Despite not quite holding up to the FA class of 2019, there are still some very interesting players heading into free agency this offseason. The likes of Jake Arrieta and J.D Martinez will make this an offseason worth watching as we see teams fight over the fa’s that are there.
- Yu Darvish
Arguably the best pitcher on the market with Jake Arrieta’s down season, Yu Darvish will have the advantage of no qualifying offer attached to him, as he was traded midseason to the Dodgers. Overall Darvish managed 10 Wins and 12 losses, (Winning 6 and losing 9 with the Rangers and 4 wins and 3 losses with the Dodgers.), with a 3.86 ERA. Capable of striking out north of 10 per 9 innings, Darvish should command a hefty sum.
Prediction: Resigning with the Dodgers
- Jake Arrieta
Having a “down” year with the Cubs, Arrieta is still positioned well. He had a 3.53 ERA and won 14 games for the Cubs. He is on the wrong side of 30, but with how scarce pitching is, Arrieta will be a coveted asset. The downside is the Cubs will almost certainly offer him a qualifying offer, hindering some of his market.
- J.D Martinez
Arguably the best hitter on the market this offseason, Martinez’s tear with Arizona where he hit 29 home runs in 62 games to help propel them into the NLDS before losing to the Dodgers should help his case tremendously. Like Darvish, Martinez will have the benefit of no qualifying offer since he was traded from the Tigers midseason.
Prediction: Resigning with the Diamondbacks.
- Eric Hosmer
The Royals are being gutted going into 2018, losing 3 key players this offseason. The biggest loss for them is Eric Hosmer. Hosmer had a career year where he hit .318 while hitting 25 home runs and slugging .498. He will probably have a qualifying offer attached, but because 2018 will be his year 28 season, there should still be plenty of suitors.
- Lorenzo Cain
As mentioned above, the Royals are losing many key players to free agency, it really hurt that they were in contention for the wild card most of the year, as it prevented them from trading off pieces they could have used to restock their farm system. Regardless, Cain is probably the best defensive player on the free agency list this season.
- Carlos Gonzalez
Gonzalez continued his decline in 2017, only managing to hit 14 home runs in 136 games. Not the best time to have the worst year of your career. Still, his second half was solid enough that he could be pursued by a couple teams, but if he is saddled with a qualifying offer, he probably takes it and remains with the Rockies
Prediction: Accepting qualifying offer from the Rockies
- Carlos Santana
Santana is riding high off two postseason runs by the Indians in 2016 and 2017. He had another solid season, hitting 23 homers while batting .259. Many teams could use his switch hitting presence in their lineup, and no team more than the Boston Red Sox, who hit the least home runs in MLB in 2017.
Prediction: Red Sox
- Todd Frazier
The Toddfather is hitting free agency in 2018 after spending the bulk of his career in Cincinnati before being traded to the Yankees during the season. A qualifying offer would have derailed his attempts to sign a decent signed contract, so being traded was a blessing. He isn’t as valuable today as he was in the past, with the recent power surge in MLB. He is what he is, a low average hitter who will hit one out fairly often. The Yankees got him for a reason, showing no confidence in Chase Headley and I think he will be their starting third baseman in 2018
- Zack Cozart
Another hitter, another career year. Cozart had a spectacular first half, hitting .316 with 9 home runs. His 2nd half he faded a little in batting average, but still swatted 15 more to bring his home run total to 24.The issue? Not many teams need a shortstop at this current time, making his market pretty small. The Diamondbacks are one team that need a shortstop who can hit, depending how they feel on Ketel Marte, and I think they will jump in and grab Cozart
- Mike “Moose Moustakas
Another Royal leaving Kansas City, The “Moose” broke a KC record by hitting 38 home runs in 2017. A Little bit older then Hosmer at 29, Moose doesn’t have the track record to back up his breakout campaign. Regardless someone will definitely overpay for his career year and I think that will be the Milwaukee Brewers, who could be a scary offensive team going into 2018.
- Wade Davis
Last, but not least we have the Cubs closer in Wade Davis. Davis had another great year closing out games for Chicago and should be paid handsomely for it. The biggest team that needs bullpen help? That would be the Arizona Diamondbacks who go all out in the 2018 FA class to try and catch the Dodgers in the NL West
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