MLB Rumors: Predicting Where the Top Ten MLB Free Agents Will Land
MLB Rumors: Predicting Where the Top 10 MLB Free Agents 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 free agents and predict where they'll go.
Top 10 Remaining MLB Free Agents
1. OF Michael Conforto
The best free agent on the board is Michael Conforto. Conforto has plenty of potential but hasn't really shown it off with the Mets. He's still 29-years-old and with the right hitting coach and approach, Conforto could get right back on track to becoming a star in the league. In 2019, Conforto hit 33 homers and 92 RBIs. That's not someone any team should give up on. The Mets offered Conforto $100 million before he became a Free Agent. It looks like he's not going to get more than that now. He might as well come back to the Mets who need depth in the outfield.
2. OF Tommy Pham
The Milwaukee Brewers have a top-tier pitching staff in the MLB. But this team needs hitting and they need depth on the offensive side of things. The Brewers have guys like Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain but they don't have a guy that can just kind of do it all like Pham. In 2021, he was a bit underwhelming but has plenty of potential to rebound with a new team. That team should be the Brewers.
3. RHP Johnny Cueto
The Cincinnati Reds are going to need some help in the rotation. The Reds have Luis Castillo who wasn't himself last year along with Tyler Mahle. Then after that, the Reds have guys like Mike Minor and Reiver Sanmartin. The Reds aren't contending this year but they'll need someone who can eat innings and give a quality start here and there.
4. INF Jed Lowrie
The Texas Rangers made some huge splashes this offseason bringing in Marcus Semien and Corey Seager. But the team still needs depth and could use a guy like Jed Lowrie. He's close with Semien and Willie Calhoun from his days in Oakland and would be the perfect fit for the Rangers' clubhouse.
5. RHP Richard Rodriguez
Rodriguez had a 3.12 ERA in 27 appearances with the Braves after getting dealt at the deadline. But he also had a 6.17 FIP with six home runs allowed with only nine strikeouts in 26 innings. At the trade deadline last year, the Blue Jays and Phillies were interested but didn't get him. Could those two teams be in play for him this time around and hope to get him back to his old self? I think so.
6. OF Kevin Pillar
The Reds can use some outfield help. With Nick Castellanos on the Phillies, the Reds are stuck with Tyler Naquin, Aristides Aquino, and a bunch of no-names. So unless the Reds are just going to wing it and play a bunch of no-names, it would be ideal for the Reds to go after a guy like Kevin Pillar.
7. LHP Tony Watson
In the NL East, there are plenty of left-handed bats that can absolutely smash the baseball. Guys like Bryce Harper and Matt Olson come to mind as those big bats. Of course, Juan Soto does too, but I think Watson would be best on the Nationals to face those other left-handed killers. Sure, he's getting old but after posting a 2.96 ERA with seven holds in 24.1 innings after getting traded back to the Giants, Watson could be a solid fit for Washington.
8. LHP Brett Anderson
Brett Anderson wasn't all that terrible last season. He induced 57.4% ground balls and if he's got a defense behind him that can make plays, he'd be a solid innings eater and a back-of-the-rotation guy. Most teams are happy with their starting rotations but with the Oakland Athletics moving a bunch of starters, adding Anderson for cheap wouldn't be such a bad move, especially having him pitch in Oakland, which is a pitcher's friendly ballpark.
9. 1B/DH Mitch Moreland
The Boston Red Sox could use a little reunion. I know the Red Sox brought in Travis Shaw but it never hurts to have some insurance. Moreland is a solid designated hitter that still has some pop in the bat. He's also not a terrible option in the field either and has a glove that still works even as he ages. It's something to think about if you're Boston.
10. LHP Zach Davies
There aren't many teams that need pitching right now, but Zach Davies is still on the board and he's going to end up somewhere. It'll likely be to a team that isn't contending like the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Arizona Diamondbacks. But he's a guy that can eat innings and give you some quality starts in the back of the rotation. He just needs another shot. A bad team will give it to him.
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.