Projecting Market Values for MLB's Top Free Agents

Projecting Market Values for MLB's Top Free Agents
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The MLB offseason is officially upon us. Options have been decided upon. Qualifying offers have been extended. And the free agent season has begun. We'll take a look at notable players from each position group who teams will be targeted this winter, including calculated & likely market value projections for their next contract.

Related: View the full list of 2018 MLB Free Agents

Starting Pitchers
Unlike last season, the available free agent starting pitchers are bonafied top of rotation players. Darvish and Arrieta should push each other near the top tier of pay, while Lynn and Cobb will set the 2nd-tier market this winter. Qualifying offers will keep new contract prices from pushing through the ceiling.
Player team age 2017
Wins
2017
ERA
Calc. AAV likely AAV
Yu Darvish LAD 31 10 3.86 $22.6M $26M
Jake Arrieta QO CHC 31 14 3.53 $26.6M $25M
Lance Lynn QO STL 30 11 3.43 $17M $18M
Alex Cobb QO TB 30 12 3.66 $18.2M $16M
C.C. Sabathia NYY 37 14 3.69 $12.3M $12M
Andrew Cashner TEX 31 11 3.40 $10.8M $11M
Tyler Chatwood COL 27 8 4.63 $6.6M $7M
Jaime Garcia NYY 31 5 4.47 $10.3M $10M
Michael Pineda NYY 28 8 4.39 $4.4M $5M
Jason Vargas KC 34 18 4.16 $9.5M $10M

  » Complete list of 2018 Free Agent Starting Pitchers

 

   
Relief Pitchers
The top of this list comes with a hefty qualifying offer compensation tag, so teams will be somewhat hesitant to make the splash. But expect the Cubs, Astros, Cardinals and Rangers to make some noise in this area of concern.
Player team age 2017
SAVES
2017
ERA
Calc. AAV likely AAV
Wade Davis QO CHC 32 32 2.30 $14.9M $15M
Greg Holland QO COL 31 41 3.61 $13.3M $12M
Addison Reed BOS 28 19 2.84 $8.9M $9M
Jake McGee COL 31 3 3.45 $6.8M $6M
Anthony Swarzak MIL 32 2 2.33 $6.7M $6.5M
Steve Cishek TB 31 1 2.02 $6.9M $7.4M
Brandon Morrow LAD 33 2 2.06 $6.4M $6.5M
Bryan Shaw CLE 29 3 3.52 $7.1M $7M
Brandon Kintzler WAS 33 29 3.03 $7M $7M
Pat Neshek COL 37 1 1.59 $6.8M $7M

  » Complete list of 2018 Free Agent Relief Pitchers

 

   
Catchers
While Lucroy finally gets his chance to test the market, his value has dropped some $4M over the past two seasons. He'll command a nice price, but with the lack of teams in need of a #1 catcher, this market will likely settle in lower than usual. Castillo declined his $7M option in Baltimore, thinking he can grab more on a longer term contract. His calculated value slightly agrees.
Player team age 2017
h/HR/RBI
2017
BA/OPS
Calc. AAV likely AAV
Jonathan Lucroy COL 31 112/6/40 .265/.716 $12.8M $12M
Alex Avila CHC 30 81/14/49 .260/.828 $8.6M $7M
Welington Castillo BAL 30 96/20/54 .282/.813 $8.9M $8M

  » Complete list of 2018 Free Agent Catchers

 

   
1st Basemen
This is a good if not great free agent class outside of the additional compensation tied to Hosmer & Santana's qualifying offers. Both should still cash in nicely (though there's a chance Santana looks to stay in Cleveland). Morrison and Alonso had big power years, but lack consistency to bank a major long-term payday. They'll grab a nice chunk of money on a shorter term.
Player team age 2017
h/HR/RBI
2017
BA/OPS
Calc. AAV likely AAV
Eric Hosmer QO KC 28 192/25/94 .318/.883 $20.6M $21M
Carlos Santana QO CLE 31 148/23/79 .259/.818 $18.3M $18M
Logan Morrison TB 30 126/38/85 .246/.869 $15.8M $12M
Yonder Alonso SEA 30 120/28/67 .266/.866 $7.0M $7.5M
Lucas Duda TB 31 92/30/64 .217/.818 $9.4M $10M

  » Complete list of 2018 Free Agent 1st Basemen

 

   
2nd Basemen
Walker has dealt with injuries and a dip in production since his strong 2016 campaign with the Mets. Add in a lack of need for 2nd basemen across the league and he might have a tough go this winter. Phillips is 36 years old but still producing at a high level and could be a great value for someone in 2018.
Player team age 2017
h/HR/RBI
2017
BA/OPS
Calc. AAV likely AAV
Neil Walker NYM 32 102/14/49 .265/.803 $13.5M $12M
Brandon Phillips LAA 36 163/13/60 .285/.735 $6.3M $5M

  » Complete list of 2018 Free Agent 2nd Basemen

 

   
Shortstops
While Cozart appears to be the prize of this class, and likely the most expensive, Nunez has quietly put together very strong back-to-back seasons. Boston will push to keep him due to his versatility defensively, but outside offers may drive his price up considerably.
Player team age 2017
h/HR/RBI
2017
BA/OPS
Calc. AAV likely AAV
Zack Cozart CIN 32 129/24/62 .295/.929 $13.5M $14M
Eduardo Nunez BOS 30 146/12/58 .313/.801 $11.6M $10M
Alcides Escobar KC 30 150/6/54 .250/.629 $7.4M $7.5M

  » Complete list of 2018 Free Agent Shortstops

 

   
3rd Basemen
Moustakas and Frazier will garner plenty of attention, but Reynolds may be the dark horse in this class. After years of power with a pitiful average, Reynolds has become a more complete hitter since joining the Rockies. Colorado would do well to keep in him the fold.
Player team age 2017
h/HR/RBI
2017
BA/OPS
Calc. AAV likely AAV
Mike Moustakas QO KC 29 151/38/85 .272/.835 $16.6M $18M
Todd Frazier NYY 31 101/27/76 .213/.772 $11.2M $12M
Mark Reynolds COL 34 139/30/97 .267/839 $12.9M $10M

  » Complete list of 2018 Free Agent 3rd Basemen

 

   
Outfielders
This class goes where J.D. Martinez can take it. His numbers rival Cespedes' last winter, who garnered $27M from the Mets. Bruce's career numbers should have him valuing higher, but his deficiencies against lefties and as a defender will drop his price. Cain may be the surprise contract of the winter, as many teams are in need of middle outfielder with the complete package.
Player team age 2017
h/HR/RBI
2017
BA/OPS
Calc. AAV likely AAV
J.D. Martinez ARI 30 131/45/104 .303/1.066 $25.9M $26.5M
Jay Bruce CLE 30 141/36/101 .254/.832 $14.8M $16M
Lorenzo Cain QO KC 31 177/15/50 .303/.809 $17.1M $15M
Carlos Gonzalez COL 32 122/14/57 .260/.756 $15M $12M
Carlos Gomez TEX 31 94/17/51 .255/.804 $14M $14M
Melky Cabrera KC 33 177/17/85 .285/.747 $15.7M $12.5M

  » Complete list of 2018 Free Agent Outfielders

 




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