MLB Free Agency: Six bold predictions for baseball’s top free agents

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) rounds the bases after a home run in the seventh inning during Game 6 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) rounds the bases after a home run in the seventh inning during Game 6 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

3. The Yankees miss out on Cole and Strasburg, but sign Zack Wheeler and Madison Bumgarner

It is no secret that the New York Yankees are in the market for a starting pitcher this offseason. They fell short of their World Series dreams in 2019, and they will look to reload their rotation using the power of money. Without a doubt, Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg will be at the top of their wishlists. The talents of Cole and Strasburg have been well-documented, and both are going to be rewarded with lucrative paydays. Thus, it is likely the Yankees will be able to get one, but not both.

However, the Yankees are not the only ones who have Cole and Strasburg as their top priorities. Teams like the Phillies, Padres, Angels, and Rangers all seem willing to unload the kitchen sink on these guys. While the Yankees can certainly win a bidding war with any team in the league, they may reconsider their approach.

Instead of giving Cole or Strasburg one massive contract, they could elect to spread that money out to two quality starters. Two that instantly come to mind as good fits are Zack Wheeler and Madison Bumgarner.

Bumgarner has been linked to the Yankees dating back to the 2018 trade deadline, but the Giants’ asking price was too high. Now, the Yankees can use their financial resources to sign him. While the former World Series MVP has declined from his dominant years, he has still been a quality starter. Last year, he posted a 3.90 ERA and FIP, with 203 strikeouts. His price will be affordable, and postseason experience makes him attractive to a team of the Yankees’ caliber.

Zack Wheeler is another affordable, quality starter on the market. Wheeler’s career has been hindered by injuries, missing all of 2015 and 2016. However, when he has been healthy, he has proven to be an effective starter.

With both Wheeler and Bumgarner, the Yankees’ rotation would be great front to back, with Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and James Paxton on the front end.

Contract Prediction: Wheeler, five years/$90 million, Bumgarner, three years/$48 million