MLB Free Agents: Top 25 players up for grabs

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets in action against the Los Angeles Dodgers during of a game at Citi Field on September 15, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets in action against the Los Angeles Dodgers during of a game at Citi Field on September 15, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Top 25 MLB Free Agents

Nicholas Castellanos

No player enhanced his free-agent value this past season more than Nicholas Castellanos (4)…and he did it all in the final two months.

As a Detroit Tiger, Castellanos batted .273 with 11 home runs, a .328 on-base average, and a .462 slugging average, all solidly within the realm of average.

Then, traded to the contending Chicago Cubs, Castellanos showed MVP-level performance. In August and September, he delivered 21 doubles and 16 home runs, batted .321 with a .356 on-base average and .646 slugging average.

His OPS+ numbers are simultaneously instructive and confusing. He totaled 121…but that was pegged to 105 in Detroit and 151 in Chicago.

That may leave teams wondering which Castellanos they will get. The most hopeful explanation – and it’s a plausible one – is that Castellanos was inspired by the pennant race in a way that life in Detroit never could. If so, a contending team could net a front-line slugger.

One thing is beyond doubt: Castellanos is a far more valuable commodity today than he was on July 3.

If anything hurts Castellanos’ value, it’s his defense. The Cubs used him exclusively as a right fielder, where he was at best average. If he isn’t already DH material, he will be soon. Castellanos has been in the majors since 2014 and has yet to generate a positive defensive WAR.

Having said that, 58 doubles, a .289 average with .863 slugging – his season-long numbers — is worth something.