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MLB Rumors: Predicting Where the Top Five MLB Free Agent Pitchers Will Land

Where are the top five MLB free-agent pitchers going to land? Jason Radowitz takes a look at where they can go.
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MLB Rumors: Predicting Where the Top Five MLB Free Agent Pitchers Will Land

In the MLB, it always used to be a pitcher's league in the National League and a hitter's league in the American League. This was due to the designated hitter being exclusively in the American League.

Of course, the AL would hit better with a designated hitter in the lineup over a starting pitcher. But now, over the next couple of years, the National League is going to start to become more of a hitter's league too.

Therefore starting pitching and just pitching, in general, is going to be as important as ever. These pitchers need to get nine real outs every single game, especially in the National League now.

There are many teams that need starting pitching help. Let's rank the top five MLB free agents and predict where they'll go.

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Top Five MLB Free Agent Pitchers

1. Carlos Rodon

2. Clayton Kershaw

3. Kenley Jansen

4. Collin McHugh

5. Yusei Kikuchi

Carlos Rodon

Carlos Rodon took the MLB by storm last season, going 13-5 with an ERA of just 2.37. The left-hander threw 132.2 innings and had 185 strikeouts to just 36 walks. This was the first time since 2016 that Rodon threw at least 21 or more games.

Rodon always had the ability but never got the opportunity due to injuries and whatnot. He had filthy stuff all season long and sustained it throughout the season. On the year, Rodon had a 5.1 WAR, which was the highest he ever had by a mile. Only 35 earned runs came across the plate in 24 starts. That's just insanity.

At this point, it would be silly of the White Sox to let him go. I'd have to imagine he stays put. However, if he does leave, the Los Angeles Angels have been looking for pitching and could use a young lefty to solidify the rotation.

Clayton Kershaw

Nobody in baseball wants to see Clayton Kershaw on a new team. It essentially means he's getting old and doesn't have the stuff he used to have. I still don't even believe that.

Kershaw threw 22 games last season and had an ERA of 3.55. He's clearly still got it and had 144 strikeouts to just 21 walks. That's seven strikeouts to every walk that he allowed.

It would be interesting if Kershaw came to the East. The Red Sox lost Eduardo Rodriguez to the Tigers and can use a left-handed pitcher. If the White Sox lose Rodon, maybe that would be an interesting destination too. Or maybe he selects the Texas Rangers and stays home with Corey Seager.

Kenley Jansen

Yes, Kenley Jansen will blow saves. Just like every closer in the MLB. He had just five blown saves throughout the entire season last year and put together a 2.22 ERA for the Dodgers with a WHIP of 1.04 in 69 innings.

It seems likely that Jansen will sign with a new team and not come back to the Dodgers. The reports are that the Phillies and Marlins have been interested in Jansen so far before the lockout. Jansen in the NL East would make things interesting.

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Collin McHugh

McHugh had been a journeyman for a long time. But last season proved he's more than that. McHugh opened games for the Rays and had a 1.55 ERA in 64 innings last season.

McHugh needs to be used correctly, but he's got some dominant pitches that he's developed throughout the season. If McHugh wants to close out games, he would be electric. If he wants to open games, teams have to decide if that's what they want on their roster.

Every team needs relief help right now and he would be a great fit for so many teams. The St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, or even the Atlanta Braves could be in on McHugh. I'm sure he'll eventually sign with a contending team that will open the wallet for a reliever.

Yusei Kikuchi

At one point last season, Kikuchi's name was being mentioned in Cy Young talks. That never actually happened or even came close, but overall, Kikuchi could really develop into a star in the MLB.

The left-hander needs to keep the walks down but ultimately threw 157 innings last season and importantly, is durable as well as being a left-handed thrower.

I've heard the New York Yankees and New York Mets have checked in on Kikuchi along with other teams. At this point, especially with a DH in both leagues, having a left-handed starter in the rotation will be huge to balance out the starting rotation during some big series'.

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Jason grew up an avid sports fan. His passion for sports writing grew in high school and he developed a blog that was strictly for New York Sports. From his work, you will quickly realize that he loves looking at games from an analytical and numbers perspective and hopes to provide you with that same perspective in his articles.


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