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Presented today is a look at this winter’s top 111 free agents. I’m excluding players whose options appear certain to be exercised, a group that includes Craig Kimbrel, Wade Miley and Yuli Gurriel. I’m also excluding Nolan Arenado, who has indicated that he won’t exercise his opt out, and top Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki, who could be posted but won’t technically be a free agent.
Players are ranked based on how I expect teams will view them, not on how I view them myself. Essentially, they’re listed from predicted biggest contract to smallest, using my own patented adjustments for multiyear deals.
All ages are as of April 1, 2022
1. Corey Seager (27, SS, Dodgers): This winter’s top two free agents have their positions, ages and durability concerns in common. Seager, who has hit .306/.381/.545 the last two years, would seem to have a clear edge offensively, though it’s one that might not be as big as Carlos Correa’s advantage defensively. Still, the guess here is that Seager gets the bigger contract. That he hits left-handed is going to appeal to a few teams, certainly the Yankees most notably. He could also be extremely attractive as a third baseman, which is arguably a weaker position than shortstop around the league (and certainly a weaker position in free agency this winter). Prediction: nine years, $300 million.
2. Carlos Correa (27, SS, Astros): Even though he’s played in more than 110 games just twice, Correa is very much on a Hall of Fame path. He’s remained healthy in back-to-back seasons, and he should be a top-five finisher in this year’s AL MVP balloting after posting a 131 OPS+ and playing Gold Glove-caliber defense. Especially encouraging was that he cut his strikeout rate by about 20% while maintaining his power. Of the big five shortstops here, it’s probably only Correa and Javier Baez that one can be comfortable still penciling in at the position five years from now. Prediction: eight years, $264 million
3. Trevor Story (29, SS, Rockies): Story didn’t help himself by hitting just .251 overall and .203 in road games last season, but his Statcast numbers were much the same as usual. In fact, his xwOBAs the last three years have all come in between .333 and .337. Also, Story remains an excellent defensive shortstop, something that’s always been an underrated part of his game. His batting average probably won’t bounce back as he leaves Coors Field, but his power should hold up well. If he gets less than half of the commitment that Seager and Correa do this winter, he might well end up being the best value of the shortstop class. Prediction: five years, $125 million
4. Freddie Freeman (32, 1B, Braves): Freeman fell well short of his MVP numbers last season, but he missed just two games and posted an OPS+ over 130 for the ninth straight season. His strikeout rate the last two years is just 15.0%, a big drop from his previous career mark of 20.5%, and he hasn’t sacrificed any power to make it happen. If Freeman is willing to shop himself around, he’ll probably get the third biggest deal of any free agent this winter. Still, it seems quite likely that he’ll remain in Atlanta. Prediction: five years, $125 million
5. Max Scherzer (37, SP, Dodgers): Some were wary of Scherzer after his unexceptional 2020, but there wasn’t really anything in his numbers then that said a downfall was coming. Sure enough, he bounced back with one of the best campaigns of his career in 2021, finishing with a personal-best 2.46 ERA. Scherzer’s velocity is pretty much unchanged through the years. He’s still striking out about as many batters as he ever has. Injuries will probably become more of a factor as he approaches 40, but that he knows when not to push it should help continue to avoid any catastrophic problems. He’ll get a multiyear deal and the highest annual salary of any free agent this winter, assuming that he wants it. Prediction: two years, $75 million
6. Marcus Semien (31, 2B-SS, Blue Jays): Here’s MLB’s leader in WAR since the beginning of 2019. Semien didn’t even get a qualifying offer from the A’s last winter and settled for a one-year, $18 million deal that would force him to change positions in Toronto. Of course, things really couldn’t have worked out any better, as he hit 45 homers for the Blue Jays and also proved well above average defensively at second base. That helps his cause here, even though teams historically don’t like spending big bucks on second basemen. He’s still fine at shortstop, too, though he might be stretched there in a couple of years. Prediction: four years, $100 million
7. Kris Bryant (30, 3B-OF, Giants): The Bryant of old seemed to have returned when he hit .324/.406/.611 over the first two months of last season, but he came in at just .232/.324/.409 the rest of the way. His defense at third base, once a strength, now appears to be below average, and he might fit best at first base or in left field for the long run. It makes him one of the toughest calls out there in free agency. The versatility works in his favor, and it also helps that he can’t receive a qualifying offer. He seems like a decent bet to be a borderline All-Star for a couple of more years, but it figures to take at least a four-year deal to land him. Prediction: four years, $100 million.
8. Robbie Ray (30, SP, Blue Jays): While it was an enormous improvement on the three years that preceded it, nothing Ray did last season seemed fluky; the spike in velocity and improved control gave him two elite pitches and he made the most of them. There is the obvious danger that he’ll regress in the control department; he had a walk rate of 13.1% from 2018-20 before coming in at 6.9% last season. That risk will take a toll on his market, and he’s probably not going to get the kind of deal a 30-year-old coming off a Cy Young-type campaign would normally expect to get. Still, he shouldn’t suffer too badly. Prediction: four years, $92 million
9. Javier Baez (29, 2B-SS, Mets): It didn’t get as much attention as it would have had the Mets remained in contention, but Baez was terrific for his new team, hitting .299/.371/.515 with a 28.5% strikeout in 47 games after coming in at .248/.292/.484 with a 36.3% strikeout rate in 91 games for the Cubs. Baez’s defensive numbers don’t match his reputation, but he still offers ample range at shortstop. The offense is surely going to be a mixed bag, but he might have one or two All-Star campaigns left in him. As frustrating as he’ll surely be at times, he’s actually one of the safest signings out there. Prediction: four years, $90 million
10. Kevin Gausman (31, SP, Giants): After nine seasons, Gausman finally fulfilled his potential in 2021, finishing with a 2.81 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 192 innings. There was some let up in the final quarter of the season, but then he closed out the year with a pair of terrific outings, and he looked better in his postseason start against the Dodgers than his line indicated. Perhaps he won’t ever be so strong again, but he has been durable and he’ll probably be paid more like a No. 2 starter than an ace anyway. Prediction: four years, $88 million
11. Marcus Stroman (30, SP, Mets): It’s of some concern that Stroman has lost a little velocity and seen his typically elite groundball rate drop his last two seasons, but it hasn’t shown up in his other numbers. That he’s such a terrific athlete should add to his staying power, and he’s probably the safest bet of the Ray-Gausman-Stroman group to finish up his contract as a solid contributor. Prediction: four years, $84 million
12. Nick Castellanos (30, OF, Reds): Expectations are that Castellanos will opt out of the final two years and $34 million in his deal with the Reds and become a free agent. Castellanos followed up a disappointing 60-game season with his best year to date in 2021, though Statcast thinks he’s been essentially the same hitter six years running. His defensive numbers, on the other hand, have gotten substantially better since he initially transitioned to right field in 2017. Prediction: four years, $84 million
13. Starling Marte (33, OF, Athletics): Marte made a run at leading the majors in batting average before tailing off some at the end of the season. He did lead the majors with 47 steals in 120 games. He had totaled 35 in 193 games over the previous two seasons. Marte is the only center fielder up here in the rankings, and while he’s not really above average there any longer, he should be fine for a couple of more years. He’ll probably wind up getting twice as much as the Marlins reportedly offered him ($30 million for three years) before sending him to Oakland at the deadline. Prediction: three years, $63 million
14. Anthony Rizzo (32, 1B, Yankees): Rizzo didn’t help himself with his play after the trade to the Yankees, but at least the deal means he can’t get a qualifying offer. He still brings to the table above average power, very good plate discipline and excellent defense at first base. Prediction: three years, $60 million
15. Carlos Rodon (29, SP, White Sox): On a per-inning basis, Rodon was right there with Corbin Burnes behind Jacob deGrom as baseball’s best starter last seasin. Alas, the shoulder issues he encountered in the second half of the season, combined with his previous injury history that included Tommy John surgery in 2019, is sure to give suitors pause. Based on the way he pitched last season, he has as much upside for 2022 as any player here. Still, a long-term deal would be exceedingly risky. Prediction: two years, $44 million.
16. Michael Conforto (29, OF, Mets): Conforto had a 134 OPS+ over the previous four years before tumbling all of the way to 101 last season. His Statcast numbers don’t think the dropoff was as significant as his .232/.344/.384 line suggests, but it was certainly bad timing. It’s possible he’ll choose to accept a qualifying offer, should it be extended, and take $18.4 million from the Mets in the hopes of a bigger payday next winter. Still, he should be able to land a similar salary in a multiyear deal. Prediction: three years, $54 million
17. J.D. Martinez (34, OF, Red Sox): Martinez didn’t come anywhere near his past heights last season, but he still rebounded nicely from a bad 2020 in which he posted just a .680 OPS. This is the third straight offseason in which he’s been eligible to opt out of his contract with the Red Sox, which now has one year and $19.375 million left on it. He’d seem like a lock for a multiyear deal at a similar salary if the NL adds the DH this winter. Prediction: two years, $40 million
18. Eduardo Rodriguez (28, SP, Red Sox): Rodriguez finished with a 4.74 ERA in his return from myocarditis that cost him the 2020 season, but his peripherals were about as strong as ever; he struck out 185, walked 47 and gave up 19 homers in 158 innings. He was also impressive in two of his three postseason starts. That he’s the youngest starter available in free agency, making him extra appealing to rebuilding clubs, should lead to some nice multiyear offers. It’ll be interesting to see how he approaches free agency: three- and four-year pacts should be out there, but if he’s feeling optimistic, he could take a shorter deal in the hopes of a bigger payday in a year or two. Prediction: three years, $48 million
19. Raisel Iglesias (32, RP, Angels): Iglesias is a little older than some might realize, but he’s done the best work of his career lately. In fact, he’s easily exceeded his previous career bests in strikeout and walk rates two years running, producing a 103/12 K/BB ratio in 70 innings last season. That should be good enough to land him at least a three-year deal in free agency. Prediction: three years, $45 million
20. Kyle Schwarber (29, OF, Red Sox): Schwarber was non-tendered a year ago and spent the first two months of 2021 as something of a disappointment, but then he went on the tear to end all tears, hitting nine homers in six games and 16 homers in 18 games for the Nationals, and continued to impress after being traded to the Red Sox. His limited defensive value hurts here, but it’ll be less of an issue if 30 teams are using the DH next year. Prediction: three years, $45 million
21. Buster Posey (35, C, Giants): While Salvador Perez definitely has a case, Posey was probably baseball’s best catcher in what was his age-34 season, hitting .304/.390/.499 while remaining an asset on defense. The Giants hold a $22 million option, with a $3 million buyout, on his services for 2022. That really amounts to $19 million, which seems like a reasonable sum. Still, the two sides will probably work out a multiyear deal at a slightly lower salary. Prediction: two years, $36 million
(UPDATE: In a surprise decision, Posey is expected to announce his retirement on Thursday.)
22. Justin Verlander (39, SP, Astros): Betting on a 39-year-old pitcher returning from Tommy John surgery seems dangerous, but so does betting against the Hall of Fame-bound Verlander. His surgery came right as the 2020 season was concluding, so he’s looking at a full 18 months off prior to Opening Day 2021, giving him his best chance of returning at something close to 100 percent. The Astros have said they’re giving him the $18.4 million qualifying offer, but Verlander is hoping for a multiyear pact. Prediction: two years, $34 million
23. Brandon Belt (33, 1B, Giants): It would surely come as a surprise to most, but Belt has the third best OPS+ in baseball the last two seasons, trailing only Juan Soto and Bryce Harper. He’s been limited to 148 games between the two years, but he’s hit an exceptional .285/.393/.595 with 38 homers in 560 plate appearances. Health is the problem here. Belt dealt with several injuries last season, and he has a lengthy history of concussions. It sounds like the Giants will make him a qualifying offer, though they’d probably prefer to work out a two-year deal with him. Prediction: two years, $30 million
24. Chris Taylor (31, INF-OF, Dodgers): The Swiss Army Knife free agent, Taylor has a 114 OPS+ over the last five years and is competent at six positions (probably seven, if he ever had the chance to play first base). That makes him a great fit for pretty much any contender, assuming that he’s content to remain a utilityman. If he wants to be assured a position of his own, most likely second base, it would limit his market some. Prediction: three years, $36 million
25. Noah Syndergaard (29, SP, Mets): Syndergaard was hoping to return from Tommy John surgery in June, but after a couple of setbacks, he ended up pitching a total of 10 innings last season: five in May, one in August and four at the very end of the year. Those last two innings came in the majors, and though he was just pitching one-inning stints, his velocity was down 3-4 mph from where he used to be. It’d seem very risky to give him a long-term deal at this point, though perhaps some team will have the guts to do so. Still, the most likely bet here is that he takes a qualifying offer from the Mets and goes back on the market next winter. Prediction: one year, $18.4 million
26. Clayton Kershaw (34, SP, Dodgers): Kershaw’s elbow troubles were related to the flexor tendon, and he had a PRP injection in October that should allow him to be ready for Opening Day. Of course, there are no assurances. Kershaw’s 22 starts in 2021 produced his worst ERA, 3.55, since his rookie season in 2008, but that was mostly because his BABIP wasn’t up to par. His 29.5% strikeout rate was his highest mark since 2017, and his home run rate was a little below where it had been in recent years. From a performance standpoint, he seems like about as good of a bet for 2022 as anyone besides Scherzer. Prediction: one year, $18 million
27. Kenley Jansen (34, RP, Dodgers): Jansen’s velocity came all of the way back last season, and he posted his best ERA since his incredible 2017 campaign. On the other hand, his walk rate was way up; his 32 unintentional walks were as many as he had in 2018 and 2019 combined and more than he had in a three-year span from 2015-17. Still, Jansen looked great in the postseason, and his ability to generate soft contact hasn’t gone away. He’s no longer dominant, but it looks like he should remain plenty good for another couple of years. Prediction: two years, $28 million
28. Steven Matz (30, SP, Blue Jays): Matz had a 4.72 ERA at the All-Star break, but he was terrific afterwards, posting a 2.91 ERA in the second half to rate as one of the AL’s top 15 or so pitchers for the year. His track record is spotty, but he’s stayed pretty healthy the last four years. Perhaps some team will go to three years here, though two seems more reasonable. Prediction: two years, $26 million
29. Jon Gray (30, SP, Rockies): Gray was a mess in 2020, with a shoulder problem resulting in a drop in velocity and a huge reduction in strikeouts. He bounced some of the way back last season, finishing with 104 ERA+ and a strikeout rate better than his career average. There are going to be teams interested in seeing what he can do away from Coors, but the truth is that he’s been better there (.737 OPS against) than elsewhere (.765 OPS against) in his career. The Rockies should try to keep him. Prediction: two years, $26 million
30. Jorge Soler (30, OF, Braves): Since busting out with 48 homers in 2019, Soler has hit a modest .224/.319/.435 in 776 plate appearances, which is problematic for a player who only contributes with his bat. Soler, though, did come in at .269/.358/.524 in his 55-game stint with the Braves last season and won World Series MVP honors after hitting three homers against the Astros. He’s another guy who would get quite a boost from the NL adopting the DH. Prediction: two years, $24 million
31. Anthony DeSclafani (31, SP, Reds): DeSclafani proved to be one of last winter’s biggest bargains after taking a one-year, $6 million deal with the Giants and going 13-7 with a 3.17 ERA. That’s definitely better than one should expect going forward, but he’s another average to somewhat above average starting pitcher worthy of a multiyear deal. Prediction: two years, $24 million
32. Zack Greinke (38, SP, Astros): Greinke was 11-6 with a 3.66 ERA before going on the COVID-19 IL on Aug. 31, and his velocity was back up closer to where it was in 2018 and ’19 before dropping way off in 2020. He’d still seem to be a fine fit in the middle of a contender’s rotation. Prediction: one year, $14 million
33. Mark Canha (33, OF, Athletics): With a 124 OPS+, Canha has been quite the asset offensively the last four years. Still, he’s turning 33, he was quite disappointing in the second half of last season (.206/.340/.319 in 300 PA) and his defense seems to be on the decline. If he were reaching free agency at 30 here, it’d be easy to imagine him getting a nice four-year deal. As is, two years seems like a better idea. Prediction: two years, $22 million
34. Michael Pineda (33, SP, Twins): Pineda missed time with thigh, elbow and oblique injuries last season, but he started and finished strong on his way to a 9-8 record and a 3.62 ERA. The Twins will probably want him back, and he might get a contract very similar to the two-year, $20 million deal he just concluded. Prediction: two years, $20 million
35. Avisail Garcia (30, OF, Brewers): Garcia was supposed to be looking at a reduced role last season after the Brewers added Jackie Bradley Jr., but following a slow start, he turned in the second-best season of his career, hitting .262/.330/.490 with 29 homers in 515 plate appearances. Garcia’s contract includes a mutual $12 million option with a $2 million buyout. One imagines the Brewers will exercise their half of it, but Garcia might be able to command a multiyear deal as a free agent. Prediction: two years, $20 million
36. Nelson Cruz (41, DH, Rays): Cruz might finally be looking at a situation in which 15 or so teams are looking for a full-time DH, rather than five or less. Unfortunately, it comes right as he showed real signs of decline for the first time. It’s not like they were severe, though. His strikeout rate was less than it had been the previous couple of years, and his exit velocity was still very good. Prediction: one year, $12 million
37. Alex Wood (31, SP, Giants): Wood was able to stay relatively healthy for the first time since 2018 and make 26 starts with a 3.83 ERA last season. He’s made 30 starts just once in his career, that happening in 2015, so no team will be expecting to get that much from him next year. Hope for 20-25 starts and that he’s healthy down the stretch. Prediction: one year, $11 million
38. Eddie Rosario (30, OF, Braves): Rosario got $8 million from Cleveland last winter after being non-tendered by the Twins. He was almost certainly going to get less than that this winter had the Braves not made the postseason or been eliminated in the NLDS. However, his brilliant NLCS run surely caught eyes around the league. It might not get him a multiyear deal, but it should produce a salary bump. Prediction: one year, $10 million
39. Yusei Kikuchi (30, SP, Mariners): When Kikuchi entered the All-Star break with a 3.48 ERA, it seemed quite possible that the Marlins would exercise his four-year, $66 million contract option, locking him up through 2025. Since he posted a 5.98 ERA afterwards, now it’s likely that he’ll be left to exercise his own $13 million player option for 2022. He could opt out if he’d rather pitch somewhere else, but he’d probably have to take less money. Prediction: exercises option, otherwise one year, $10 million.
40. Alex Cobb (34, SP, Angels): Cobb was able to take the mound just 18 times last season, but in those 18 outings, he displayed the best velocity and strikeout rate of his career. He’s not really a candidate for anything longer, but there will likely be a great deal of interest in him on a one-year deal. Prediction: one-year, $10 million
41. Eduardo Escobar (33, INF, Brewers): Even though his 2020 was a bust, Escobar ranks 12th in the majors in RBI the last three years, putting him right in between J.D. Martinez and Nelson Cruz. His OPS+ during that span is 103, but that’s still not bad. He should be able to land a starting job at third base or, if he prefers, a utility gig on a contender. Prediction: two years, $16 million
42. Christian Vazquez (31, C, Red Sox): Vazquez’s poor offensive numbers led to some speculation that the Red Sox might decline his $7 million option for 2022, but that seems like a long shot. After all, they don’t currently have anyone to replace him, and the one clear upgrade in free agency (Posey) probably isn’t going anywhere. Even if they do want to try to trade for a replacement, it shouldn’t be hard to move Vazquez in a deal. Prediction: two years, $16 million, in the unlikely event the option is declined
43. Andrew McCutchen (35, OF, Phillies): The Phillies will likely buy out McCutchen’s $15 million option for $3 million, making him a free agent. Despite struggling with a knee injury in the second half, the 34-year-old was able to play in 144 games and amass a 109 OPS+ last season. His defense in left field is a problem and he’s not the OBP guy he once was, but he can still help. Prediction: one year, $9 million
44. Danny Duffy (33, SP, Dodgers): Duffy looked about as strong as ever at the beginning of last season, amassing a 1.94 ERA and a 48/12 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings over his first seven starts. Elbow problems wrecked his season afterwards, leaving him a question mark going into 2022, but since he’ll only require a one-year deal, there should be plenty of teams looking to take a chance on him. Prediction: one year, $9 million
45. Kendall Graveman (31, RP, Astros): Graveman’s peripherals weren’t as strong as his 1.77 ERA suggests, but with his fastball up to 95-98 mph and his groundball rate remaining strong, someone might give him a three-year contract this winter. Prediction: three years, $18 million
46. Hector Neris (32, RP, Phillies): The much-maligned Neris was one of the game’s most valuable relievers over the final three months of last season, pitching 43 innings in the Phillies’ final 80 games with a 2.51 ERA and 59 strikeouts. He’s too vulnerable to the home run ball to be an elite closer, but he’s a pretty safe bet to prove useful, even if he has the occasional ugly week. Prediction: two years, $14 million
47. Andrew Heaney (30, SP, Yankees): Yankee Stadium was not kind of the homer-prone Heaney, but he might turn into an above average starter for a couple of years if he finds his way to the right ballpark. Since the start of 2019, he has a 27.1% strikeout rate and a 7.2% walk rate. Prediction: one year, $8 million
48. Yan Gomes (34, C, Athletics): Gomes has been inconsistent offensively throughout his career, but he put up a 98 OPS+ last season after coming in at 110 in 30 games in 2020 and his glove remains steady. One can pencil him in to start 90 games and feel pretty good about it. Prediction: one year, $8 million
49. Mark Melancon (37, RP, Padres): While there were opportunities for him to do a little better than he did in his contract with the Padres, which came with a $2 million salary for 2021 and a $5 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2022, there just wasn’t much interest in Melancon in free agency last year. He ended up leading the majors with 39 saves and finishing with a 2.23 ERA in 64 2/3 innings, so he should command a more significant salary this time around. However, he might again take less to stay in San Diego. Prediction: one year, $8 million
50. Dylan Bundy (29, SP, Angels): Bundy was one of the AL’s top 10 pitchers in 2020 and looked pretty good at the start of last season, too, but he fell apart in May and never got it back together before a shoulder strain ended his season in late Aug. His stuff was mostly intact prior to the injury, so he seems like one of the better rolls of the dice here. Prediction: one year, $8 million
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51. Kyle Seager (34, 3B, Mariners): Seager’s 35 homers last season were countered by an ugly .285 OBP, but he still offers league-average offense and defense, plus a terrific track record when it comes to durability. Prediction: one year, $7.5 million
52. Joc Pederson (29, OF, Braves): Pederson has a mutual option on his contract that calls for a $10 million salary and a $2.5 million buyout. That makes it a $7.5 million decision, which seems like a fair salary, but the Braves will probably keep Adam Duvall instead and let Pederson take his pearls elsewhere. Prediction: one year, $7.5 million
53. Tommy Pham (34, OF, Padres): Pham had a 127 OPS+ from 2015-19, but he’s come in at just 97 in the two years since and his defense in left field hasn’t been great, either. There’s still some value in his OBP high in the order, but he’s probably looking at a pay cut from the $8.9 million he made in his final year of arbitration. Prediction: one year, $7.5 million
54. Aaron Loup (34, RP, Mets): Loup turned in the season of his life at age 33, finishing with a 0.95 ERA in 56 2/3 innings. He was also quite good in 2020, so chances are that he’ll land a two-year deal this winter as arguably the top lefty available. Prediction: two years, $12 million
55. Michael Lorenzen (30, SP/RP, Reds): Lorenzen has one of the livelier arms in free agency, possessing a 95-98 mph fastball and a five-pitch mix. Unfortunately, he did miss the first half of last season with shoulder problems, and though he pitched pretty well in the two months after he returned, he gave up seven runs in his last two outings to take his ERA from 3.62 to 5.59. Lorenzen wants to start, and if he sticks to that, it’ll probably limit his market. Contenders will likely be much more interested in him as a reliever. Prediction: two years, $12 million
56. Corey Kluber (35, SP, Yankees): Even though his velocity continued to decline, Kluber was pretty good when healthy for the Yankees, finishing with a 3.83 ERA and an 82/33 K/BB ratio over 80 innings in his 16 starts. He missed half of the season with a shoulder strain, but he was able to get through six starts without incident after returning. Prediction: one year, $7.5 million
57. Kwang Hyun Kim (33, SP, Cardinals): The original two-year, $8 million deal that Kim agreed to with the Cardinals called for him to become a free agent when it expired. He’s a pretty interesting one, too, after going 10-7 with a 2.97 ERA in those two seasons. Elbow inflammation limited him in the second half, and he finished out the year in the bullpen. He’ll want to go back to starting next season, and he should have plenty of opportunities to do so. Prediction: one year, $7.5 million
58. Ryan Tepera (34, RP, White Sox): After posting a 2.79 ERA in 61 1/3 innings at age 33, Tepera deserves his first multiyear contract this winter. He’s had just one bad year (2019) since debuting in 2015, and he was injured for much of that one. Overall, he has a 3.48 ERA in 302 appearances. Prediction: two years, $11 million
59. Tucker Barnhart (31, C, Reds): The Reds would probably prefer to keep Barnhart around as a part-timer, but since his offense has declined and Tyler Stephenson seems ready to start, declining his $7.5 million option doesn’t seem like a particularly tough call. He’d be the perfect backup for a young starter, though. Prediction: two years, $11 million
(UPDATE: Barnhart was traded to the Tigers on Wednesday)
60. Tyler Anderson (31, SP, Mariners): Career 100 ERA+ for twice non-tendered LHP. 4.53 ERA in 167 IP in 2021.
61. Jonathan Villar (30, INF, Mets): 102 OPS+ in 505 PA and solid defense for Mets will result in much more interest this winter.
62. Johnny Cueto (36, SP, Giants): 4.08 ERA in 115 IP. Durability is a concern, but he can still help a rotation.
63. Rich Hill (42, SP, Mets): 159 IP was high total since 2007 for MLB’s second-oldest player. 3.86 ERA, too.
64. Andrew Chafin (31, RP, Athletics): $5.5 million mutual option. Probably in line for 2 yrs after 1.83 ERA in 69 IP.
65.Leury Garcia (31, INF-OF, White Sox): .267/.335/.376 in 474 PA could make utilityman a candidate for 2-yr deal.
66. Collin McHugh (34, RP, Rays): Brilliant 1.55 ERA, 74/12 K/BB ratio in 64 IP. Probably in pen for good now.
67. Zach Davies (29, SP, Cubs): Free agency comes at a bad time. 3.30 ERA in 2019-20, jumped all the way to 5.78 in 2021.
68. Daniel Hudson (35, RP, Padres): 3.31 ERA in 52 IP. Showed best velocity, K rate (35.7%) of career.
69. Cesar Hernandez (31, 2B, Phillies): Career-high 21 HR, disappointing .308 OBP. .261/.326/.399 last 3 yrs.
70. Brett Anderson (34, SP, Brewers: 4.22 ERA in 96 IP. Has remained healthier in 30s than he did during 20s.
71. J.A. Happ (39, SP, Cardinals): 6.77 ERA in 98 IP for Twins, but 4.00 ERA in 54 IP after trade to Cards.
72. Jon Lester (38, SP, Cardinals): Held it together despite 15% K rate. 4.71 ERA in 141 IP. Could retire.
73. Alex Colome (33, RP, Twins): Horrible April, but 3.51 ERA in final 58 G. Mutual option would pay $5.5 MM.
74. Joe Kelly (33, RP, Dodgers): Hard to trust, but 2.86 ERA in 44 IP. Dodgers will decline $12MM option.
75. Corey Knebel (30, RP, Dodgers): Health always an issue, but 2.45 ERA in 26 IP. Fanned 11 of 23 hitters in postseason.
76. Mychal Givens (31, RP, Reds): Big-time flyball pitcher keeps surviving in HR parks. 3.35 ERA in 51 IP
77. Yimi Garcia (31, RP, Astros): 4.21 ERA, 15 Sv in 58 IP. Very reliable, but has issues with the home run.
78. Archie Bradley (29, RP, Phillies): 3.71 ERA in 51 IP. K rate well down, but made up for it with more grounders in 2021.
79. Brad Miller (32, INF, Phillies): .236/.331/.480 over the last three years. With DH in NL, might actually get a starting gig.
80. Craig Stammen (38, RP, Padres): 3.06 ERA in 88 1/3 IP. $4MM option should be a no-brainer for Padres.
81. Jake Diekman (35, RP, Athletics): 3.86 ERA, 7 saves in 61 IP. A’s can keep for $4MM or throw back for $750,000.
82. Drew Smyly (32, SP, Braves): 4.48 ERA, 117/41 K/BB in 127 IP wasn’t bad, but stuff fell off over course of year.
83. Corey Dickerson (32, OF, Blue Jays): Platoon outfielder has had disappointing last two seasons (.266/.321/.406 in 575 PA).
84. Brad Hand (32, RP, Mets): Effective for first 3 ½ months and final month. Still, K rate was way down to 22%.
85. James Paxton (33, SP, Mariners): Tommy John in April figures to cost Paxton the first 3-4 months of 2022.
86. Brett Gardner (38, OF, Yankees): Yankees can keep for $7.15MM or buy out for $1.15MM. Gardner also has $2.3MM player option.
87. Garrett Richards (33, SP, Red Sox): 4.87 ERA in 137 IP. More intriguing as an RP, unless maybe he can fix his spin rates.
88. Adam Ottavino (36, RP, Red Sox): 2.68 ERA in first half, 6.48 ERA in second half might be a bad sign at his age.
89. Wilmer Flores (30, INF, Giants): Giants could pick up $3.5MM option. Hit .262/.335/.447 in 436 PA.
90. Roberto Perez (33, C, Cleveland): $7MM option likely to be declined after an injury-ruined season (.149/.245/.319 in 161 PA).
91. Carlos Martinez (30, SP, Cardinals): 6.23 ERA in 16 starts prior to thumb surgery. Perhaps still some upside as an RP.
92. Donovan Solano (34, 2B, Giants): From .328/.362/.459 in 2019-20 to .280/.344/.404 last season. Mediocre glove won’t help.
93. Ian Kennedy (37, RP, Phillies): 12 HR but just 20 ER in 2021 produced a 3.20 ERA in 56 IP.
94. Martin Perez (30, SP, Red Sox): 4.74 ERA in 114 IP. Perez can still soak up innings, but it shouldn’t be for a contender.
95. Hansel Robles (31, RP, Red Sox): Finished up strong for Red Sox (3.60 ERA in 25 IP) before shaky postseason.
96. Kevin Pillar (33, OF, Mets): .231/.277/.415 in 347 PA. Might want to exercise $2.9MM player option to stay put.
97. Luis Garcia (35, RP, Cardinals): Forgotten former Phillies reliever sat at 98 mph for Cardinals. 3.24 ERA in 33 IP.
98. David Robertson (36, RP, Rays): Back from Tommy John. Joined Rays in time to give up 7 runs, strike out 16 in 12 IP.
99. Josh Harrison (34, INF-OF, Athletics): Utilityman fell off in Oakland, but still hit .279/.341/.400 in 558 PA overall.
100. Wily Peralta (32, SP, Tigers): Somehow had a 3.12 ERA in 18 starts for Tigers. They’ll presumably want him back.
101. Kole Calhoun (34, OF, Diamondbacks): .235/.297/.373 in 182 PA. $9MM option sure to be declined after injury-filled season.
103. Michael Wacha (30, SP, Rays): Had his moments for Tampa Bay, but the end result was a 5.05 ERA, 121/31 K/BB in 125 IP.
104. Freddy Galvis (32, SS, Phillies): .242/.302/.407 in 394 PA. Still pretty much the same player now as when he used to be overrated.
105. Pierce Johnson (30, RP, Padres): 3.22 ERA in 59 IP. Padres can keep for $3 million or buy out for $1 million.
106. Jose Iglesias (32, SS, Red Sox): Disappointed with Angels before finishing strong in Boston. A capable stopgap at shortstop.
107. Jordan Lyles (31, SP, Rangers): One of only 20 to reach 180 IP last season, but gave up 38 homers, posted 5.15 ERA in process.
108. Andrelton Simmons (32, SS, Twins): Dove off a cliff offensively (.223/.283/.274). Glove is now merely good, rather than superb.
109. Jed Lowrie (37, 2B, Athletics): .245/.318/.398. Probably can’t play infield regularly. Should be big fan of universal DH.
110. Jeurys Familia (32, RP, Mets): Bounced back in strikeout dept., but still inconsistent. 3.94 ERA, 72/27 K/BB in 59 IP.
111. Joe Smith (38, RP, Mariners): MLB’s active leader in appearances had rough start with Astros, 2.00 ERA in 18 IP with Seattle.