Top 111 Free Agents

0
33


Presented today is a look at this winter’s top 111 free agents. I’m excluding players whose options are certain to be exercised and also international players who would have to be posted.   

Players are ranked based on how I expect teams will view them, not on how I view them myself. Essentially, they’re listed from predicted biggest contract to smallest, using my own patented adjustments for multiyear deals.

All ages are as of April 1, 2020.

1. Gerrit Cole (29, SP, Astros): Let’s set some records. To date, the biggest contract for a pitcher is David Price’s seven-year, $217 million pact with the Red Sox signed four years ago. Justin Verlander has the highest annual salary at $33 million as part of his two-year extension starting next year. After leading the AL in ERA and strikeouts at age 28 and crushing four of his five postseason starts, Cole is in line for at least $35 million per year in his new deal. Something like $300 million for eight years could be in play, and six years and $210 million should be his floor.

2. Stephen Strasburg (31, SP, Nationals): Even if he wants to remain with the Nationals, opting out of the last four years and $100 million on his contract is a no-brainer for Strasburg at this point. Coming off a season in which he led the NL in wins and innings while striking out 251 batters, he’s looking at a salary bump to the $30 million-$35 million range. The Nats could offer to tack on an extra year and $50 million to his current deal and hope it’s enough.

3. Anthony Rendon (29, 3B, Nationals): Rendon had a 109 OPS+ in 487 big-league games through age 26. In the three years since, he’s come in at 139, 137 and 153, and he led the NL in RBI last season. He turns 30 in June and his defense has already slipped some, so while he’s obviously a $30 million player right now, he might not rate as a superstar for too much longer. A win-now team could still go to $150 million for five years.

4. Madison Bumgarner (30, SP, Giants): Although he’s a year younger than Strasburg, Bumgarner is viewed as being on the downside of his career. Still, while his ERA shot up again last season, he showed his best velocity since 2015, finished with his best strikeout rate since 2016 and ranked just behind Strasburg for second in the NL in innings pitched. It’s not at all likely that Bumgarner will go back to contending for Cy Young Awards, but he should remain above average, and he’s at least as good of a bet as any of the other top starters to make 30 starts per year for the next few seasons. A four-year deal in the $90 million-$100 range sounds right.

5. Yu Darvish (33, SP, Cubs): Darvish’s exceptional second half (2.76 ERA, ridiculous 118/7 K/BB ratio in 81 2/3 IP) has opened the door for him to opt out of the final four years and $81 million left on his six-year deal with the Cubs, but there still wouldn’t seem to be much reason for him to do so unless he’s unhappy in Chicago (which hardly seems to be the case). That he’d likely be saddled with a qualifying offer would hurt his chances of improving on his current deal.

6. Zack Wheeler (29, SP, Mets): Wheeler stayed healthy again last season and threw 195 innings with 195 strikeouts. The performance was definitely something of a let down — he ended up with a 3.96 ERA and a 102 ERA+ — but the peripherals weren’t far off from his more encouraging 2018 and his velocity hit a new high. He’s the one guy high on this list that a team can look at and believe his best days are still to come. The Mets seem to be hoping that the disappointing showing will keep him in their price range, but someone is probably going to step up and offer him $80 million for four years.

7. J.D. Martinez (32, DH-OF, Red Sox): Rendon outhit him last season, but with a 159 OPS+ the last three years, Martinez still seems like the biggest lineup boost available. First, though, Martinez would have to opt out of his Red Sox contract and bet he can do better than $60 million for three years in free agency. He is worth more than that, but his market should be pretty limited, as it’s unclear whether any NL teams would pursue him as an outfielder. He had to settle for $22 million per year last time around, even though he was two years younger and there was no qualifying offer penalty (there would be this time).

8. Nicholas Castellanos (28, OF, Cubs): Given his youth (he’s just turning 28 in March) and durability, Castellanos is the surest thing in free agency. Still, his value will likely draw a rather wide range of opinions. Castellanos’s career high OPS+ is 128, which is a mark pretty much every other hitter in the top 50 here has cleared at least once and usually more than that, and he’s a liability in the outfield, though not to the same degree that he was a couple of years ago. The former third baseman probably makes the most sense at first base, but he’s never played there. His stellar run with the Cubs (.321/.356/.646 in 225 PA) will help his chances of receiving $20 million annually, but it’s hard to say if the total package is worth it.

9. Josh Donaldson (34, 3B, Braves): Donaldson made good on his one-year, $23 million deal with the Braves, turning in a six-WAR season that demonstrated his injury-limited 2018 campaign season was an aberration. Unfortunately, Donaldson is 34 now, and he’s a worse bet on a long-term deal than he was a year ago. A two-year deal at that same $23 million salary he’s made the last two seasons would be fair.

10. Marcell Ozuna (29, OF, Cardinals): Ozuna enters free agency three years removed from his one great season. His decline in 2018 could be attributed to his shoulder injury, but he proved no better in 2019, and he spent the last five months as a barely average regular. Still, he’s a little bit unfairly maligned. Some spectacularly bad defensive plays have given him a poor defensive reputation, but the numbers say he’s fine. He’s never played in a good ballpark for right-handed power, and his worst OPS+ the last four years is a 106 mark. He’s probably a better option for Castellanos for a team in need of an outfielder, but he’ll likely go for less, in part because he’ll get a qualifying offer.

11. Hyun-Jin Ryu (33, SP, Dodgers): Ryu took a $17.9 million qualifying offer last winter and went on to lead the NL in ERA while throwing almost as many innings (183) as he did the previous four seasons combined (214). He almost seems like too big of an injury risk to command more than a two-year deal this winter, but he’s in a similar situation to where Rich Hill was when the Dodgers gave him a three-year, $48 million contract. Since that worked out pretty well for the Dodgers, maybe we’ll see something similar here.

12. Aroldis Chapman (32, RP, Yankees): Chapman’s five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees was set up to pay him $56 million over the first three years and $30 million in the last two, which should make it a pretty easy call for him to opt out now. A 2.21 ERA and 37 saves in 57 innings made Chapman’s 2019 his best season since 2016. It seems likely that he’ll remain with the Yankees, perhaps on a three-year deal in the $50 million range.

13. Yasmani Grandal (31, C, Brewers): Grandal’s career is a contradiction. He’s been prone to seemingly ever-lasting slumps, yet his year-to-year numbers have been awfully consistent. On defense, he’s been looked at as a liability by some because of his issues blocking balls and mediocre arm, yet his outstanding pitch framing easily outweighs his deficiencies. He’s earned a long-term deal this winter, but at age 31, it’s still pretty risky to give him one; catchers like Grandal have tended to age poorly. A one-year, $20 million contract or a three-year deal in the $50 million range could be in play here.

14. Jake Odorizzi (30, SP, Twins): Odorizzi is throwing harder than ever before and getting a bunch more strikeouts, but he’s still an extreme flyball pitcher who struggles to work deep into games; he averaged just 5 1/3 innings a start while amassing his 3.51 ERA last season. How he’s valued will hinge on whether teams believe his recent exceptional home run-per-flyball rate is a fluke or not. Perhaps some team will go to $56 million-$60 million for four years.

15. Jose Abreu (33, 1B, White Sox): Abreu led the AL with 123 RBI last season, but it came with a modest enough 119 OPS+. He also finished at 117 in 2018 after coming in at 142 over his first four big-league seasons. Given the bargain-basement rates first basemen go for these days, it’d seem to be a mistake to pay Abreu $15 million-$18 million per year for his age 33, 34 and 35 seasons. Still, the White Sox want him back and will likely work something out.

16. Dallas Keuchel (32, SP, Braves): Considering the way things have gone for other free agents to sign mid-season, Keuchel amassing a 3.75 ERA in his 19 starts for the Braves rates as quite impressive. His velocity and groundball rates aren’t much different now than when he won his Cy Young in 2015. Of course, the game has changed since then, and it’s unlikely Keuchel will ever go back to resembling an ace. However, he’s still good enough to work in the middle of a rotation for a contender. He won’t get a qualifying offer this time around, which should help his chances of landing a two- or three-year deal.

17. Will Smith (30, RP, Giants): Smith should be on every contender’s want list; not only has he showed himself to be a capable closer, but against lefties the last two years, he’s had 72 strikeouts compared to 23 hits and two walks allowed in 144 plate appearances. Since he can help everyone, he might beat the three-year, $39 million contract that Zack Britton got from the Yankees last winter.

18. Yasiel Puig (29, OF, Indians): Though he hit more flies than ever before, Puig didn’t do a very good job of taking advantage of the juiced ball last season, finishing with a .458 slugging percentage that was his lowest mark since 2016. His 21.8% strikeout rate was his highest since his rookie campaign in 2013. Puig’s career 122 OPS+ still easily tops the marks of Castellanos (113) and Ozuna (112), but that figure has fallen every year since his terrific debut, and while he’s had more luck staying healthy these last three years than he did earlier in his career, the punishment his body has taken seems to have led to a decline in his athleticism. A four-year deal wouldn’t seem to be in the offing, and he might wind up taking a one-year contract in the $15 million-$18 million range.

19. Cole Hamels (36, SP, Cubs): Hamels pitched like an All-Star for three months, but he struggled after returning from an oblique injury that cost him the month of July and he dealt with shoulder fatigue in September. The physical breakdown should pretty much rule out a multiyear deal this winter, but he’d still make a lot of sense at up to $20 million on a one-year pact.

20. Didi Gregorius (30, SS, Yankees): Gregorius was a little off both offensively and defensively after returning from Tommy John surgery last season, and though that probably should have been expected, it still figures to cost him big this winter. While Gregorius has typically gotten high defensive marks from commentators, the numbers have never judged him much better than average, and guys who are average shortstops in their 20s usually turn into liabilities in their 30s. Of course, Gregorius has spent most of his career exceeding expectations. The Yankees figure to try to bring him back as long as the price is reasonable, and given that there aren’t many contenders seeking shortstop help, it should be; $25 million for two years seems fair.

21. Julio Teheran (29, SP, Braves): Teheran was left off the Braves’ initial postseason roster for the second year in a row despite throwing 175 innings with a 119 ERA+. That would seem to signal that it’s time for him to move on, but the club does hold a $12 million option on his contract with a $1 million buyout. The ERAs say he’s clearly worth that amount of money, while the peripherals are much more skeptical; he has a 4.75 FIP to go along with his 3.88 ERA the last two years. He’d be a fascinating free agent; his relative youth and history of success and durability would seem to make him a candidate for a hefty long-term deal. However, it’s hard to say whether anyone would really go there. It might be moot; the Braves could pick up the option and either retain or trade him.

22. Kyle Gibson (32, SP, Twins): Gibson would have done a lot better had he been eligible for free agency last winter after posting a 3.62 ERA in 2018. His ERA ballooned to 4.84 ERA last season, but his peripherals held steady, and considering the rise in offense, his 4.26 FIP rates as better than his 4.13 mark from 2018. Gibson is 32, but he’s been durable as a major leaguer and he doesn’t have a ton of mileage on his arm. The package might be enough to land him a three-year deal from a mid-market contender. Alternatively, he could prefer a one-year deal and the chance to up his stock.

23. Mike Moustakas (31, 3B-2B, Brewers): It still seems pretty crazy that Moustakas had to settle for one-year deals the last two offseasons. He’s all set to try free agency for a third time now, assuming that he declines his part of an $11 million mutual option. Moustakas’s defense has held up better than it looked like it would a couple of years ago, and he’s been steady offensively, posting OPS+s of 117, 107 and 114 the last three years. It wouldn’t make much sense to give him more than a two-year deal at this stage of his career, but he’d seem deserving of that much security anyway.

24. Edwin Encarnacion (37, 1B-DH, Yankees): Despite being limited to 109 games, Encarnacion still notched an eighth-straight 30-homer season in 2019. That his strikeout rate spiked in 2018 seemed like a bad omen, but it came down some last season and he posted a .244/.344/.531 line that fits in nicely with what he’s been doing for almost a decade now. At age 37, he’s a weaker option as a part-time first baseman, and durability could remain an issue even if he DHs regularly. Still, the bat is worth at least $12 million.

25. Kole Calhoun (32, OF, Angels): The Angels’ $14 million option on Calhoun is a tough call; he’s worth that price for one year, but the Angels need an outfield spot for Jo Adell soon and the team is likely better off spending that money on pitching. Perhaps the Angels could exercise the option and trade him, though it’d be kinder to set Calhoun free and give him the potential to land a multiyear deal while he still has the chance. His 33 homers last season were a career high, but his 108 OPS+ wasn’t exceptional and it was easily his best season in the last three years.

26. Tanner Roark (33, SP, Athletics): A Roark signing won’t draw much excitement this winter, but as a durable, league-average-or-slightly-better starter, he should have a number of suitors. He made $10 million last season, and he should be in line for a similar salary and perhaps a two-year deal.

27. Michael Pineda (31, SP, Twins): Pineda had a 2.96 ERA and an 87/17 K/BB ratio over 82 innings in his final 14 starts before his PED suspension ended his 2019 season. He’ll miss the first month and a half of 2020, too. Had he kept it up last season, he would have been in line for a healthy two- or three-year contract this winter. Some team might still give him two years, but it’ll be at a reduced rate, given that he won’t be available for a chunk of year one.

28. Rick Porcello (31, SP, Red Sox): The 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner is coming off two average seasons in 2017 and 2018 and a bad one in 2019 (5.52 ERA), but he remains an extremely durable innings eater, one whose velocity has held pretty steady and whose strikeout rate was on the way up before last season’s setback. That he should be content with a one-year deal will help his market, and there have to be a few pitching coaches itching for the chance to help him bounce back.

29. Rich Hill (40, SP, Dodgers): After giving the Dodgers pretty much exactly what they were looking for in the first two years of his contract, Hill was limited to 13 starts and 58 2/3 innings last season, though he was just as effective as ever, finishing with a 2.45 ERA and a 72/18 K/BB ratio. He intends to keep pitching at age 40, and there will be plenty of interest, even if teams know he’s a poor bet to make more than 15-20 starts.

30. Shogo Akiyama (31, OF, Japan): In a free agent market bare of quality center fielders, a new option has arisen in Akiyama, who has been one of Japan’s best players the last five years. Not only has he been extremely durable, but he’s hit at least .300 with a .390 OBP, 20 homers and 30 doubles each of the last three seasons. Defense in center could be an issue, as it seems like his range has taken a hit recently. If major league teams think he’s still a reasonable option in center, then the bat is probably worthy of a multiyear deal at more than $10 million annually. If he’s viewed at as more of a corner outfielder, then he might be looking at taking less money to play in the U.S. than he’d get if he remained a Seibu Lion.

31. Jason Castro (32, C, Twins): Castro lived up to the defensive billing in Minnesota, and he was better than expected offensively, too, especially in hitting .232/.332/.435 in 275 plate appearances last season. He should be pursued as a starting catcher, albeit one who will need more days off than most. A two-year deal at $14 million-$16 million seems appropriate.

32. Josh Lindblom (32, SP, Korea): The Dodgers never took Lindblom very seriously as a starter after drafting him in the second round in 2008, but it did look like he’d be a pretty good reliever. Instead, he spent two years starting in Japan, struggled in a return to the U.S. in 2017 and then became perhaps Korea’s best pitcher the last two years, finishing 20-3 with a 2.53 ERA and a 189/29 K/BB ratio in 194 2/3 innings last season. He’s improved enough to command a two-year, $15 million contract, at least.

33. Brett Gardner (36, OF, Yankees): Gardner opted to stay put last winter, taking a pay cut and what appeared to be a reduced role from the Yankees. Of course, he ended up playing more than anyone would have expected and posting a career-best 117 OPS+ with 28 homers. He’s a tad below average in center field at this point, but he’s still playable there and he remains excellent in left field. The Yankees have additional reason to bring him back now with Aaron Hicks (elbow) likely to miss at least the first couple of months, and it’s likely that something will get done.

34. Will Harris (35, RP, Astros): Harris is working on a five-year run as one of the game’s best relievers, though even the Astros don’t seem to believe it at times, as they buried him for much of 2018. He pitched his way back into a key role last season and posted his best year to date, finishing with a 1.50 ERA in 60 innings. He’s not going to get a long-term deal at age 35, but he’s worthy of a healthy two-year contract.

35. Drew Pomeranz (31, RP, Brewers): Pomeranz received a $1.5 million guarantee to contend for the fifth spot in the Giants’ rotation a year ago. He’ll do far better this winter, assuming that he’s content in his new role as a reliever. Pomeranz had a 1.99 ERA and a 53/9 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings after being moved to the pen in July, and the stuff backed up the numbers. His injury history makes him somewhat risky, but he’s the only reliever other than Will Smith with much chance of getting a three-year deal.

36. Adam Wainwright (38, SP, Cardinals): Wainwright performed so well down the stretch in what was supposed to be his swan-song season that it now seems likely he’ll return for 2020. It wasn’t a banner year for the Cardinals’ pitching prospects, so there should still be room for him in the St. Louis rotation. He probably wouldn’t be as good of a bet elsewhere.

37. Corey Dickerson (30, OF, Phillies): Dickerson was limited to 78 games last season, but he was quite the force in those games, hitting .304/.341/.565. Unfortunately, the stunningly strong defensive numbers he put up as the Pirates’ left fielder didn’t hold up, as he graded out below average last season. As a platoon player who is limited in the field, he isn’t much of a candidate for a multiyear deal this winter. Still, there aren’t many players here who are better against right-handed pitching.

38. Avisail Garcia (28, OF, Rays): Garcia was non-tendered last winter because the White Sox didn’t want to pay him $8 million or so. The Rays got him for $3.5 million, and he put together a nice season, hitting .282/.332/.464 in 530 plate appearances. Once a train wreck in right field, Garcia is now perfectly average there. He’s not a sure thing offensively, but he makes sense on a one-year, $7 million-$8 million deal as a regular. His youth might convince some team to give him two years.

39. Jordan Lyles (29, SP, Brewers): Teheran and Lyles are the same age. Teheran has been worth 20 WAR in his career, while Lyles is at -1.6. Still, there are a number of teams that would probably prefer to bet on Lyles at this point. After showing glimpses of potential with the Padres in 2018, he looked very good at both the beginning and ending of 2019, though an ugly sequence in the middle left him with a modest 4.15 ERA overall. He’ll probably keep giving up too many homers to enjoy a real breakthrough, but he looks like a middle-of-the-rotation guy and he doesn’t have a ton of mileage on his arm.

40. Howie Kendrick (36, 2B, Nationals): Kendrick finally fulfilled his potential at age 35, hitting .344/.395/.572 in 370 PA for the Nationals. It’s likely that Washington will make a real attempt to keep him, but given that Kendrick is lacking at second base these days and doesn’t really measure up at first base, he’d seem to be better utilized by an American League team that could have him split time between the DH spot and the field.

41. Wade Miley (33, SP, Astros): Taking less money to sign a one-year deal with the Astros seemed like it’d pay off well for Miley through five months last season, as he finished August at 13-4 with a 3.06 ERA. Unfortunately, he completely fell apart in September, giving up 21 runs in 11 1/3 innings and pitching himself entirely out of Houston’s postseason plans. What he did over the course of those first 28 starts should ensure that he gets a raise from the $4.5 million he made last season, but it probably means he’s looking at another one-year contract.

42. Steve Cishek (33, RP, Cubs): Cishek’s peripherals weren’t quite as good as usual last season, but he did finish with a sub-3.00 ERA for a fourth straight year. He’s never come in higher than 3.58 in nine big-league seasons, and his career mark is 2.69. He got a two-year, $13 million deal from the Cubs last time he was a free agent, and he could be in line for something similar this time around.

43. Michael Wacha (28, SP, Cardinals): Wacha is the youngest pitcher available in free agency, but that’s not likely to do him much good after a year in which he gave up a homer every five innings and finished with a K:BB ratio under 2:1. Wacha’s velocity is still decent and his changeup remains a quality pitch, but his lack of a strikeout breaking ball is a probably and durability is a big issue for him. He’ll be looking at a one-year deal in an attempt to rebuild his value.

44. Eric Thames (33, 1B, Brewers): After entering the year behind Jesus Aguilar on the depth chart, Thames went back to starting against righties for the Brewers and hit .247/.346/.505 in 459 PA. His $7.5 million option for 2020 (which includes a $1 million buyout) should get picked up, even if the Brewers might prefer to trade him rather than keep him.

45. Alex Wood (29, SP, Reds): Back issues prevented Wood from contributing in Cincinnati, as he made just seven starts with a 5.80 ERA last season. His stuff also wasn’t as good in 2018 as it was in 2017, when he went 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA for the Dodgers. He’s still rather young and his recent troubles haven’t been a result of arm woes, so he’s worth taking a chance on.

46. Robinson Chirinos (35, C, Astros): Everyone knew Chirinos was bringing a solid bat with him to Houston, but because of his defensive reputation, he was a surprising fit as a starter. Of course, it turned out the Astros knew what they were doing, and Chirinos turned in the best all-around season of his career at age 35. Both parties will likely be interested in another one-year deal this winter.

47. Travis d’Arnaud (31, C, Rays): Cast off by the Mets after 10 games (and the Dodgers after one), d’Arnaud went on to play the best ball of his career in Tampa Bay, hitting .262/.323/.459 in 365 PA. His defense isn’t great and he’s still one of the biggest injury risks out there, but he works nicely as a part-timer on a modest two-year deal. Perhaps some team could remake their catching situation with Castro and d’Arnaud like the Nationals did with Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki a year ago.

48. Brock Holt (31, INF-OF, Red Sox): Holt could have been non-tendered two years ago, but the Red Sox kept him and were rewarded with his two best offensive seasons the last two years; he hit .277/.362/.411 in 367 PA in 2018 and .297/.369/.402 in 295 PA last season. His versatility makes him more likely to get a two-year deal than some other infielders here who project better as regulars.

49. Joe Smith (36, RP, Astros): Smith’s Astros tenure didn’t look like it’d be a memorable one; he took a loss in his one appearance in the 2018 postseason and then ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in an offseason workout. Things have changed recently. Back for the second half, he had a 1.80 ERA down the stretch, and though he gave up two runs in Game 7 of the World Series, he was right there with Harris as the Astros’ most reliable reliever in October. Since he’s turning 36 and his workload has to be managed, he’ll probably have to take a little less money than he received on his previous two-year, $15 million contract. There should be plenty of interest, though.

50. Gio Gonzalez (34, SP, Brewers): It made little sense, but no one wanted Gonzalez after he went 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA for the Nationals and Brewers in 2018. After his late debut, he proved just fine when healthy last season, amassing a 3.50 ERA in 17 starts and two relief appearances for the Brewers. His velocity is down some and his ceiling isn’t what it used to be, but he still seems like a good bet to be a league-average starter.

51. Freddy Galvis (30, 2B-SS, Reds): When the Reds picked Galvis up on waivers from the Blue Jays in August, it seemed to be with the intention of picking up his $5.5 million option for 2020. They’ll still probably do that, but it could figure into their thinking that he wasn’t as productive in Cincinnati (.234/.284/.411) as he was in Toronto (.260/.296/.444). Still, Galvis is a very reliable defender coming off his two best offensive seasons (88 OPS+ in 2018, 92 OPS+ in 2019). Especially since the option includes a $1 million buyout anyway, he’s worth the money.

52. Daniel Hudson (33, RP, Nationals): Hudson’s results never matched his stuff in his first few years as a reliever. He finally put it together in 2019, especially after arriving in D.C.; he had a 3.00 ERA in 48 innings for the Blue Jays and a 1.44 ERA in 25 innings for the Nationals. The peripherals, on the other hand, weren’t much better than usual; he had a 3.97 FIP that fits right in the middle of his previous marks. The high-profile gig for a World Series team will help his stock this winter, but he might settle back in as an average reliever going forward.

53. Starlin Castro (30, 2B, Marlins): Castro was in the running for the NL’s worst player through three months last season — he had a .258 OBP and more GIDPs (15) than extra-base hits (14) after 80 games — but he tore it up at the end (.321/.356/.621 in his final 49 games) to finish with a line similar to his career averages. That should be enough to ensure that he’s some team’s starting second baseman this year, though he’ll have to take a big pay cut from the $11.9 million he earned in the last year of his previous deal.

54. Brett Anderson (32, SP, Athletics): Anderson finished 13-9 with a 3.89 ERA while making 30 starts for the third time in his 11-year career last season. It was also just the third time he’s made 20 starts, which is part of the reason no team is going to put a lot of faith in an encore season in 2020.

55. Justin Smoak (33, 1B, Blue Jays): The BABIP gods were unkind to Smoak last season, and he hit just .208/.342/.406 despite a league-average strikeout rate that was quite a bit better than his career mark. He seems like a reasonable bet to bounce back some offensively, though an .800 OPS and slightly below average defense at first base probably isn’t worth much more than $5 million these days.

56. Jonathan Schoop (28, 2B, Twins): Still young & perfectly average offensively and defensively in 2019.
57. Ivan Nova (33, SP, White Sox): Low ceiling, but 3.50 ERA last 3 months will help his case.
58. Pedro Strop (34, RP, Cubs): 2.61 ERA from 2014-18. Injured and generally ineffective in 2019.
59. Yan Gomes (32, C, Nationals): Fine defender, but one good offensive season (2017) in five years.
60. Yusmeiro Petit (35, RP, Athletics): 2.71 ERA in 83 IP. A’s likely to exercise $5.5MM option.
61. Mitch Moreland (34, 1B, Red Sox): Platoon player had career-best .835 OPS in 91 games last season.
62. Homer Bailey (33, SP, Athletics): Should-be Comeback Player of the Year went 13-9, 4.57 ERA.
63. Todd Frazier (34, 3B, Mets): 106 OPS+ in 2019. Never worse than 1.9 rWAR in 8 seasons.
64. Tyler Flowers (34, C, Braves): 86 OPS+. Offense on the decline, but still an elite pitch framer.
65. Ryan Zimmerman (35, 1B, Nationals): Despite 86 OPS+ in 52 games, Nats likely to re-sign for 2020.
66. Andrew Cashner (33, SP, Red Sox): Bust in Boston, but 9-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 17 starts for Orioles.
67. Brian Dozier (32, 2B, Nationals): Overtaken in D.C., but decent .771 OPS despite rough start.
68. Wilmer Flores (28, 2B, Diamondbacks): 1.102 OPS last 29 games. D-backs can keep for $6MM.
69. Hector Rondon (31, RP, Astros): Barely relevant in Houston’s pen, but 3.46 ERA last two years.
70. Jose Iglesias (30, SS, Reds): 85 OPS+, plus defense makes for a solid stopgap at shortstop.
71. Asdrubal Cabrera (34, 3B-2B, Nationals): .969 OPS in D.C. should help in landing starting job.
72. Nick Markakis (36, OF, Braves): Drew little interest after strong 2018. Slipped to 98 OPS+ in 2019.
73. Dellin Betances (32, RP, Yankees): Suffered partial Achilles tear after missing 5 months due to shoulder.
74. Craig Stammen (36, RP, Padres): 3.06 ERA while averaging 80 IP per year last three seasons.
75. Chris Martin (33, RP, Braves): Will give up some homers, but 65/5 K/BB in 56 IP last season.
76. Scooter Gennett (29, 2B, FA): Abysmal results after groin injury make him a cheap rebound candidate.
77. Martin Perez (28, SP, Twins): Started 7-1, 2.95 ERA. Finished 10-7, 5.12 ERA. $7.5MM club option.
78. Sergio Romo (37, RP, Twins): 45 saves last 2 years. 3.18 ERA, 27/4 K/BB in 23 IP for Twins.
79. Brandon Kintzler (35, RP, Cubs): 2.68 ERA in 57 IP for Cubs after disappointing 2018.
80. Austin Romine (31, C, Yankees): 95 OPS+ the last two years. Could be in line for two-year contract.
81. Jake Diekman (33, RP, Athletics): 4.65 ERA last season, but tied for MLB lead with 31 holds.
82. Jason Kipnis (32, 2B-OF, Indians): Best OPS since 2016 is .715. Won’t make up for it defensively.
83. Alex Gordon (36, OF, Royals): .266/.345/.396 in 633 PA. Likely either stays with Royals or retires.
84. Tony Watson (34, RP, Giants): Has $2.5MM player option. K-rate collapsed in worst season to date.
85. Francisco Cervelli (34, C, Pirates): Probably good if healthy, but head injuries have future in doubt.
86. Cameron Maybin (32, OF, Yankees): Hit little in 2017-18, but .285/.364/.494 line in 269 PA for Yanks.
87. Hunter Pence (36, OF, Rangers): Rebounded to .297/.358/.552 in 316 PA in 2019. Can he stay healthy?
88. Kendall Graveman (29, SP, Cubs): Spent year rehabbing from TJ. Cubs hold $3MM option for 2020.
89. Felix Hernandez (33, SP, Mariners): Performance says minor league deal, but the name demands better.
90. Russell Martin (37, C-RP, Dodgers): The bat is in serious decline, but who wouldn’t want him as a backup?
91. Jedd Gyorko (31, 2B-3B, Dodgers): Lost year in 2019, but 111 OPS+, quality glove from 2016-18.
92. David Phelps (33, RP, Cubs): $5MM option for 2020. 3.41 ERA in 34 IP after coming back from TJ.
93. Eric Sogard (33, 2B, Rays): Took advantage of juiced ball to hit .290/.353/.457, with 13 of his career 24 HR.
94. Ben Zobrist (38, INF-OF, Cubs): Could retire, but he’ll have opportunities if he wants to keep playing.
95. Billy Hamilton (29, OF, Braves): .218/.289/.275 was a new low offensively, so a backup role seems assured.
96. Welington Castillo (32, C, White Sox): Largely unproductive since May 2018 steroid suspension.
97. Yoshihisa Hirano (36, RP, Diamondbacks): 3.47 ERA, 47 holds in 2 years since arriving from Japan.
98. Collin McHugh (32, SP-RP, Astros): 2.67 ERA as RP when healthy last season. Will he want to start?
99. Jhoulys Chacin (32, SP, Red Sox): HR explosion hurt him badly. From 116 ERA+ in 2018 to 75 in 2019.
100. Martin Maldonado (33, C, Astros): 73, 72 and 75 OPS+s last 3 years. Great glove, though.
101. Matt Harvey (31, SP, Athletics): Got $11 million from Angels for a 7.09 ERA in 12 starts.
102. Pat Neshek (39, RP, Phillies): 2.64 ERA since 2012, but limited to 24 IP in 2018, 18 IP last season.
103. Gerardo Parra (32, OF, Nationals): Flopped in S.F. but nice run as reserve in D.C. (.250/.300/.447 in 204 PA)
104. Trevor Cahill (32, SP-RP, Angels): Very good in 2018. Ineffective (5.98 ERA) as both SP, RP last season.
105. Jarrod Dyson (35, OF, Diamondbacks): Still an outstanding defender, but .282, .313 OBPs last 2 years.
106. Matt Moore (30, SP, Tigers): 10 scoreless IP in 2 starts before knee surgery. Someone will dream.
107. Jared Hughes (34, RP, Phillies): Finally an off year (4.04 ERA). Highest mark from 2014-18 was 3.03.
108. Jason Vargas (37, SP, Phillies): Can round out a rotation. Adequate 94 ERA+ in 2019.
109. Matt Adams (31, 1B, Nationals): Reliable lefty bat slipped to .226/.276/.465 last season.
110. Darren O’Day (37, RP, Braves): Just 25 IP last two years, but looked good in September (1 R, 6 K in 5 1/3 IP)
111. Arodys Vizcaino (29, RP, Mariners): Iffy after labrum surgery in April. 3.01 ERA in 194 career IP.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here