Its that time of year again when I make my TOP 25 FA and TOP 5 TRADE predictions for the pending offseason that’s just weeks away. With a few bonunes.
I give my unbiased opinions and analysis of each move. I rank the FA’s 1-25 and TRADE CANDIDATES 1-5.
I will go off the current info floating around the industry including the industry beliefs on where these players will end up.
TOP 25 FA’S AND PREDICTED DESTINATIONS:
NOTE: Bear in mind I was correct on 18/25 destinations and 22/25 contracts a year ago.
#1: RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani:
Going to miss a bit of the season with TJ Surgery AGAIN and will not pitch again till AT LEAST 2025. This damages his value immensely. I still project a large contract for the 30 year old Ohtani.
FITS: Dodgers, Cubs, Yankees, Angels, Mariners, ETC.
Prediction: Dodgers for 10 years $450 Million.
#2: RHP Yoshinobu Yamamoto:
Coming over from Japan as the best international player and will garner all kinds of interest. Will shoot for and likely get a Cole level $300 Million+ contract. I worry about him being the next Daisuke Matsuzaka though.
FITS: Cubs, Dodgers, Mets, Braves, Rangers, Mariners, Yankees, ETC.
Prediction: Cubs for 8 years $285 Million.
#3: LHP Blake Snell:
Coming off a sure CY Young season with plenty of teams looking for bullpen arms. Also a loaded, LOADED FA class as far as SP goes. I have a team sniping him while others are distracted by Yamamoto. He’ll get a CC Sabathia and Carlos Rodon level contract.
FITS: Yankees, Padres, Rangers, Phillies, ETC.
Prediction: Yankees for 7 years $165 Million.
#4: LHP Julio Urias:
Having a great career as a Dodger. They would love to keep him but several teams will try to poach him. Great lefty arm. Will have plenty of suitors. Keep in mind he is facing a lengthy suspension and may never play in the MLB again.
FITS: Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, Cubs, Padres, Rangers, ETC.
Prediction: Signs in Japan.
#5: RHP Aaron Nola:
The pitching keeps coming. Goodness. Another ACE coming off a great year with so many suitors again including the imcumbant Phillies.
FITS: Phillies, Rangers, Dodgers, Padres, Yankees, Cubs, ETC.
Prediction: Rangers for 8 years $160 Million.
#6: 3B Matt Chapman:
Finally a position player. The best one on the FA Market. Coming off a down year batting just .244 with 15 HR’s and 64 RBI’s. His value is low but he’ll do fine.
FITS: Blue Jays, Cubs, Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, ETC.
Prediction: Phillies for 5 years $75 Million.
#7: LHP Shota Imanaga:
Another Japanese import coming over with great, GREAT stats and stuff. Will be great in the MLB. Already heavily scouted but already knows where he wants to be. Will come cheaper then other pitchers.
FITS: Yankees, Cubs, Padres, Mariners, Dodgers, ETC.
Prediction: Yankees for 5 years $60 Million.
#8: LHP Josh Hader:
Yet another pitcher BUT… This time baseball’s best closer. Teams have wanted him for a while. He finally gets to pick where he wants to be. Bad news for him is relief pitching contracts have tanked the last few years.
FITS: Padres, Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Phillies, ETC.
Prediction: Yankees for 5 years $60 Million.
#9 OF Cody Bellinger (MUTUAL OPTION EXPECTED EXERSIZED):
Not yet a FA but ranks here none the less should the Cubs or he reject the mutual option. Industry expectation as of right now is it will be accepted. One of the best CF’s in the game. Great bounce back year.
Fits: Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, Phillies, Angels, ETC.
Prediction: Stays with Cubs on long term 8 year $254 Million extension.
#10: LHP Clayton Kershaw:
Yes yet another SP. This one is going to one of 2 teams only IF HE DOESN’T RETIRE!
Fits: Dodgers, and his home town Rangers ONLY!
Prediction: Dodgers for 1 Year $20 Million.
#11: OF Teoscar Hernandez:
A 1st time FA after being traded to the Mariners. Many teams are looking for RH OFers. He will get a good contract.
FITS: Mets, Mariners, Dodgers, Phillies, Cubs, ETC.
Prediction: Dodgers for 5 years $75 Million.
#12: RHP Lucas Giolito:
Coming of a major, MAJOR down year. Looking for a 1 year prove it deal most likely. We’ll see where he lands.
FITS: Phillies, Tigers, Mariners, Dodgers, Cubs, Padres, ETC.
Prediction: Phillies for 1 year $8.5 Million.
#13: RHP Jack Flaherty:
Yes another SP. SO, SO MANY! HAHA Coming off a down year by his standards. Should get a good enough contract though.
FITS: Phillies, Cardinals, Cubs, Royals, Twins, Guardians, Padres, ETC.
Prediction: Cubs for 3 years $68 Million.
#14: 3B Jeimer Candelario:
Coming off a 1 year prove it deal he nailed and off getting traded to his 1st team who drafted hi8m the Cubs, he’s looking for a monster payday. He’ll get it by all accounts.
FITS: Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, ETC.
Prediction: Stays with Cubs for 8 years $185 Million.
#15: RHP Sonny Gray:
Yes another SP (HINT: MORE ARE COMING!). A good one at that. The A’s want him back to lead their staff. So many teams contemplating offers. He’ll get a great contract.
FITS: Mets, Mariners, Twins, A’s, Braves, Phillies, Dodgers, Cubs, Reds, ETC.
Prediction: Mets for 5 years $105 Million.
#16: LHP Jordan Montgomery:
Told ya more SP’s were coming and not close to done yet! Gumby (HIS NICKNAME) coming off a okay year. So many teams interested. A pitcher that got traded voiding a QO as well.
FITS: Cubs, Dodgers, Padres, Mariners, Twins, Reds, ETC.
Prediction: Twins for 5 years $60 Million.
#17: RHP Kenta Maeda:
Another SP. Told yeah tons and tons in this FA class. A good SP that’s a perfect depth piece for any rotation.
FITS: Mets, Dodgers, Cubs, Padres, Mariners, Twins, Blue Jays, ETC.
Prediction: Mariners for 4 Years $48 Million.
#18: OF Jung Hoo Lee:
A hot hitting 25 YEAR OLD Korean League ALL STAR AND BATTING CHAMP heads to the MAJOR LEAGUES! Will have just about every team after him and will be over paid for as far older Yoshida was a year ago. Great young albeit RAW talent.
FITS: Dodgers, Cubs, Phillies, Yankees, Mets, ETC.
Prediction: Cubs for 8 years and $178 Million.
#19: OF Joc Pederson:
Yes he’s a FA yet again. A typical low average HIGH power #’s DH. Several teams will AT THE VERY LEAST talk to him.
FITS: Giants, Padres, Mariners, A’s, Cubs, Phillies, Rangers, ETC.
Prediction: Stays with Giants for 5 Years $50 Million.
#20: DH JD Martinez:
Coming off a excellent year with the Dodgers and would love to get closer to his home in Miami. The Marlins are desperate for veteran power bats. A perfect fit no?
Fits: Marlins, Braves, Dodgers, Redsox, Blue Jays, O’s, Rays, ETC.
Prediction: Marlins for 3 years $54 Million.
#21: LHP Aroldis Chapman
Another pitcher and another reliever. So many teams desperate for back end help he’ll find a team. Good stuff is still very good at age 35.
FITS: Rangers, Dodgers, Cubs, Twins, Royals, Mariners, ETC.
Prediction: Cubs for 3 years $33 Million.
#22: OF/DH Hunter Renfroe:
Coming off a short deal with the Angels in which he was in the end traded away. An okay year none the less. Teams looking for a RH HITTING OFer will be all over him.
FITS: Dodgers, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, ETC.
Prediction: Mets for 3 years $33 Million.
#23: 1B CJ Cron:
The top 1B on the market this offseason. Its an area of need as well for the very good production he provides at still just 33 years old. Should find a contract somewhere and quickly.
FITS: Rockies, Cubs, Mariners, Phillies, Twins, Marlins, ETC.
Prediction: Cubs for 3 years $45 Million.
#24: RHP Luis Severino:
Yes, YET ANOTHER SP! With the Yankees adding 2 others he’s gone. Free to find another place to start and try to win games. Should get an okay deal with his stuff still very good and still just 28 years old.
FITS: Padres, Braves, Rays, Cubs, Phillies, Mets, ETC.
Prediction: Padres for 1 year $8.5 Million.
#25: RHP Jordan Hicks:
Yet another fire balling relief pitcher. Will be a hot commodity. Teams love his stuff though he is a bit wild at times. Still just 27 years old as well.
FITS: Cubs, Yankees, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Cardinals, Royals, ETC.
Prediction: Royals for 5 years $50 Million + Incentives.
BONUS: OF/DH MICHEAL BRANTLEY:
An oft injured DH pretty much now. Could play OF every once in a while. As the lingering parts of his career wind down he can still help a club out at DH.
FITS: Royals, Cubs, Astros, Marlins, Dodgers, Padres, Mariners, ETC.
Prediction: Royals for 3 years $24 Million.
TOP 5 TRADE CANDIDTAES AND PREDICTED DESTINATIONS:
NOTE: I was correct about all 5 last year and 3/5 on their destinations!
#1: OF/DH Mike Trout:
Yes he’s here. After the Angels said he will be traded if he requests so and Ohtani guaranteed to be bolting He’s gone. I have been told in no uncertain terms he already demanded a trade with set destinations in mind.
FITS: Yankees, Phillies, Mets, And Nationals ONLY!
Prediction: Traded to the Phillies.
#2: OF Juan Soto:
Here we go again. Going into his contract year and wanting out of SD after a abysmal year by the Padres he’s gone.
Fits: Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, ETC.
Prediction: Traded to the Yankees for a package headlined by Anthony Volpe, and Everson Pereira.
#3: INF Gleyber Torres:
Yes as his arb demands get higher and his walking into a walk year with the Yankees having no plans to extend him he’s gone.
Fits: Cubs, Dodgers, Padres, Rockies, Braves, ETC.
Prediction: Traded to the Rockies in the next trade.
#4 3B Ryan McMahon:
Yes he will be traded due to going into an identical situation to which Nolan Arenado was the offseason he was traded. That is the offseason 2 years before an opt out. He’s gone. They already had talks with the Yankees on this and the industry belief is it gets done.
Prediction: Traded to Yankees for a package around Torres and German.
#5: SS Johnathan India:
Yes FINALLY be will be dealt. Where too? Just look for teams needing MIDDLE INFIELD HELP.
FITS: Dodgers, Padres, Royals, Guardians, Nationals, Mariners, ETC.
Prediction: Traded to Dodgers.
BONUS: RHP David Bednar:
Yes him again. He’ll be on the market but at a very, VERY high price.
FITS: Every team.
Prediction: Stays put again.
So much to come and so many moves to be made. Several teams will be aggressive and others will sit it out as always happens. Thoughts folks again remember I have a over 80% accuracy rate?
BY: Adam King