While top free agents such as Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo have already obtained $100 million deals with new teams, there’s still lots of talent available on the open market.
Teams seeking starting pitching still have most of the same top-tier options that were available when when free agency opened, since the uncertainty surrounding Masahiro Tanaka’s future slowed down the pitching market in the weeks leading up to the news that he’ll indeed be posted. Those questions trickled down to other areas of the market, impacting dozens of free agents.
With the new year less than a week away, here’s a look at the top ten free agents remaining, including Tanaka, who will essentially be a free agent with a $20 million entry fee. Three potential suitors are listed beside each player (based on recent rumours and speculation):
Masahiro Tanaka, SP** – Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers
Ervin Santana, SP* - Los Angeles Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP* - Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians
Matt Garza, SP - Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers
Stephen Drew, SS* - New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros
Nelson Cruz, OF* - Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles
A.J. Burnett, SP - Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, retirement
Kendrys Morales, DH* - Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers
Bronson Arroyo, SP - Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, Minnesota Twins
Fernando Rodney, RP - Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros
Yes, there’s still a lot of pitching available. Expect the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins to be among the teams in the mix for starting pitching. There’s not enough for every team to get enough arms, but there’s still plenty of choice -- for now. With spring training seven weeks away, the market will surely clear out before long.
*linked to draft pick compensation after declining qualifying offer
**will cost $20 million posting fee on top of free agent contract