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MLB Rumors: Predicting Where the Top 10 Remaining Free Agents Will Land

Where will the top remaining free agents land? Matt O'Leary takes a look at who will be going where.
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MLB Rumors: Predicting Where the Top 10 Remaining Free Agents Will Land

Baseball is officially back! Baseball fans everywhere took a sigh of relief today when it was confirmed that baseball would be returning with a new deal getting approved by Major League Baseball and the player's association.

After 6:00 pm tonight, it's expected that free agents will be able to sign again. Let's go through the top remaining free agents and predict where they will end up.

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Carlos Correa - Yankees

The New York Yankees need a shortstop badly. Gleyber Torres was supposed to be that guy for the Yankees but has completely fallen off a cliff since the shortened 2020 season. They can't afford to go into the season with him as their starting shortstop so instead, they will make a splash for the best guy left on the market.

After seven years in the league, Carlos Correa is still only 27 years old and is a two-time All-Star. He's coming off of a season where he finished fifth in the MVP race as e went for an .850 OPS, and a career-high WAR of 7.2.

Corey Seager signed for 10-years $325 million with the Texas Rangers before the lockout began. I'd expect Correa to be in that same ballpark on his new contract.

Trevor Story - Astors

Lose a shortstop superstar and replace him with another. That's exactly what this would be doing for the Houston Astros. With Dusty Baker on the bench, and most of their core still around, they are very much so in win-now mode and probably don't want to turn over shortstop duties to top prospect Jeremy Pena just yet.

Story is 29 years old, so he likely won't get as long of a contract as Correa is going to get but he's still a phenomenal player finishing the season with an OPS just over .900 and a 4.2 WAR. Losing Carlos Correa is going to hurt, but Trevor Story is a nice consolation prize.

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Freddie Freeman - Braves

After winning the World Series, the Atlanta Braves can't possibly let the face of the franchise walk, can they? I say, no. Freddy just turned 32 years old, so he's nearing the end of his prime but still, he's a .300 hitter who can hit 30 home runs in his sleep and give you a good glove.

Last year he finished with a 4.7 WAR and you'd imagine with all the money they're saving on the Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies deals that they'd be able to figure out how to get something done with Freeman.

Nick Castellanos - Cardinals

Is this a bit of a surprise, to see Nick Castellanos go to the St Louis Cardinals? You bet it is. With the DH now in play in the National League they might just have the spot for a power-hitting righty though.

Castellanos is coming off of a career year where he hit 34 homers and drove in 100 runs with a .939 OPS. He is an awful defender, which is why a team signing him to be a DH would make a lot of sense.

Supposedly, Castellanos is looking for a seven-year deal but at 30 years old he may have to settle for something in the five-year range.

Kris Bryant - Mets

Another big splash for the Mets? Yes, Steve Cohen does not care about spending money and when they have a hole he is willing to fill it. Kris Bryan has the ability to play third base, the outfield, or first base so his versatility is something the Mets could use.

I'd imagine that this would be looked at as a third base upgrade over JD Davis, who was solid in 2019 but has taken a little bit of a step back the last two seasons. He finished 2021 with an .835 OPS and a 3.3 WAR.

Carlos Rondon - Yankees

The Yankees need more in the starting rotation behind Gerrit Cole. Carlos Rondon, who pitched to a 2.37 ERA and a 5.0 WAR would do just that. He was an All-Star and finished fifth in Cy Young voting last year, hitting his peak at the perfect time before becoming a free agent at age 29.

He's fully recovered from Tommy John, which kept him out for most of 2019 and 2020 and he's better than he's ever been. You could make a case that he's a late bloomer and without a ton of innings on his arm, he might be fresher than the average 28-year-old starter.

Clayton Kershaw - Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw is about to be 34 years old and has a billion innings on his arm. Okay, not a billion but he's pitched a ton for the Dodgers and it's beginning to show. Still, at age 33 he was effective for them pitching to a 3.55 ERA.

He's no longer going to be asked to be their ace, but I'd imagine they keep him as a middle of the rotation guy going forward. It would be difficult to see him in anything except those Dodger blues.

Michael Conforto - Brewers

The Brewers are a team that is desperate for some more offense and Michael Conforto should provide just that. Sure, he was coming off a down year in 2021 but track record tells you he should and likely will bounce back in a big way.

The Brew Crew has the pitching to hang but do they have the offense? Adding Conforto to the mix with Christian Yelich would be a ton of fun for them out there and Milwaukee might be able to get him relatively cheap thanks to his down season.

Seiya Suzuki - Giants

Seiya Suzuki is coming over from Japan to join the majors. At 27-years-old he's coming over at the perfect time, entering his prime. In 2021, he played in 134 games in 2021 and hit .317 with 38 home runs and a 1.069 OPS.

The Giants may be losing out on Kris Bryant, who they just traded for, but the addition of Suzuki would make up for that a ton. Plus, more often than not we usually see the Japanese-born players choose West Coast teams over the East Coast (to be closer to home), so that should give San Fran another advantage in the bidding war.

Kyle Schwarber - Phillies

2021 was a major bounce-back year for Kyle Schwarber after a 2020 season that saw him hit just .188. Between the Nationals and the Red Soz, Schwarber clubbed 32 home runs and had a .928 OPS.

He's never really had a position but with the DH coming to the National League, this seems to make sense. Plus, Schwarber in that stadium would give me Ryan Howard vibes as the lefty bats usually tend to do well in Citizens Bank Park.

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OddsChecker sports writer Matt O'Leary brings experience sports betting advice to the OC staff. You may recognize Matt from his popular New York Jets youtube channel, but his vast knowledge of sports and betting goes well past the boundaries of New York.


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