Tyler Lowe 11/28/2017
1. J.D. Martinez – Red Sox. 6 years, $165 million
Agent Scott Boras will try to get Martinez a 7th year, but I’m not sure how many suitors will be willing to give that to him. The Red Sox need more power in the middle of their lineup, and Martinez would give them just that without requiring them to give up top prospects as they would have to for Giancarlo Stanton.
2. Yu Darvish – Cardinals. 6 years, $140 million
I think the Cardinals will be very aggressive this summer. They will look to find a frontline starter to pair with Carlos Martinez in their rotation. Don’t be surprised if they make several major moves to try catching back up with the Cubs.
3. Jake Arrieta – Rangers. 5 years, $110 million
Speaking of Boras, he has made it known how highly he views Arrieta, going as far as to say he’s “a big squirrel with a lot of nuts in his tree.” Unfortunately for the pair, Arrieta will be in his age-32 season in 2018. He’s coming off two gradually worse seasons after his Cy Young campaign in 2015 as well. Arrieta is from Texas and attended TCU so the fit with the Rangers makes sense.
4. Eric Hosmer – Royals. 6 years, $120 million
The Royals won’t be able to completely let their core of the last six seasons walk this offseason. At only 28 years of age, Hosmer makes the most sense for the Royals to retain. However, I would be weary of giving this much money to a first basemen with a career .781 OPS.
5. Wade Davis – Cubs. 4 years, $52 million
The Cubs will need to retain their 9th inning man in order to stay atop the NL Central. Davis is not the ideal type of player to give this much money to since he is 32 years old and has had several injuries throughout his career, but the Cubs can’t afford to let him walk.
6. Mike Moustakas – Angels. 5 years, $75 million
The Angels realize they’re currently wasting away Mike Trout’s prime years. Retaining Justin Upton was a smart move, but they need to shore up their corner infield to truly compete. Moustakas gives them a much needed left-handed bat and fills a need at 3rd base.
7. Lorenzo Cain – Giants. 4 years, $64 million
The Giants outfield defense was horrendous in 2017. Their investment in Denard Span doesn’t look very good, and if they want to compete again in 2018, it’s time to move on from him and find a solid replacement. Cain is well-regarded for his defensive skills in center field and he has the ability to lead off.
8. Alex Cobb – Cubs. 4 years, $60 million
The fits makes almost too much sense, given Cobb’s relationship Cubs manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Jim Hickey. Cobb would like a 5th year from his potential suitors, but I’d be more inclined to give him a higher average annual salary over 4 years.
9. Carlos Santana – Indians. 3 years, $48 million
If I were a general manager this offseason, Carlos Santana would be my first choice at first base as opposed to Hosmer. He will only get a three or four year deal, and his production at the plate is undeniable. Santana has a career .810 OPS and has walked an impressive 90+ times in six out of his seven full seasons. He turned in much better glovework at first base in 2017 also, which was considered a weakness before this past season.
10. Lance Lynn – Twins. 4 years, $56 million
The Twins somehow managed to sneak into the playoffs despite running out a starting rotation that included Kyle Gibson and Bartolo Colon. The Twins could take another step forward by getting a solid starter on the free agent market. Lynn would step into their rotation anywhere from 1-3 with Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios.
11. Greg Holland – Rockies. 4 years, $48 million
The Rockies have made it known how much they’d like to bring Holland back on a multi-year deal. The Cardinals may try to outbid them, but the Rockies should be able to get him if they include a 4th year.
12. Jay Bruce – Cardinals. 3 years, $45 million
I don’t think the Cardinals will be able to pull off a trade for Giancarlo Stanton this offseason. Instead, I could see them turning to the free agent market for some outfield power.
13. Zack Cozart – Reds. 2 years, $22 million
I think a reunion with the Reds make the most sense for Cozart. There aren’t many teams with a need at shortstop this offseason so his market will be limited.
14. Logan Morrison – Royals. 3 years, $30 million
Morrison grew up in Kansas City and has said how much he’d love to play for his hometown team. It could get tricky if the Royals bring back Hosmer, but Morrison could still get time at DH and he came into the MLB as a corner outfielder.
15. Addison Reed – Astros. 4 years, $32 million
The Astros managed to win the World Series with a mediocre bullpen. Ken Giles was shaky all postseason. Reed would step in and could either close or setup Giles.
16. Mike Minor – Dodgers. 3 years, $24 million
Minor really turned his career around in 2017 with the Royals. He served as both a long inning man and closer in Kansas City. This sort of reliever is becoming very valuable in today’s game.
17. Brandon Morrow – Dodgers. 3 years, $22 million
Morrow had a very similar turnaround as Minor with the Dodgers this past season. He features an upper-90s fastball. His postseason dominance may lead to teams looking at him to fill their hole in the 9th inning.
18. Todd Frazier – Mets. 3 years, $30 million.
Frazier is a much more affordable version of third base pop than Moustakas, but he has struggled to keep his batting average over .200 the past two seasons with the White Sox and Yankees. Maybe he could turn things around with the other club from New York.
19. Jonathan Lucroy – Rockies. 3 years, $27 million
Lucroy looked poised for a massive payday this offseason just last winter. However, a subpar 2017 has taken a hit on his value. The catcher did turn things around in Colorado, and I think they’ll try their best to keep him around.
20. Bryan Shaw – Cubs. 3 years, $18 million
The Cubs are going to need a lot more help in the bullpen than just Wade Davis so expect them to be in on Shaw, Minor, Reed, and Morrow. Shaw seems to be the cheapest of the four and has quietly been dominant for the Indians.
Photo: Dierkes/MLB Trade Rumors