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Ranking the top 25 free agents of the MLB offseason


Immediately following the end of the World Series, teams and agents assembled at the GM Meetings in Las Vegas. While talks were described as “pre-tire kicking” and teams were not allowed to sign outside free agents, it laid the groundwork for many of the potential offseason moves.

Even then, there was some activity. Jake Odorizzi was traded to the Texas Rangers. Robert Suarez re-signed with the San Diego Padres on a five-year, $46 million contract. And the Houston Astros chose not to bring back general manager James Click only days after winning the World Series.

Here are FanSided MLB Insider Robert Murray’s top-25 free agents, including what he’s hearing and what type of contracts each player might be looking at.

1

Where will Aaron Judge sign this MLB offseason?

The New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and others were among teams linked to Judge at the GM Meetings. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has made it clear that re-signing Judge is their top priority, but after turning down a seven-year, $213.5 million contract extension during spring training, the consensus is that he will now command a contract worth north of $300 million.

2

Where will Trea Turner sign this MLB offseason?

“Trea > Correa. I love both players, but Correa’s injury history is a big reason why,” one rival executive said. The interest in Turner, 29, is believed to be massive, with the Dodgers, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves among potential fits. Multiple evaluators predicted that Turner would land an eight or nine-year contract worth around $35-37 million per season.

3

Where will Carlos Correa sign this MLB offseason?

On Correa, his agent Scott Boras said: “You’re the Dior of defense. You’re the Hermes of hitting. The Louis V of leadership. The Prada of the postseason. It’s a one-stop shop for a championship designer.” Among the potential fits include the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins. While there has been buzz connecting the Dodgers to Correa, a potential match feels unlikely considering his involvement in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

4

Where will Jacob deGrom sign this MLB offseason?

Could the Mets really have two $40 million-per-year starting pitchers? deGrom and the Mets remain in touch and he’s open to returning to New York. There are other teams interested, and while deGrom will seek a deal similar to Max Scherzer’s three-year, $130 million contract, will a team be willing to give that to a pitcher who threw almost as many innings (64.1) as Edwin Diaz (62)?

5

Xander Bogaerts

SS Red Sox

Where will Xander Bogaerts sign this MLB offseason?

The Red Sox have made it clear that Bogaerts is their Plan A. But while they have made attempts to re-sign Bogaerts, those efforts “have gotten nowhere,” according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Among the teams that make sense include the Dodgers and Cubs, who could move the promising young infielder to second base.

6

Where will Dansby Swanson sign this MLB offseason?

Multiple rival executives believe that Swanson’s eventual contract will land somewhere around Javier Baez’s $140 million deal from last winter. Swanson and the Braves discussed an extension during the season, and while most view Atlanta as the favorite to sign the 28-year-old shortstop, Freddie Freeman’s stunning departure was a stark reminder that there are no sure things in free agency.

7

Justin Verlander

SP Astros

Where will Justin Verlander sign this MLB offseason?

As expected, Verlander opted out of his contract with the Astros after the season. There appears to be mutual interest in bringing Verlander back to Houston and while he has a strong rapport with owner Jim Crane, it’s unclear who would negotiate his contract following the departure of general manager James Click. Among other fits: New York Mets, New York Yankees.

8

Where will Carlos Rodon sign this MLB offseason?

Rodon, 30, will draw significant interest after posting a 2.88 ERA and 237 strikeouts in 178 innings. While he does have an extensive injury history, he stayed healthy and his velocity remained consistent throughout the season. He would be a strong fit for the Texas Rangers, who are in the market for a high-end starting pitcher. Among other fits: the San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, and Philadelphia Phillies.

9

Where will Chris Bassitt sign this MLB offseason?

Bassitt, 34 in February, headlines the Tier 2 starting pitchers. The Mets extending the qualifying offer will work against him, but a short-term deal with an average annual value around $20 million will appeal to teams in the market for a mid-rotation arm. Still, Bassitt is everything a team wants in a starter. He’s durable. He’s dependable (3.31 ERA in his last 546 innings). He limits hard contact and has a 23.1 percent strikeout rate. He makes sense for most contending teams, and a return to the Mets shouldn’t be ruled out.

10

Where will Brandon Nimmo sign this MLB offseason?

“The interest in Nimmo will be significant,” one executive predicted in September. Sure enough, he has established himself as the clear-cut best center fielder on the market, and Boras said that a “majority” of teams have checked in. Nimmo is a candidate for a five or six-year contract worth over $20 million per season.

11

Where will Willson Contreras sign this MLB offseason?

Contreras is the unquestioned best catcher available. His 128 OPS+ was the best of his career and he’s coming off a season in which he slashed .243/.349/.466 with 22 homers. At the trade deadline, some teams were worried how he’d mesh with a pitching staff in the middle of the season. While he would have a full offseason and spring training to work with the pitching staff, there are still some concerns about his defense behind the plate. Still, a contract in the vicinity of Yasmani Grandal’s four-year, $73 million contract is certainly in play.

12

Where will Jose Abreu sign this MLB offseason?

On the surface, Abreu had a very strong season. He hit .304/.378/.446 with a career-low 16.2 strikeout percentage. But his 15 home runs were the lowest of his career (he’s hit at least 22 homers in seven of the last eight seasons). A return to the White Sox is far from a lock, as the team may be ready to make Andrew Vaughn their primary first baseman. Abreu should still draw considerable interest, with a team like the crosstown Cubs making sense. A rival agent predicted a two-year deal in the $45 million range.

13

Kodai Senga

SP Fukuoka Hawks

Where will Kodai Senga sign this MLB offseason?

Senga’s agent, Joel Wolfe of Wasserman, said that the Japanese right-hander “would like to” join MLB and has “great interest” in pitching in a big market. Among the teams connected to Senga include the Cubs, Giants, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Padres.

14

Clayton Kershaw

SP Dodgers

Where will Clayton Kershaw sign this MLB offseason?

Kershaw is reportedly close to re-signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

15

Tyler Anderson

SP Dodgers

Where will Tyler Anderson sign this MLB offseason?

The Dodgers signed Anderson to a one-year, $8 million contract in March with no guarantee that he’d have a rotation spot. Then Anderson made 28 starts, posting a 2.57 ERA in 178.2 innings, and made his first career All-Star team. The Dodgers extended him a one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer, and there’s a chance that he accepts it. But he’s drawing interest from other clubs and could receive multi-year offers, though his lack of swing-and-miss could limit the AAV.

16

Where will Josh Bell sign this MLB offseason?

“What do you think Bell gets?” one executive asked me at the GM Meetings. “Four years, $56 million?” I responded. “That might be the toughest one of the offseason,” the executive said. Bell, 30, established himself as a top trade chip in Washington — .301/.384/.493 with 14 homers and a .897 OPS — but struggled mightily in San Diego and perhaps limited himself to a three-year deal in free agency.

17

Where will Anthony Rizzo sign this MLB offseason?

Rizzo faces a complicated decision whether or not to accept the qualifying offer. On one hand, it would guarantee him $19.65 million and give him a chance for a multi-year contract with no QO next offseason. On the other hand, he should be able to top the two-year, $32 million deal he signed last offseason. Regardless, a return to the Yankees shouldn’t be ruled out.

18

Where will Kenley Jansen sign this MLB offseason?

Even in his age-35 season, Jansen ranked second in Stuff+ (h/t Eno Sarris of The Athletic), ahead of Robert Suarez who just signed a five-year, $46 million contract with the Padres. Jansen has remained durable throughout his career and has thrown over 50 innings in every season since 2011 (excluding the 60-game COVID-shortened season). A year after settling for a one-year, $16 million contract, Jansen is a candidate for a multi-year contract.

19

Jameson Taillon

SP Yankees

Where will Jameson Taillon sign this MLB offseason?

Unlike most of the other starting pitchers on this list, Taillon wasn’t extended a qualifying offer, and that could help him land a three or four-year contract. Still, he’s undergone Tommy John surgery twice and his velocity dropped in recent years (94.1 mph in New York; 95.5 mph in Pittsburgh). That could worry some teams, but Taillon is a strong candidate to get at least $14-15 million per season.

20

Nathan Eovaldi

SP Red Sox

Where will Nathan Eovaldi sign this MLB offseason?

Eovaldi was extended a $19.65 million qualifying offer by the Red Sox, but the two sides have since discussed a multi-year contract. There are durability concerns — like Taillon, Eovaldi has undergone Tommy John surgery twice — but when healthy, he has performed very well in the regular season (an ERA under 3.87 in three of the last four seasons) and has a 3.14 career postseason ERA in 43 innings. Eovaldi is drawing interest from other teams as well.

21

Where will Martin Perez sign this MLB offseason?

The theme of the Rangers’ offseason will be pitching, pitching and more pitching. They already traded for Jake Odorizzi and immediately followed that up by extending Perez the $19.65 million qualifying offer. He’s an obvious candidate to accept it and it would be a significant raise from his $4 million salary in 2022. If he accepts it, look for the Rangers to remain active in the pitching market, as general manager Chris Young was adamant at the GM Meetings that the club will survey all ends of the starting pitching market.

22

Where will Taijuan Walker sign this MLB offseason?

After Walker was surprisingly not extended a qualifying offer, one executive predicted that he would land a three- or four-year contract. He’s coming off a very good season in which he posted a 3.49 ERA in 157.1 innings and remained healthy for a second straight season. He should draw widespread interest from teams seeking a mid-level starting pitcher and is a candidate for $13-14 million per season.

23

Andrew Benintendi

LF Yankees

Where will Andrew Benintendi sign this MLB offseason?

Benintendi was traded to the Yankees in the middle of the season and only played 33 games after suffering a broken hamate bone. He’s a Gold Glove-caliber defender in the outfield and puts the ball in play and has good plate discipline, but his dropoff in power (five home runs last season; 13-20 in the previous four seasons) is something that one scout brought up. Still, he’s a candidate for at least a multi-year deal worth around $14 million per season.

24

Noah Syndergaard

SP Angels

Where will Noah Syndergaard sign this MLB offseason?

In 134.2 innings with the Angels and Phillies, Syndergaard posted a 3.94 ERA. As MLB Trade Rumors noted, he started throwing a sinker more following a trade to Philadelphia, and it limited hard contact. A two-year deal worth around $13-14 million per season is possible.

25

Jurickson Profar

LF Padres

Where will Jurickson Profar sign this MLB offseason?

Profar is a strong candidate for a raise after declining an $8.3 million player option. While he primarily played left field with the Padres last season, he’s versatile defensively — he can play multiple positions in the infield and outfield — and gets on base (73 walks). A two or three-year deal worth around $10 million could make sense, though a “contract expert” predicted to Heyman that Profar could get a four-year, $48 million contract.





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