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Launchers and collectors report in less than a month. Most of the best free agents have come off the board.
However, multiple-impact players remain unsigned, ranging from authentic stars (Josh Donaldson, Marcell Ozuna) to high-level betting (Taijuan Walker, Yasiel Puig).
While we wait for the last flicker of the hot stove and anticipate the opening day, we analyze the top 10 remaining free agents and predict where they will land, based on the latest rumors and a healthy dose of informed speculation.
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Bruce Kluckhohn / Associated Press
In 82 games with the New York Yankees last season, Cameron Maybin released an .858 OPS with 11 humeri and wiped out nine bases.
He will be 33 in April and nobody has any idea of a turning point. But like a right-handed bat with gas left in the tank who could possibly have had a short-term deal? You bet.
That profile meets the needs of multiple contenders, but the Yanks should repeat it to add depth to the field and a veteran presence that has expressed a desire to stay in the Bronx.
Expected landing point: New York Yankees
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Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press
Utility players are not the most exciting free agents, but they are a useful commodity. Consider Brock Holt, who recorded the time in the left and right fields, as well as in every infield position as well as the launcher and receiver for the Boston Red Sox in 2019.
Along the way, the 31-year-old hit .297 with a base percentage of .369 in 87 games.
The Sox could bring him back to a non-utility role. Jose Peraza, who released a .631 OPS in 2019, tops the keystone bag depth chart in Boston.
Holt would not have busted the budget for a Red Sox team that wanted to dive into the luxury tax, and would have brought flexibility and familiarity.
Expected landing point: Boston Red Sox
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D. Ross Cameron / Associated Press
Outfielder Kevin Pillar scored 21 home runs, stole 14 bases and released 1.5 WARs from the FanGraphs calculation in 2019. He even got a downward MVP vote.
It wasn’t offered by the San Francisco Giants retouching / rebuilding in December and is entering its 31-year season.
But he is a valuable player and could accept a reasonable and incentive-rich contract for a club with ongoing projects.
Jon Paul Morosi of MLB Network thrown out a number of suitors, including the Net York Mets, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers. We will go with the Rangers, who could be positioned from left to right with Willie Calhoun, Danny Santana and Joey Gallo, but they could also benefit from a certain depth shown.
Expected landing point: Texas Rangers
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Jim Mone / Associated Press
The free agent axes have all been signed. But there are tempting launchers for the catch.
Right-arm Ivan Nova is entering his 33-year season and released an ERA of 4.72 in 2019 with the Chicago White Sox. On the other hand, he made 34 starts, launched 187 innings and it was worth it 2.0 WAR, according to FanGraphs.
He also launched a FIP 2.62 recently in 2016. A launcher with that exit fits perfectly in the middle of any rotation.
Given its durability, Nova could appeal to a team on the cusp of a rebuild that wants to develop young pitchers while employing low-cost inners. How about the Pittsburgh Pirates, for which Nova launched in 2018, 2017 and part of 2016?
It is likely that the Bucs will not compete in crowded National League Central in 2019, but Nova could offer a stable and familiar presence.
Expected landing point: Pittsburgh Pirates
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Darryl Webb / Associated Press
The Los Angeles Angels pulled out the checkbook and signed third base Anthony Rendon to join the reigning MVP of the American League Mike Trout in the middle of training.
But they didn’t do enough to improve an initial spin that ranked dead in the AL with a 5.64 ERA.
The high-level targets for free agents are gone, but the halos could risk the right Taijuan Walker.
Walker underwent Tommy John’s surgery in 2018 and has only launched 14 innings in the past two seasons.
On the flip side, she is only 27 and released a 3.49 ERA in 28 starts with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017. This is a chance for the Angels to rehabilitate a once promising pitcher.
Of course, they tried it with the likes of Tim Lincecum and Matt Harvey with little success. But, provided he’s healthy, Walker could turn the tide.
Expected landing point: Los Angeles Angels
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Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images
Mitch Moreland released an .835 OPS and scored 19 home games in 91 games for the Boston Red Sox last season. At the age of 34, he is a valuable left-handed slacker who can still play a decent first base.
Defending champion Washington Nationals faced Anthony Rendon’s departure from re-signing Howie Kendrick and Asdrubal Cabrera and inking Starlin Castro and Eric Thames. In addition, they have potential Carter Kieboom waiting in the wings.
Moreland would be another option for the Nats, however, and could provide valuable pop off the bench as he saw the weather in the beginning. They declined the option on longtime first base Ryan Zimmerman, leaving another vacancy on the right side of the infield.
With Rendon in SoCal and Zimmerman in limbo, Washington has to close the hole with as many pieces as possible. Enter Moreland.
Expected landing point: Washington citizens
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David Maxwell / Getty Images
Yasiel Puig hit 24 home runs and stole 19 bases between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians last season. He is only 29 years old and, despite his checkered background, he is an incredibly talented athlete with the ability to improve any outdoor pitch.
So where will it end? What about the San Francisco Giants?
It seems ridiculous. The giants are moving towards a reconstruction. Puig is a widely offended figure in S.F. based on his heated history with ex-giants left-handed Madison Bumgarner.
Yet Puig was in the Los Angeles Dodgers while the current president of San Francisco’s baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi, worked in the Los Angeles front office. The giants could use depth in the external field, and Puig probably could have a short-term, non-unbreakable contract.
Longtime broadcaster Giants Mike Krukow did not dismiss the possibility in an interview with KNBR 680 (h / t NBC Sports Bay Area).
“Here’s a guy who has credentials, some power, a big arm. How much fun would it be to look at that arm in the right field?” said Krukow. “With [Zaidi] it never stops. Always try to improve your club. “
Expected landing point: San Francisco Giants
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Matt Marton / Associated Press
Last season Nicholas Castellanos scored 27 home games with an .863 OPS for the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs and can play on and off the field. It will turn 28 in March, but is still hanging on the open market.
Morosi reported the Texas Rangers “are among the finalists” to sign it. It looks like a game.
Rangers need a club for their right hand. Castellanos needs a job. Texas should not exhaust its agricultural system to acquire Castellanos. IS is not attached to the compensation for the levy because it was traded in the middle of the 2019 campaign.
Expected landing point: Texas Rangers
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Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images
Outfielder Marcell Ozuna hit 29 home games with an .800 OPS for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019. So, hwe declined the qualified card offer, which would have resulted in an annual contract of $ 17.8 million.
Yet second Naphtali Ruiz of the Dominican Republic’s CDN37 (h / t Adam J. Morris of the Lone Star Ball), St. Louis is the favorite All-Star destination twice this low season.
Does this make sense. The cardinals are the only club that can sign it without giving up on a drawdown project. Not to mention the fact that it helped them win NL Central last year and could do it again in 2020.
Intended destination: Cardinals of St. Louis
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John Amis / Associated Press
Josh Donaldson has bet on himself by signing a $ 23 million one-year deal with Atlanta Braves’ Last Season. The bet has been paid.
Donaldson rebounded from a pair of injured campaigns to hit 37 home runs with an OPS of 0.900 and help the Braves win the East NL.
It is entering its 34-year season, but there is no doubt that it is among the most valuable third basemen in the game.
Various teams could use its services. But it makes more sense for him to return to Atlanta, considering that Braves’ hot corner depth chart is led by Johan Camargo and his OPS .663 2019.
Like USA today‘S Bob Nightengale noted, the Braves are “the net favorites” to keep Donaldson.
Expected landing point: Atlanta Braves
All the statistics provided by Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.