All right, so we’re all still somewhat reeling from how last season’s Hot Stove went. In the end, it was active, but not until the end of the offseason. Will this offseason be any better? There aren’t the huge names we saw last offseason, but there are still plenty of
All right, so we’re all still somewhat reeling from how last season’s Hot Stove went. In the end, it was active, but not until the end of the offseason. Will this offseason be any better? There aren’t the huge names we saw last offseason, but there are still plenty of players to choose from. The market moves in mysterious ways.
Today, we take a look at the top pending free agent from each team. For the sake of argument, we’ll take some guesses as to whether some players will opt out or not (For example, the bet here is that J.D. Martinez stays in Boston). Enjoy these players now; this could be the last month they’re wearing your team’s jersey.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays -- Justin Smoak: There isn’t that much of a market for slow, power-hitting 1B/DH types anymore, but some enterprising team could do a lot worse if it can find a spot for him as a bench bat.
Orioles -- Mark Trumbo: By design, the Orioles don’t have many pending free agents. Trumbo could be back in September, but depending on how it goes, he might retire.
Rays -- Eric Sogard: You could go with Avisail Garcia or even Travis d’Arnaud here, but Sogard has more than shown why he feels like Ben Zobrist II since being traded to the Rays.
Red Sox -- Rick Porcello: He hasn’t had the most pleasant season, but this is still a pitcher who has thrown 2,000 innings in the Majors and is still only 30.
Yankees -- Didi Gregorius: It’s possible that Aroldis Chapman opts out of his contract, but if he doesn’t, a good fielding shortstop with power is attractive to any team. But how much of that power is because of that right-field porch?
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Indians -- Yasiel Puig: It will be fascinating to see what the market for Puig looks like.
Royals -- Alex Gordon: That massive contract signed after the Royals won the World Series finally expires after this season. Will he come back? Try to catch on somewhere else? Retire?
Tigers -- Jordy Mercer: Anybody up for a slap-hitting 30-something defensive specialist shortstop?
Twins -- Jake Odorizzi: He’s going to be a postseason starter for the first time in his career, and he’s having the best year of his career. The Twins might extend him a qualifying offer.
White Sox -- Jose Abreu: He has hung around the White Sox longer than many expected him to, and many are wondering if he’ll be kept around as the team’s young players start to mature around him.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Angels -- Kole Calhoun: The Angels are unlikely to pick up his $14 million option, but there’s still plenty of life in that bat.
Astros -- Gerrit Cole: Coming to Houston was the best thing for his career, and now he looks poised to cash in as the top starting pitcher on the market.
Athletics --Tanner Roark: The Trade Deadline acquisition has been excellent since coming over to Oakland and may be building a case as a back-end rotation filler for another contender.
Mariners -- Felix Hernandez: King Felix hasn’t looked like himself in years, but we’ll find out over this last month what might be in store for him after 2019.
Rangers -- Hunter Pence: He has certainly earned himself another season in the Majors. After all, he was named as a starter in the All-Star Game!
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves -- Josh Donaldson: Now that his one-year deal with the Braves has turned out so well, that multi-year deal he was waiting for should be ready for him.
Marlins -- Starlin Castro: He has added third base to his versatility, and that may come in handy as he hits the market. It’s hard to believe he’s only 29.
Mets -- Zack Wheeler: He has been a little inconsistent down the stretch for the Mets, but is talented enough to attract plenty of teams in search of starting pitching.
Nationals -- Anthony Rendon: He was already going to be the top free agent on the market before he had the best season of his career in his walk year. Look out.
Phillies -- Corey Dickerson: He has been a very helpful outfielder for a team that has been desperate for them.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers -- Yasmani Grandal: Betting on himself after turning down the Mets’ offer in the offseason may pay off for him after making his second All-Star team.
Cardinals -- Marcell Ozuna: He has shown some interest in signing an extension with the Cardinals, but with more outfielders than they know what to do with already, the Cardinals have dragged their feet. If the Cardinals can win the division, Ozuna could do himself some real good in October.
Cubs -- Cole Hamels: Hamels has arguably been the Cubs’ most reliable starter the past two seasons. He clearly has plenty left in the tank.
Pirates -- Francisco Liriano: The Pirates have a ton of decisions to make this offseason, but what to do about their own free agents isn’t really one of them.
Reds -- Jose Iglesias: He can still pick it at short, and that can be enough to keep you hanging around. Also worth noting: He’s almost hitting .300!
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs -- Adam Jones: Everybody loves Adam Jones. Maybe he goes back to the Orioles and helps out the kids?
Dodgers -- Hyun-Jin Ryu: Perhaps the most fascinating case study on this entire list, Ryu’s injury history clashes with the fact that he might win the Cy Young this year. Which team will be most willing to take a chance on him?
Giants -- Madison Bumgarner: The Giants didn’t trade him at the Deadline, and now we get to see if they’ll make him a Giant for life.
Padres -- Craig Stammen: Stammen has been a very capable reliever for three consecutive seasons now with the Padres.
Rockies – Yonder Alonso. His vesting option is unlikely to come into effect, so he has a month to make a case for himself.