For true baseball fans, the free agency season is almost as exciting as when the actual games go back to full swing in April. There are still a number of top players that are free agents, and as the teams make bids and deals, fans wait with anxiety as they hope their favorite teams pick up precisely the players needed to help them have an even better season next year than they did the year before. Let’s take a look at a few of the top MLB free agents, and take a few educated guesses at who they will help the most.
David Price, SP
Price’s trade to the Toronto Blue Jays was not unexpected this year. He was the biggest prize of the trade deadline, and the Jays would be foolish to give him up, but it seems that that’s what will happen. They’ve already signed Marco Estrada to the team, and Price’s spot on the rotation appears to have been taken. Price had an 18-5 record this past year, threw 225 strikeouts, and had a WHIP of 1.076. Even though he split his time between two teams, he was still one of the best pitchers in the AL.
There are rumors that the Detroit Tigers want Price back. They are one of the rare teams where he would not be their top pitcher, and it’s almost a certainty that they will not want to pay him what he feels he’s worth. But, if the Tigers want to get out of last place, they need to do something. Spending a lot on a top ranked pitcher might be exactly what they need to do to get back to the level they were at a few years ago.
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Murphy had an amazing postseason, setting an MLB record for the highest amount of consecutive games featuring a homerun. For a second baseman, he has an outstanding bat, but he’s not the greatest defensive player. Luckily, that’s not too big of an issue if you look at how much good he does with his bat versus the damage he does defensively. Despite his poor play in the field, he had a 1.4 wins above replacement number this season, but he has posted much better in the past. In 2011, he had a WAR of 3.0.
He’s already rejected the offer that the New York Mets extended to him, and that leaves the door wide open for another team. Expect to see a major team that’s been waiting in the wings, so to speak, make a move for him. This could be the Chicago Cubs, the New York Yankees, or the Texas Rangers. He has the potential to do really well in the American League, and there’s a slim chance he could see time as a designated hitter.
Alex Gordon, LF
Gordon and the Kansas City Royals were World Series Champs this past season, so he could really ask for a ton of money from anyone and expect a number of suitors. The Royals have been a low salary team historically, though, and extending the contract he deserves will be tough. He’s spent his entire career there and has reached the top of the game, so it’s probably a natural reaction for him to wonder what else is out there. He had a wins above replacement number of 2.8 this season, and that was win only 104 games played. He’s been as high as 7.2 in the past. That’s a number that teams would pay a lot for.
Apparently, the Chicago Cubs have been seriously considering him. The Cubs could use a top rated outfielder, and Gordon is the gem of the free agents in this category. He was a consistent daily fantasy baseball contributor when healthy, and will likely be even better next year.