Monday marked another chaotic day on the free-agent market.
That brought the total spent on free agents this month to about $1.46 billion, a staggering figure before the end of November. The most money ever guaranteed to free agents in a single offseason was 2019-20, when teams handed out approximately $2.1 billion in contracts.
Considering the wealth of talent that remains on the market, that number appears to be well within reach this winter. It remains to be seen whether more free agents will ink deals prior to Wednesday night, when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire, but the action to this point has made for a late-fall frenzy the likes of which we haven’t seen in years.
Here’s a look at the most prominent names still available and where things stand with each of them:
Carlos Correa, SS
The consensus No. 1 free agent this winter, Correa must have been thrilled to see Seager land a 10-year, $325 million deal from the Rangers. First, Seager joined Fernando Tatis Jr. and Francisco Lindor in the $300 million shortstop club. More importantly, with Texas signing two of the premier shortstops (Marcus Semien has agreed to a seven-year deal), the other teams with a need at the position have fewer options from which to choose. The Yankees and Tigers could be potential destinations for Correa, though a return to Houston can’t be ruled out, either.
Freddie Freeman, 1B
It has felt like a foregone conclusion that Freeman would re-sign with the Braves, but it’s been nearly a month since Atlanta won the World Series and the two sides haven’t reached a deal. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal tabbed the Dodgers as a potential suitor for Freeman, while the Yankees are another possible landing spot if the first baseman leaves Atlanta. Still, the Braves are widely considered the favorites to retain Freeman.
Kris Bryant, 3B/LF
The Giants had some preliminary discussions with Bryant, according to sources, but San Francisco appears to be moving in other directions. The Mariners have legitimate interest in Bryant, and after adding Ray to lead the rotation, Seattle could shift its focus to its search for an impact bat. The Phillies are also said to be intrigued by Bryant, who is one of Bryce Harper’s close friends.
Trevor Story, SS
Many had pegged the Rangers as a logical landing spot for the Dallas-area native, but the signings of both Seager and Semien have taken Texas out of play for Story. The Mariners still like Story, though with J.P. Crawford locked in as the shortstop, Seattle would likely want Story to play second or third base.
Nick Castellanos, RF
The Marlins have interest in the South Florida native, but a source said Castellanos is seeking a seven- or eight-year deal, likely taking him out of Miami’s price range. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported Monday that the Phillies have had recent talks with Castellanos’ camp, while the Giants remain interested in the outfielder, as well.
Marcus Stroman, RHP
With Scherzer, Ray and Kevin Gausman off the board, Stroman is the best available starter in a market that has already seen starting pitchers land more than $660 million in contracts, so the right-hander is in a good spot. Having signed Scherzer, the Mets are unlikely to bring back Stroman, but the teams that missed on the top three -- think the Angels, Dodgers, Giants and Red Sox -- could be potential options.
Kyle Schwarber, LF/DH
Schwarber has been a popular name on this year’s market, with no less than a half-dozen teams expressing interest in the slugger. The Red Sox, Rockies and Phillies are among his serious suitors, though more National League teams might jump into the bidding if the universal DH becomes a reality in the next CBA. A reunion with the Nationals isn’t out of the question, either.
Chris Taylor, INF/OF
A number of teams are interested in Taylor, which makes perfect sense given his ability to fill any number of holes on a roster. The Mariners could try to bring Taylor back after trading him to the Dodgers in 2016, though the Phillies, Marlins and Nationals are also pursuing Taylor to differing extents. Don’t overlook the Dodgers, who lost both Seager and Scherzer but could bring Taylor back into the fold.
Raisel Iglesias, RHP
Aaron Loup, Kendall Graveman and Héctor Neris have led the way on the reliever market thus far, but top closers Iglesias and Kenley Jansen have had relatively little buzz. Both should find solid deals, but teams have focused on the rotation ahead of the bullpen to this point in the offseason.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Rizzo is open to a return to the Yankees, but he may need to wait a while for that to happen. New York is monitoring the first-base market -- namely Freeman and Matt Olson, who could be on the trade block -- and could also move DJ LeMahieu to first base if they address the left side of the infield in free agency. Other teams looking for first-base help could be thinking the same.
Jorge Soler, RF
Soler has drawn significant interest from more than a half-dozen teams according to sources, though it might make sense for the World Series Most Valuable Player to wait for Castellanos to sign first. Soler showed the type of impact he could make during his 55 games with the Braves, hitting 14 home runs with an .882 OPS, then posted a .948 OPS in the postseason, belting three homers in the Fall Classic.