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Top 5 MLB Free Agents to Watch During Offseason

Top 5 Free Agents MLB 2020

Now that the World Series is over, the MLB offseason (new season for that matter) has begun. Get ready for a massive amount of money to be spent on some high profile players. Last year’s bonanza saw a record breaking contract, with Bryce Harper signing a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, while Manny Machado signed with the San Diego Padres for 10-years, $300 million.

While I do not expect to see that kind of money spent on only a few players, there is still plenty of money to go around. These are my top five MLB free agents this offseason and where I see them signing.

1. Gerritt Cole – Ever since he joined the Houson Astros, Cole has taken his game to a whole new level. Since he joined them at the trade deadline last season, he has accumulated a record of 35 – 10, with an ERA of 2.69. While he is not a generational pitcher like my number 2 on this list, he is currently the best or arguably the best pitcher in baseball. He will command big money and should get a long term deal based on his age (Only 29). While he will have numerous suitors, there’s one team that is always looking to make a splash and have the most money to spend.

Cole signs with the L.A. Dodgers 8 year , $250 million

2. Stephen Strasburg – Your World Series MVP, ladies and gentleman! It seems as if Strasburg put his injury-plagued years behind him, resulting an absolutely dominating performance in the MLB playoffs, becoming the first player to post a 5-0 record in the postseason, including two wins in the World Series. As mentioned before, he does have an injury history, including a Tommy John’s surgery, but his velocity is better than ever, as is his changeup. While he could command just as much money as Cole, his age will come into play (two years older than Cole at 31). While there is a chance he could move on, I don’t see him leaving D.C.

Strasburg re-signs with the Nationals – 5 – year, $125 million

3. Anthony Rendon – Another Nationals player makes this list and for good reason. He was one of the leading catalysts for their spectacular season. This season, Rendon posted career highs in Home Runs (34), RBI’s (126) and doubles (44). At 29, he is still in his prime and plays one of the most difficult positions to find consistent offense and good defense (3rd base). While his season could be considered an anomaly (he’s only had one other season of 100 rbi’s), the way he performed down the stretch and in the postseason shouldn’t give any teams trepidation. Before the season ended, Rendon turned down a 7-year, $210 million offer from the Nationals. With his performance, he is going to command more and I believe this could lead to him moving on.

Rendon signs with Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 5 – year, $175 million

4. Madison Bumgarner – The big lefty had a down season this year, finishing with a record of 9 – 9 with an ERA of 3.90. This was coming off a season the previous year where he struggled with injuries. The San Francisco Giants are going through a youth movement, cutting payroll and trying to build back up their farm system. They are also experiencing turnover in the managerial dept, as Bruce Bochy retired after the season concluded. With that in mind, and the money that Bumgarner will command, I do not see Bumgarner re-signing with the Giants. I also know that there are many teams that are looking for a starting pitcher with extensive postseason experience, including victories in previous World Series, as Bumgarner has, so I do see him moving on.

Bumgarner signs with the New York Yankees – 5 – year, $150 million

5. Yasmani Grandal – some might argue with Grandal being the #5 overall free agent, but let me explain. Players like Hyun-jin Ryu, Zack Wheeler, Marcell Ozuna and Josh Donaldson are all fantastic players and any one of them could be in the #5 slot, but at this point, Catcher is one of the most lacking positions in all of baseball, truly void of much talent across the spectrum. That is what makes the possibilities of signing Grandal so big for many teams. Grandal struggled for many years, but has truly found his form the past two seasons. This year with Milwaukee, his first after spending time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Grandal clubbed 28 home runs and drove in 77 RBI’s for one of the most potent offenses in all of baseball. He also helped lead a younger pitching staff in Milwaukee by calling great games. He signed only a one-year deal last offseason with the Brewers in hope of striking a longer term deal this offseason. His patience pays off.

Grandal signs with the Cincinnati Reds – 5 – year, $110 million

So those are my top five free agents. Let the offseason begin!

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