The current offseason has been one of the busiest in recent years. Over the past few seasons, it wasn’t uncommon for a few of the top free agents to linger on the open market after the calendar had flipped over to a new year. That won’t be the case this year, as today’s agreement between Corey Kluber and the Red Sox means that 46 of MLBTR’s Top 50 Free Agents are off the board, including all of the top 32.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some notable players still out there. Below is a list of some of the most intriguing names on the open market for clubs still hoping to make upgrades to their roster before Opening Day. The number next to the player’s name represents their placement on the MLBTR top 50 list.
Quick caveat that some of those free agents have reached agreements with clubs that are not official. This wouldn’t normally be worth mentioning, as those deals end up getting completed in the vast majority of cases. However, the Carlos Correa situation has shown that it’s not impossible for a deal to fall through after being agreed upon. He and the Giants agreed to a 13-year, $350MM deal but their physical examination raised concerns about the status of his right leg. Correa then agreed to a 12-year, $315MM deal with the Mets, whose physical raised similar concerns. The deal is still not official but the latest reporting suggests that Correa will likely still end up a Met, though perhaps with some extra provisions in the contract.
33. Jurickson Profar
Profar, 30 in February, has had a mercurial career but he’s coming off a solid season. He hit 15 home runs, walked in 11.1% of his plate appearances and struck out in just 15.7% of them. Outs Above Average wasn’t keen on his left field defense but Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating both thought it was above average.
Profar isn’t a superstar but he succeeds in enough different ways to be useful. FanGraphs pegged him as being worth 2.5 wins above replacement in 2022. It’s also possible that the upcoming shift limitations benefit his contact-based approach. He opted out of his deal with the Padres, which would have seen him make $7.5MM in 2023. By taking the $1MM buyout instead, he just needs to find $6.5MM in free agency to break even. MLBTR predicted he could secure a two-year, $20MM deal.
39. Andrew Chafin
Over the past six years, Chafin has been one of the best relievers in the sport, with his left-handedness only making him more appealing. He has a 3.05 ERA in that time, striking out 26.9% of batters faced, walking 8.8% of them and getting grounders on 48.7% of balls in play. That includes a nightmare 2020 season in which he posted a 6.52 ERA in 9 2/3 innings.
He could have stuck with the Tigers for 2023 on a $6.5MM salary but declined his player option and returned to free agency. MLBTR predicted that to be a wise decision, pegging him for a two-year, $18MM deal. He’ll turn 33 in June.
40. Jean Segura
Somewhat similar to Profar, Segura is a guy who does a lot of things well but isn’t really elite at anything. Over the last six seasons, his wRC+ has been between 105 and 111 in five of them, the lone exception being a dip to 91 in 2019. He hit between 10 and 14 home runs in the past five full seasons. Though he posted bigger stolen base totals earlier in his career, he’s been between nine and 13 in the past three full campaigns. He doesn’t walk much but doesn’t strike out much either. Defensively, he can play shortstop in an emergency but is essentially a full-time second baseman, with advanced metrics generally considering him above average there. He was predicted for two years and $18MM. He’ll turn 33 in March.
41. Michael Wacha
Wacha, 31, posted ERAs of 4.76, 6.62 and 5.05 in the previous three seasons but got that mark down to 3.32 in 2022. That was encouraging but might not be entirely sustainable. His .260 BABIP and 80.3% strand rate surely helped him offset a pedestrian 20.2% strikeout rate and 41% ground ball rate. He did avoid the free passes, however, limiting them to a 6% rate, and was in the 70th percentile in terms of hard hit rate.
Injuries have prevented him from cracking 130 innings in any of the past five seasons but he’s still capable of producing solid work at the back of a rotation. He was predicted for a two-year deal worth $16MM.
The bottom of MLBTR’s top 50 list also featured many “honorable mentions” that are still available. Those that are still free agents are listed below in alphabetical order.
HM: Elvis Andrus
Andrus, 34, was miserable at the plate from 2018 to 2021 but is coming off a nice bounceback. He hit 17 home runs in 2022 and finished with a batting line of .249/.303/.404 for a wRC+ of 105. He also stole 18 bases and was considered an above-average defensive shortstop by Ultimate Zone Rating and Outs Above Average.
HM: Brandon Belt
Belt, 35 in April, produced a batting line of .285/.393/.595 over 2020 and 2021. That production was 62% above league average, as evidenced by his 162 wRC+. Only Juan Soto and Bryce Harper were ahead of him in that department, among hitters with at least 550 plate appearances.
2022, however, saw him battle knee injuries all season long and hit .213/.326/.350 for a wRC+ of 96. He eventually underwent season-ending knee surgery in September, the third knee surgery of his career. That makes him a high-risk, high-reward play, as he’s occasionally been one of the best hitters on the planet but injuries often derail his productivity.
HM: Johnny Cueto
Cueto, 37 in February, is coming off his strongest season in years. He tossed 158 1/3 innings for the White Sox in 2022, his highest such tally since 2016. His 3.35 ERA was also his lowest since that time, outside of a 3.23 mark over a nine-start showing in 2018. His 15.7% strikeout rate this year was well below average but he kept his walks to a 5.1% rate and was good at limiting hard contact.
Fujinami, 29 in April, is a real wild card in free agency. He debuted in Japan’s NPB as a teenager back in 2013 and seemed to be cementing himself as a star. He posted a 2.40 ERA over 199 innings in 2015 as a 21-year-old. However, serious control problems have derailed him since. In 2021, he walked 16.8% of batters faced, helping him produce a 5.21 ERA on the year. He made gains in 2022, getting his walk rate down to 7.6% and his ERA to 3.38. He was posted by the Hanshin Tigers and is eligible to sign with MLB teams, who would have to also pay a posting fee to the Tigers on top of what they pay Fujinami.
HM: Michael Fulmer
Fulmer, 30 in March, won the American League Rookie of the Year in 2016 by making 26 starts with a 3.06 ERA. His results slipped in subsequent seasons and Tommy John surgery wiped out his 2019 campaign entirely. He’s since moved to a bullpen role and thrived. He made 67 appearances in 2022 with a 3.39 ERA, 22.1% strikeout rate, 10.1% walk rate and 35.4% ground ball rate. Those rate stats are all fairly underwhelming, but Fulmer’s best attribute is limiting damage. He was in the 91st percentile in 2022 in terms of barrel rate, 61st percentile in terms of hard hit rate and 55th in average exit velocity.
HM: Zack Greinke
Greinke is now 39 and isn’t the ace he once was, but he’s still got a knack for keeping runs off the board. He posted a 3.68 ERA across 137 innings and 26 starts in 2022. His 12.5% strikeout rate was barely half the league average but he kept walks down to a 4.6% rate and had a 60th percentile barrel rate.
HM: Evan Longoria
Longoria, 37, has slowed down with age, last reaching 90 games played in a season back in 2019. However, he’s still been productive at the plate when healthy enough to step up to it. In 589 plate appearances over the past two seasons, he hit 27 home runs and slashed .252/.333/.466 for a wRC+ of 118.
HM: Trey Mancini
Mancini, 31 in March, was excellent in 2019, hitting 35 home runs and producing a batting line of .291/.364/.535 for a 132 wRC+. A battle with colon cancer wiped out his 2020 but he was able to make an inspiring return in 2021. Over the past two years, he’s hit .247/.323/.412 for a wRC+ of 104. That’s a drop from his 2019 form but still above average, and he’s also considered an above-average defender at first base who can move to the outfield corners on occasion.
HM: Matt Moore
Moore, 34 in June, was once a highly-touted prospect and had a few good years as a starter for the Rays about a decade ago. That was followed by years marred by injuries and underperformance, but a full-time move to the bullpen led to an excellent 2022. He made 63 relief appearances with the Rangers, posting a 1.95 ERA, 27.3% strikeout rate, 12.5% walk rate and 43.9% ground ball rate.
HM: Gary Sánchez
Sánchez, 30, earned a reputation as a bat-first catcher when he hit 53 home runs over 2016 and 2017. His batting line over that two-year stretch was .284/.354/.568 for a wRC+ of 143. He’s since cooled off at the plate, posting a 96 wRC+ in the five seasons since, including an 89 in 2022. Despite that tepid platform year at the plate, his previous production should still lead to some interest. He also posted average or better numbers on the defensive side of his game in 2022.
I still think Profar is our best bet to split time with Oswaldo Cabrera in left field, should no trade deals come to fruition
Kapler's Coconut Oil
I think the only reason it hasn’t happened yet is because of how much it makes sense
That’s what I thought about the Kluber signing
@thickiedon- you tell me. Wouldn’t the Red Sox been better off keeping Eovaldi, instead of signing Kluber? Eovaldi still has power stuff. Kluber now Is more of a finesse pitcher, at this point in his career. I would much rather have Nate.
Guy’s market value sits at $14.5M.
That’s probably keeping teams away.
And take up a spot on the 40 man roster? For who?
Profar is seeking a multiyear deal and at a good AAV. I don’t see it happening. The Yankees are sitting right below the Cohen-tax line and Hal has declared thou shall not cross.
Maybe, not sure why the Yankees don’t trade Gleyber for a top 5 pitching prospect in an organization, then trade the prospect in a package for Bryan Reynolds.
Perhaps that’s what they’re working on. Those kinds of deals are challenging, as I know first-hand Captain.
@rememberthecoop- They certainly are. I love the versatility of Reynolds being able to play all outfield positions, his speed, power and the ability to lead off, he fits the Yankees to a tee. I wonder how Luis Gil’s rehab is going after TJ is going.
I don’t believe they can get a top prospect for him
21Clemente21- why not? Gleyber hit 26 homeruns last season, no reason why he can’t do that again, if not better. Torres is definitely worth a top 5 pitching prospect. Also 2 years before free agency. He’s definitely worth it.
@PinstripedPride- I could live with Profar playing left. Does he have a QO attached to him? If so the Yankees will likely pass. I don’t see the Yankees paying him over $15 million annually for 3-5 years either.
Nothing to see here as far as NY is concerned. If I’m dumping Hicks it’s not going to be for Profar. Trade or bust at this point. Rodon for Tallion, health for Stanton, JD, DJL, Holmes and Hicks, no Chapman. There a lot to look forward to. Just need average play at SS.
@StudWinfield- I definitely disagree with you. Profar is a lot more valuable then Aaron Hicks, and is a lot more versatile. No comparison at all. If Profar accepted $11-13 million a year for 3 or 4 years he’s definitely worth it, then. The Yankees should have interest in him, if they can’t trade for Bryan Reynolds for left field. No qualifying offer either attached to Jurickson.
He was worth a whopping 1 fwar more than Hicks in a career year and he had 100 more PA’s. No thanks.
Feels like a situation where a lot of teams have cheaper younger guys they’d rather run out there or these players’ positions are log jammed by teams’ current roster make up’s. I am sure they’ll all be signed by someone, but…
What if there’s just no spots for these players, given their diminished value? A lot of them are reaching free agency for the first time and you’d think there’d be a 2 year/$16M or 4 year/$80M deal for some of them earlier in their careers heading into free agency and now it seems like anybody who picks them up will be performing charity moreso than making a strategic decision and picking up a valued free agent thanks to the opportunity of them being on the market…
I hope Cueto is scooped up by Toronto to be the fifth starter. Even with his low strikeout numbers he would be a decent with the greatly improved defense we will have this season.
This one belongs to the Reds
He gets guys out though, which is more important to his team winning than racking up Ks.
Cueto has pitched 7 games in AL East ballparks. Small sample from an entire career but he gave up 8 homeruns in those 7.
Cueto is highly overrated and has been from the start. Low strikeout rate, high WHIP. His career FIP is not bad (3.85), though I would imagine this to skyrocket in a good division that has hitters. Aside from the Giants where he had an ERA over 4.00 in most years, he hasn’t exactly pitched in a tough division (all NL and AL Central).
Whatever Cueto’s flip-flop or whip is, all that matters is that he’s a good pitcher. Maybe he doesn’t throw 98mph but he’s very deceptive with his various wind-ups and variety of pitches. The Sox should have resigned him like they should’ve resigned Rodon.
Okay maybe I was wrong about “highly” overrated but definitely overrated.
Usually I don’t look at division as a factor, but I do think a good hitting division won’t be best for his career numbers or his team.
the shift being “banned” his numbers will only get worse!
When Hard Carl’s shoulder was holding the Sox back from pitching him in Sept of 2021, and this was on the back end of 5 of 6 seasons where he couldn’t get past 140 innings, three of which involved shoulder/forearm issues… you just knew the right call was extending him to that 12m raise QO.
A QO that as he was so fed up with this cheap ass organization, that if he declines, would potentially hamstring him to make less on the market as teams would also be handing over a pick?
OR sign Rodon to deal as they have NEVER worked with Boras..
Good for Rodon for getting his
Shame on the Sox and their terrible training staff on 35th & Shields who derailed his career for many years
But be honest, other than hindsight what was there in 2021 that made you think Rodon and the Sox were going to get a deal done?
My pick is Wacha over Cueto for the 4th/5th starter in the Jays rotation.
He is a little to volatile for my liking. Not enough difference in his peripherals between last year and his poor years before last season. Feels a little too much like Kikuchi for my taste. While I wouldn’t be completely shocked if he was serviceable next year I would prefer Cueto or Greinke.
Him or Greinke would be a solid signing to raise the floor on the 5th starter. I would be happy with either one. With the Jays position on the win spectrum exactly the type of move they should be making.
I’d worry about Greinke as an aging contact pitcher.
I also like how this list doesn’t include Aroldis Chapman.
No Carlos Correa either. Isn’t he technically still a free agent?
They mention Correa first but in the opening paragraph. I think he’s being listed differently because of his unique situation, vs. players where there’s been virtually no news or rumors connecting them to teams or deals.
Yeah, who would have thought quitting on your team and not having the ability to throw strikes would hurt a players desirability.
Is Adam Duvall not worthy of even an honorable mention? He would seem to be just as viable as a couple others mentioned here
Other than Bellinger, this year’s class is garbage. Smart teams would be saving payroll space for next year.
Larry Brown's crank
Bellinger is your gold standard?
I see no lies
Nice to see Cody checking in on the MLBTR comments section.
Cubs did pay him like he’s stud
Not really, a modest one year pillow contract.
Cody’s gonna be absolute GARBAGE and still be the 3rd best hitter on the Cubs.
i wish i was garbage but still came in 3rd in a race.
Modest? The dude is being paid like he is a middle of the order bat. He hasn’t been able to hit since electronic sign stealing was ended. It was a stupid contract.
Cody for President!
Cubs please sign Profar to play 1b
It will be Mancini, perfect compliment to the LH hitting Mervis. An ideal platoon and if both bats are hot, one will DH.
There gonna sign Mancini and you’re not gonna like it
Nope, it will be Mancini. An ideal fit to platoon w/ LH hitting Mervis.
NO SIGN ERIC HOSMER, WHICH WILL BE A MAJOR STEAL. WILL HARDLY COST ANYHING AT ALL AND HE CAN HIT
https://youtu.be/GCVSs9PcFhE He can hit…into ground outs
if the dude can hit then why did the padres pay for him not to be on their team?
last productive year was 2017
Read my comment
Read Mine! lol
He can hit…but into ground outs lol
Not a clever name
I think Grenoble could be an interesting addition for a young team, he isn’t what he was with the brewers or dodgers by any means, but he has vast experience in high profile situations and would be a great mentor for a young staff. Wonder what he’s asking though.
Profar is an extremely valuable player for almost any team to have.
He’s solid, but I’d stop short of calling him “extremely valuable.”
He’s not saying he’s a superstar.
Only his mother and his agent would say he is. I don’t even think he’s a star. He’s a solid starter with some versatility. Considering how many teams are using young guys in super-utility roles because they’re cheaper and how many OF are just plain better, I’ll stick by my statement. Useful, valuable, but not extremely so.
He’s shown the ability to play most positions decently and is a decent hitter. Players like hime are extremely valuable because you can throw them wherever you have a need.
That’s exactly what Chaim Bloom likes, which is why I can see him on the Red Sox. If anyone has noticed, Bloom has signed cheaper versatility defensive guys over superstars at one position.
I could see Bloom signing Wacha again as well as Profar or Segura but I don’t see any big signings.
We aren’t going to get another big starting pitcher, he’ll only get us depth. After looking at the rotation, there’s a lot of ifs but we could be okay. It’s going to rely on how Houck and Whitlock are handled but Bello should be ready for the rotation (he had an FIP in the 2’s in 2022) and who knows about Paxton, but he’s a possibility. If Sale is healthy and even one of Houck or Whitlock adjust, we should be okay, so long as they got the bullpen figured out. Again, a lot of if’s but we have to let the guys do their jobs.
I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as people make it out to be, just a lot of reliance on our young talent.
Kluber is another great possibility for the Red Sox.
I just noticed that late to the action. Thank you
There are no more big signings left.
True. I’m just saying I don’t expect Bloom to do something big, only finetune.
I do! Trading off Devers for humpty dumpty.
Humpty dumpy? I could see Devers being traded but I meant mostly additions.
Yes! when humpty fell didn’t his egg crack into pieces?
Thats how bloom puts his team together.
Still hoping Jerry Reinsdorf cracks open his wallet enough to sign Segura. He’d be a much needed upgrade at 2B. Sox would still have holes and question marks, but that would fill their largest current need.
The Sox haven’t had a second baseman since Madrigal left two years ago. A utility players (Garcia) and a minor leaguers (Gonzalez) just aren’t going to cut it. Segura would be a perfect fit for the Sox’ defense but not Reinsdorf’s wallet.
He’d be a good pickup for them.
Go get Scooter Gennett!
Rockies need to say f it and sign Sanchez on the cheap.
Rockies already had Sanchez when he was named Wilin Rosario. We don’t need to go through that mess again.
Ha! Very good comp and reply, hiflew. I still think take a one year, inexpensive flyer on him over Diaz and Serven though.
I am perfectly fine with Diaz as the starter. I don’t want an offensive catcher. Diaz is fine as with the pitching staff. There probably is a good argument for upgrading Serven though. But I think the Rox will be willing to give him another year to prove himself. Although I could see taking a flyer on someone like Jorge Alfaro. The Rockies usually prefer to sign free agents that they have seen a lot of and Alfaro fits with his Padres stint. Although personally I would prefer Kevin Plawecki over Alfaro, who I refer to as Barbie Girl.
Gary Sanchez in Colorado makes sense beyond the HR potential.
1) He’s been hurt as significantly as any RH’d batter by the shift. That’s going away.
2) Lots of OF space so some of his batted balls will now drop in.
3) Increased running game may mean some teams will put a premium on a strong-armed catcher.
He’d be worth a look at low AAV, incentive-laden deal.
Matt Moore was not only a highly touted prospect, he was the #1 overall prospect over both Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. Jurickson Profar was also a #1 overall prospect. Just food for thought.
Yes, and going the other way, Jose Ramirez never once appeared on a major top 100 prospects list. Most of us know the rankings are flawed, at best, and downright ludicrous at worst.
I wonder how much Mancini will ultimately get. He’s a stud and wouldn’t be surprised that it takes a couple years to get back to pre-cancer form. On a inexpensive 1 year deal he could be a huge steal.
This was his second year back. He’s by far a stud but considered useful.
Padres don’t sign another starter or two it’s 2021 all over again. Get this far and then stop?! Need a LF and DH. Need bench bats. Pads are looking like a wildcard team atm.
Not really many guys left to sign, at least not guys that will really make a difference. If they want a star, they’ll have to trade for one.
Exactly. I’d be happy with a Cueto, McCutchen, Voit and Profar combo but at this point it looks like one of Croneworth or Kim goes in a trade for another quality starter.
Resign Profar and sign Belt/Mancini/Cutch. Would allow us to move Kim once Tati is back for a SP.
No game changers left just players mainly hanging onto their careers.
When I first glanced at Profar’s postseason results I was impressed, until I realized he’s hit only .183 over his last 60 ABs. That aside, I think he could help the Cubs. Since he switch hits. maybe he could share time with Bellinger (or provide an alternative in the likely case that Belli continues to go Belli-up, ha).
For ability, assuming the Dodgers release him and another team would only need to pay him the minimum, Trevor Bauer would go on the list, but it would have to be renamed “Dishonorable Mention.”
Separately, with all of the recent DFAs, the Royals could bring back the 2015 gang of Greinke, Cain, Hosmer, Moustakas and A. Escobar if they so desired.
2023 Royals Reunion Tour! Good one, phenomenalajs.
Trey Mancini’s problem is that his market value sits at $18M, when he’s essentially a bench player at the moment.
I’m a bit surprised that no one is signing Greinke. At $10M, that’s not terrible for a 5th starter. I get that he’s not his old self and currently 39 years old, however, his ERA+ was still 11% better than league average and doesn’t walk guys. Throw him on a better defensive team and could see some decent value from him at $10M.
I agree with you on both points, Old York.
The worry with Grienke is that at some point those peripherals have to catch up with him. Surface level results make him serviceable, but if his results start to match his underlying stats then he becomes a dumpster fire very quickly, and she isn’t on his side. It’s a risky signing, even if the money won’t be huge.
Liking Queto as best guy on this list for the Halo’s. If you can have 2, throw in Chafin on the team to.
Mancini drops his asking price and he would be a Cub.
This one belongs to the Reds
Probably most on this list saw the insane contracts and thought they would get one too but have found out differently, which is probably why they remain unsigned. There are a batch of these every year that sign right before spring training.
Profar and Belt to the Padres would round out the roster quite nicely and allow the team to potentially move a piece like Kim for a SP once Tati is back.
Gosh I’d really like the Brewers to sign Belt or Longo for a DH/1B/3B. I would say Mancini too but he’s probably too expensive -_-
Belt will probably benefit from the lack of defensive shifts.
You have to include Correa until he puts pen to paper.
The Tigers should resign Chafin and sign Sanchez, Longoria, Profar and maybe even Segura, imho
If Longoria can keep that 118wrc+ for a few months he could really be a steal. What’s he looking at? Maybe 1/$6-8?
Considering what Bellinger got, who knows? Lots of money flying around. Even a guy like Longo might get a double digit salary for one year.
The Mets should sign Chafin and maybe a 1 year deal with Mancini, I would forget about Correa and put Baty at 3b
We are officially in the dumpster diving part of the offseason! The cupboards have run dry!
We have some good left over pieces
Chafin to the Cardinals. C’mon, Mo!
White Sox need to sign Segura.
Yeah, he’s not great, but better than what they have.
Crosstown trade back: Nick Madrigal and Ryan Jensen for Bryan Ramos
Chafin is more valuable than many of the RP already signed. Quality arm for whoever nabs him.
Agree. I get the impression that he may be looking for too much $$$
……. as the Tigers sit and watch the paint dry
It just occurred to me that with Steve Cohen able to outbid everybody on a case by case basis, next year he will go after Shohei Ohtani and Ohtani will get various offers of $50-$60M a year for 5-8 years. I think Cohen will at least try to land Ohtani (assuming Ohtani will mostly be going for the most money possible) for around 9 years/$567M or if there’s real competition, Ohtani could conceivably wind up with a 10 year/$700M deal (He will probably get offers of around $50-$60M AAV, the top bids will be around $62-$65M AAV, Cohen will offer $70M a year, which is divisible by 7, which is a lucky number in Japan where Ohtani is from and most other offers will top out at 8 or 9 years, so Cohen will go to 10 years)
The Saber-toothed Superfife
No baseball player is worth that much money.
Did I miss something? No mention of Will Smith (the closer) in your list!
Has anyone looked at the list of free agents which was posted afew days ago for the 2023-2024 season? They forgot to add the star players.
Not the biggest Profar fan but now that Segura is off the board, I wouldn’t mind the White Sox giving him a shot at 2B. The most likely outcome is another failed attempt at making Leury an everyday player or trying to swing a trade but I don’t know if either is a better option at this point.
The Big Yo
Tapia to the A’s