Every team’s biggest FA after 2020 season

November 25th, 2019

It’s easy to get caught up in this impending free agency season: After all, it has just gotten started. But it’s never too early to take a look at next year’s free agents. Have no doubt: Your team’s general manager certainly has.

So today, we take a look at the top player on each team who will be a free agent after the 2020 season. Some of these players will sign extensions, some will be traded this year and some will head into next November ready to hit the market. But they’re going to be players to watch, all year.


Blue Jays -- , RHP: Very quietly, Giles returned to his dominance of a few years ago with a 1.87 ERA in 2019. With free agency looming, he’s an obvious trade candidate.

Orioles -- , 2B/SS: He played all 162 games last year and was a better-than-average hitter. Villar will hit the market before his 30th birthday.

Rays -- , C: As usual, the Rays don’t let many players get up to their last year of free agency. (Not putting here because he has a team-friendly option on his deal for 2021.)

Red Sox -- , RF: His impending free agency might be the single-most destabilizing force in the baseball market this year.

Yankees -- , RHP: You can take your pick here, from Tanaka, or .

Indians -- , LHP:
The Indians are likely to pick up the 2021 options on , and … or possibly trade them to a team that will.

Royals -- , RHP: That five-year, $70 million deal he signed before the 2016 season seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?

Tigers -- , RHP: This five-year, $110 million contract definitely did not pan out in the way Detroit had hoped. He has a 5.61 ERA with the Tigers in 96 games (95 starts).

Twins -- , DH: He may sign a series of one-or-two-year deals until he is 65.

White Sox -- , RHP: He quietly posted a 2.80 ERA over 61 innings in 2019 and could be an attractive option next winter when he’ll be 31.

Angels -- , SS:
For all the big-money deals that will be coming off the Angels’ payroll in the next few years, this is one for a player they’ll seriously miss.

Astros -- , OF: A bunch of Astros have gotten extensions, but Springer isn’t one of them. He’ll be one of the top free agents next year.

Athletics -- , SS: He finished third in AL MVP Award voting this year, and if he does that again in 2020, teams will be lining up for him.

Mariners -- , 2B: It seems unlikely the Mariners will pick up his $14 million team option for 2021.

Rangers -- , RF: It has been quite a ride these last seven years, but Choo’s contract will finally expire at the end of the season.

Braves -- , RHP:
The Braves are certainly making sure they don’t run out of relievers anytime soon. As a result, this will likely be Melancon’s last year in Atlanta.

Marlins -- None: When the Marlins designated for assignment veteran lefty Wei-Yin Chen, whose 2021 option would have vested had he thrown 180 innings in 2020, it left them without a Major League free agent next year.

Mets -- , LF: How much Yoenis Glory in Flushing did injuries cost us? We’ll still never forget all those Spring Training cars. To be fair, Marcus Stroman is also a free agent next winter and -- barring a huge bounceback season from Céspedes in 2020 -- a more significant player at the moment, but Céspedes looms large over the entire franchise.

Nationals -- , LHP: The beloved reliever will be a little less high-profile a Nationals free agent than the ones the last two seasons.

Phillies -- , C: Unless he agrees to an extension, it looks like the Phillies will have to figure out their catcher situation again.

Brewers -- , LF:
Will both sides pick up a mutual $15 million option? Can you imagine Braun actually playing for anyone else?

Cardinals -- , C: The immortal catcher has made it clear he wants to play after 2020, and the Cardinals will probably let him do whatever he wants.

Cubs -- , LHP: The Cubs have a tricky option on Lester: $25 million to keep him, $10 million to buy him out. Could he retire anyway?

Pirates -- , RHP: New general manager Ben Cherington has a ton of work ahead of him, and he must figure out what to do with Starling Marte and Chris Archer, who both have club-friendly team options for 2021. Kela is their most notable “true” free agent.

Reds -- , RHP: Both Bauer and his new team are heavily incentivized to have a big 2020.

D-backs -- , LHP.
The D-backs have a ton of players hitting free agency next year, but the wildly fluctuating Ray might be the most fascinating one.

Dodgers -- , 3B: One of the Dodgers’ most beloved players, you wonder if next year will be his last chance to win a title in Dodger Blue … or if he’ll make sure to finish his career at Chavez Ravine.

Giants -- , RHP: The year the Giants really lose a lot of their free agents will be after 2021, when , , and might all hit the market.

Padres -- , RHP: One of the best closers in the Majors, the Padres will have to decide how much they value such a creature on a team with other holes to fill.

Rockies -- , RHP: A $1 million buyout will finish out the Wade Davis Era in Colorado and, suffice it to say, it hasn’t exactly turned out how Rockies fans had hoped.