Ah, it\’s MLB free agent season. And for the third consecutive season, I\’ll be predicting where these free agents will sign, in what will be a record breaking offseason. Oh, and all credit to the players stats when you click on their names goes to baseball-reference.
SS/3B Manny Machado, Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies have been rumored to be in on Machado, and can make a big splash this offseason. They can afford the 300+ million dollars Machado could be worth, and a trade of JP Crawford after a disappointing 2018 could be for the better, Machado will slide in well at shortstop in an infield that already has rising stars Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery, plus proven first basemen Carlos Santana. This could be a good fit.
OF Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
I think it can go either way on who is better, Machado or Harper. Both could end up going to the Phillies, but obviously not together. I think that Harper won\’t get the $400 million people think he will, but still in the $350-375 million range. Many teams won\’t want to spend that much money on one player, except Harper\’s original team, the Nationals. The Nats are coming off a bad year, but with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg and Tanner Roark in the rotation, plus stars Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon and upcoming stars Juan Soto and Victor Robles, the Nats could be a very good team again with Harper. But, with Soto and Robles, plus Adam Eaton in the outfield, you could argue the opposite about the Nats\’ pursuit of Harper.
LHP Patrick Corbin, New York Yankees
After having one of the best years you could have as an upcoming free agent with an ERA of 3.15 and 246 strikeouts in 200 innings, Corbin boosted the amount of money he\’d get by at least $75 million. A Syracuse native, Corbin grew up a Yankees fan, and the Yankees need starting pitching. It\’s a match made in heaven.
LHP Dallas Keuchel, Minnesota Twins
One of my bolder predictions, but the Twins are just one year removed from making the playoffs. In 2018, they finished 22nd in the league in ERA at 4.50. Ervin Santana is now a free agent, with Jose Berrios left in the ace spot. Coming off a down year, Keuchel can certainly help them fight in a bad AL Central division, especially if the Indians are reportedly shopping Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco. Keuchel\’s 2.6 BB/9 would help a lot, since the Twins were 29th in the league in starting pitching BB/9, with a 3.79 showing.
RHP Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves
Kimbrel is from Alabama, and made four all-star teams with the Braves from 2010 to 2014, and saved 186 games, breaking team record, before being traded at 26. Now, with just Aroyds Vizcaino and AJ Minter at the back of the Atlanta bullpen, the Braves need Kimbrel more than ever. It would be a perfect time for a reunion.
DH Nelson Cruz, Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays were one of baseball\’s biggest surprises in 2018, and finished with 90 wins. But, their 150 home runs as a team was bad enough for 27th in the league. They need to step it up this offseason if they want to make the playoffs over the Twins, A\’s, Mariners and Angels. At age 38, Cruz will likely only get a one or two year deal, but his 37 homers in 2018 were somehow his lowest amount since 2014. Since that year, he\’s led all of baseball in home runs with 193. Cruz will probably be limited to DH, but he would be a quality pick up for Tampa Bay.
LHP Andrew Miller, Arizona Diamondbacks
The D-backs are going to take a big hit soon, with Corbin and AJ Pollock likely leaving, then Paul Goldschmidt next year. But, they can try to improve their bullpen and follow baseball\’s newest trend. Miller is coming off an injury-riddled year, and posted an ERA of 4.24. But, he had an ERA of under 2.05 every year since 2014, and would still be a quality pickup.
3B Josh Donaldson, St. Louis Cardinals
A former MVP, Donaldson missed most of last year due to injuries, and almost winded up going to the Cardinals at the waiver trade deadline. He ended up going to the Indians, where he was alright in the final month. The Cardinals need a third basemen, and Donaldson is the best one out there. It makes all the sense in the world for the Cardinals to sign him.
LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
Like Corbin, Ryu really impacted his value with a 1.97 ERA in 82.1 innings. I know this may sound anticlimactic, but I think Ryu will accept the $17.9 million qualifying offer the Dodgers offered him. Same with teammate C Yasmani Grandal.
RHP Nathan Eovaldi, Houston Astros
Eovaldi\’s amazing postseason with the World Series winning Red Sox boosted his value, making him the best right handed starter out there in a weak market. Eovaldi is from Houston, and his idol and mentor is former Astro Nolan Ryan. He\’d replace Charlie Morton, who is likely gone.
C Yasmani Grandal, Dodgers
OF Michael Brantley, Mariners
RHP Charlie Morton, Red Sox
C Wilson Ramos, A\’s
3B Mike Moustakas, Brewers
OF AJ Pollock, Cubs
LHP JA Happ, Yankees
RHP David Robertson, Yankees
LHP Zach Britton, Angels
RHP Jeurys Familia, Cubs
LHP CC Sabathia, Indians
2B Daniel Murphy, Nationals
2B Brian Dozier, Pirates
U Marwin Gonzalez, Astros
LHP Yusei Kikuchi, Padres