I usually do this over the All-Star break, but time didn’t allow for it last week. So here now are my very, very preliminary 2020 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams if those options have a legitimate chance of being exercised. Those players are noted with asterisks.
Along with the position rankings is a top 300 list for 2020. Click to see other preliminary 2020 rankings:
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2020 Relief pitcher Rankings
|12||Ken Giles||Blue Jays||18||12|
|16||Alex Colome||White Sox||14||14|
|37||Kelvin Herrera||White Sox||48||57|
|40||Matt Barnes||Red Sox||25||45|
|41||Corbin Burnes||Brewers||41 SP||155 SP|
|42||Sean Newcomb||Braves||107 SP||48|
|49||Seth Lugo||Mets||84 SP||54|
|53||Michael Lorenzen||Reds||207 SP||56|
|54||Brandon Workman||Red Sox||149||36|
|64||Ian Kennedy||Royals||192 SP||32|
|68||John Gant||Cardinals||168 SP||28|
|72||Carl Edwards Jr.||Cubs||70||NR|
|74||Robert Stephenson||Reds||250 SP||NR|
- There just isn’t much in the way of sure things here. The top 11 seems solid enough, but the best relievers after that could open next year as setup men, depending on how things shake out. Ken Giles might be traded to a team like the Yankees or Dodgers in the next couple of weeks. Will Smith will be pursued heavily as both a closer and an expensive setup man as a free agent. Reyes Moronta might take a backseat to a veteran in San Francisco once Smith exits.
- The rather weak field in free agency would seem to make it more likely that Pedro Strop will get a closer’s gig somewhere. Dellin Betances might also want to go someplace that he can save games, and there will be plenty of teams looking to grab him if he’s able to get healthy down the stretch this year. Will Harris is another guy who could sneak into a ninth-inning job. He’s drifted back and forth between high- and low-leverage situations for Houston the last two years, but he’s almost always been effective. His ERA the last five years stands at 2.50.
- There’s a case for Yoan Lopez as the high Diamondback on this list, but I still think Archie Bradley will shake off this year-long funk he’s been in and reemerge as the team’s best reliever. Lopez seems immune to giving up non-home run base hits this year, but Bradley still has the better peripherals of the two.