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Freddie Freeman (1B, 32)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $27,135,000

It’s long been assumed that Freeman would return to Atlanta but minds will wander the longer he remains unsigned. If the player side has an internal number around Average Salary and simply wants the team to match, it’s likely a matter of time before this gets done. But if Freeman is truly available and intends on maximizing this next contract, it wouldn’t shock us to see a contender (Dodgers, Mets, Padres) make a huge offer to pull him away.


Anthony Rizzo (1B, 32)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $21,700,000

Rizzo didn’t light it up as much as some anticipated he would in a lefty friendly Yankee Stadium, but a longer stint that would have to benefit him one would think. With that said, the Yankees are targeting Freddie Freeman as well, which may push Rizzo out to the open market for a new home. He may struggle to get to the $20M per year mark with this expedited free agency.


Carlos Correa (SS, 27)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary: $26,600,000

The perfect blend of age, talent, production and experience - Correa was the consensus top position player available entering November. While Corey Seager and Marcus Semien inked contracts first, it’s reported Correa rejected a 10 year/$275m offer from the Tigers ahead of the lockout. He has since switched agents - now represented by Scott Boras who brokered both the Seager ($325M) and Semien ($175M) mega deals. If he’s open to joining a rebuild as some have suggested, it’s likely at least one team makes an offer that exceeds $30m annually. If not, expect a deal littered with early player opt outs.


Trevor Story (SS, 29)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $29,800,000

Another premier talent at the position that gets lost in the strength of this free agent class, it’s possible Story doesn’t find the salary + term he might command during a different offseason. Perhaps teams hesitate to commit long term if there are concerns about removing him from Coors, or how the skills will translate with age. If his market deteriorates, Story could target a short term deal and look to reenter the market in future years with weaker options at the position.


Kris Bryant (3B/OF, 30)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $23,500,000

The market for Bryant might not be as big as once expected, as his short tenure in San Francisco didn’t exactly jump off the page. He’s still a versatile defender, and has batting title type discipline at the plate when he’s right. This seems like an Angels overpay if I’ve ever seen one.


Nick Castellanos (OF, 30)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $21,300,000

Castellanos is perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the National League DH. While his quietly consistent offensive production would add value to any lineup, there are legitimate defensive concerns that previously limited interest. Expect there to be more suitors this time around.


Kyle Schwarber (OF, 29)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  12,900,000

Schwarber declined an $11M option for 2022 with Boston, as he seeks a multi-year guarantee on the open market. The Red Sox should be in consideration to bring him back, but likely not with any kind of impactful contract. He feels like a 3 year, $40M player right now.


Michael Conforto (OF, 29)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $19,100,000

The market for Conforto seems stronger than anticipated, as many wondered if he would simply sign the one year qualifying offer with the Mets a few months ago. Contenders like the Yankees and Padres have already shown interest, so a $20M+ per year multi-year deal seems likely at this point.


Yusei Kikuchi (SP, 30)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:   $12,000,000

The Cubs have been linked with Kikuchi for some time now, and it's tough to see them not get to the finish line here. His walks are too high right now, but there's reason to believe he can settle into a nice role. The Mets & Blue Jays may also have him on the radar for depth.


Zack Greinke (SP, 38)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary: $10,000,000

Greinke has expressed interest in returning to the mound in 2022, but it's possible he remains unsigned for a few months to best target his next destination. A full year of work may not be in his best interest, but he carries a ton of value down the stretch. A 1 year, $9M-$10M contract with incentives to go higher makes sense for a contender.


Kenley Jansen (RP, 34)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $10,000,000

Jansen has regressed, but he’s still a viable option out of the back of a bullpen. A return to the Dodgers for a bit of a hometown discount seems the right play here.


Seiya Suzuki (OF, 27)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary: $12,000,000

The Red Sox have long been focused here and this likely remains their top priority. Financially speaking he’s probably inline with the likes of a Schwarber or Castellanos, but the unknown ceiling and potential 5-tool capabilities will have the big teams favoring Suzuki in the end. 5 years, $60M?


Nelson Cruz (DH, 41)

Spotrac Projected Average Salary:  $14,000,000

Cruz is the bat that keeps on giving. Despite his age, Cruz pumped in 32 homers, 21 doubles, and an .831 OPS in 2021, putting him back in line for another contract. He earned $13M for his services last year, so a simple raise (especially with an expanded CBT), makes some sense.