Top 25 MLB Free Agent Predictions

With the MLB free agency period underway, here is a list of the top 25 available free agents with predictions of where these players will sign. The only player I am excluding in this list who is a top 25 free agent is Japan’s Shohei Otani. With virtually every team in play and bidding/bonus money complications, I have decided to leave him off the list; and just for fun, I think he ends up becoming a member of the New York Yankees. So, here are your top 25 MLB free agents and where they will end up.

  1. J.D. Martinez, OF – Boston Red Sox – Martinez is a perfect fit for the Sox. I see Jackie Bradley Jr. on the move this offseason in a trade to the New York Mets for a starting pitcher and a prospect. Martinez makes the Red Sox outfield the best offensive outfield in baseball with Mookie Betts moving from RF to CF. Pedroia, Bogaerts, Martinez, Betts and Benintendi make for a devastating 1-5.
  2. Yu Darvish, SP – Los Angeles Dodgers – I see Darvish staying put in L.A. simply because the Dodgers have no issues spending money and the Dodgers are a playoff lock for the next few seasons. Kershaw and Darvish are a lethal 1-2 punch as the Dodgers look to make it back to the World Series after coming up short to the Astros in 2017.
  3. Eric Hosmer, 1B – Kansas City Royals – He is in his prime, he is the face of the Royals and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The Royals have a middle of the pack payroll and can spend the $100 million necessary to retain Hosmer. I think this is a no brainer, Hosmer stays home.
  4. Jake Arrieta, SP – Minnesota Twins – The Twins look to build off of an incredible 2017 where no one could have predicted they would reach the playoffs coming off of a 100-loss season in 2016. Jose Berrios is a talented young starter, but not ready to head the rotation. By adding Arrieta, they have a top of the line starter, a solid #2 in Ervin Santana and a young, talented #3 with Berrios. It’s a very solid 1-2-3 punch.
  5. Mike Moustakas, 3B – Los Angeles Angels – This is a must have signing for the Angels. They have a gaping hole at third base that needs to be filled. Albert Pujols is up in age, Mike Trout needs one more protective bat to go along with Justin Upton, and Moustakas is the answer. He is coming off of a career high in home runs in 2017, so he becomes the bat the Angels need.
  6. Lorenzo Cain, OF – San Francisco Giants – The Royals can’t retain him. The Giants desperately need another bat in the lineup and there is a hole in leftfield for Cain to take. The Giants had a dismal 2017. By adding another .290-.300 hitter, it adds more offensive consistency to make up for the Giants lack of power and Cain is the match for the Giants.
  7. Wade Davis, RP – Houston Astros – I think it is safe to say the Ken Giles as closer days are over in Houston. Davis, only 32, is the best closer on the market and the Astros add an All-Star talent to the bullpen. Davis ensures that great starts from Verlander, Keuchel and McCullers won’t get blown in the 9th. Davis is a pickup that brings the Astros once again to the ALCS in 2018.
  8. Gregg Holland, RP – Washington Nationals – Holland had a solid 2017 posting over 40 saves for the third time in his career. The Nationals need a closer, desperately. Koda Glover was awful in 2017 and seems to be a better option as a reliever. Sean Doolittle is only really a fill in closer when needed, so Holland to the Nats is a perfect fit for the 2017 NL East winners.
  9. Jay Bruce, OF – Cleveland Indians – Bruce had a fantastic 2017 with the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians. The Indians robbed the Mets at the trade deadline and Bruce flourished with a clutch postseason despite losing to the Yankees. The Indians need a middle of the order bat to provide protection to Francisco Lindor and Edwin Encarnacion, so Bruce ultimately resigns with the Indians.
  10. Lance Lynn, SP – Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles need some starting pitching help and bad. Orioles starters were horrendous in 2017 and Lynn is a must have for the Orioles. Lynn’s lifetime ERA of 3.38 and three seasons of 15+ wins is just what the doctor ordered for Baltimore. However, they will overpay to get him and they have no choice in doing so.
  11. Masahiro Tanaka, SP – New York Yankees – This is a no brainer and a guarantee. Tanaka is owed too much money to walk. He likes New York, the Yankees are a playoff team once again and need starting pitching. Tanaka stays with the Yankees.
  12. Alex Cobb, SP – Baltimore Orioles – Cobb, when healthy, is a very solid starter. Despite my prediction of Lynn joining them, the Orioles still need help. The Orioles can slug it out with the best of them, but when your starting pitching is giving up 4-5+ runs per game, it is still difficult to win. Plus, you need to win now if you want to keep Manny Machado around. Start spending now, Orioles.
  13. Carlos Santana, 1B – Cleveland Indians – I think the Indians keep their roster intact this offseason. They have a solid all-around team and there should be no reason to deviate from that. They were one game away of winning the World Series in 2016, they were a playoff team again in 2017 and Santana’s offense is a must have for the Indians. Easy choice for Cleveland.
  14. Addison Reed, RP – St. Louis Cardinals – Reed is a triple threat option in the bullpen – he can close, set-up, or be your standard reliever. He has had success with the Diamondbacks and Mets in the last few seasons. With Trevor Rosenthal being released and plug-in closer Juan Nicasio being a free agent, the Cardinals have a void to fill in the bullpen and Reed is a great fit. The Cardinals are always solid and need bullpen help to back Carlos Martinez and company.
  15. Zack Cozart, SS – Pittsburgh Pirates – The Pirates shortstops were one of the least productive offensive groups for the position in 2017. Cozart is coming off of a career year and plugs right into an offense already featuring Andrew McCutchen, Josh Harrison and Josh Bell. Cozart is an injury risk, but one certainly worth taking if you are the Pirates.
  16. Todd Frazier, 3B – New York Yankees – With baseball’s top overall prospect Gleyber Torres on the sidelines recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Yankees need a short term third baseman until Torres is ready. He will be called up in 2018, that’s for certain. Frazier provides power and veteran leadership for a young Yankees lineup. He can also be used as a DH and could see reps at first base depending on matchups with Greg Bird. Frazier stays with the Yanks.
  17. Logan Morrison, OF – Tampa Bay Rays – Morrison set career highs in home runs and RBIs in 2017 with the Rays. The lefty is only 30 years old and the Rays could use his bat to stay competitive in the AL East. Morrison could even sign a team friendly contract looking to be between $10-13 million per year. For a 30 home run hitter? The Rays should take it.
  18. Jonathan Lucroy, C – Colorado Rockies – Lucroy was considered one of the top three offensive catchers in baseball over the past few years, until he struggled mightily in 2017 regressing in both contact and power. His defense has regressed as well as Lucroy was regarded as one of the top pitch framers in baseball. I have a tough time thinking the Rockies let him go. Great catchers are must have and if he finds his old form he is a great player to have.
  19. Yonder Alonso, 1B – Seattle Mariners – Alonso is coming off of his best season in his Major League career. The veteran All-Star looks to be an affordable option for many teams looking for first basemen this winter and it makes sense for the Mariners to re-sign him. Alonso could DH and platoon first base with Danny Valencia. Alonso played well in his time as a Mariner and that should continue for him signing a 2-3 year deal.
  20. C.C. Sabathia, SP – New York Yankees – Sabathia wants to remain a Yankee, he has made that clear. The Yankees would be wise to sign back the future Hall of Fame lefty as insurance to any injuries in the rotation and for his playoff experience/veteran leadership. Sabathia’s new contract will be his last as he finishes up his career in the Big Apple.
  21. Bryan Shaw, RP – New York Mets – New Mets manager Mickey Callaway in his time as pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians has led his pitching staff in almost every statistical category there is to offer. So how does Callaway start his tenure in New York? By bringing on one of his former relievers who just so happens to be a very good one. This is a smart deal for the Mets as they get the reliever they so desperately need. They had one of the worst ranked bullpens in 2017.
  22. Carlos Gomez, OF – Toronto Blue Jays – The Blue Jays have always been willing to spend when necessary. Jose Bautista’s days as a Blue Jay can easily be over as Gomez could start in at either corner outfield position. He had a good year in 2017, a bounce back from his 2016 campaign. He could definitely still have a few more good years in him and could be a low risk, high reward signing for the Blue Jays.
  23. Neil Walker, 2B – Milwaukee Brewers – Walker when healthy is a talented switch hitting second baseman. The Brewers were contending last season when they made the move to acquire him from the Mets, but pitching became the downfall of the Brewers. Walker is a consistent option who will hit between 14-20 home runs and bat around .270. This is a good re-signing for the Brewers.
  24. Brandon Morrow, RP – Minnesota Twins – The Twins had an average bullpen in 2017. Brandon Kintzler and Taylor Rogers could use one more arm in the bullpen for some help. Morrow has been very good since 2015 and could push the Twins to having one of the top 10-12 bullpens in baseball. Morrow makes perfect sense for the Twins.
  25. Mike Minor, RP – San Francisco Giants – The Giants could definitely upgrade their bullpen by adding Minor. The Giants did not have one left-handed reliever finish with an ERA lower than 5.50. Will Smith missed all of 2017 after getting Tommy John surgery, so who knows how he will bounce back. Minor could become a lefty specialist/8th inning reliever the Giants need.

From a college baseball player to a sports writing enthusiast, just living the dream one day at a time. For more breaking news, updates, and rumors follow @lifestylesports101 and @DTanc_LS10.