Too Early MLB Free Agent Predictions

Too Early MLB Free Agent Predictions

Baseball

Too Early MLB Free Agent Predictions

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Via Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP

The MLB season is rapidly approaching, meaning most teams that haven’t really lived up to expectations are making a focus towards free agency. With the free agent market officially opening five days after the World Series, roughly estimated to be between November 6th and November 10th. With September approaching, it’s time to start looking at what stars are on the market and giving off my predictions for where each will land. August will focus only on the top 15, and slowly gain more and more players till November. 

Side note: rankings are based on a consensus board I established

 

NYY OF Aaron Judge – New York Yankees (8 years, 336M, 42M AAV)

Aaron Judge is already 30, but he’s having an insane season. He’s slashing .297/.394/.663 with an AL leading 1.056 OPS along with 48 home runs, 105 RBIs and 20 doubles. His home runs and RBIs don’t only lead the AL but MLB in general. He’s also posted a 7.4 WAR and is pretty much guaranteed to win the AL MVP, Hank Aaron Award, and his 3rd Silver Slugger Award. 

For the Yankees, Judge is about as New York as it gets. The team’s plan certainly backfired not paying Judge before the season as his cost has shot up by at least 8M a season. A contract averaging 42 million per season would make him the 2nd highest paid player in the MLB, behind Mets pitcher Max Scherzer. Judge is a staple of the Yankee’s both on and off the field and they need to do everything possible to retain him. 

 

LAD SS Trea Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers (4 years, 128M, 32M AAV)

Trea Turner is a sensational talent, he’s one of the best leadoff hitters in the MLB, if not the best. He’s having a great year at only 29 years old slashing .308/.348/.489 with an .837 OPS, 18 home runs, 85 RBIs, and 32 doubles. He’s also added 20 stolen bases to only two caught stealing attempts. 

While Turner doesn’t have the best defense up the middle, he’s a fantastic hitter and can provide at least a quality defender with elite hitting tools. His 4.1 WAR in 2022 is a near career high. The Dodgers lost Corey Seager last off-season and can’t lose Turner also. The Dodgers have nearly 130M in projected payroll for this season so money isn’t an excuse to avoid keeping such an electric and cornerstone piece in Turner. 

 

HOU RHP Justin Verlander – Houston Astros (2 years, 86M, 43M AAV)

The third player I have re-signing with their current team. Verlander has an opt out and he’s basically guaranteed to use it. Last year Verlander signed a two year, 50M extension and this year he’s going to cash in extremely well. He’s posting a 16-3 record, with an AL leading 1.87 ERA in 149 innings with 148 strikeouts. He’s also posted four starts this season holding a no-hitter into the fifth inning. Did I mention the fact he’s 39 years old coming off Tommy John surgery. 

Verlander is still an ace, he can anchor any rotation in baseball and take them to the World Series. His market is going to be small as there aren’t many teams willing to cash out the highest contract in the MLB for a 39 year old pitcher. If Verlander wins the Cy Young his price is only going to increase even more. The Astros starting pitchers are questionable right now and retaining Verlander would be huge for their 2023 and 2024 World Series chances. 

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