MLB Free Agent Rankings: Will October struggles limit Darvish’s market?

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

Free agents are able to sign with MLB organizations beginning 5 p.m. ET Monday.

A few big names have been taken off the board already in Masahiro Tanaka, Johnny Cueto and Justin Upton, who all decided to stay with their current teams. Of course, there are still plenty of stars available for hire.

Below is a closer look and ranking of that 2017 crop, based on the total contractual earnings a player stands to make this off-season.

It’s worth noting Japan’s Shohei Otani, arguably the most impactful player who could be acquired this winter, did not make it onto this list. That’s because a) there are questions he will even be able to join MLB this off-season, and b) if he does receive clearance, international signing rules would severely limit his earning potential.

Past FA Rankings: April | May | June | August | September

10. ALEX COBB

2017 Salary: $4.2 million
Age: 30
Position: Starting pitcher
Throws: Right
Qualifying offer expected: Yes
3.66 ERA | 179.1 innings | 128 strikeouts | 44 walks | 91.7 mph average fastball

Free agent outlook: Cobb’s first full season since Tommy John surgery can be considered a success, as he logged a career-high innings total. There was higher upside for the right-hander in his younger days, but he’s still a strong rotation option, even if his strikeout rate isn’t what it once was.

9. GREG HOLLAND

2017 Salary: $6 million
Age: 31
Position: Closer
Throws: Right
Qualifying offer expected: Yes
3.61 ERA | 57.1 innings | 70 strikeouts | 26 walks | 93.5 mph average fastball

Free agent outlook: The right-hander became a free agent when he declined his $15-million player option with Rockies for 2018. He collected a whopping 41 saves this past season and though he did fade in the second half, it was his first season back following Tommy John.

8. LANCE LYNN

2017 Salary: $7.5 million
Age: 30
Position: Starting pitcher
Throws: Right
Qualifying offer expected: Yes
3.43 ERA | 186.1 innings | 153 strikeouts | 78 walks | 91.8 mph average fastball

Free agent outlook: Lynn’s a workhorse who can be depended upon for 180-200 innings. He’s not dominant and does allow his share of baserunners, but the six-year veteran is a steady, valuable, middle-of-the-rotation type.

7. WADE DAVIS

2017 Salary: $10 million
Age: 32
Position: Closer
Throws: Right
Qualifying offer expected: Yes
2.30 ERA | 58.2 innings | 79 strikeouts | 28 walks | 94.3 mph average fastball

Free agent outlook: The post-season once again proved just how valuable late-inning relievers can be and that’s why teams such as the Astros have been linked to Davis. The top closer on the market, Davis recorded an impressive seven-out save in Game 5 of the NLDS.

6. MIKE MOUSTAKAS

2017 Salary: $8,700,000
Age: 29
Position: Third base
Bats: Left
Qualifying offer received: Yes
38 HR | .272/.314/.521 | 2.2 WAR

Free agent outlook: Moustakas shattered his previous career best for homers and figures to be paid well for it. He’s also a plus defender who can become a leader in most clubhouses.

5. LORENZO CAIN

2017 Salary: $11 million
Age: 31
Position: Centre field
Bats: Right
Qualifying offer received: Yes
15 HR | .300/.363/.440 | 4.1 WAR

Free agent outlook: Consider this for an indicator of Cain’s status as an impact player: His 20.5 wins above replacement since 2014 trails only four outfielders: Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen and Mike Trout.

4. JAKE ARRIETA

2017 Salary: $15,637,500
Age: 31
Position: Starting pitcher
Throws: Right
Qualifying offer expected: Yes
3.53 ERA | 168.1 innings | 163 strikeouts | 55 walks | 92.1 mph average fastball

Free agent outlook: Arrieta will be 32 on opening day and is likely past his prime. However, given the dearth of starting pitching available, this Scott Boras client will command big money.

3. ERIC HOSMER

2017 Salary: $12,250,000
Age: 28
Position: First base
Bats: Left
Qualifying offer received: Yes
25 HR | .318/.385/.498 | 4.1 WAR

Free agent outlook: Hosmer is the youngest player on this list and is coming off the best season of his career. Sprinkle in some solid playoff experience and there are plenty of reasons why teams such as the Red Sox are expected to be suitors.

2. J.D. MARTINEZ

2017 Salary: $11,750,000
Age: 30
Position: Right field
Bats: Right
Qualifying offer expected: No
45 HR | .303/.376/.690 | 3.8 WAR

Free agent outlook: The slugger instantly transformed Arizona’s offence following his mid-season trade and will do the same to any team that signs him. He’s clearly one of the best hitters in baseball now, but Martinez’s defence does leave a little to be desired.

1. YU DARVISH

2017 Salary: $11 million
Age: 31
Position: Starting pitcher
Throws: Right
3.86 ERA | 186.2 innings | 209 strikeouts | 58 walks | 94.2 mph average fastball
Qualifying offer expected: No

Free agent outlook: Will Darvish’s World Series implosion impact his contractual prospects? It’s been a hot topic for the past week, but the reality is the right-hander is the best pitcher on the market and one of the top pitchers in the game. Also, a lack of playoff success didn’t stop David Price from becoming MLB’s highest-paid pitcher in 2015.