Predicting where the 2017 MLB free agent class will sign

                  It\’s free agent time! That means it is time for lots of players to switch teams. There will be some trades, but the main focus are on the free agents. They can sign wherever they want, and get some money. I did one of these posts a year ago, and did pretty well. I predicted two thirds of the players right, or 66.6666666…%. Or, you can say I got six out of nine right. Now that math class is over, here\’s a link to that article.

                  Jake Arrieta, RHP

                My prediction: St. Louis Cardinals.
            Though his ERA has risen each year since his Cy Young season of 2015, The 31 year old is still an ace. He had an ERA of 3.53 plus 163 strikeouts in 168.1 innings. Since joining the Cubs midway through the 2013 season, Arrieta has a 2.73 ERA, and 793 strikeouts in 803 innings. Arrieta is from Farmington, Missouri. That\’s not that far away from St. Louis. The Cardinals also would like a frontline starter. Adam Wainwright is falling off track, Michael Wacha is at best a number two or number three, and Carlos Martinez isn\’t a number one yet for a contender. Arrieta makes sense for them. 

                   Yu Darvish, RHP

                   My prediction: Cubs

                    Darvish, 31, struggled with the Rangers at the start of the season, but pitched better after a trade to the Dodgers. In all, he had a 3.86 ERA and 209 strikeouts in 186.2 innings. Darvish has some injury history to him, but his career 3.42 ERA is better than Arrieta\’s.

                    Other possible locations: Dodgers, Rangers, Cardinals, Orioles.

                     With Arrieta leaving, the Cubs might look to replace Arrieta. But, with Jon Lester, Jose Quintana and Kyle Hendricks, they might just sign a bottom of the rotation pitcher.

                       Eric Hosmer, 1B

                       My prediction: Royals.

                       \”Hoz\” is coming of a career season. He had a .318 batting average (career high), plus 25 homers (tied a career high) and 94 RBIs (second most in career). He\’s averaged 679 Plate Appearances a season in his seven year career. The Royals have many pending free agents you\’ll see on this list. I think Hosmer is the only one they\’ll be able to sign.

                        Mike Moustakas, 3B

                        My predictions: Mets.

                        Moose is coming off a season where he broke the Royals record for homers in a season with 38. The 29 year old is a favorite for comeback player of the year, after he missed all but 27 games in 2016. Not many teams need 3B, but the Mets are one. David Wright probably won\’t play in 2018, and Asdrubal Cabrera will most likely be traded at some point.

                          Lorenzo Cain, OF

                           My prediction: Giants.

                          Cain is a five tool player. One of the best CFs is always robbed of the gold glove due to the brilliance of Kevin Kiermaier. He can get over $100 million. The Giants currently have the oft-injured Denard Span in center. The 33 year old will fill the hole in LF if they sign Cain.

                           Wade Davis, RHP

                            My prediction: Angels.

                            This one came close between three teams, all that need a closer. It was the Angels, Cardinals and Diamondbacks. Even though the Angels are absorbing the contract of Justin Upton, the Cardinals wouldn\’t have enough money to sign Davis and Arrieta in one offseason, and the D-Backs have the contract of Zack Greinke, which is lot more than Upton\’s. Anyway, injuries led to the Angels having Blake Parker, Bud Norris and others be closers at different points. They need a guy like Davis.

                            Greg Holland, RHP 
                             My prediction: Rockies

                             Holland returned to the MLB in style, with a league leading 41 saves. He opted out of his deal, but I think he\’ll remain with the Rockies,  who need a reliever with Holland and Pat Neshek being free agents.

                             Carlos Santana, 1B

                             My prediction: Indians.

                             The two teams with the biggest 1B need, the Mariners and Cardinals, will probably go after smaller names like Yonder Alonso, Mitch Moreland and Lucas Duda. That\’s why I think we\’ll see a reunion between the Indians, and the five time 20 home run hitter.

                             Alex Cobb, RHP

                             My prediction: Rangers.

                             They need a starter. Besides Cole Hamels, the Rangers staff isn\’t very pretty. The veteran right-hander makes sense for them.

                              Lance Lynn, RHP

                              My prediction: Orioles.

                              Cobb could go to the Orioles, and Lynn could go to the Rangers. They are pretty similar. But, I predict this order will happen. The Orioles have only two starters: Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. Make it three now.

                               Jonathan Lucroy, C

                               My prediction: Diamondbacks.

                                Jeff Mathis and Chris Ianetta (who is currently a free agent) were the Diamondbacks\’ catchers in 2017. Lucroy is a veteran power catcher, something very rare to find.I think the D-backs will sign him.

                                Zack Cozart, SS

                                My prediction: Royals.

                                Cozart will replace Alcides Escobar. Coming off a career year, Cozart is the best SS out on the market. Watch for him in free agency.

                                 J.D. Martinez, OF

                                 My prediction: Red Sox.

                                 The Red Sox need a power hitter after David Ortiz\’s retirement. Martinez would be the perfect DH at Fenway. His 45 homers in 2017 show that he\’s capable of being a big-time power hitter.

                                  Jay Bruce, OF

                                  My prediction: Rockies.

                                  Imagine Bruce in hitter friendly Coors Field. He can explode with another 30 homer season, and if he keeps up his pace in Cleveland, he can break 40!

                                  Carlos Gonzalez, OF

                                  My prediction: Reds.

                                  I think he\’ll sign a one year deal with a mutual option. \”Cargo\” is still a solid player, and can hit 20 bombs if he\’s healthy.

                                  Brandon Kintzler, RHP

                                  My prediction: Twins.

                                  After being traded from the Twins to the Nats, Kintzler blossomed even more. With the Twins needing  closer, we\’ll see a reunion here.

                                   That\’s it for my predictions. If you guys want my to predict more free agents\’ destinations, then tweet my @Carterhudblog, and I may do a part 2. But for now, see ya!

Published by carterhud SI Kids Kid Reporter, Prime Time Sports Talk writer

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