Top 20 free agents of the 2019-20 MLB offseason
There aren't any Bryce Harpers or Manny Machados in this year's MLB free agent pool, but there's still plenty of talent on the market.
J.D. Martinez won't be one of them as he decided not to opt out of his Red Sox contract and hit free agency. So who are the most notable free agents on the market for the 2019-20 offseason? Here's a look at the top 20. . .
1. Gerrit Cole, RHP
Cole is about to make some serious money on the free-agent market following a Cy Young-caliber 2019 season. The right-hander went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA while tallying a MLB-leading 326 (!) strikeouts.
UPDATE (Dec. 10): The Yankees have landed Cole for the top of their rotation, agreeing to a record nine-year, $324 million contract, a deal first reported by Jon Heyman of the MLB Network.
2. Anthony Rendon, 3B
One of the most underrated players in all of baseball, Rendon is set to be by far the best positional player on the market this winter. He may not be on the market for long, though, as he's recently had extension talks with the Nationals.
UPDATE (Dec. 11): The Angels have won the Anthony Rendon sweepstakes, agreeing to terms on a seven-year, $245 million contract according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
3. Stephen Strasburg, RHP
*Player Option for 2020
If Strasburg does indeed opt out of his contract, he's positioned himself to earn a monster deal in free agency. The right-hander went 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 251 strikeouts. His 209 innings pitched was the second-highest total of any season in his 10-year career.
UPDATE (Dec. 9): Strasburg has agreed to a record-setting seven-year, $245 million deal with the Nationals, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.
4. Madison Bumgarner, LHP
A workhorse left-hander with a legendary postseason pedigree? Yeah, someone is about to pay Bumgarner some big money this winter. It doesn't matter that his numbers dipped a bit in 2019.
UPDATE (Dec. 15): After spending his entire career with the Giants, Bumgarner is staying in the NL West, agreeing to a five-year, $85 million contract with the Diamondbacks.
5. J.D. Martinez, DH/OF
*Player Option for 2020
It'll be fascinating to see what the market is for Martinez this time around if he decides to opt-out of his contract with the Red Sox. Teams weren't exactly throwing themselves at him two years ago, and even after putting up great numbers in Boston it's hard to imagine him getting a better deal on the open market as a DH with a bad back who's approaching his mid-30s.
UPDATE (Nov. 4): J.D. Martinez decided not to opt out of his Red Sox contract and will not be a free agent.
6. Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP
Ryu struggled in the second half of the 2019 season but was the frontrunner in the NL Cy Young race for quite a while. Plenty of teams will be vying for the right-hander's services.
UPDATE (Dec. 22): Ryu has agreed to a four-year, $80 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
7. Aroldis Chapman, LHP
*Player Option for 2020
Chapman was his usual dominant self again in 2019, but it'll be really interesting to see what he's offered on the open market considering another elite 31-year-old closer by the name of Craig Kimbrel took until June this year to sign a new contract.
UPDATE (Nov. 3): Aroldis Chapman and the Yankees have agreed to a contract extension.
8. Marcell Ozuna, OF
Ozuna improved in his second year in St. Louis, and that definitely should help his cause on the open market. He'd be a great addition for any team in need of some pop in the middle of the lineup.
UPDATE (Jan. 21): Ozuna has signed a one-year, $18 million contract with the Atlanta Braves, the team announced.
9. Nicholas Castellanos, OF
Castellanos was unbelievable after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs at the 2019 deadline. He hit .273 with 11 homers and 37 RBI in 100 games with Detroit, then .321 with 16 homers and 36 RBI in 51 games with Chicago. That'll have plenty of teams ringing his agent's phone off the hook.
UPDATE (Jan. 27): Castellanos is heading to the Cincinnati Reds on a multi-year contract, according to The Athletic's C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal.
10. Josh Donaldson, 3B
What a bounceback year it was for Donaldson, who dealt with nagging injuries for much of 2017 and almost all of 2018. The veteran slugger showed he's 100% healthy in 2019, blasting 37 homers with Atlanta with a .900 OPS.
UPDATE (Jan. 14): Donaldson has agreed to a four-year deal with the Minnesota Twins.
11. Yasmani Grandal, C
*Mutual Option for 2019-20
Plenty of teams should be in the market for a quality catcher this offseason, and there's no option better than Grandal. He hit 28 homers with the Brewers this year in what may have been the most productive season of his career.
UPDATE (Nov. 21): Grandal has agreed to a four-year, $73M deal with the White Sox.
12. Zack Wheeler, RHP
Wheeler just hasn't been able to find any consistency in his career, but he showed some promising signs in 2019. The right-hander pitched 195.1 innings and posted a 3.96 ERA. He could provide some much-needed pitching rotation depth to a bunch of teams this winter.
UPDATE (Dec. 4): The Phillies have reporteldy come to terms with Wheeler on a five-year deal worth $118 million.
13. Jake Odorizzi, RHP
Odorizzi was solid in his second season with Minnesota, posting a 15-8 record and a 3.51 ERA. Like Wheeler, he could help out a bunch of rotations.
UPDATE (Nov. 14): Odorizzi has agreed to the Twins' qualifying offer, a one-year, $17.8 million deal.
14. Didi Gregorius, SS
"Sir Didi" missed half of the 2019 campaign as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, and once he returned he had his worst season since replacing Derek Jeter as the Yankees' shortstop. Regardless of the down year, he still should command plenty of attention on the free market.
UPDATE (Dec. 10): Gregorius and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a one-year contract, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. NBC Sports Philly reports it's a $14 million deal.
15. Dallas Keuchel, LHP
Keuchel notably was a free agent last offseason and didn't end up signing a contract until June. After going 8-8 with a 3.75 ERA with the Braves, it'll be interesting to see whether there will be more of a market for the left-hander.
UPDATE (Dec. 21): Keuchel signed a three-year deal worth $55 million with the Chicago White Sox. The deal has a vesting option that can make the deal worth $74 million over four years.
16. Jose Abreu, 1B
Abreu is the premier first baseman on the market this offseason. He finished with 33 homers in 2019 and the most RBI in the American League with 123.
UPDATE (Nov. 22): Abreu has agreed to a three-year, $50 million contract with the White Sox.
17. Mike Moustakas, 2B/3B
*Mutual Option for 2020
Will Moustakas finally land a big multi-year contract in free agency? He's certainly deserving of one, as he showed his versatility with Milwaukee this year while slugging a career-high 35 homers.
UPDATE (Dec. 2): Moustakas has agreed to a four-year, $64 million contract with the Reds, according to Jeff Passan.
18. Cole Hamels, LHP
He's getting up there in age and the ace Cole Hamels of years past is long gone, but surely there are teams out there who could use the veteran left-hander in their rotation.
UPDATE (Dec. 4): Hamels has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $18M deal with the Braves, per Jeff Passan.
20. Yasiel Puig, OF
Puig isn't the MVP-caliber guy we thought he'd end up being back in 2013, but he's an electrifying albeit streaky player who absolutely could be a valuable presence in any lineup.