MLB Free Agents: 2021 free agency outlook, AL East

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 10: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox strikes out swinging in the sixth inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 10: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox strikes out swinging in the sixth inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Of the players impacted by a potentially lost season, 2021’s MLB free agents have the most to lose. Here’s a look at potential free agents in the AL East..

MLB’s most-recent safety proposal, released this last Saturday, is just one more obstacle in which the league has overcome, as the sport continues to push ahead to become the first American major league back. Although, as we saw last week when Blake Snell essentially refused to play this year if there are continued cuts in player salaries, not much headway has been made regarding the financials for the 2020 season.

This past weekend I wrote up the first installment of what was the beginning of our 2021 free agency outlook, starting out with the National League East division — a group of teams featuring a total of 30 upcoming free agents, adding up to almost combined $175 million in total player salaries set to fall off the division’s five teams next offseason. Today, as swap back and forth between leagues, we look at the AL East and it’s a current pool of players expected to hit the market in 2021.

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AL East free agent outlook

Unlike the NL East, the AL East has far fewer players hitting the open market next winter, including one team (the Tampa Bay Rays) with literally zero 2021 MLB free agents. However, similar to the Senior Circuit’s east division, there are still some high-caliber players in need of a 2020 season to really prop of their value going forward.

(total value of contracts coming off 2021 payroll in parenthesis)

  1. New York Yankees — 3 players ($46.642M)
  2.  Boston Red Sox — 4 players ($19.350M)
  3. Toronto Blue Jays — 4 players ($18.150M)
  4. Baltimore Orioles — 1 player ($800,000)
  5. Tampa Bay Rays — NA

As you can see, the AL East rosters 12 players tabbed as 2021 MLB free agents, with 10 of those soon-to-be job seekers 30-years-old or above (or 83% of the class), which is somewhat consistent with the NL East — a group with 77% of its players currently 30-years-or older (granted in a division with almost three times as many free agents). It’s more for my interest, though compelling nonetheless, thus far 78% of the free agents (33 of 42) we’ve covered within this series (including this one) have been of the 30+ variety — a rate that makes perfect sense when considering how long it takes for players to actually reach free agency in MLB. Hopefully that unfortunate trend will change one day.

Let’s look at each team…