5) SS Dansby Swanson – Cubs – Seven years, $168 million
Dansby Swanson has proven himself a lot more in the last three seasons at the plate. Before 2020, his bat was well-below-average. Even with his bat improving, his bat is not as good as the others ahead of him and it’s not particularly close. His best tools are his baserunning and his defense. He’s also the second-youngest to Carlos Correa.
The Cubs are a good fit for him as they need to address a number of things this offseason. They can still get a very good shortstop but use the extra $100 million+ that would be needed for Correa or Turner and instead address another area of the team.
6) Jacob deGrom – Rangers – Three years, $130 million
When he is healthy, Jacob deGrom is arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball. The problem is that he hasn’t been healthy. He has made 26 starts in the last two seasons combined.
Even with that, from 2017 through 2021, he came in the Top 10 in NL Cy Young Award voting, including winning it in 2018 and 2019. He turns 35 during next season so the injury issues may linger. That’s why he likely will only get a three-year deal as well.
Along with the Rangers, the Mets (his team before hitting free agency), Phillies, Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, Red Sox, Cardinals, Angels, Padres, Orioles, and Twins could be in the hunt for him.
7) SP Carlos Rodon – Giants – Five years, $125 million
In the last two seasons, Carlos Rodon has been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball. He has been an All-Star in each of the last two seasons and, in 2021, he came in fifth in the AL Cy Young Award voting. He’s likely get some Cy Young Award votes in 2022 as well.
Rodon is set to turn 30 this offseason, but whichever team that signs him has a huge problem: his health. He has spent parts of eight seasons in the major leagues and he has made 25 or more starts in a season twice. Only one season (this past season) has had more than 30 starts. So, much like deGrom, he is great but can he actually stay healthy?
The Giants have a lot of money to spend this offseason so they could easily re-sign him long-term. He will have similar suitors as deGrom.