based on his grievance results. No way Cubs trade Contreras or Baez.
Baseball all about pitching and up the middle defense.
Don’t be surprised if they trade Contreras for the right package. They’re in desperate need of solid young arms and a lead off hitter. Caratini could start for a number of teams right now and they have a solid group in the minors. It may not happen, but I’ll bet he gets shopped.
I support both of their opinions as well as Doolittle’s choice not to go. I wish people would stop trying to divide Americans.
Way to stay on topic
this usually has a 5% accuracy rate
As a Cubs fan, these predictions left me very depressed.
Woof. Brewers better do more than that! Yikes. Talk about 8 steps back. They would be all over Moose on a 10 mill aav.
Moose to Milwaukee seems likely. Otherwise, they will target a middle infielder to “push” arcia and spell Keston. Suspect they will not add any major pitching, again, and will focus of depth.
Some of you commenters act as if these predictions are a fate accompli. You are getting riled up over basically nothing. Predictions are supposed to be fun and if you happen to hit on a few, then all the more fun. As of now, teams can’t even really begin shopping for free agents until the players who got QO’s take or reject them. Sure, a few might sign before then, but not the “heavy hitters”.
So calm down.
HAH! Even MLBTR doesn’t think the Yankees will make a splash in FA this season. Hal’s Yankees are so much different from George’s.
Vandals Took The Handles
Hal is building an organization that develops players and makes veterans better.
And can’t win WS. The brand–WIN WS NOW and WIN WS OFTEN–has been broken and stomped by Hal/Cash. And they show no signs of taking responsibility for fixing it…now!
Donaldson to nats if they can’t sign rendon? He doesn’t seem like a fit in terms of his personality, but what do I know.
He’s always been loved by his teammates
Haven’t heard much about what the plan would be if they can’t get Rendon because it seems inevitable they re-sign him… Can Kieboom play 3B?
Pirates with TWO players projected on this list. A record, I do believe!
I feel like both Braves moves mentioned are poor fits. It’s unlikely the Braves would offer Moustakis a deal because it’s either gonna be Riley or Donaldson that’s starts at 3rd base. Plus, they would be pretty lefty heavy in the middle of the lineup. As for Hamels, if they wanted an affordable veteran option, they would’ve just kept Teheran. What’s most likely is that Donaldson is brought back and they go after Wheeler or address the rotation via trade.
Hamels is better than Teheran. That’s why they would choose to let Teheran go and sign Hamels.
Hamels is nothing special and his stuff is declining. You don’t commit 2 years to that when you have 1 yr left of a pitcher that’s not much worse at this point.
I agree that it’s either Riley or Donaldson at 3rd. Most likely if they lose JD they start Camargo at 3rd unless Riley tears it up in the spring. Where I disagree is that the Braves will sign anyone with a QO, which would include Wheeler. They value that draft pick and slot money too much. Only way I could see them doing it is if JD signs elsewhere, then they can justify losing the draft pick because of the extra pick they get for losing Donaldson.
A’s making a big splash
Puk, Fiers and Beck for Mookie. Lock it in.
I can tell you one pitcher who I would not even consider giving 3/51 to. That would be Jake Odorizzi. I’ll pass.
Very few of these predictions made any sense whatsoever. Why would Detroit acquire Puig? The White Sox and Cubs in particular are two teams (supposedly) trying to contend next season. Well, those free agents aren’t going to cut the mustard. Especially the cubs. Geez, you might as well fire Epstein and Hoyer right now.
The way the Braves just resigned Markakis and Flowers to save money against the cap while paying them the same amount of money they would have made makes me wonder what they’re planning? Resign Donaldson and go after Cole to lead the staff as the dominant strikeout Ace?
1 Goose Man
Huh. No Smoak. Maybe there is a possible reunion with Toronto at 1st/dh.
Cole – ANGELS
Rendon – DODGERS
Strasburg – NATIONALS
Wheeler – PADRES
Donaldson – NATIONALS
Bumgarner – GIANTS
Grandal – ANGELS
Castellanos – CUBS
Ryu – YANKEES
Odorizzi – TWINS
Ozuna – CARDINALS
Gregorius – MARLINS
W. Smith – ASTROS
Keuchel – ANGELS
Hamels – BRAVES
Abreu – WHITE SOX
Pineda – ROYALS
Moustakas – BREWERS
Gibson – TWINS
Roark – TIGERS
Teheran – BRAVES
W Harris – CUBS
Pomeranz – DODGERS
Miley – PIRATES
Dickerson – REDS
D’Arnaud – RAYS
Chris Martin – PHILLIES
D Hudson – DIAMONDBACKS
A Garcia – RANGERS
Kendrick – NATIONALS
Porcello – MARINERS
Gardner – YANKEES
Chirinos – BREWERS
Castro – ASTROS
Stammen – METS
Cishek – ANGELS
Puig – RED SOX
Encarnacion – BLUE JAYS
Wood – ATHLETICS
Wainwright – CARDINALS
Holt – INDIANS
Lindblom – RAYS
Betances – MARLINS
Calhoun – ROCKIES
Akiyama – RANGERS
Hill – RED SOX
Wacha – ASTROS
Nova – ROYALS
Strop – METS
Smyly – PIRATES
Brett Anderson – PIRATES
FRAZIER – METS
KINTZLER – NATIONALS
PEREZ – ROYALS
S Castro – PHILLIES
Schoop – ORIOLES
Zobrist – ANGELS
Thames – MARLINS
Pence – RANGERS
Lyles – CUBS
Tsutsugo – DIAMONDBACKS
Castro back to the Yankees? I don’t see that. Also, as for Ryu going to the Yanks, I hope not. They don’t need another #2, #3. They need a #1. I wish I could that that is Severino or German but as of this moment, it isn’t. In a win now mode, Yanks really need Cole. I don’t see that happening, but that’s what they need.
I thought about Castro to the Yanks again (In a Utility infielder role, 2B/SS/3B, to backup LeMahieu, Torres, Andujar/Urshela) but i think the Phils would love to upgrade their middle infield too and would offer Castro a better deal…
As for Cole I think they’ll offer him a good deal but ultimately I have a feeling he will take the best offer and with Maddon coming to LAA, I think they will do whatever it takes to sign him and supplement a prime Mike Trout. If there was one team I think is a dark horse for Cole, I would say it’s the Dodgers. Then maybe the Yanks.
No chance Angels go all out or outbid Philly.
Anaheim Angels * they dont play in LA and never have
Gerrit Cole will go to Anaheim 7years/235 mil. Anything more than 5 years for a pitcher is very riaky
The Angels played at Dodger stadium for their first four years of existence.
That’s a lot of work. 🙂
My favorite article of the year related to sports lol… Worth it!
It was shocking that castro wasnt traded at the deadline. I think he’ll go to the D’Backs or Pirates.. I hope he stays away from the NL completely although he would be a good Addition back to the Cubs. Especially if they trade trade for an arm and a leg. Hoerner can play 3rd 2nd SSand CF. Baez is the same but all 4 infield spots. Castro can plays 3 of 4 infield spots. Possibly a cheap lead off man too
Don’t understand why players like Betances or Didi would want to go to rebuilding teams like the Marlins. Also, there’s not much of a fit for Yasiel on the Red Sox unless they trade JBJ, but that could happen.
Betances and Didi would likely sign for high value one year deals to reestablish their value. Betances would get a chance to close in The massive Marlins Park and Gregorius can play everyday at SS (Park would fit his hitting style well), to get tons of doubles and to hit in the middle of the lineup behind good young players such as Garrett Cooper, Brian Anderson and Isan Diaz. Rojas could be utilized more in a utility role.
Great to see the Royals doing nothing as usual
I don’t really expect Dayton Moore to sign any big names….Obviously not a Strasburg or rendon. Though a Kyle Gibson might be good unless he is staying with the twins. I certainly don’t want to see Glenn Sparkman in the rotation again
…or Jorge Lopez, or Eric Skoglund.
We probably need to hope Moore doesn’t sign anyone. His track record has been moving the wrong direction for years.
I hope these projections don’t happen. If this happened I feel like it would make the braves much worse
Of that’s all the Braves did I would consider it an overwhelming disappointment. And they still don’t address the catching and TOR situations.
The media speculating that Cole is signing with the Angels just because he has a house nearby is like the media saying last winter how Harper was going to sign with the Cubs because he is friends with Bryant to naming his dog is Wrigley. Cole is going where he can get the most money!
Moreno will reward Maddon with an ace.
3 things that stand out are Rendon isn’t getting that high of an AAV on a 7 year deal, Wheeler’s AAV will probably be $22-$24 mil and he might even get a 6th year, and Bumgarner is not leaving the Giants. They want him to be a Giant for life and it seems like he wants that too
Bumgarner heading back to SF is the opposite of what they should do. Realistically they should have already traded him and Smith at the deadline and recouped some prospects.
They need to restock the farm and get younger, cheaper talent. No need to pay Bumgarner when they’re not going to be able to compete the next few years.
I agree they should have traded both of those guys but considering they didn’t trade Bumgarner it seems like they want to keep him there for life
If the White Sox set foot in Comerica Park with both McCann and Castellanos we’re gonna get boo’d and there’s probably going to be a fight.
That will be between the 20 fans that are there I guess!
Noticed error: Porcello won the AL Cy Young in 2016 not 2015.
I was surprised Wilmer Flores didn’t make the list.
Omit the Japanese guys or do a bit of research. – Shogo Akiyama at 2 years 3 million average is at least 3 times off what he will get.
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo I guess you get a pass as maybe you do not consider him top 50 but again a big miss considering the money he is expected to get.
Yankees are signing more guys than this unless they simply get outbid at every turn. Gardner could get 2 years/$30M easily on the market I don’t think the Yankees low ball him that hard.
Angels have so many issues and I don’t get the sense that it’ll come down to a few million or one year more or less for Cole. I bet he wants to win if the money isn’t much different. I think the Yankees sign Cole or Wheeler or Bumgarner. They offer someone enough money.
It does feel like they bid against themselves with Happ and they went for cost efficiency and guaranteed first big pay days with Hicks, Severino etc so I think they’re more likely to try and match the market on the most coveted FA rather than trying to find deals again.
So what you’re saying is the Dodgers lose their best pitcher this year and dont replace him? Somebody’s drinking the koolaid
Good point, but the Dodgers have so many good prospects they may not need to sign a big free agent starter. Moreover, they could trade for a top starter. They could go after David Price, as long as Boston ate some money. Or maybe they could take a flier and trade for someone good who has struggled, like Chris Archer.
I expect Luhnow to bid fairly strongly at Wheeler. Astros could get very Cole-like production out of him under Strom’s instruction.
I really think the Cole sweepstakes comes down to the two heaviest hitters closest to contention–the Yanks and Dodgers. While both teams have done a pretty good job at giving themselves some payroll flexibility, I think they each try to get back to their old top-spending ways in order to land Cole. He’s the kind of pitcher you make an exception for, the kind of guy they will splurge for. Also, I find it hard to believe that an Angels or Phillies team can lure him away from LAD or NYY unless they outbid the Dodgers and Yanks by a significant amount. My guess–LAD. It’s not Friedman’s MO, I know, but to me it just makes so much sense.
What??, the Yankees don’t have any payroll flexibility.
Yes they do.
They are very profitable and the tax is far too low to be a legit obsticle.
They’re currently up against it, and have arbs to take care of. Plus holes to fill. Profitable has nothing to do with anything when YES the tax penalties are a “legit obstacle”.
The yankees have to sign one of Cole, Strasburg, or Wheeler or it will be another dominant regular season and lackluster playoff
They just don’t have the money to sign any of those three. People keep talking about what comes off the books after next season, but fail to look the the payroll now, and what they still have to spend. Then there’s the people who actually think they can rid themselves of Stanton’s salary by trade. There was even a suggest of moving Hicks. I’d really like to see someone suggest a rationale trade scenario for Stanton, and the Dodgers aren’t it, so where then?
you are correct. Stanton is untradeable, given his contract and veto power.
Sadly, the Yanks will once again have one of the highest payrolls in the game, yet somehow not have the ability to add much without being very creative.
However, happless at 17, els at 21, and stanton at 25+ = a mess. heaven forbid though you question the genius behind this…
How’d that resigning Gardner prediction grab you? How’d that Hicks trade idea by someone grab you?
I’m waiting for the kid billy to regurgitate his trade ideas of Stanton in a 3 team blockbuster. I’m of course on the edge of my seat waiting for the great one to weigh in.
Bottom line the genius is gonna throw us some scraps and the fanboys will eat it up. Thank God for the NFL, and college sports to take our minds off of it all.
its so pathetic. The red sox make the worst deals ever, and somehow get out of em and have parades….
Gardy is a total write-off. better off spending real dollars and getting someone else.
You are correct about the genius
It’s interesting, but I can tell Jeff Todd’s and Steve Adams’ guesses just from the way they’re written.
Tim… come back and write more again! I miss the little newsletter with a fun free article!
So neat article. Apparently the nationals are about to be spending a small fortune and Phillies are adding even more to their outrageous budget which is somewhat depressing if you’re a Braves fan. Here’s my thing, why does MLB trade rumors have such a love connection between the Braves and MM for 3B. They’ve been pegging him to be a Brave every year it seems like. Idk, a tad questionable in my opinion. He’s a good ball player and all, but if the Braves aren’t getting a Rendon or JD, then I’d rather work with what we have, save the money and invest in other needs like bullpen and SP. Also, I don’t love the idea of getting Hamels … good enough pitcher, ultimately can’t complain… just seems again we can invest that money in better (prob younger) talent.
Cole Hamels to Phillies for 2 years 30 million. No way he goes to the Braves and finishes his career with a division rival. He wants to end his career in Philly.
Kyle Gibson to the Cubs?!!! Do you really want us to have another 3rd-Place Season?!!!
Love how everyone is buying the Yankees “financial constraints” excuses hook line and sinker. If you think they’re not going to upgrade their roster by signing one of the top pitchers you’re gonna be sadly mistaken.
They did not do it last year. They did not pay for Corbin and it cost them big time in the playoffs
Plus there really is no financial constraint. There is a Brain cashman constraint. As in 230 million is somehow not enough money for cashman the genius to build a team that wins a pennant.
People here are acting like having a top 3 payroll that includes a bullpen making more than 7 whole teams is somehow ownership being tight/cheap or financial constraint.
Those excuses have been used by the FO, and no they haven’t signed any needed top starter. Yet they added the salary of a player in Stanton that was totally unnecessary, and longtime hampering.
So the Dodgers let Ryu go and don’t replace him? Not buying that.
They can have Happless for one day of sunshine
They can have him for a 10% off coupon on a Dodger dog.
i’d pay the extra 10% if it helped ship him out of pinstripes
Abreu should get more than 2 and $28m, more like 3 and $60
I have him at 3 years $48-50MM, and I respect your assessment.
You listed the Cards as a possibility for Donaldson, but you could also have them as a possibility for Moustakas as well. Plus, with the trade for Ozuna 2 offseasons ago and the trade for Goldy last offseason, who will Mo trade for this offseason since they always skip the Trade Deadline and save the trading for the offseason.
Homer Bailey threw over 160 innings, half in the process of helping a team to playoffs.
His season ERA matched his career number and his K/BB was better than career average. This is a guy that got a $100m contract.
Not even honorable mention?
Interesting that small market Reds who drew 1.8 million fans (13th in the NL) are predicted to outbid the small market Brewers who drew 2.9 million (5th in the NL) for both Grandal and Didi. By the way no team is going to offer Grandal more than 3 years.
No way Brewers would pass on DIdi at 3 for $42 million or Pomeranz at 2 for $16 and one year of Encarnacion is a strong possiblity for them as well.
I am willing to bet my life the Rays do not sign Betances. Why? They had one of the best bullpens in the league last year and no one is leaving.
Alvarado, Anderson, Castillo, Drake, Pagan, Poche, Roe, Fairbanks, Kittredge, plus Yarbrough, Chirinos and McKay for length to compliment the starters (Morton, Snell, Glasnow).
Don’t forget about De Leon, and Honeywell is coming back from injury.
ALSO, when is the last time the Rays signed a releiver for more than $4mil/yr? I think it was Grant Balfour in 2014, which didn’t go so well.
Padres – I think that yes they will go after an impact outfielder. I think they’re reasonably content with Margot and Renfroe, keeping Myers as a platoon bat (until they can trade him). I also think they’re going to go out and get a number one starter, either via trade or free agency. Although I think Paddack will very soon be a #1, no need to rush the kid.
Odorizzi is NOT going to sign for 3 yr / $51M ($17M per). This is the same number as his qualifying offer. There is zero chance that he signs a multiyear deal at the same annual number as the QO. That’s how the QO works…
Beyond that, if the Twins leave as much money on the table as you are showing Twins territory will get out the torches and pitchforks. With the FA you predict them signing, they won’t even get up to THIS YEAR’S budget let alone add on like some (including Falvey) are predicting..
So little love for the Cubs. They have 57+mil off the books.
And they’re only signing kyle Gibson and will Harris?
Why would castellanos go from contender to guaranteed seller team. He’ll stay in Chicago but with the cubs.
I think Jake Ordizzi goes to the Cubs he’s from Illinois perfect reunion chance.
I think Rendon goes west and signs with Anaheim
Yeah, and why Kyle Gibson? He’s gonna give us 5th place with his 27.30 ERA.
The Sox will have a better record than the cubs in 2020. Better get used to it, to. The cubs are trash.
cubs are done.toast.fin.
Add some toe-jam from your mom to that “toast”.
You’ve done much sicker things.
White Sox wont have 75 wins. And they will sell starting in mid june
That would be a reasonable prediction… for the cubs.
They’ll have nearly the same exact team. Why would they only win 75 games. I get you’re a troll. the last time the white Sox had a winning season was 2012.
You’re a troll, too, or you haven’t been paying attention. In 2019, they won 72 games, so they were close already. Yes, McCann played above his head and Anderson’s hitting will probably regress, but his defense should bounce back, too. They had Kopech miss the entire season with TJS, Cease learning big-league hitting, and Eloy missing time with two stints on the DL and getting his first taste of the majors. Then they’ll have a contact-oriented, GG-caliber 2B coming up in Madrigal and the runner-up for Minor League Player of the Year coming up in Robert. This is all without any potential signings. They are on the rise, and it’s difficult to see how they’d only get to 75 wins with a better, healthier, and more experienced roster.
I see the Phillies as being the most viable fit for Bumgarner. Their rotation was extremely right handed this year until they traded for Jason Vargas, who was not the answer. Also, I don’t really like the Puig fit in Detroit unless the Tigers also add a low cost first baseman like Justin Smoak or Eric Thames. I think Thames is the best fit seeing how devoid the Tigers are of true left handed hitters.
I’d be really surprised if Betances signed for even twice what you show here.
I would love to see the Mariners make a legit run at Cole. Cole probably would not want to go to a rebuilding team, but the M’s have the budget flexibility to pay him more than almost every other team. And we know his agent is all about the money. So, there is a small chance imo. If he would have got his ring this year the odds would have been a little better, but I hope the M’s at least try.
I’m hopeful that Hal has learned the cost of not going for it and things will change this year. Signing cc and Happ instead of Corban was just unacceptably cheap and basically gave a world series title to Washington that would have been in NY.
I’d prefer a lefty but Cole is the penalty for that mistake. Even on an overpay.
The option is a trade for an ace but I’d sign Cole and resign Gardner.
I’d move Andujar to 1st base unless he prefers a trade and his agent finds a good deal. AAA is an where he’d stay if 3rd is his demand and if teams want to see him play. His issue was throws and his hands and range would be above average at first. His bat works there too.
“I’d move Andujar to 1st base unless he prefers a trade and his agent finds a good deal” So much wrong with that. First, Andujar has no leverage to prefer anything. Second of all, agents don’t find deals. Corbin wasn’t the stud starter the Yankees needed to get them over the top.
I’d love to see the Indians resign Puig and pick up someone for the back end of the bullpen. At those costs, Puig and Betances could both be realistic. They should have a little bit of money to spend.
CWS could have already signed Abreu and Nova back but instead will allow someone else to drive up the price a little more just to stick it too them. No way they sign anyone else besides pitching…otherwise they’d have to admit that Zach Collins can’t catch and Gavin Sheets can’t hit and save their jobs by delaying the REBUILD another year or two.
Nobody’s driving up the price for Abreu.
The White Sox are allowing someone to drive up the price on Abrue? Huh? Who? Who is sticking it to whom?
I think a lot of posters still cling to the past 2-3 years of negative opinions about Abreu’s value. It’s like they can’t admit when they’re wrong.
I bet Abreu has some competition this off-season for a longer term than the White Sox might have planned for. The QO is protection against this.
If a team, like the Red Sox that has little minor league talent or a poor draft pick in 2020, pick up a player with a QO like Abreu from the CWS, does anyone know what the CWS get in return?
I mean $14 MM per year for Abreu vs. $11 MM for JBJ seems like a no brainer.
What do the Red Sox have to lose?
Couldn’t the Red Sox give JBJ to the CWS for Abreu as compensation?
Wouldn’t that make sense under that scenario?
JBJ is useless to the White Sox. Regarding the RS, you guys need pitching, not more offense. Look at your rotation and bullpen—that’s your weakness.
My question still isn’t answered.
If a team, like the Red Sox that has little minor league talent or a poor draft pick in 2020, pick up a player with a QO like Abreu from the CWS, does anyone know what the CWS get in return with that QO?
What do the Red Sox have to lose?
The Red Sox need a 1st baseman and they can cut JBJ who is projected to make $11 MM in arbitration vs. Abreu projected to make $14 MM per year. It’s a no-brainer. Can’t understand why Abreu is going for so little per year?
John Henry loves Abreu.
If they sign him, they get a draft pick, not whatever player the Red Sox want to be rid of. That pick, I believe, is between the 2nd and 3rd rounds.