MLB Top Free Agent Predictions (Picks 1 – 25)
Jordan Gluck (Part Owner/Featured Writer)
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MLB Free Agent Predictions
I will be using mlbtraderumors.com top 50 free agents to make things easy. To be clear there are other free agents outside this list (some who I think should be on it) who will be available and many could have breakout or comeback seasons.
Additionally there will be players that get non tendered during arbitration. Well so here are my predictions.
Players 1 – 25
1. Price, David – Chicago Cubs 8YRs 188M – 200M: As Epstein and Co enter their window to win a World Series another frontline starter is badly needed. Price will pair with Arrieta and Lester at the top of the rotation for at least a few seasons.
2. Heyward, Jason – San Fransisco Giants: 10YRs 170M – 185M. From the Say Hey kid to the J Hey kid. The Giants have money coming off their payroll and need a corner OF to replace Aoki. Hayward will fit nicely into this lineup and hey its an even year so you know what that means…
3. Greinke, Zack SP – Red Sox 6YRs 168M – 175M. The Red Sox lack a true top flight rotation starter and have since Lester was traded. They know they need one despite their stance on usual Free Agent Pitchers This is an absolute must for the Red Sox.
4. Upton, Justin OF – New York Yankees 10YRs 200M: Opt out after 4 years The Yankees have been long known to have interest in Justin Upton who was the first overall pick back in 2005.
Players like Upton don’t hit Free Agency at this age very often and the Yankees have given opt outs before. I think it would be smart for Upton to include that. The team may trade Brett Gardner next to free up the LF position
5. Davis, Chris 1B/OF – Toronto Blue Jays: 5YRs 125M. This would send shockwaves throughout baseball considering all the offensive talent the Blue Jays already have.
Davis would thrive in Toronto where it is known as a home run park. The Blue Jays window is now as Jose Bautista is 34 and other players like Tulowitzki and Edwin are aging.
Keep in mind Bautista and Encarnacion are also on the last year of their contract, and will not be part of the 2016 Jays in all likelihood. Go for the gusto right now.
6.Cespedes, Yoenis OF – Oakland Athletics 6YRs 120M The A’s really lost their offensive firepower in the second half of the 2014 season after they traded Cespedes. Oaklas has shocked the world before.
By bringing him back it would provide a huge boost to that offense and along with the return of Jarrod Parker make them competitive in the AL West.
7. Zimmermann, Jordan SP – San Fransisco Giants 7YRs 126M – 140 M. A perennially vastly underrated player in this game. He would slide in right behind Bumgarner in the rotation and would make this team very formidable to beat not only in the regular season but the playoffs as well.
They do have SP prospects in the minors who can now be used as trade chips for issues arising during the season.
8. Cueto, Johnny SP- Los Angeles Dodgers 5YRs: 105M- 115M with vesting 21M option for 6th year. The Dodgers will need to replace Greinke atop their rotation and Cueto is someone who can do it to some avail.
Do remember they will get Ryu back from injury. They have the ability to spend if they want to but the luxury tax has risen for them and can take effect.
9. Gordon, Alex OF – Kansas City Royals: 4YRs 55M – 60M. Gordon said last offseason that he was going to exercise his player option for this season but that never happened.
I think Gordon stays as he likes KC and they have an opportunity to win now. They may not be able to pay the next guys in, but Gordon
10.Desmond, Ian SS – San Diego Padres: 6YRs 80M. A Boras Client and a player who I have always considered to be overrated who is coming off an unimpressive season.
The Padres lacked a true SS entering last season and was one of the reasons they had a losing record. Desmond could bring some nice pop to that lineup.
11. Samardzija, Jeff SP – Seattle Mariners 5YRs 75M – 85M Coming off what would be considered a down season and he is attached to draft pick compensation.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see him try to get an opt out clause in this contract so if he puts together a good year or two he can try to shoot the moon. The Mariners could try to trade some of their younger and cost controlled pitchers to upgrade in other areas such as Center Field.
12. Leake, Mike SP – Philadelphia Phillies: 5YRs 70M with club option for 6th year at 15M As we get into the later stages it gets extremely difficult to predict where number 3 starters go as there are so many options. Last years win leader didn’t even reach double digits out of the rotation.
The Phillies have tons of money they could spend but it doesn’t make sense for them for a lot of players since they will be uncompetitive this year. Leake is young enough to stick around though and hopefully make them respectable in 2017. He can also be traded midseason.
13. Chen, Wei-Yin SP – San Diego Padres: 4YRs/ 44M – 48M The Padres are really in a state of flux right now and you will continue to see GM A.J. Preller make a ton of trades. Chen can be infused in this rotation which will likely look very different next season. I bet Chen will love Petco Park.
14. Maeda, Kenta – Arizona Diamondbacks: 5YRs16M plus 20M posting fee The Diamondbacks were rumored to be heavily interested in him for a while last offseason but he was never posted.
The Diamondbacks need a front of the line arm or two in that rotation which lakes pizzazz.
Maeda is a huge gamble and his price has gone up due to performances by recent Japanese shipments Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka.
15. Wieters, Matt C/1B – I would have said the Texas Rangers 5YR 55M 2 Mutual option for 6th Year. There are not many Catchers available and Wieters would have benefited from that despite his recovery from Tommy John Surgery.
The Rangers have one glaring hole in their organization and that is at catcher where they just traded Jorge “The Legend” Alfaro to the Phillies as part of the Cole Hamels package. This could be THE season for the Rangers.
Matt Wieters took the Qualifying Offer in Baltimore, and will make $15.8 MIL in 2016. Texas will have to find their Catcher somewhere else.
16. Fowler, Dexter CF – Boston Red Sox: 4YRs 44 – 48M. This is not exactly the biggest need for the Red Sox but could open them up to trade prospects.
Signing Fowler would allow the Sox to shop a player like Manuel Margot to address needs elsewhere. He could be of interest to the Cincinnati Reds who will be shopping Aroldis Chapman.
17. Murphy, Daniel 2B – Chicago White Sox: 4YRs/48M. The White sox have a bevy of offensive needs but obtaining a bat to immediately surround Jose Abreu.
Murphy fill a big offensive hole on the White Sox in 2nd base where they now have below suitable replacements.
18. Kazmir, Scott SP – New York Yankees: 2YRs 26M – 29M. The Yankees would like a workhorse starter and Kazmir was excellent last year but won’t get the longevity on his deal due to age. I doubt the Yankees fully trust C.C. Sabathia and Kazmir could take his spot in the rotation for now.
19. Kennedy, Ian SP – Los Angeles Dodgers 3YRs/33 – 36M. Another starter to bolster the middle of that rotation. Kennedy could be a big bounce back candidate and Ithink the Dodgers could take a risk on him.
There is huge pressure in LA right now and they can’t afford to have their season be affected due to lack of pitching depth.
20. Gallardo, Yovani SP – Miami Marlins: 4YRs 42M – 46M. The Fish are looking very hard for starting pitching and will likely add a number 2 type starter and a number 4 type.
Gallardo would be a great complement behind Fernandez and could be apart of a strong rotation once Henderson Alvarez is recovered from surgery.
Playing in the cavernous Marlins park with Dee Gordon and Hechavarria up the middle should be a good recruiting perk.
21. Zobrist, Ben UT – Los Angeles Angels: 3YRs/32M – 36M. Zobrist brings added value in that he can play more than one position which is very helpful come mid-season when you have injuries to your starters.
Zobrist would be a splendid fit as a complementary piece in that lineup.
22. Kendrick, Howie 2B – New York Mets 4Yrs 40M: The Mets should acquire at least one middle infielder to replace Daniel Murphy this upcoming season.
Kendrick has always been a personal favorite of mine – and is about as a professional as they come.
23. Park, Byung-Ho 1B – Minnesota Twins 5 years 48M plus 12.85M Posting fee The Twins won the bidding for the power hitting first baseman from Korea.
He can play first base if the Twins wish to move Mauer back to Catcher which would be my recommendation as Mauers bat is not suitable for 1B.
24. Lackey, John SP – Colorado Rockies: 2YRs/24 – 26M. The Rockies season has basically been a remembrance of the past few years where they need pitching.
They did trade Tulo for an underwhelming return though at the deadline. Lackey should provide some stability to that rotation.
25. Iwakuma, Hisashi SP – Seattle Mariners: 3YRS 37M. The Mariners would like to have Iwakuma back and I think he may have trouble finding suitors willing to give up a draft pick to sign him. I think he stays in Seattle in that pitchers park.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
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Posted on November 13, 2015, in Free Agency and tagged alex gordon, Byung-Ho Park, daniel murphy, david price, Dexter Fowler, howie kendrick, ian desmond, ian kennedy, jayson heyward, Jeff Samarzija, john lackey, johnny cueto, jordan zimmermann, justin upton, Kenta Maeda, matt wieters, scott kazmir, top MLB Free agents 2015, yoenis cespedes, yovani gallardo, zack greinke. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.