Top 25 remaining MLB free agents: Which teams will land Correa, Rodón, Swanson?

MLB teams have already spent more than $2.5 billion on free agents, but some clubs are just getting started. Nineteen of the top 25 free agents from my original ranking in early November have signed, but the new top 25 of remaining free agents will likely receive another billion dollars in this hot market.

Two of the elite free-agent shortstops have signed, but Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson are still on the board. Two of the top-tier starting pitchers have inked new deals, but Carlos Rodón is still available. Where will these stars and other noteworthy free agents end up?

Here is my updated ranking of the top 25 remaining free agents, along with my thoughts on these players and what I am hearing about their markets in conversations with major-league sources.

WAR statistics are according to Baseball Reference. WAR, OPS+, ERA and other stats are from the 2022 season unless otherwise noted. 2022 salaries include buyouts if applicable.

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

Midterm MLB offseason grades for all 30 teams: Bowden on signings, trades and what’s next


1. Carlos Correa, SS

Age: 28
Bats: Right Throws: Right
WAS: 5.4 OPS+: 140
2022 salaries: $35.1million

Carlos Correa is the top position player left on the free-agent market and as many as six teams are interested in him, according to team sources. There have been indications the twins other cubs have the inside track, but it only takes one owner from another team to step up at the last minute to change the equation and pull off a deal. Correa would be a great fit with the angels, Tigers, braveand Red Soxwho just lost Xander Bogaerts to the Padres in free agencies.

2. Carlos Rodon, LHP

Age: 30
WAS: 5.4 ERA: 2.88 IP address: 178
2022 salaries: $21.5 million

Carlos Rodón is the best starting pitcher left in free agency and teams are driving up his market to the point where he’ll likely get a six- or seven-year contract at close to $30 million per year. the Yanks, dodgers, Giants and Red Sox are among the teams in the mix for the southpaw ace, according to major-league sources.


Dansby Swanson (Brett Davis / USA Today)

3. Dansby Swanson, SS

Age: 28
Bats: Right Throws: Right
WAS: 5.7 OPS+: 115
2022 salaries: $10 million

The Braves put their “best offer” on the table before Dansby Swanson reached free agency, and although they’ve touched base with the All-Star shortstop in the offseason, they’re giving him space to test the market. The Cubs appear to be the most likely to sign Swanson if they don’t get Carlos Correa. The Giants, Red Sox, Twins and Cardinals are other possible landing spots.

4. Nathan Eovaldi, RHP

Age: 32
WAS: 1.5 ERA: 3.87 IP address: 109 1/3
2022 salaries: $17 million

Nathan Eovaldi would like to return to Boston, but as with most of their negotiations this winter, the Red Sox seem steadfast to stick at where they think his value is rather than increase to what the market is dictating. Eovaldi might need to wait for Rodón to sign before he receives his best deal.

5. Andrew Benintendi, L.F

Age: 28
Bats: Left Throws: Left
WAS: 3.2 OPS+: 120
2022 salaries: $8.5 million

The Yankees want to re-sign Andrew Benintendi because they need to add another left-handed bat and create more traffic on the bases at the top of their lineup. Benintendi would be an ideal fit for teams such as the Blue Jays, White Sox, Astros, Rays other marlins that need a left-handed-hitting outfielder.

6.Michael Conforto, RF

Age: 29
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Did not play in 2022

Michael Conforto is my sleeper pick. He has hit more than 25 home runs three times in his career and will enter next season at only 30 years old. He missed the entire 2022 season after undergoing right shoulder surgery but has been medically cleared by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. I think Conforto will be the undervalued free-agent signing of this offseason. The White Sox, Nationals, Marlins, Rockies and Rays would be good fits.

7. Michael Wacha, RHP

Age: 31
WAS: 3.3 ERA: 3.32 IP address: 127 1/3
2022 salaries: $7 million

Last season, Michael Wacha posted the lowest ERA of his career since 2014. He’s pitched more than 124 innings in each of the past three full seasons. He has mastered his delivery to create a special downward plane. Opponents hit just .170 against his changeup, which he threw nearly 30 percent of the time this year.


Ross Stripling (Dan Hamilton / USA Today)

8. Ross Stripling, RHP

Age: 33
WAS: 2.7 ERA: 3.01 IP address: 134 1/3
2022 salaries: $3.79 million

Ross Stripling’s best quality is his chase rate, which ranked in the 93rd percentile among starting pitchers last season. He has really learned how to mix his pitches effectively; opponents hit .237 against his four-seamer, .203 against his changeup and .212 against his slider.

9. Noah Syndergaard, RHP

Age: 30
WAS: 1.8 ERA: 3.94 IP address: 134 2/3
2022 salaries: $21 million

Noah Syndergaard has reinvented himself: No longer a power pitcher, “Thor” has figured out how to pitch with the stuff he has. He’s now more of a sinker-slider type with a fastball that averages in the 93 to 94 mph range, although he was able to get it up to 96-97 mph at times in the postseason. I think there is upside here but Syndergaard will have to take a pay cut.

10.Michael Brantley, OF/DH

Age: 35
Bats: Left Throws: Left
WAS: 1.3 OPS+: 125
2022 salaries: $16 million

Michael Brantley did not play after June 26 and underwent season-ending surgery on his right shoulder in August. Contending teams, including the Astros, Blue Jays, Guardians and Mariners, are lining up for his services because of his elite hitting ability but also his leadership and impact on young, developing players.

11.Trey Mancini, 1B/DH

Age: 30
Bats: Right Throws: Right
WAS: 1.4 OPS+: 101
2022 salaries: $7.75 million

Trey Mancini has a career .330 on-base percentage and has averaged 27 home runs and 80 RBIs per 162 games over six years in the majors. His best position is probably DH; he’s adequate at first base and below average in left field. Mancini is only 30 years old and would be a great fit with the Mariners, Rays or Padres.

12. JD Martinez, DH

Age: 35
Bats: Right Throws: Right
WAS: 1.1 OPS+: 117
2022 salaries: $19.35million

JD Martinez is in decline at this point in his career, but he still reached base at a 34 percent clip and posted a 117 OPS+ this year. He hit more than 40 doubles in each of the past two seasons but his home runs dipped from 28 in 2021 to 16 in 2022. However, the five-time All-Star still has something left in the tank and would be a great addition for the mariners or Rays.


Jurickson Profar (Kyle Ross / USA Today)

13. Jurickson Profar, INF/OF

Age: 29
Bats: both Throws: Right
WAS: 3.1 OPS+: 111
2022 salaries: $9 million

Jurickson Profar had a whopping 10 assists and committed just four errors while playing left field last season. He hit 36 ​​doubles and 15 home runs and racked up 225 total bases. He brings high energy and enthusiasm to the park every day.

14. Elvis Andrus, SS

Age: 34
Bats: Right Throws: Right
WAS: 3.0 OPS+: 103
2022 salaries: $14.25 million

Elvis Andrus had a surprisingly impressive year, hitting 32 doubles and 17 home runs, stealing 18 bases and playing an average shortstop. He will likely have to wait until Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson sign, but he could end up on a contending team such as the Twins or Angels.

15.Justin Turner, 3B

Age: 38
Bats: Right Throws: Right
WAS: 2.0 OPS+: 116
2022 salaries: $22 million

Justin Turner would like to return to the Dodgers, who are willing to bring him back but only with a significant cut in salary and a reduced role. (Los Angeles declined a $16 million club option.) Despite a down year, Turner still logged a 123 wRC+ (23 percent above league average) and reached base at a 35 percent clip. In addition to the Dodgers, the Marlins and Brewers have shown interest in the 14-year veteran.

16. Brandon Drury, INF/OF

Age: 30
Bats: Right Throws: Right
WAS: 2.6 OPS+: 122
2022 salaries: $700,000

Brandon Drury is coming off a career-best year in which he slashed .263/.320/.492 with 31 doubles, 28 home runs and 87 RBIs. His ability to play first base, third base and left field increases his free-agent value.


Jean SeguraKyle Ross / USA Today

17. Jean Segura, 2B

Age: 32
Bats: Right Throws: Right
WAS: 1.8 OPS+: 104
2022 salaries: $15.85 million

Jean Segura had a decent season with the National League champion Phillies, slashing .277/.336/.387 with 10 home runs and 13 stolen bases. He missed two months of the season with a broken finger. He’s a solid defender and would be a short-term upgrade for the White Sox at second base.

18. Corey Kluber, RHP

Age: 36
WAS: 0.6 ERA: 4.34 IP address: 164
2022 salaries: $8 million

Corey Kluber gave the Rays 31 starts and 164 innings last season. He went 10-10 with a 4.34 ERA. He’s a solid back-of-the-rotation option for a contender, and you’re also getting a leader who will help your pitching staff.

19. Wil Myers, 1B/OF

Age: 32
Bats: Right Throws: Right
WAS: 1.2 OPS+: 108
2022 salaries: $23.5 million

Wil Myers will have to take a massive pay cut after a disappointing season in which he posted a .315 OBP and hit seven home runs in 286 plate appearances. Myers is now more of a platoon type, but he still has 15-home run power if he gets 500 plate appearances. A change of scenery might help him.

20. Andrew McCutchen, OF

Age: 36
Bats: Right Throws: Right
WAS: 1.1 OPS+: 99
2022 salaries: $11.5 million

Andrew McCutchen would be a perfect fit with the Mariners, who are looking for a right-handed-hitting outfielder/DH type. McCutchen’s leadership, by his words and actions, would be a positive influence on their young outfielders.

21. AJ Pollock, OF

Age: 35
Bats: Right Throws: Right
WAS: 0.4 OPS+: 91
2022 salaries: $18 million

AJ Pollock is another player who will need to take a big pay cut, but he should land on a contending team. Pollock, too, would make sense for the Mariners.


David Peralta (Nathan Ray Seebeck / USA Today)

22.David Peralta, OF

Age: 35
Bats: Left Throws: Left
WAS: 0.7 OPS+: 109
2022 salaries: $7.5 million

David Peralta is a solid fourth outfielder at this point in his career, but he did hit 30 doubles and 12 homers last season with the Diamondbacks and Rays.

23. Adam Frazier, 2B

Age: 30
Bats: Left Throws: Right
WAS: 0.9 OPS+: 80
2022 salaries: $8 million

Adam Frazier was an All-Star in 2021 when he slashed .305/.368/.411 with 36 doubles and 10 stolen bases. He tailed off significantly in the second half that season and slipped further in 2022, batting .238 with a .301 OBP and 22 doubles in 602 plate appearances. Frazier has averaged a .273 BA, .336 OBP and 99 OPS+ per 162 games over seven years in the majors, so he should bounce back in 2023. The White Sox would be a good landing spot for him.

24.Tommy Pham, OF

Age: 34
Bats: Left Throws: Right
WAS: 0.4 OPS+: 87
2022 salaries: $7.5 million

Tommy Pham posted a career-low .312 OBP last season with a combined 23 doubles, 17 home runs and 63 RBIs for the Reds and Red Sox.

25.Joey Gallo, 1B/OF

Age: 29
Bats: Left Throws: Right
WAS: 0.2 OPS+: 79
2022 salaries: $10.275 million

Joey Gallo will benefit some from the new rules that ban the shift. He’s a plus defender at first base and in left field but remains all or nothing with home runs and strikeouts. (He ranked in the 94th percentile in hard-hit rate but in the 1st percentile in K% and Whiff%.) Gallo needs to go to a small- or mid-market team. The Rockies’ Coors Field is probably the best destination for him.

(Top photo of Carlos Correa: David Berding / Getty Images)

Leave a Comment