We look at the 2018-2019 upcoming free agents, other players may earn more than guys in the top 10, but these guys look to be the most intriguing.
10. D.J. LeMahieu
LeMahieu is one of the most underrated players in baseball, but why? Well, its obvious, he plays in Colorado and still doesn’t have insane power numbers. Although he does have what teams want, he plays great defense and hits for average. He’s looking easily at an 8 figure deal and should be eager to prove his worth outside of Colorado.
Interested Teams: Detroit, Chicago Cubs, Colorado
9. Eduardo Escobar
After being traded from Minnestoa to Arizona, Escobar really showed how much he could shine. He had a career year and is a solid utility player, he’s 29 and should have a reasonable contract so that a lower market contender can take a run at him. There’s tons of upside here and Escobar could prove to be a huge steal for whoever locks him up.
Interested Teams: Arizona, Colorado, Pittsburgh
8. Yasmani Grandal
He’s no Salvador Perez, Buster Posey, or Yadi Molina, but hes the next best thing. Since none of those guys are going anywhere, Grandal should demand a lot of attention. The veteran is a strong defender who consistently rates well as a pitch-framer, and he has posted an OPS+ of 100 or better in each of his seven seasons.
Interested teams: Seattle, LA, Washington, Boston
7. Nelson Cruz
Cruz and the Mariners have had about as fruitful a partnership as anyone could have imagined. He’s put up a .923 OPS and cranked 155 home runs. Cruz can still serve as a middle-of-the-order bat for a contender, which means a multiyear deal isn’t out of the question. He will get paid because teams love dingers.
Interested Teams: Seattle, Texas, Oakland
6. Michael Brantley
Brantley bounced back huge from an injury season and will likely re-sign with his current team (Cleveland Indians). Money is a crazy thing though, he could easily be tempted away by another team. He delivered a .307/.361/.469 slash line while continuing to display elite contact skills. Other than Harper, Brantley is the best outfield free agent available, so the teams that Harper spurns, will want to throw a lot of money his way.
Interested Teams: Cleveland, New York Yankees, Seattle, San Francisco
5. Dallas Keuchel
Dallas is the 2nd best starting pitcher available this off season, so he will likely wait for Corbin to sign. The guy won a Cy Young in 2015, while he hasn’t lived up to that season, he’s still good. He will demand a good amount of cash, but he’s on the wrong side of 30. A 3-4 year deal is reasonable.
Interested Teams: Houston, Washington, New York Yankees, LA Dodgers, Seattle
4. Craig Kimbrel
Kimbrel is in line for a big pay day, because closers have been cleaning up. He won’t get Chapman money, because he has seen a slight decline. Major League baseball is a wild place, don’t be surprised to see him get way more than Chapman, teams get desperate. He’s a 7 time all star, teams wont forget that.
Interested Teams: Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland
3. Patrick Corbin
He’s slated to be the top starter on the market, as he’ll be 29 and coming off an All-Star season that’s currently highlighted by a 3.31 ERA and 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings. Corbin being younger than Darvish was when he signed, the southpaw could see his offers creep toward $150 million.
Interested Teams: Houston, Washington, New York Yankees, LA Dodgers, Seattle, Arizona
2. Manny Machado
Obviously, Machado is one of the 2 big prizes of this group. At midseason, it looked like he might be in position to surpass Bryce Harper as the top-earning free agent in this class, though a superb second half from Harper and Machado’s return to earth offensively after the All-Star break have substantially reduced the chances of that happening. Make no mistake, though, Machado will get a massive deal that very well could be in excess of seven years if he so desires.
Interested Teams: New York Yankees, Philadelphia, San Diego, LA Dodgers
1. Bryce Harper
Harper still looms as the prize of this free-agent class, and the only questions are how much money and how many years he’ll get. Will he become baseball’s first $400 million player, as so many have predicted for years? It seems less likely than ever considering his horrid first-half slump and defensive regression, but it’s still within the realm of possibilities, especially if a team like the Phillies or Giants is really desperate to vault itself back into World Series contention next season.
Interested Teams: San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York Yankees, St. Louis, Washington, Chicago Cubs