MLB: Top available unrestricted free agents this offseason

Sep 8, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge (99) gestures to teammates after doubling during the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge (99) gestures to teammates after doubling during the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

For those MLB teams that are not playoff bound, free agency is what we are all looking for the most. What will our teams do? What will our rivals do? But first, let’s take a look at the top available unrestricted soon-to-be free agents per position.

Top expected MLB free agents this coming offseason

Catcher: Willson Contreras

The 30-year-old Willson Contreras, a three time all-star in seven seasons, is the best free agent catcher on the market for this coming offseason. Contreras dominates defensively, as he has a 30% caught stealing percentage, just 6% lower than J.T. Realmuto. This season for the Cubs, Contreras is hitting .246 with 21 homers, and 54 RBI. He would be a great addition to any team.

First Base: Josh Bell

The 30-year-old switch hitting first baseman has been very consistent at the plate over his seven year career. Currently with the Padres, Bell is struggling at the plate. However, before the trade deadline with the Nationals, Bell hit .301. Bell has a career batting average of .264 to this point. He is someone who can get on base and will help those who need a switch hitter in their lineup.

Second base: Adam Frazier

This season with the Mariners, Frazier is struggling as he is hitting just .239 with a .305 OBP. However, in his seven year career, mostly with the Pirates, he has a career .274 batting average and a .337 OBP. Frazier is someone who will get on base and is likely just having a fluke season.

Third base: No one

The unrestricted free agents for third base this offseason are not good. If your team needs to sign a third baseman this offseason, it is probably better off to sign a 2nd baseman or a shortstop instead. The best available unrestricted third baseman is Marwin Gonzalez. Gonzalez is not known for his bat, just hitting .190. However, he plays every position, so having that extra glove off the bench is beneficial.

Left Field: Andrew Benintendi

For the first half of the season, Benintendi was hitting the ball left and right. During his time with the Kansas City Royals, he hit .320 in 93 games; however, since being traded to the Yankees, he has been struggling at the plate with a .254 average in 27 games. Benintendi ended up hurting his wrist and is on the 10-day IL.  When healthy, he will get on base. He would be beneficial to any team, especially those who struggle to get people on base.

Center Field: Aaron Judge

Many people may see Judge as a right fielder, but he has played more games at center this season than right. It is pretty obvious that the elite Yankee is the best available at this position and may be the best available amongst all MLB free agents.

Right Field: Brandon Nimmo

This one is difficult because Mitch Haniger is also a solid option for the position. However, Nimmo is the better available right field free agent because he is a few years younger, a little faster, bats left-handed, and has a much higher OBP. This season with the Mets, Nimmo is hitting .261 with a .355 OBP. He is someone that has always had a good OBP. Whoever signs him knows he will get on base.

Designated Hitter: J.D. Martinez

The lengthy contract the Red Sox gave Martinez is finally coming to an end. However, in his final year of the contract, Martinez is having a solid year. Hitting .272 with 11 homers and 52 RBI. Despite Martinez’s age, amongst the strictly designated hitters available, he is the hitter that will maintain a higher batting average than the rest, such as Jorge Soler, who is also a free agent.

Starting Pitcher: Noah Syndergaard

If this list were to include players who have player and club options, then it would be an obvious choice that Jacob deGrom is the best available. However, he has a player option and Syndergaard is an unrestricted free agent. Between two teams this season, the Angels and Phillies, Syndergaard has a 4.18 ERA and a 1.276 WHIP. Those numbers may not be the prettiest, but we know he is someone who can get people out and will go five to six innings. Syndergaard may not be the ace he once was, but as a second or third pitcher for a team pushing for the playoffs, or a back of the rotation pitcher for a playoff team would be a great addition to the rotation.

Closing Pitcher: Edwin Diaz

The man who made a walk out song trending, Edwin Diaz has been lights out this year. Arguably the best closer in baseball right now, Diaz has a 1.47 ERA and a 0.909 WHIP in 55 games. So far this season, Diaz is 29 for 32 on saves, shutting down batters. Many people may think that this season is a fluke for Diaz, as his career ERA in 7 seasons is a 2.98, however, his career 1.08 WHIP may say otherwise. Diaz will continue to dominate as a closer for years to come.

Next. Will we see another Maddux or Wakefield?. dark

Like all MLB off-seasons, this one will be exciting to see what happens. From the top available unrestricted free agents to the players with options. Will Jacob DeGrom, Nolan Arenado, and Xander Bogaerts opt out? Will Charlie Morton, Aaron Nola, Sonny Gray, and Luis Severino be released from their club option? Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see where these players go and what their financial value is.