Major League Baseball has had a pretty ridiculous offseason. Spring training has already begun and yet there are still a ton of top-tier free agents available.
With that in mind here’s a look at the top 10 free agents available as spring training is in full swing.
1. Manny Machado
Manny Machado is still available. After hitting .297 with 37 home runs and 107 RBIs in 2018 with a .905 OPS and a 6.2 fWAR split between the Orioles and Dodgers, Machado is still out there. He’s a four-time All-Star, a two-time Gold Glove winner and has a career fWAR of 30.2 in seven seasons.
Given his positional versatility on the left side of the infield and the fact that the 26-year-old’s value likely won’t decline as quickly as he transitions to third base, he lands here at the top of the list.
The Phillies, White Sox and Padres are all in the mix to sign Machado, but he likely won’t get the kind of deal he was looking for this offseason.
UPDATE: Machado and the San Diego Padres have agreed to a deal. But the rest of these guys have not, yet.
2. Bryce Harper
Like Machado, Bryce Harper is somehow still a free agent in mid-February. The 26-year-old right fielder is coming off arguably his worst full-season during his seven-year career with the Nationals. He hit .249 with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs, with a .889 OPS and a 3.5 fWAR.
Despite his struggles in 2018 and his declining defensive ability, Harper is a six-time All-Star, was the 2015 NL MVP, has won the Hank Aaron Award and a Silver Slugger. His career fWAR of 30.7 is excellent. He has a big left-handed bat that could help anyone.
The Phillies, Padres and Giants have all shown recent interest in Harper and more teams are likely to make offers.
3. Dallas Keuchel
Dallas Keuchel is somehow only 31 years old despite it feeling like he’s been around forever. The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner had a down campaign in 2018, which has made him a buy-low candidate this winter.
Keuchel finished lat season with a 12-11 record, a 3.74 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 204.2 innings. He had a 3.6 fWAR in 2018, which is solid, but not great when you’re in a contract year. The Astros offered to re-sign him but to no avail.
A lefty with excellent command who fields his position well, Keuchel should age fairly well especially given his status as an extreme ground ball pitcher.
The Astros, Phillies and Padres have been connected to Keuchel recently.
4. Craig Kimbrel
High-leverage relievers haven’t gotten great deals over the past few seasons, and Craig Kimbrel has proven that market stinks yet again. He’s statistically one of the greatest closers of all-time and at just 30 years old, he’s got plenty of time left.
Kimbrel is a seven-time All-Star, a two-time Reliever of the Year and helped the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series. In 532.2 career innings, Kimbrel has a 1.91 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP and a ridiculous 868 strikeouts. He also has 333 saves in 367 attempts.
The Braves, Red Sox, Phillies and Twins have been connected to Kimbrel recently, but he’s not going to get anywhere near the contract he was looking for a few months ago.
5. Marwin Gonzalez
Marwin Gonzalez was a vastly underrated member of the Astros’ 2017 World Series championship team. He hit .303 with 23 home runs, 90 RBIs and boasted a .907 OPS and a 4.0 fWAR.
The 30-year-old had a down year in 2018, hitting .247 with 16 home runs, 68 RBIs, with a .733 OPS and a 1.6 fWAR. That’s a real down season in a contract year.
Despite that, he’s a great super-utility option that can play both corner outfield spots and every position on the infield.
The Rockies, White Sox, Padres and Nationals have all expressed interest in Gonzalez.
6. Gio Gonzalez
Gio Gonzalez is a veteran lefty coming off a tough season in which he closed strong. In five starts with the Milwaukee Brewers in September, he went 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 22 strikeouts in 25.1 innings.
That performance was encouraging but didn’t wipe away his struggles with the Nationals over the previous few months. In Washington, Gonzalez went 7-11 with a 4.57 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP over 145.2 innings.
A 33-year-old, two-time All-Star, Gonzalez isn’t the pitcher he once was after 11 big league seasons. But he’s also just one season removed from going 15-9 in 2017, with a 2.96 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP and a 3.4 fWAR in 201 innings.
The Brewers, Mets and Padres have all been connected to Gonzalez, but it doesn’t appear he’s close to signing.
7. Adam Jones
Adam Jones was one of baseball’s most consistent performers over the last 11 seasons with the Orioles, but at 33 he’s no longer able to handle center field on a daily basis. As a result, his market has largely dried up.
In 2018, Jones hit .281 with 15 home runs, 63 RBIs, a .732 OPS and a 0.5 fWAR. That has followed a steady decline since he peaked a 4.9 fWAR in 2013. He’s just not the player he once was.
Still, Jones is a five-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove Award winner. He’s well-respected around the league and a great clubhouse guy. Adding him as a bench guy or rotational player, he could be really effective.
The Orioles and Mets have been connected to Jones this winter, but his market has been tepid at best.
8. Josh Harrison
In 2017, Josh Harrison was an All-Star for the second time and posted a 2.6 fWAR while hitting .272 with 16 home runs, 47 RBIs and a .771 OPS. But 2018 was a big-time struggle after he fractured a bone in his hand in April.
Last year, Harrison wound up hitting .250 with eight home runs, 37 RBIs, a .656 OPS and a 0.3 fWAR. The Pirates declined his contract option as a result of his poor season.
Harrison is now fully healthy but his market hasn’t developed. The 31-year-old second baseman has versatility on his side, as he can play the outfield and third base, but it doesn’t appear there is a hot pursuit for him at the moment.
He’s a really nice buy-low candidate right now, and the Angels, Dodgers, Giants, Phillies, Rays, Nationals and Rangers have all showed interest.
9. Jose Iglesias
Jose Iglesias finished his 2018 season on the disabled list due to an abdominal strain and hit free agency after five-plus years with the Tigers.
Iglesias slashed .269/.310/.389 with a 2.5 fWAR. He also ranked as one of the top shortstops in baseball defensively. Look, Iglesias is never going to light the world on fire with his bat, he can certainly add value as a defense-first shortstop for someone.
Any team in need a shortstop late in spring training would likely have Iglesias at the top of their list. He doesn’t appear close to agreeing to a deal.
10. Ervin Santana
Ervin Santana suffered a middle finger injury throughout the 2018 season and missed most of the season as a result. The Twins declined his contract option in October, thus making him a free agent.
A 36-year-old right-hander, Santana is a two-time All-Star and is just a year away from a stellar 2017 campaign. During that year, he went 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and a 2.9 fWAR in 211.1 innings.
While his career is clearly on a downward trend, Santana can still get outs in the big leagues. Earlier in the offseason, he was drawing wide interest but, as with everyone in this market, offers have not been coming.