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MLB Free Agent Predictions

Busch Stadium, home to the St. Louis Cardinals. Photo courtesy of Kirk Thornton/Unsplash

The MLB offseason is underway and only a handful of free agents have signed. Jose Abreu and Edwin Diaz are some of the more notable names that have put pen to paper, but there still are a lot of big names that remain unsigned. Below, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 remaining free agents and predicted where they’ll end up.

  1. Aaron Judge – New York Yankees (Nine years, $350M) 

I have Aaron Judge re-signing with the New York Yankees and receiving one of the largest contracts in Yankees history. The Yankees have already re-signed first baseman Anthony Rizzo and should continue to add. Judge is arguably the face of the franchise and has said that the Yankees will get the final say. All signs point to Judge re-signing; however, if he decides to go elsewhere, San Francisco seems to be a potential landing point.

  1. Jacob DeGrom – Texas Rangers (Four years, $145M) 

The Texas Rangers are going to be big players in the starting pitcher market. That’s why I think they’ll end up with the best free agent starting pitcher, Jacob DeGrom. There have been reports that both sides have mutual interest and, with Bruce Bochy coming in as the new manager, the Rangers want to win now. After spending big money on Corey Seager and Marcus Semien last offseason, the Rangers will look for a big addition on the pitching front.

  1. Carlos Correa – Baltimore Orioles (10 years, $310M) 

Carlos Correa is once again a free agent after one year with the Minnesota Twins. Baltimore is coming off an impressive year where they showed strides and proved that they can contend with the rest of the league. The Orioles will look to spend big and I think they’ll achieve that by bringing in their franchise shortstop. Correa, who is only 28, will look to be in Baltimore for the long haul as they hope to make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

  1. Trea Turner – Philadelphia Phillies (Eight years, $310M)

Fresh off their World Series appearance, I think Dave Dombrowksi will continue to spend and bring in Bryce Harper’s former teammate Trea Turner. The Phillies do have Bryson Stott holding down the fort at short, but with Jean Segura hitting the open market they can easily slide Stott over to second and slot Turner in at shortstop. Turner provides more left-handed pop in the lineup and would solidify the already strong Phillies lineup.

  1. Carlos Rodon – New York Mets (Five years, $145M) 

Steve Cohen will not be pleased if he loses Jacob DeGrom, so I think he will bring in Carlos Rodon if that happens. Fresh off of back-to-back All-Star campaigns, Rodon is arguably the best starting pitcher on the market. The Mets have multiple holes in the rotation with Chris Bassitt, Taujan Walker and Jacob DeGrom all being free agents. Rodon would head over to the Big Apple and join a rotation with Max Scherzer. Cohen will continue to spend his unlimited supply of money to try and bring a World Series championship to the Mets.

  1. Dansby Swanson – Atlanta Braves (Six years, $155M) 

I believe Dansby Swanson will return to Atlanta and continue to be their guy for the next six years. Swanson just posted his first All-Star season in 2022 with the Braves and seems to be comfortable there. After all, Atlanta has pretty much raised Swanson since he started his career there in 2016. The Braves have locked up pretty much their entire core, so they have money to spend and bringing back Swanson just makes sense for them.

  1. Xander Bogaerts – Seattle Mariners (Six years, $170M) 

The Seattle Mariners have already come out and said that they will be players in the shortstop market this offseason. After missing out on the names mentioned above, I think they will land Xander Bogaerts. The Boston Red Sox, who have Trevor Story locked up and are going to need to pay Rafael Devers in the near future, will probably let Bogaerts walk. The Mariners are in a similar position as the Baltimore Orioles; however, they are slightly ahead in terms of the “win now” philosophy. Bogaerts becomes that secondary star on the offensive end for the Mariners, making the team even more exciting.

  1. Justin Verlander – Los Angeles Dodgers (Three years, $120M) 

In my eyes, the reigning AL Cy Young pitcher will head to the Dodgers. Verlander will be 40 years of age entering the 2023 season, and not many teams can afford to give a 40-year-old the type of money Verlander will command. The Dodgers are one of those teams. After losing Tyler Anderson to the Angels and with Andrew Heaney likely on his way out, the Dodgers will look to add another impact pitcher. Los Angeles makes these types of moves every offseason and the rich will continue to get richer.

  1. Brandon Nimmo – New York Mets (Five years, $135M) 

Again, I think the Mets will get spend-happy and re-sign their center fielder Brandon Nimmo. Reports suggest that the Mets will be aggressive in Nimmo’s market, so they will probably make every effort to bring him back. Nimmo may sign after Aaron Judge, but the Mets will look to jump that market with this signing.

  1. Wilson Contreras – St. Louis Cardinals (Four years, $82M) 

I think Wilson Contreras will make the jump to the Cardinals: the big rival for his former team, the Cubs. The Cardinals are looking for a starting catcher for the first time in a long time, due to Yadier Molina hanging up his cleats. Contreras is the top catcher on the market and it makes sense for the Cardinals to jump on that. The NL Central is shaping up to be a weak division once again, and signing Contreras will add reassurance for the Cardinals that they are the best team in the division.

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