Giancarlo Stanton trade rumors will be the talk of the offseason until a move is made, but don’t forget about the several top free agents on the market.
J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish are the free agents in line for enormous contracts. To put it in perspective, Martinez is reportedly looking for a long-term $210 million deal. As asinine as it sounds, it very well could happen.
There are a few guys on the list who will look strange wearing another team’s uniform, such as Hosmer and Arrieta. Hosmer has spent his entire career in Kansas City, and Arrieta became a household name and World Series champion with the Cubs. But for them and the others on the list below, it’s probably time for a change of scenery.
Here’s where I picture the top free agents heading this offseason…
J.D. Martinez – Giants
It’s between the Giants and Red Sox in my mind, but I have San Francisco as the most probable destination for Martinez. The Giants are apparently pushing hard to land Stanton, but I don’t see that happening. When that falls through, their attention should turn immediately to the ex-Tigers/Diamondbacks slugger. I’m picking San Francisco over Boston here, because I think the Sox will reel in another big fish…
Eric Hosmer – Red Sox
…and that fish is Hosmer. He’s not going to hit 40-50 bombs a year like Stanton or Martinez, but he’s certainly no slouch at the plate and fills a need for Boston at first base. Not to mention, he’s the kind of guy who can bring some leadership and likability to a team that so desperately needs it.
Lorenzo Cain – Blue Jays
Toronto needs an outfielder, but I don’t see them landing someone like Stanton or Martinez. Instead, I see the Blue Jays “settling” for Cain. 2017 was a great year for Cain at the plate as he hit .300 with 15 homers and 26 stolen bases. That kind of production is exactly what Toronto needs in their lineup, plus Cain provides top-tier defense in the outfield. Cain in a Blue Jays uniform makes too much sense.
Mike Moustakas – Cardinals
Since I have the Giants projected to spend a fortune on Martinez, that means they likely won’t sign Moustakas. Another team in need of the kind of talents Moustakas brings to the table is the Cardinals. Bringing in Moustakas means they get a great left-handed bat and a stellar defender at third base, and they can move Matt Carpenter to first base permanently. Royals fans won’t like the move from Kansas City to St. Louis, but it’s a deal that makes a ton of sense for both sides.
Yu Darvish – Angels
The Angels need an ace more than arguably any other team, and Darvish should be their target. He’s probably the best pitcher available (unless you want to say Arrieta is, in which case I’d say you’re wrong). Plus, Darvish is familiar with the American League West having played with the Rangers for a number of seasons. I could see the Cubs being involved in talks for Darvish as well, but my gut says he’ll be going from one L.A. team to another.
Jake Arrieta – Rangers
Speaking of Arrieta, and speaking of the Rangers, the two seem like a match made in heaven. The Rangers, like the Angels, will actively be looking to bolster their pitching staff and since I don’t see them bringing back Darvish, Arrieta is clearly the next best option.
C.C. Sabathia – Yankees
C.C. was one of the more reliable pitchers for the Yankees this year, and Sabathia has said he wants to return to the Bronx, so there should be mutual interest. I don’t see a scenario in which Sabathia doesn’t end his career in Yankees pinstripes.
Wade Davis – Cubs
Losing Davis in free agency would leave a major void in the Cubs’ bullpen. Chicago would be making a mistake not bringing him back, and I think Theo and Co. are well aware of that.
Lance Lynn – Brewers
I doubt the Brewers will dish out the money for Darvish or Arrieta, but they need pitching. That makes Lance Lynn one of their only other options. The market for pitchers is extremely thin, so Milwaukee might have no choice but to sign Lynn to a less-than-ideal contract.
Alex Cobb – Orioles
Cobb, like Lynn, is one of the only other intriguing options not named Darvish and Arrieta on the market. The Orioles have been rumored to be interested in Cobb for a while now, and it seems like a reasonable fit.
Greg Holland – Astros
I’d probably pick the Cubs here if Davis doesn’t return to Chicago, but since I expect him to, I think Holland is Houston-bound. The Astros’ one weakness is their bullpen, so acquiring a guy of Holland’s caliber would just make the defending champs even scarier.
Carlos Santana – Mariners
The Mariners are seeking a power-hitting first baseman, so it makes sense they’ve had their eyes set on Santana. That’s who I think Seattle will end up signing, but all of the guys below are options as well…
Logan Morrison – Royals
The Royals likely will lose their star, Hosmer, in free agency. That means he’ll need to be replaced, and while LoMo is no Hosmer, he’d be a solid fill in who they should be able to sign to a reasonable deal. Not to mention, Morrison is a Kansas City native and said playing for the Royals would be “a dream come true.”
Shohei Ohtani – Yankees
Truth be told, I don’t know much of anything about this guy. Ohtani is said to be the “Japanese Babe Ruth” as he can apparently hit the ball 500 feet and throw 102 mph fastballs on the paint. He’ll be heading to the Majors next season, and it just seems like a forgone conclusion that the Yankees will be the team to sign him and eventually offer him the big money.
We’ll be discussing this in more detail over on the Tater Talk podcast, so be sure to subscribe and stay tuned.