An endless amount of talented free agents will be hitting the market this offseason in Major League Baseball. Here are the 15 best players available for free agency. Players are based on position, starting with pitchers and ending with outfielders.
Cole is possibly the most valuable and most desired free agent as he is coming off a season in which he had a 20-5 record, a 2.50 earned run average (ERA), and a total of 326 strikeouts. Cole also finished second in the AL Cy Young Award voting. He helped lead the Houston Astros back to the World Series, where the team eventually lost to the Washington Nationals in seven games. In addition, Cole only lost one game after May 25th. Cole is a three-time All-Star, twice in the American League and once in the National League, and was a 2019 AL Cy Young Award finalist.
Strasburg is coming off an amazing playoff run during where he was named World Series MVP. He also became the first player in MLB history to go 5-0 in a single postseason. Strasburg has quietly been one of the best pitchers in the league. The former first overall draft pick had an 18-6 record in 2019 with 251 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.32. Strasburg is a three-time National League All-Star and even won a Silver Slugger Award in 2012.
Bumgarner has been a huge part of the Giants organization since being drafted in 2007. Mad-Bum is a three-time World Series champion, the 2014 World Series and NLCS MVP, and a four-time National League All-Star. He also has two National League Silver Sluggers to his name and is one of the best hitting pitchers in baseball. In 2019, he had a 9-9 record, a 3.90 ERA, and 203 strikeouts. Bumgarner is a good fit for any National League team because he brings supreme hitting power. Bumgarner’s hitting skills would go to waste in the American League.
Ryu is coming off an All-Star season during which he went 14-5 with a 2.32 ERA and 163 strikeouts. Ryu has been a pitcher for the Dodgers since 2013, but did not break out until 2019. He was a finalist for the National League Cy Young Award last season and was a key part in getting the Dodgers to the World Series in back-to-back seasons. Ryu is young and in his prime, which makes him a good fit for a contending team.
Although Keuchel started the 2019 season as a free agent and did not sign with the Braves until June 7th, he was a key piece in their postseason run. The two-time All-Star, 2015 Cy Young Award Winner, and 2017 World Series Champion had an 8-8 record with a 3.75 ERA and 91 strikeouts. Since Keuchel signed late last season, there is a good chance that a team could sign him for less than he is actually worth. He is a good fit for a rebuilding team that needs a veteran they can trade at the deadline to get prospects.
Hamels is by far the most experienced pitcher on this list. He won the 2008 World Series with the Phillies and was the 2008 World Series MVP, the 2008 NLCS MVP, and is a four-time All-Star (three times in the National League with the Phillies and one time in the American League with the Rangers). Hamels had a 7-7 record with an ERA of 3.81 and 143 strikeouts in 2019 with the Cubs. Hamels is a veteran starter with experience and will be a good fit for any team that signs him.
Wheeler has quietly been one of the top pitchers in the National League since his debut in 2013. Originally drafted sixth overall by the Giants in 2009, Wheeler was traded to the Mets for, ironically, new Mets manager Carlos Beltran. Wheeler is the only pitcher on this list to never have made an All-Star team. Wheeler is a great fit in a rotation filled with other up and coming players.
Over his 14-year MLB career, Encarnación has been one of the best and most underrated hitters in the league. Since 2012, he has hit at least 30 home runs each season. He has 414 career home runs and 1,242 career RBIs. Edwin is a three-time American League All-Star, all with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2019, Encarnación hit .244 with 34 home runs and 86 runs driven in. He helped the Yankees to the playoffs and past the Twins in the first round. He is a good veteran player to have in the clubhouse and, as he has shown in the past, will provide you with a power bat in your lineup.
Since 2012 Gregorius has since been one of the most underrated shortstops in baseball. Last season, he helped lead the New York Yankees to the American League Championship Series. Gregorius hit .238 with 16 home runs, 61 RBIs, and an OPS of .718 on the year. Like Encarnación, Didi is a veteran player who would be a good fit in a young clubhouse where he could serve as a mentor.
Rendon is one of the key reasons why the Washington Nationals won the World Series in 2019. He was a finalist for the National League MVP Award and his leadoff home run in the seventh inning in Game 7 of the World Series sparked a three-run inning, in which the Nationals took the lead over the Astros. Rendon is a two-time Silver Slugger and only a one-time All-Star. One of the most underrated players in baseball, he hit .319 with 34 home runs, 126 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.010.
Donaldson has been one of the most dangerous hitters since making his major league debut. The man they call “Bringer of Rain” is a three-time American League All-Star, a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and won the 2015 American League MVP. Donaldson helped the Braves make the playoffs last season. In 2019, Donaldson hit .259 with 37 home runs, 94 RBIs, and an OPS of .900. Donaldson is a power-hitting veteran slugger and will provide experience and power to a young lineup.
Moustakas has been one of the best third basemen in baseball. He is a two-time American League All-Star with the Royals and a one time National League All-Star with the Brewers. “Moose” is also a 2015 World Series Champion with the Royals. In 2019, he helped the Brewers to a Wild Card spot by hitting .254 with 35 home runs, 87 RBIs, and a .845 OPS. He is a veteran third baseman and a good fit for a National League contender.
Ozuna is possibly one of the most underrated outfielders in baseball. Since his debut, Ozuna is a two-time National League All-Star, a Gold Glove Award winner, and a Silver Slugger Award winner. In 2019, he helped the Cardinals make it to the National League Championship Series. In the 2019 season, Ozuna hit .241 with 29 home runs, 89 RBIs, and an OPS of .800. Ozuna has played his whole career in the National League, but is a good fit for an American League team given the amount of power he has displayed.
Castellanos spent the first six and a half years of his career with the Detroit Tigers before being traded to the Chicago Cubs at the 2019 trade deadline. Before being traded from Detroit, Castellanos complained about how the width of Comerica Park. Nick was able to show his true ability with the Cubs, making his value increase. After joining the Cubs on August 1st, Castellanos hit .321 with 16 home runs, 36 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.002 over just 212 at-bats. In 2019 as a whole, Castellanos hit .289 with 27 home runs, 73 RBIs, and an OPS of .863. Castellanos is a good fit for a National League contender, such as the Dodgers or Braves.
Puig has made quite a name for himself since making his debut. The young outfielder has gained a negative reputation for his erratic behavior on the field, in addition to his lack of effort at times; however, there is no denying how Puig’s talent. He is a one-time National League All-Star with the Dodgers. He was also a pivotal piece in helping the Dodgers reach back-to-back World Series. In 2019 with the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267 with 24 home runs, 84 RBIs, and an OPS of .785.
*Stats courtesy of mlb.com