After a slow start, the 2020-21 free agent market finally sprung to life over the last few weeks. The result is a lot of red ink (i.e. signing details) on MLBTR’s list of the offseason’s top 50 free agents, with only ten of the players that original list remaining without a contract for the 2021 season or beyond.
With less than two weeks to go before Spring Training camps are scheduled to open, the question has gone from “when will anyone sign?” to “who is left to be signed?” There are still plenty of prominent names remaining, including multiple former All-Stars, Gold Glovers, a Cy Young Award winner, and former World Series champions — including a very prominent member of the defending champion Dodgers.
Any of these players could sign at any time, of course, but it’s possible Yadier Molina could be back with the Cardinals very soon, given the reports of an agreement that could be made official now that the Caribbean Series is over. Justin Turner may also be down to a choice between four teams, and Jackie Bradley Jr. still has interest from a reported half-dozen teams.
With Trevor Bauer now a Dodger, interest seems to be picking up for starting pitchers like Jake Odorizzi, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker. That could, in turn, spark some offers further down the ladder for veteran hurlers like Rick Porcello or Cole Hamels, as there hasn’t been much public buzz about either pitcher this winter.
On the bullpen front, Trevor Rosenthal has gotten interest from a few teams this winter, though several of his known suitors have since moved on to other late-game options. However, the “no such thing as too much pitching” mantra would certainly seem to apply to relievers as well heading into a 2021 season that may see several starters on innings limits as they rebuild arm strength. That would imply that the likes of Rosenthal and Mark Melancon could still be of interest to teams who already have a closer in place, in an effort to create a super-bullpen.
To add a couple more names to the mix, this poll also includes Brett Gardner and Brad Miller, who were honorable mentions on the original Top 50 list. They were bumped up to the 50-player slate for MLBTR’s free agent prediction contest after Marcus Stroman and Kevin Gausman made early exits from the market by accepting qualifying offers.
Of these twelve, who is your pick as the last free agent standing? (poll link for app users)