The MLB free agent market has moved very slowly since it began back in November, and there are a lot of big-name free agents still available. With that being said, here are my predictions for where five of MLB’s top free agents will sign.
Beginning with 2023 NL Cy Young Award winner, Blake Snell.
Courtesy of FanGraphs
In 2023, Snell posted a 2.25 ERA and earned himself a record of 14-9. He pitched 180 innings for the Padres over an impressive 32 starts. As of January 30, the only team to reportedly make Snell an official offer is the New York Yankees. The offer reportedly was for $150 Million over six years (per Mark Feinsand). However, Snell requested $270 million over nine years (per Bob Nightengale). Seeing that the Yankees appear to be the only team in on him, I would predict that Snell will head to the Bronx. While there is always the chance that a surprise team comes into the mix, as of now, it seems likely that Blake Snell will end up with the Yankees.
Next up, 2023 World Series Champion, Jordan Montgomery.
Courtesy of Fox Sports
In 2023, Jordan Montgomery was a workhorse for not only World Series winning Texas Rangers where he started 11 games, but also the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom he started the majority of his games (21). Monty was a crucial part of the Ranger’s playoff success and posted a 2.79 ERA over 67.2 innings. As of January 30, the two teams that have expressed public interest in Montgomery are the Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox. Reports have circled that the Rangers are having financial concerns that they are trying to straighten out, but the Red Sox came out publicly saying that they are going to be lowering payroll for this year. So, both teams have financial limitations to stall their offseason market. All things considered; I think that Monty will ultimately end up in Boston. He is working out in Boston this winter and his wife has gotten a job in Boston, so it only feels natural for Monty to end up with the Sox. He previously played for the Yankees, which shows that he can play for a team on a big stage in the AL East. Despite the Red Sox financial restrictions, it doesn’t feel like something that can’t be worked out with the potential of a trade and compromise of years on a contract.
Next, veteran DH/outfielder, JD Martinez.
Courtesy of FanGraphs
JD Martinez spent his 2023 campaign in LA with the Dodgers after spending time in Boston from 2018-2022. JD played 113 games in LA while batting a .271 average and 33 homers. JD plays left field on occasion but typically serves more of a DH role. Whatever team that JD lands with, might be one that could benefit from some additional outfield help from time to time. According to Bob Nightengale, six teams have expressed interest in JD, but none have made a formal offer to him. Nightingale did not name the teams that have expressed interest, but others have noted that a return to the Arizona Diamondbacks could be a fit for Martinez. I personally think that JD would fit in great with the reigning NL champs because he provides a veteran presence that could benefit the young DBacks team.
Another big-name free agent still on the market is Jorge Soler.
Courtesy of Bleacher Report
Outfielder/DH Jorge Soler had an impressive 2023 season with the Miami Marlins where he hit .250 in 137 games, while crushing 36 home runs. Soler provides outfield versatility as well as a power bat from the right side so whatever team ends up with him should be one that would benefit from that versatility. Soler has said that Miami has not reached out to him regarding a reunion, but other reports have said Boston, Seattle, Arizona, and Toronto have all shown interest. However, with Toronto signing veteran DH/infielder Justin Turner, it seems less likely that they will bring in another DH profile hitter. Since I placed JD going back to the DBacks, that would narrow down Soler’s teams to the Red Sox and the Mariners. With that being said, I would pick Seattle as the place that Soler ultimately ends up. While he does fit Boston’s need for that right-handed power, the Red Sox have a plethora of outfielders and additionally, Soler just fits the vibes that Seattle has with their young team, despite him entering his age 32 season.
Lastly, outfielder Cody Bellinger.
Courtesy of Los Angeles Times
Like JD Martinez, Bellinger surprisingly has not received any formal offers for a deal either (as of January 30). After spending the first six seasons of his career with the Dodgers, Bellinger signed with the Chicago Cubs in 2023 where he mashed 26 homers with a .307 batting average over 130 games. 2023 was Bellinger’s best year since 2019 and could look to return to Chicago where he unlocked his previous form. Because of that I think that Bellinger ends up staying with the Cubs and re-signs on a multiyear deal. He just feels like a good fit for the team and both parties could benefit from a reunion.
Blake Snell → New York Yankees
Jordan Montgomery → Boston Red Sox
JD Martinez → Arizona Diamondbacks
Jorge Soler → Seattle Mariners
Cody Bellinger → Chicago Cubs
Edited by Giana Robertaccio
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