At least in terms of free-agent signings, this is the fastest-paced offseason Major League Baseball has seen over the past couple years. Of the 50 players MLBTR ranked as the premier free agents entering the winter, more than half (26) have already left the board in the month-plus since the market opened. That includes the handful of elite free agents (Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg and Zack Wheeler), the latest $100MM-plus players in baseball. But now that they’re among the players who have found homes, who are the most appealing performers without deals? Let’s reorder the top 10 based on the rankings MLBTR put together coming into the offseason and see where they stand…
5. Josh Donaldson, 3B: With Rendon no longer available, Donaldson has taken over as hands down the most effective hitter on the market. The former Athletic, Blue Jay, Indian and Brave may well replace Rendon in Washington after posting his latest excellent season with division-rival Atlanta. Otherwise, anyone from a group of teams consisting of the Braves, Twins, Rangers, Phillies or Dodgers could end up with the 34-year-old.
8. Nicholas Castellanos, OF: Age (28 in March) and a quality offensive track record are on Castellanos’ side. Defensive prowess isn’t, on the other hand, but struggles in the field shouldn’t stop Castellanos from securing a multiyear contract worth a sizable sum. The Cubs, with whom he thrived late last season, as well as the Marlins, Rangers, Giants and Diamondbacks are among the clubs that have been connected to Castellanos in free agency.
9. Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP: With Cole, Strasburg, Wheeler and Madison Bumgarner no longer seeking employment, Ryu has assumed the mantle as the No. 1 pitcher without a contract. Ryu will turn 33 in March, and injuries have been problematic for him at times, yet there has been talk of a four-year contract worth at least $17MM per season for the career-long Dodger. Deservedly so, as Ryu finished second in NL Cy Young voting last season.
11. Marcell Ozuna, OF: Between the Marlins and Cardinals, Ozuna owns a years-long track record of posting above-average overall production. But the 29-year-old is more a good player than a star, which is likely why he’s still seeking a contract after most of the truly elite position players have already vacated the board. And the fact that Ozuna has a qualifying offer weighing him down surely doesn’t help.
14. Dallas Keuchel, LHP: A qualifying offer was among the reasons Keuchel didn’t find a contract until last June, when he finally signed with the Braves on a one-year, $13MM pact. The soon-to-be 32-year-old Keuchel didn’t have a banner season with the Braves, and there hasn’t been a ton of reported interest in him this winter, but the former AL Cy Young winner should do better this time with no QO hanging over his head.
21. Julio Teheran, RHP: Teheran, 29 in January, has amassed seven straight seasons of at least 170 innings while posting a career 3.67 ERA/4.23 FIP. He walks too many hitters (upward of four per nine in each of the previous two years), but if you’re in the market for a durable, passable mid- to back-end starter, you can do a whole lot worse than Teheran. That said, rumors on Teheran have been scarce since the Braves declined his $12MM option for 2020 a few days into November.
22. Will Harris, RHP: This isn’t a great offseason for free-agent relievers, especially considering Aroldis Chapman and Will Smith resolved their contract statuses weeks ago. But the underrated Harris, 35, has been rather strong over the past several years. A former Rockie, Diamondback and Astro, Harris logged a 2.84 ERA/3.03 FIP with 9.58 K/9, 2.32 BB/9 and a 49.6 percent groundball rate from 2012-19. Despite that success, though, Harris has drawn very little reported interest this offseason. If you look at Harris’ MLBTR archive, Minnesota has been the only known pursuer thus far.
25. Corey Dickerson, OF: Injuries were a problem for Dickerson in 2019, a 78-game season split between the two Pennsylvania teams, but there’s little doubt he can hit. The well-traveled 30-year-old owns a .286/.328/.504 line with 115 home runs in almost 3,000 plate appearances since debuting in 2014. Nevertheless, Miami is the sole club that has shown rumored interest in Dickerson since free agency.
28. Daniel Hudson, RHP: Rumors centering on Hudson, who became an unexpected hero for the World Series-winning Nationals after they acquired him from the Blue Jays at July’s deadline, had been scarce until Tuesday. While a return to Washington has looked like a no-brainer for both sides this winter, they remain apart in contract talks. The hard-throwing Hudson, 33 in March, wants a multiyear pact and may be able to find one with another team if the Nats don’t meet his demands.
33. Robinson Chirinos, C: Yasmani Grandal and Travis d’Arnaud are among the free-agent catchers who have found new homes, and it shouldn’t be long before the 35-year-old Chirinos follows them. Although defense isn’t Chirinos’ calling card, his above-average offensive track record leaves him as arguably the best backstop left on the market. At least a few teams have shown interest this offseason in Chirinos, including the AL-winning Houston club that benefited from adding him in 2019.
Braves need to pull a deal for Hanigar & Seager. Time to leave Donaldson alone. If he wanted to be back he woulda signed by now.
I’m interested in the theory of such a move, for sure. Taking less for Haniger because of Seager’s contract isn’t appealing in any way though — and both guys would be great for the young M’s team. What’s your plan for the Braves side of this proposed swap?
Yes, I wanna know too.
I feel like a package of Waters,Riley, Weigel & Ynoa would work
The Braves need to include Inciarte, if only to save the Rockies from Desmond.
Counter: Waters, Riley, Muller, Atlanta’s choice of Weigel or Shewmake.
No way the Braves give up Waters & Riley.
The package is going to have to start somewhere
Seager and Haniger produced 10 mil in surplus value last year and they were barely on the field
Newcomb and Wright looks right…
Marte and Moran for Austin Riley straight up.
This is a idea tomahawk take has sorta been throwing around. They like to project trades and fans take it as serious rumors (not that steeler is doing that here). I actually don’t want either of those guys. I’d rather keep the prospect capital we have for better trades and use our money to improve the team. Even if we did trade for them, you got to think the prospect capital would be high.
I have wanted Hanigar since the season ended I only have turned interest into Seager because it doesn’t look like Donaldson is going to resign and Bryant will cost to much.
Also throw in the fact Seager would be making less than what we thought it would take to resign Donaldson and by taking that contract we wouldn’t be giving up as much as it would take to get Bryant.
Hanigar in the 4th hole & Seager 5th is better than Donaldson 4th & Markakis 5th IMO
I’m afraid that Haniger is never going to be nearly as good as he was his first season in Seattle. There is NO WAY that I’d want to include Waters (or Pache) in a deal where I have to take on the risks of Haniger AND Seager bouncing back as well as taking on that horrible contract attached to Seager. I’m not saying that they couldn’t be beneficial for Atlanta, just that the Braves don’t need to overpay.
You don’t get to fill a hole with a projected three win player and get a four win player thrown in for free
Haniger and Seager are projected to produce 6-7 wins for 22 Mil (40+mil surplus)
(Also the D-backs love Haniger and have a comp A pick in the 2020 draft)
Get used to the idea of paying
Or the Braves haven’t offered the 4th year he’s looking for which is why he hasn’t signed anywhere yet
Obviously and they won’t nor should they. If he wants to be here he signs for 3. He holds up his end & he will get a 4th year on a new contract.
Atlanta has advantages that Washington doesn’t. He is a local boy grew up a Braves fan and is a southern boy at heart. He was comfortable in the clubhouse and he won’t have to live in Rendon’s shadow if he slumps for a bit.
AA took a huge gamble by signing him for 1 year to bounce back and paid him handsomely on that 1 year.
But it’s all good he gotta do what’s best for him. I prefer a Hanigar/Seager package to even 3 yrs of Donaldson.
I don’t know if I’d consider Pensacola a southern town. Florida is kind of it’s own animal. Donaldson is also a unique cat. Not your typical good-ole-boy. Not that any of that matters anyway. He’ll sign with whoever signs the bigger check. Both Washington and Atlanta give him an excellent shot at a ring.
Josh did go to Auburn, so there’s that. I’d love for the Braves to re-sign him. Maybe 4/80 with a lot of incentives in that last year.
He is the one that said he grew up a Brave fan in Brave country.
Donaldson wants $$$. He made his priority clear in Toronto. High bidder gets him. When he’s healthy and on a mission, he’s worth every penny. That said I think he’s looking like this will be his last contract and teams today are interested in only paying for future expectations. The longer the offer, the less per year average is what I see. Offers I see are only two committed years. Maybe $22m per with a third year option at the same rate with a $8m club option so he gets $50m guaranteed. Even that seems like a lot given his injury history and age.
“But it’s all good he gotta do what’s best for him. I prefer a Hanigar/Seager package to even 3 yrs of Donaldson.”
But do you prefer a Haniger/Seager package to 3 years of Donaldson/whatever else they could get for the prospect capital it cost to get Haniger/Seager?
Donaldson won’t do less than four, and the Braves won’t go abound three. Case closed. He’s signing elsewhere.
Donaldson loved playing in Atlanta and prefers to be back there. He’s going to listen to all offers and give Atlanta a chance to make the final offer. Haniger doesn’t have much history of production and is coming off a shoulder injury and Seager is meh.
Haniger was good in an abbreviated 2017, was insanely productive at league minimum in 2018 and lost his 2019 season to a ruptured testicle, which is hardly an injury that gets you labeled “injury prone” since it’s absurdly flukey and random. The shoulder injury was done and over with by the time his nut went into orbit. Know what you’re talking about before posting please.
Considering last year was a lost year with the worst injury known to man and the year before he was an all star
Throw in the fact said injury wasn’t something that should hamper his playing going forward and the fact he isn’t making major money yet and could always no tender him if they don’t like his production compared to his financial cost
At worst, he could only rupture one other testicle.
Let’s do it!
Considering He hasn’t received an offer from anyone yet, your comment shows your stupidity.
Considering it’s been reported the Nats offered him 4/90
Nats defer a lot of money and four years seems way to long. Not sure the report is accurate.
Is it just me or does Will Harris to the Dodgers make way too much sense? Good, reliable arm who gives you quality innings every single year.
I do not think anyone knows what Friedman’s plan is, including Friedman. He went all in on Cole and did not get him. May be a blessing. Who knows? After Cole, there did not seem to be a Plan B. Treinen was already in the works and should be an asset. Harris and Ryu would be enough to guarantee another Division and, hopefully, a pennant.
I would like to move off Ryu (age, injuries,) and get Teheran.
We have depth to cover injuries to Ryu (just look at the last few years) and I’d love to have him back due to the fact he can be an ace when healthy. I agree on the fact we don’t seem to have a plan but I think our “plan” should be at least to go get Harris and Ryu if nothing else.
I’d be very pleased with signing Harris. What I’ve been trying to figure out is how the Dodgers couldn’t get Kluber. I can’t figure out what we’re trying to do here, but I have to imagine we have at least a half dozen above average, non-elite prospects we could have used to one-up the Rangers’ offer.
I give a lot of credit for the active market to the Braves and their early flurry of deals. They set the tone.
They did and I thank them. So much better than last year.
If he is cheap, I could see the Pirates getting him. We kind of need a durable innings eater speaking that Taillon will miss all of 2020 with Tommy John.
Teheran should go to San Fran.
Teheran would look great in SF. Or St Louis. But my bet is he’ll be a Phillie or WhiteSock by the end of the month. He reminds me so much of Porcello. Not stuff wise but head scratching, why can’t that potential lead to consistent dominance head scratching. I’d love to see what he does inside a great organization but it probably won’t happen.
Julio has only ever been a Brave. I wonder if he’ll be one of those players who benefits from a change of scenery.
White Sox fan – I’ll happily take him.
Please No, Not to the Giants !!
Let’s see what the kids can do. No more old retreads…………..
He’s 28, and has been a league-average pitcher over his career. Last year he had a 119 ERA+ and 2.7 bWAR. Career ERA+ of 110.
Are you saying that because you don’t want the Braves to go get him. He’s a guy on this market that the longer he’s on the market, the lower his price goes… at least in my opinion. Id actually like to see the Braves go get him. Ideally on a really cheap contract. But we can use him in that # 5 spot and call our rotation set. Maybe a 2 year deal at 14 -16 mil? Trade him if one of our prospects step up? 7 -8 mil a years a pretty good value for him honestly.
The Mets should get in on Hudson & Harris
I’d love to see Harris on the Mets. Any team could use a bullpen piece like that. He’s under rated
I’m surprised he hasn’t signed sooner. Thought Reds would have scooped him up but i’d be happy with him on the NYM
Why no buzz this offseason at all about Colin McHugh? I feel like he was very reliable and consistent in Houston in that Seth Lugo role, used in the back of the rotation and in a variety of different ways out of the pen.
If the Padres are really hamstrung on spending due to the Myers contract, that could be a smart addition that wouldn’t cost too much. Could fill out the back end of the rotation, then transition to a bullpen role down the stretch once Gore/Patino get called up.
Kinda wish Teheran would come back as the #5 instead of newk going back to the rotation, Braves are STILL one bat and a stud ace/Co-ace away from a WS contender at this point.
Right now you know what you’re going to get out one or two pitchers on this staff every start, the rest is cross your fingers. (Haven’t watched Hamels pitch much since he left Philly so hopefully he’s at least consistent still.)
There’s no upside to Teheran. He is what he isn’t this point, mediocre at best. Newk at least has upside and if he fails, he can always go back to the pen where he’s shown he can be effective.
And if Newk fails and goes back to the pen, then who do you turn to? You don’t need a #5 to dominate. Teheran has proven to be a consistent, durable, effective innings eater and Newk is great as a reliever.
Honestly both Teheran and newk (just like folty) can have lights out starts where they have no-hit stuff and then the start after they don’t last 3 innings. It’s infuriating, but at least the lineup last season was good enough to offset it more. Newk is made for the pen with this organization at this point, tryouts are over and they figured out where he’s most effective. (I must add that his and Shelby millers “8 2/3” no-hitters still cut deep lol.)
I thought Wil Harris would have signed by now. specifically with the Reds
after Donaldson the bats are really all about the same.
My realistic druthers would be to trade for Marte first. Signing Castellanos to play RF would be second. Unlikely druther would be to trade for Bryant (and sign him to an extension).
Don’t mind Marte but he is not a cleanup hitter
We can replace Donaldson in the aggregate (Moneyball reference). Marte would be one piece of that.
Why is Cleveland not going in on Dickerson? Need a better corner outfielder and he should be affordable.
They might be. I think the second-tier dominoes are hung up somewhere. It’ll take a Castellanos/Ozuna signing to get them falling again.
ATL should sign both Donaldson (3B) and Castellanos (LF). Use Austin Riley in a trade package for Robbie Ray.
Not for 1 year of Ray
Brave in nebraska
Oh yeah. Forgot. Rental.
If there’s a guarantee of an extension I’d say the deal is fair.
True, thought he was controllable for 2 yrs
Brave in nebraska
This doesn’t upset me. Cannot stress how better an option Castellanos is over Ozuna.
Castellanos is horrendous in the field. If it’s gonna be an OFer much rather trade for Hanigar.
Castellanos was horrendous, but he improved in 2019. He’s now just below average.
Ozuna was also horrible in the field, so…
Robbie Ray allows way too many bases on balls. There is a reason why he doesn’t go deep in games and allows so many runs.
Pirates should sign Teheran. He’s be a solid Bucco.
Why would he want to go there? They are rebuilding, and it’s Pittsburgh.
He’s 28 (about to be 29). If they gave him 5/50, I bet he’d sign.
I could see him joining PIT.
Brave in nebraska
Should hit up the Rockies for Arenado and Blackmon. Or go for Arenado and Dahl. Could move some interesting prospects in that.
If AA had that much money to spend we would have Rendon without having to give up prospects. No thanks to the products of Coors.
Brave in nebraska
Steeler I will give you Blackmon being a product. Dahl is better but still a product-ish of Coors but Arenado…. dead wrong bro. Arenado is his own product. I went and rewatched his highlight reel from this last season last night. He is a legit monster. Watch the video and come back to me. Hitting moon shots and laser beams at alot of different ball parks. Not many hanging and All hit with authority. I’m telling you we had it wrong about him. He slams everywhere and doubles the same. He is an equal opportunity punisher.
Ok he may be a monster but yet again if AA had that kinda money he woulda went hard for Rendon. Gotta be realistic at some point in here.
Brave in nebraska
We agree on how the money works out. Maybe AA doesn’t value Rendon as a better dollar for dollar trade or option?
Would be nice to see the Twins go for Keuchel and Teheran but since they’ll want money it’s probably not going to happen.
Thad Levine just looks like the kind of guy who conveniently “forgets” to bring his wallet to dinner.
I wish the Braves had exercised Julio’s option and then traded him with a couple of prospects for Giles. Toronto needs solid starters and no one wants to sign with them because they aren’t current contenders. Having Julio for two years would help stabilize that rotation.
Teheran should be a target for San Diego or San Francisco. I’m surprised some team hasn’t moved on him by now. He’s not going to put a club over the top, but he’s solid and reliable. Give him 2 years with options and a little more money than he’s worth, he should take it. If things don’t work out, trade him in July, eat some of the money. Easy. As I write this I’m thinking Seattle should take a look at this guy, but those DH lineups would only expose his mediocrity. But hey, Mike Leake survived in Seattle, and I didn’t think that would happen.
He gives up homers, so he needs a flyball-friendly park. I think he’d give up fewer walks if he didn’t worry so much about the fly balls.
Teheran would be a perfect fit for Seattle
If the Rangers can land one of Donaldson(3B, Santana in CF)/Castallanos(Santana at 3B, Gallo in CF) & Chirinos. They will be once again, very relevant in the AL.
Gallo in CF? surely you jest.
Half of his time in the outfield was spent in CF last year. Quite a hardy jest.
Teheran to LA , maybe with the right coaches working w/ him he can reach consistency and all that potential
I think the Angels should sign Teheran. He provides innings and durability which is something the Angels could use. I’d like to see the Reds get Corey Dickerson or maybe even bring back Puig over signing Ozuna or Castellanos.
If Hechavarria hasn’t been signed, then he should be here… lol jk.
Where’s Yasiel Puig?
Hopefully NOT going to Atlanta.
jimthegoat I agree….
All I want for Christmas is The Brockstar back wearing his Redsox. I do hope they trade Mookie n Price, I hope it goes through.
Calm down with Holt
As a novice Dodgers fan I’m curious. Dallas or Hyun Jin?
Castellanos has “Cincinnati Reds” written all over him. Putting that hits machine in Great American Ball Park would be almost unfair. Plus with a smaller outfield he’d have less need to run around
Castellanos has no place to play in Cincy. Winker should be starting in LF, and Castellanos is not a CFr or RFr. Calhoun is a better fit in RF for Cincy.
Castellanos (If he’ll move to 1B) and one of Chirinos/D’Arnaud makes so much sense for Texas.
D’Arnaud had already signed with Atlanta a few weeks ago (before the winter meetings even).
No, even if we get Castellanos in RF, we could move Gallo to center, and move Santana to 1b. Then go get Chirinos for catcher, and then here’s the kicker. Trade Odor and co. to the dodgers for Muncy, and slot muncy in at 2nd then move Solak to third. Here’s the lineup.
With Kluber taking the hill in the WC game, that team is almost unfair.
Harris gets LHH out (.490 OPS last year), useful with the new 3-batter rule, so someone oughta sign him quickly!