TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jacob Arrieta's deal with the Phillies took the biggest remaining free-agent name off the board, joining Yu Darvish, Mike Moustakas, Logan Morrison, Lance Lynn and J.D. Martinez as Spring Training signees.But the market still features some talented players who could make a difference during the 2018 season,
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jacob Arrieta's deal with the Phillies took the biggest remaining free-agent name off the board, joining Yu Darvish, Mike Moustakas, Logan Morrison, Lance Lynn and J.D. Martinez as Spring Training signees.
But the market still features some talented players who could make a difference during the 2018 season, which is slated to begin in two weeks.
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Here are five names that will surely be thrown around in front offices around the big leagues as Opening Day draws closer.
Alex Cobb, RHP
The top starting pitcher remaining on the market, Cobb has reportedly drawn interest from several teams still searching for rotation help.
Cobb proved that his arm was healthy last season, throwing 179 1/3 innings in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. But while his numbers were solid (3.66 ERA), he lost faith in his changeup, a pitch that had been a huge weapon for him pre-surgery. Cobb had thrown the pitch at least 30 percent of the time in his first four seasons, but only 14 percent of his pitches were changeups last year, making him a different type of pitcher than he had been.
The Cubs showed interest during the offseason, though that was hardly a surprise given the pitcher's history with manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Jim Hickey from their time together in Tampa Bay. But Chicago has already added Darvish and Tyler Chatwood to the rotation, likely taking it out of play for the 30-year-old Cobb.
The Yankees have seen plenty of Cobb during his career, which has been played entirely with the Rays in the American League East. Although Cobb is likely looking at offers in the same one-year, $12 million range that Lynn got from the Twins, it could still be too high for the Yanks, who are resolute in their plan to keep the payroll beneath the luxury-tax threshold. The Orioles are another team who are said to be considering Cobb.
The Padres could be a fit, as could the Brewers, who missed out on the top two pitchers on the market (Arrieta and Darvish). Milwaukee assistant general manager Matt Arnold also knows Cobb as well as anybody, having worked in Tampa Bay's front office prior to joining the Brewers at the end of the 2015 season.
Expect to see Cobb sign a one-year pact somewhere and test the market again next offseason without Draft-pick compensation attached to him.
Best guess: Brewers
Greg Holland, RHP
The recent signing of Timothy Lincecum has sparked speculation that "The Freak" could emerge as the Rangers' closer, but adding Holland would give Texas a proven ninth-inning man and make any major contribution from Lincecum a bonus.
Holland, who led the National League with 41 saves last season, lost his opportunity to return to the Rockies when Colorado inked Wade Davis to a three-year, $52 million deal in late-December.
Several teams are somewhat unsettled at the closer spot, including the D-backs, Angels and Athletics, making them potential landing spots for the 32-year-old Holland. The Cardinals are planning to use Luke Gregerson as their closer, though the addition of Holland would make their bullpen much stronger.
Best guess: Rangers
Mark Reynolds, 3B
Of all the players remaining on the market, Reynolds is the one that seems to have most people scratching their heads. The 34-year-old hit 30 home runs last season with an .839 OPS for the Rockies, and although we've seen 38-homer seasons result in $6.5 million deals for both Moustakas and Morrison, both of those guys have at least found jobs.
Colorado is counting on rookie Ryan McMahon to take over at first base, and given his strong spring, there's no reason to think those plans will change. Ian Desmond could also see time at first following the return of Carlos Gonzalez to the Rockies.
Reynolds has reportedly drawn interest from the Orioles despite the lack of an obvious fit on Baltimore's roster. Matt Carpenter's health could make Reynolds a fit with the Cardinals, too. Reynolds could also wait until the season starts, when an injury will almost undoubtedly open a spot for him somewhere.
Best guess: Reynolds doesn't sign before Opening Day
Jose Bautista, OF
The six-time All-Star recently refuted a report that he was considering retirement, telling Yahoo! Sports he is pondering some guaranteed Major League offers on the table.
It's unclear which teams have made those offers, though given Bautista's desire to play for a winning team, one would have to deduce that none are from contenders. The 37-year-old had his least productive season in the decade since he became an everyday player, posting a .674 OPS in 2017.
It's unlikely that Bautista will land an everyday spot in any contender's lineup, but he could be a valuable veteran presence on a bench in the right situation. The Rays continue to be connected to Bautista, who lives in the area and has played a lot against Tampa Bay since joining the Blue Jays in 2008. The Braves have also been mentioned as a possible landing spot.
Best guess: Rays
Melky Cabrera, OF
A number of outfielders -- including CarGo, Jonathan Jay, Cameron Maybin, Colby Rasmus, Ichiro Suzuki and Carlos Gomez -- have found new homes in recent weeks, but the 33-year-old Cabrera remains unsigned.
Cabrera, who had 17 home runs and a .746 OPS in 156 games with the Royals and White Sox last season, was said to be seeking a two-year deal earlier in the offseason, though that seems unlikely at this point. Like Reynolds, Cabrera's best option for a meaningful job might be to wait for an injury to create an opening.
Best guess: Cabrera doesn't sign before Opening Day
Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.