- We have the odds on where baseball’s best unsigned free agents will end up.
- Can Jake Arrieta rediscover his Cy Young form with the Phillies?
- Will the Braves nab Mike Moustakas to fill their glaring need at third?
A curious thing happened this winter as Baseball’s hot stove morphed into a wet blanket. Owners known for their free-spending ways suddenly became fiscally conscious during the league’s peak free agency period.
Blame it on collusion, if your like, but their reluctance to shell out cash means that there are still dozens of unsigned players available on the market. We’ve rounded up the five best remaining free agents and have set the odds on where each player will end up by Opening Day.
Arrieta’s tenure with the Cubs officially came to an end on February 10th, when the club signed Yu Darvish to a six-year, $126 million contract. The surprising move effectively pushed Arrieta out the door despite the fact that the six-foot-four righthander is still in his prime and has a Cy Young award and a pair of no-hitters on his resume.
Chicago’s loss could be Philadelphia’s gain as the Phillies have reportedly entered into a dialogue with Arrieta and are interested in a three-year deal with the ace. The World Series champ still has plenty left in the tank after going 4-1 with a 1.21 ERA last August, and would be a tremendous mentor to Aaron Nola, the team’s 24-year-old Opening Day starter.
|St. Louis Cardinals||1/1|
|Los Angeles Angels||9/1|
Hindsight is always 20/20, but Greg Holland may have made a very costly mistake when he turned down a three-year, $52 million contract with the Rockies during the offseason. The team quickly regrouped and signed Cubs closer Wade Davis for the same amount instead.
Greed aside, Greg Holland doesn’t have many other weaknesses.
Greed aside, Holland doesn’t have many other weaknesses. The 32-year-old righty led the National League in saves and games finished in 2017, and struck out 70 in 57 1/3 innings. Any team would be lucky to have him, but he’d be an especially good fit in St. Louis, where the Cardinals are stuck with Luke Gregerson, a second-rate reliever who recorded just one save in 61 innings pitched with the Astros last season. Keep an eye on the Orioles as well, as Zach Britton ruptured his right Achilles tendon before Christmas and will be unavailable until at least May.
|New York Yankees||15/1|
It’s no longer unusual when a pitcher bounces back from Tommy John surgery, but it is odd when he leads the league in games started in his first year back. That was the case for Lance Lynn, who went 11-8 with a 3.43 ERA in 33 starts for the Cardinals last year. The former All-Star has lost some velocity on his fastball, but he’s still a valuable innings-eater capable of winning 12-15 games.
The Twins could be in the market for Lynn’s services after whiffing on their attempt to sign Darvish this winter. Minnesota has plenty of payroll flexibility and adding a heady veteran like Lynn could help them return to the playoffs for the second straight season.
|Chicago White Sox||7/3|
|New York Mets||19/1|
2017 couldn’t have gone much better for Mike Moustakas, who rebounded from a torn ACL to post career-highs in home runs and RBI. His 38 dingers were a Royals record and his prodigious power was a big reason why Kansas City was in the thick of the Wild Card chase for much of the summer. The franchise has since unloaded much of its top talent and Moose no longer fits into their long-term plans.
One team that could be a good fit for Moustakas is the Braves, who have Johan Camargo slotted in at the hot corner. The 24-year-old utility man has only 241 at bats under his belt and doesn’t appear to be ready for prime time. Moustakas would give Atlanta stability at third while also providing some much needed protection for All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman.
Jonathan Lucroy is no longer the MVP candidate he was with the Brewers back in 2014, but the two-time All-Star is still a serviceable catcher capable of getting hot. Case in point: Lucroy clobbered 24 home runs in 2016, and hit .310 with the Rockies after being acquired from the Rangers at the trade deadline.
Those kinds of numbers would work well for the Nationals, who received underwhelming production last season from Matt Wieters during his first year with the club. The two players could form an excellent platoon with Lucroy also seeing some additional duty at first base backing up Jordan Zimmerman.
Bovada updated its odds for the top remaining free agents on March 8, 2018.
|St. Louis Cardinals||+400|
|San Diego Padres||+275|
|New York Yankees||+600|
|St Louis. Cardinals||+600|
|New York Mets||+850|
|Chicago White Sox||+120|
|Kansas City Royals||+160|
|New York Yankees||+400|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+160|
|Any Other Team||-200|
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