We have long carried a running list of 2020-21 free agents. With the offseason now completed, it has been updated to feature the players presently scheduled to reach the open market at the conclusion of the 2020 season (whether or not it is played).
We’ll take the opportunity to run through the class of players by position … starting with the catchers (season-age for 2021; alphabetical order within category):
Top of the Class
- J.T. Realmuto (30) – The Phillies haven’t been able to work out a long-term deal with the star receiver, who is still in his prime. He could challenge for a record-setting free agent deal for a backstop.
Other Regulars (based upon 2019 playing time)
- Robinson Chirinos (36) – The late-bloomer keeps hitting and laying claim to more and more playing time.
- James McCann (31) – Despite a breakout 2019 season, the White Sox pushed McCann into a secondary role when they inked Yasmani Grandal.
- Yadier Molina (38) – There’s virtually no chance the Cards’ icon will make it to free agency, let alone end up with another team.
- Roberto Perez (32) ($5.5MM club option with a $450K buyout) – The Indians won’t allow Perez to become a free agent if he repeats his strong 2019 showing.
- Wilson Ramos (33) ($10MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout) – The bat is still legit but questions remain about how much the Buffalo can handle behind the dish. It’s possible the Mets could retain him after a big season, but Ramos could be a better fit in the American League going forward.
Top Timeshare Candidates
- Alex Avila (34) – High-OBP lefty hitter is still a nice complimentary piece, especially with a 26-man active roster.
- Welington Castillo (34) – He’s in need of a bounceback after a rough showing in ’19.
- Jason Castro (34) – The well-regarded defender just turned in an above-average year with the bat.
- Francisco Cervelli (35) – He struggled in 2019 but was a high-end hitter in the prior campaign.
- Tyler Flowers (35) – Flowers is a well-rated pitch-framer whose bat has faded a bit.
- Chris Iannetta (38) – The long-time veteran decided to keep going in 2020, but the season freeze puts his future in question.
- Sandy Leon (32) – A strong defensive backstop, Leon is going to have to show he can do something with the bat if he’s to keep getting chances.
- Jeff Mathis (38) – Mathis made his money on an unparalleled reputation for overall defensive value, but he may not get another MLB offer if he can’t improve on last year’s showing at the plate (.158/.209/.224).
- Austin Romine (32) – He got paid a fairly hefty sum by the Tigers after perking up offensively in the past two seasons.
- Kurt Suzuki (37) – The second act as a flyball-heavy home run hitter has had legs, as Suzuki has delivered three-straight above-average offensive seasons, but his inability to control the running game is a concern.
- Stephen Vogt (36) (2021 vesting/club option) – Vogt came back strong in 2019, but he’ll probably have to keep hitting at an above-average clip to hold onto a timeshare.
- Mike Zunino (30) – When he’s going with the bat, Zunino is a high-quality all-around performer. But he has never been consistent and the arrow pointed straight down (.165/.232/.312) in 2019.