Power Ranking MLB available free agents
Some prominent players have fallen off the board: Alex Gordon, Wei-Yin Chen, Denard Span, Ian Kennedy, Chris Davis and, most recently, Justin Upton have all recently agreed to deals. We’re still not done, though. Not by a long shot. Here are the Top 10 MLB available free agents left on the market….
1. Yoenis Cespedes-OF (UPDATE: Signed with NYM for 3-years $75 million, opt-out clause after 2016 season)
There is no doubt that Cespedes is the No.1 player left on the market, and the only one who can command $20+ million per season. There was talk yesterday that the Nationals have gotten in the mix, but the Mets are still the favorites to land the Cuban slugger, most likely on a three-year deal.
2. Yovani Gallardo-SP
The starting pitching market is thin, and Gallardo, who proved he can pitch in both the American and National Leagues is the top SP left. The Orioles and Astros are reportedly interested in the 29-year-old pitcher who went 13-11 with a 3.42 ERA with the Rangers last season. Do not count out a reunion with the Rangers either.
3. Ian Desmond-SS
A down year, a shortage of teams looking for a starting shortstop and the Draft-pick attachment have all conspired to make Desmond play the waiting game this offseason. His defensive liabilities have made some teams wonder if he is a better fit at second base. If he remains at SS, look for the White Sox to sign him due to shear need, but rumors are the Dodgers could make a play and switch him to 2B.
4. Doug Fister-SP (UPDATE: Signed a 1-year $7.5 million deal with the Astros)
He finished in the top 10 in the NL Cy Young Award voting in 2014, then pitched himself out of the Nats’ rotation by the end of ’15. A bounce-back is certainly possible, making Fister a valuable commodity considering his price tag. I’ve heard Fister is looking for a two-year deal around the $6 million per year range, but I would not be surprised if he signs a one-year deal to rebuild his value.
5. Dexter Fowler-OF
He’s a high-OBP leadoff option coming off two solid years, but the slow development of the outfield market and the Draft-pick compensation issue have kept things cloudy here. Both Chicago teams seem interested, but the Cubs have a slew of talent in the OF, making the White Sox the leaders at this point.
6. Tyler Clippard-RP
Clippard is the best remaining relief pitcher on the market, and while he is primarily used as a set-up man, his sub-three ERA gives teams a veteran presence coming out of the bullpen. It’s a wide open race for Clippard, but he would prefer to sign with a playoff contender.
7. Austin Jackson-OF
Austin Jackson, who has received little media attention this off-season, is the cheaper alternative to Cespedes and Fowler. While his numbers will be lower, he is a steady bat and solid fielder for most clubs. Look for the Orioles to possibly make a push for his services, they attempted to acquire him the last two seasons at the trade deadline.
8. Howie Kendrick-2B (UPDATE: Re-signed on a 2-year deal with the Dodgers)
Kendrick is a veteran-leader in the clubhouse and still has some pop in his bat, and plays a solid second base. The Dodgers placed a QA on him, making another team give up a draft pick if they were to sign him. Don’t count out the Royals or Diamondbacks here, both have a need but might not be interested in paying his price tag.
9. Mat Latos-SP
Coming off a disappointing 2015 season, Latos is in a similar spot as Fister, possibly looking for a short-term deal to regain his market value. At age 28, it is possible a team will see potential in a longer-term contract for Latos, but so far the market has been dry. Latos could wait until a Spring Training injury before he decides on a team.
10. Cliff Lee-SP
Lee who has not pitched since the halfway point of the 2014 season, could be a sleeper signing. It remains to be seen if Lee is even healthy enough to pitch, but reports indicate he is interested in signing with a contender. I wouldn’t be surprised if he holds out on signing until the season is in full-swing, but the Yankees are high on the interested list.