Another marquee name came off the free-agent market Monday, when the Phillies took a significant step forward on their path to contention by inking right-hander Jacob Arrieta to a three-year, $75 million contract. Arrieta represented one of the last marquee prizes, but plenty of recognizable names remain available less than
Another marquee name came off the free-agent market Monday, when the Phillies took a significant step forward on their path to contention by inking right-hander Jacob Arrieta to a three-year, $75 million contract. Arrieta represented one of the last marquee prizes, but plenty of recognizable names remain available less than three weeks before teams take the field for Opening Day.
Here's a quick look at notable players still searching for a team for the 2018 season.
Cobb is the highest-profile starter remaining after both Arrieta and Lance Lynn found homes this past weekend. The right-hander set career highs in wins (12) and innings (179 1/3) for the Rays in 2017, his first full season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Cobb owns a career 3.50 ERA over 115 starts, and he represents a fine middle-of-the-rotation option for contending clubs. He rejected Tampa Bay's one-year qualifying offer of $17.4 million, meaning teams are likely weighing the benefit cost of having to surrender a Draft pick or possibly international bonus pool money.
Possible fits: Twins, Brewers, Rangers
A second year in Denver seemed the most likely destination for Holland at the start of this offseason, but the Rockies went another way when they signed Wade Davis to be their closer. Holland tied for the National League lead with 41 saves to re-establish his value after Tommy John surgery, but teams may be wary after seeing his numbers decline down the stretch (1.62 ERA in the first half of 2017, 6.38 in the second). Holland has repeatedly stated his intention to remain a closer, and his agent, Scott Boras, has not made any indications that his client will settle for a bargain deal. Like Cobb, Holland carries the added weight of Draft pick or international bonus pool compensation after he rejected Colorado's qualifying offer last November.
Possible fits: Cardinals, Rangers, Angels, Phillies
No player in baseball hit more home runs from 2010-16 than Bautista, but the 37-year old is having trouble generating interest after struggling to a .203 batting average and a .674 OPS over 157 games last season. Bautista was still able to crush 23 home runs, but that total is less valuable than it was even several years ago, as the homer rate has increased across the game. Bautista recently told Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports that he is mulling multiple guaranteed offers from teams, citing a winning culture and a good situation for his family as the biggest factors in his decision.
Possible fits: Rays, Marlins, Indians
Holliday looked refreshed while posting an .877 OPS in 68 first-half games for the Yankees last season, but a tough second half (.179/.225/.300) has left the market noticeably quiet for the 38-year old slugger. Holliday is likely more of a designated hitter than an everyday first baseman at this juncture, further limiting his potential value. If Holliday does return for one more year, it would likely be for a team located near his family in Florida.
Possible fits: Rays, Marlins, Braves
Reynolds has always carried a big bat, and his 30 homers for the Rockies last season represented his highest total since 2011. Colorado seems like a natural fit again, though MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported earlier this month that the Rockies had not made Reynolds any formal offer. Reynolds' skill against right-handers (.869 OPS, 23 homers in 423 plate appearances) should eventually convince a club to plug him in as either a platoon option or a DH.
Possible fits: Rockies, Marlins, Orioles
Earlier reports stated Cabrera was looking for a two-year contract, but that now seems unlikely, given the nature of this offseason's market. Cabrera still possesses a bat capable of knocking line drives and hitting for average -- he's a career .286 hitter -- but his declining outfield defense has kept him from consistently providing all-around value.
Possible fits: Marlins
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.