Re-ranking top free agents: Plenty of stars still looking for contracts
Here are the top 20 free agents available after the pre-lockout frenzy. Major leaguers won't be able to sign until there's a new collective bargaining agreement in place. (Statistics from 2021, WAR calculated by FanGraphs.)
1. Carlos Correa
What on earth is Correa going to get if Corey Seager received $325 million from the Rangers?! The star shortstop's market is a little perplexing after Texas' big splash and the Tigers' acquisition of Javier Baez. Detroit was the perceived favorite for the 27-year-old heading into the offseason. However, plenty of historically big spenders have yet to strike.
2. Freddie Freeman
It's bizarre to see Freeman's name still on this list considering the mutual interest between the five-time All-Star and the Braves, the only club he's played for during his 12-year career. The 2020 NL MVP is clearly the best first baseman in free agency and is reportedly looking for a six-year deal worth around $180 million. The Yankees and Dodgers are rumored to be interested.
3. Nick Castellanos
Castellanos is reportedly looking for a long-term deal that could reach eight years. The best free-agent outfielder available hit over .300 while surpassing the 30-homer plateau for the first time in his nine-year career during an All-Star campaign with the Reds in 2021.
4. Kris Bryant
The 2016 NL MVP has been connected to the Mariners, Phillies, and Blue Jays this offseason. Bryant provides versatility, as he can play in the infield and outfield. The four-time All-Star also owns a career .880 OPS and is still just 29 years old.
5. Trevor Story
Teams looking for an impact shortstop will turn their attention to Correa and Story with Seager, Baez, and Marcus Semien off the board. Story produced another 20-20 campaign last season with great defense despite a down year offensively compared to his lofty standards.
6. Kyle Schwarber
Schwarber reportedly has lots of suitors following an outstanding campaign. The All-Star slugger put up a career season between the Red Sox and Nationals, posting a .928 OPS while reaching the 30-homer mark for the third time.
7. Michael Conforto
Conforto is coming off arguably the worst season of his career. However, the 28-year-old slashed .265/.369/.495 with 97 homers and 273 RBIs over 467 games between 2017-2020. The former All-Star has gone deep at least 27 times in three different seasons over the last five years.
8. Clayton Kershaw
The three-time Cy Young winner hasn't made more than 30 starts in a season since 2015. His Hall of Fame resume speaks for itself, but health concerns and durability issues will likely continue to be a problem for a pitcher with 14 years of mileage heading into his age-34 campaign.
9. Carlos Rodon
Rodon finally lived up to expectations in 2021 after breaking into the league as a top pitching prospect in 2015. The 28-year-old become an All-Star for the first time and threw a no-hitter. Injuries limited the left-hander to only 24 starts, but that was the highest total for him since he made 28 in 2016.
10. Seiya Suzuki
*Stats from Japan
Suzuki is a lifetime .315/.415/.571 hitter who's also recorded 182 homers and 562 RBIs across nine seasons with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball. The outfielder earned five All-Star berths, three Central League Golden Glove Awards, and four Best Nine Awards. Internationally, he won a gold medal for Japan in Tokyo this past summer.
11. Anthony Rizzo
Rizzo appears to be slowing down after being one of the best offensive and defensive first basemen in baseball from 2014-2019. The three-time All-Star still owns a career .369 OBP, though. He'll likely be the next option for any club that misses out on Freeman.
12. Kenley Jansen
The longtime Dodgers closer owns the franchise record with 350 saves over his 12-year career. Jansen's also coming off his best season since 2017.
13. Kyle Seager
Seager provides a lot of consistency with his bat. The third baseman is coming off a career-best 35-homer season in 2021, and he's recorded 20-plus round-trippers in nine different campaigns.
14. Jorge Soler
The reigning World Series MVP posted a .882 OPS with 14 round-trippers and 33 RBIs in 55 regular-season games following a deadline trade from the Royals. He's still just 29 and won the 2019 AL home run title after going deep 48 times.
15. Nelson Cruz
Cruz might be finally running out of gas. The 41-year-old hit .226/.283/.442 in 55 games with the Rays after posting a .907 OPS for the Twins before a July trade. The aging slugger's market could expand with the addition of a universal designated hitter.
16. Andrew McCutchen
The 2013 NL MVP still has something left in the tank after belting 27 round-trippers with 80 RBIs and a .778 OPS over 144 contests for the Phillies last season.
17. Zack Greinke
The six-time All-Star allowed a career-high 30 homers with a poor 6.3 K/9 in 2021. However, Greinke still made 29 starts, only issued 36 walks, and played great defense during his age-37 campaign.
18. Eddie Rosario
Rosario raised his stock with a sensational postseason for the World Series-winning Braves. He amassed a 1.073 OPS with three homers, all of which came during an NLCS MVP performance.
19. Joc Pederson
Another beneficiary of the Braves' run, Pederson hit several big homers for Atlanta during the playoffs. He owns a career .814 OPS over 195 at-bats in October and November. The 29-year-old has also been a member of championship clubs in back-to-back seasons.
20. Yusei Kikuchi
The Blue Jays and Mets are rumored to be interested in the Japanese left-hander. Kikuchi's had an up-and-down career, but he was an All-Star last season after a solid first half and registered a career-high 9.3 K/9.