Here are the top remaining free agents by tier

November 29th, 2021

This year’s free-agent class is deep, and while the top players will receive the majority of headlines in the coming weeks and months, there are dozens of players available who will help teams in 2022 and beyond. After a flurry of signings Friday, highlighted by the Mets adding three notable free agents according to sources, we thought it was a good time for a reset on the market.

Below is a list of 76 available players and where they rank in the hierarchy of this year’s free-agent crop. Players are listed alphabetically by tier, and ages are listed as of Opening Day 2022.

Tier 1

, 2B/SS, age 29: Báez posted excellent numbers after his late-summer trade to the Mets, posting an .886 OPS in 47 games. Overall, he hit 37 homers with 87 RBIs in 2021, though he also led the NL with 184 strikeouts.

, 1B/3B/OF, age 30: Bryant’s versatility on the field should expand his list of potential suitors more than any other marquee free agent this offseason. He hasn’t been able to get back to the level of his first few years, but Bryant did enough to erase the memory of his subpar 2020 performance.

, SS, age 27: Arguably the best free agent on this year’s market, Correa bounced back from a tough 2020 season to post an .850 OPS, 26 home runs and 92 RBIs. Entering his age-27 season, he should land the biggest deal of the winter.

, 1B, age 32: The idea of Freeman wearing anything other than a Braves uniform seems blasphemous, but when it comes to free agency, nothing is set in stone. Still, it would be a shock to see him wind up anywhere other than Atlanta.

, LHP, age 30: A dreadful 2020 season forced Ray to settle for a one-year, $8 million deal with the Blue Jays in 2021, but the lefty responded with the best year of his career, and he captured the AL Cy Young Award. After leading the AL in ERA (2.84), innings pitched (193 1/3), strikeouts (248), ERA+ (154) and WHIP (1.045), Ray will be a popular target for pitching-needy clubs.

, RHP, age 37: It’s not often that a 37-year-old is considered the top starter on the market, but then again, Scherzer isn’t just any 37-year-old. His two-month run with the Dodgers reinforced his reputation as one of the best pitchers of his generation -- and he’s not showing any signs of slowing down in his late thirties.

, SS, age 28: Health is the only thing keeping Seager from being the crown jewel of this market; he played just 95 games this season, missed 28 games in 2019 and appeared in only 26 games in 2018. The talent isn’t in question, so he should still command big money on a long-term deal.

, SS, age 29: Story is coming off of his least productive season since 2017, though an elbow injury may have contributed to his struggles. Story didn't accept the Rockies' qualifying offer, but that shouldn’t hinder his ability to score a sizeable contract.

Tier 2

, OF, age 30: After posting the best year of his career, Castellanos -- who hit 34 home runs with 100 RBIs and a .939 OPS -- opted out of the final two years and $34 million of his current deal.

, DH, age 41: Even in his forties, Cruz just keeps hitting. Cruz belted 13 homers in 55 games after being traded to the Rays, and with the possibility of the universal DH becoming a reality, Cruz should have a market if he chooses to continue playing.

, LHP, age 34: The three-time NL Cy Young Award-winner and 2014 NL MVP missed the postseason with a forearm injury. Will that issue impact his appeal as a free agent? Most expect him to stay with the Dodgers, but his hometown Rangers could try to bring him back to Texas.

, RHP, age 30: After opting out of the 2020 season, Stroman accepted the Mets’ qualifying offer last year for 2021. He delivered a strong season, posting a 3.02 ERA in 179 innings, which should translate into strong interest from teams looking to bolster their rotation.

Seiya Suzuki, OF, age 27: Suzuki was posted by the Hiroshima Carp on November 22, the latest NPB star to try making the leap to the Majors. A power-hitting outfielder with a strong arm, Suzuki hit 38 home runs in 131 games in 2021, giving him 182 homers in 901 career games for Hiroshima.

Tier 3

, RHP, age 34: Cobb threw 310 1/3 innings over 59 starts during the entirety of his four-year, $57 million contract, though he pitched well for the Angels (8-3, 3.76 ERA in 18 starts) despite missing six weeks with a right wrist injury.

, OF, age 29: Nobody cost themselves as much money this season as Conforto, who had a .729 OPS and 14 homers in 125 games. While some thought he accept the Met's qualifying offer, he ultimately declined.

, RHP, age 38: The six-time All-Star and former AL Cy Young winner might not be a top-of-the-rotation arm anymore, but if he wants to continue pitching, plenty of teams should be able to find a spot for him.

, RHP, age 32: The hard-throwing closer ranks in the top 5 percent of pitchers in strikeout percentage, swing-and-miss percentage, chase rate and walk percentage, some of the reasons he’s arguably the top closer on the market.

, RHP, age 34: The Dodgers closer had a resurgent season, posting a 2.22 ERA while ranking in the 99th percentile in hard-hit percentage and exit velocity. His vast postseason experience could be appealing to younger teams.

, RHP, age 37: Melancon declined his $5 million mutual option, and will test the market once again. He was seemingly an afterthought last winter, but after posting a 2.23 ERA while leading the NL with 39 saves, the veteran should find considerable interest.

, 1B, age 32: Rizzo reportedly turned down a five-year, $70 million extension offer from the Cubs last year, and while he may not find a deal with that many guaranteed dollars, the veteran could exceed a $12 million average annual value (AAV).

, LHP, age 29: The No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft finally had the breakout season the White Sox had waited for all these years. Rodón posted a 13-5 record, a 2.37 ERA and threw no-hitter, but he also worked just 132 2/3 innings, leaving his durability as a major question.

, OF/DH, age 29: Few players in their prime would benefit more from the introduction of the universal DH, though Schwarber’s power would make him appealing to many teams with or without an open DH spot.

, 3B, age 34: Seager set career highs with 35 home runs and 101 RBIs, but the Mariners didn't pick up his $15 million option. A durable player, Seager has appeared in at least 154 games in nine of the last full seasons (and played all 60 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign).

, INF/OF, age 31: Taylor’s incredible versatility -- he can play three infield positions and all three outfield spots -- will draw plenty of interest, as will his knack for timely hits.

, LHP, age 31: Wood bounced back from a pair of tough seasons, going 10-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 26 starts with the Giants, who may bring the lefty back.

Tier 4

Brett Anderson, LHP, age 34
Tyler Anderson, LHP, age 32
Andrew Chafin, LHP, age 31
Danny Duffy, LHP, age 32
Kendall Graveman, RHP, age 31
Daniel Hudson, RHP, age 35
Joe Kelly, RHP, age 33
Ian Kennedy, RHP, age 37
Yusei Kikuchi, LHP, age 31
Corey Knebel, RHP, age 30
Andrew McCutchen, OF, age 35
Collin McHugh, RHP, age 34
Joc Pederson, OF, age 29
Tommy Pham, OF, age 34
A.J. Pollock, OF, age 34
Albert Pujols, 1B/DH, age 42
Jorge Soler, OF, age 30
Drew Smyly, LHP, age 32
Ryan Tepera, RHP, age 34
Jonathan Villar, INF, age 30

Tier 5

Brad Boxberger, RHP, age 33
Archie Bradley, RHP, age 29
Dylan Bundy, RHP, age 29
Alex Colomé, RHP, age 33
Johnny Cueto, RHP, age 36
Zach Davies, RHP, age 29
Jeurys Familia, RHP, age 32
Brett Gardner, OF, age 38
Mychal Givens, RHP, age 31
Yan Gomes, C, age 34
J.A. Happ, LHP, age 39
José Iglesias, SS, age 32
Jon Lester, LHP, age 38
Josh Harrison, INF/OF, age 34
Dominic Leone, RHP, age 30
Carlos Martinez, LHP, age 30
T.J. McFarland, LHP, age 32
Adam Ottavino, RHP, age 36
James Paxton, LHP, age 33
Martín Pérez, LHP, age 31
Kevin Pillar, CF, age 33
Trevor Rosenthal, RHP, age 31
Hunter Strickland, RHP, age 33
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, age 37