Alright, well, it looks like my playoff predictions were a little off in the Wild Card round. Consider me a Miami Marlins fan until they lose in the playoffs, because there must be something magic in the water down there. That said, my predictions are locked in, so I’m going to move on into a too-early-for-some prediction of where some of my free agents of note go after the season ends.
Trevor Bauer, SP
Bauer had a dominant year for the Reds with a 1.74 ERA with 100 Ks in his 11 starts, but only having a 5-4 record to show for it. It’s very possible he will stay with Cincinnati, but from what I see Bauer will want to make the most money possible this offseason, and there’s a few teams willing to shell it out to get him. One of those possible teams was mentioned in a recent tweet by him:
No, this certainly doesn’t mean Bauer is meeting with the team ahead of schedule. More likely, he’s visiting someone or scoping out possible destinations before meeting with teams. My undying devotion to the Red Sox might be clouding my judgement here, but I definitely see Boston getting their hands on this Free Agent to bolster their pitching. Cincy won’t be able to afford him
Marcell Ozuna, OF
Ozuna had a terrific year in Atlanta, coming very close to winning the Triple Crown while solidifying the Braves’ DH spot in this weird season. He’s in a position to make a lot of money (and hopefully a fan base very happy) next year. However, it will really depend on whether the DH stays in the NL or not next year for where he ends up. If the DH remains, I definitely think he’ll be staying in ATL. If not, I see an up-an-coming team nabbing him and making a push next year. Sounds too me like the White Sox will come calling.
Marcus Stroman, SP
Stro’ made waves earlier this season after he backed out of the season almost immediately after fulfilling his service time obligations to become a free agent this season (I wrote an article about that here), which makes me think he doesn’t really want to be in New York. Of course, he hasn’t said that he isn’t coming back; it just seems he wants to make more money. It’s a real possibility for the Mets to keep him, but I see him getting overpaid by a desperate team. I could see the Cardinals try to pick him up, with the Mets and Royals also in the mix.
Jackie Bradley Jr, OF
I’m adding this here especially as a Red Sox fan. It truly looks like JBJ’s played his last game in Boston, given the team’s seemingly ambivalence to his free agency status. A guy like that wants to play somewhere he’s wanted. He’s one of the best defensive outfielders in the game, so he could pair nicely with some more offensive-minded players in the corners. A couple of teams likely looking for a center fielder are the Diamondbacks (if Ketel Marte doesn’t move back there), the Astros (if they don’t resign George Springer), and the Blue Jays. Personally, I’d prefer the Dbacks, but I think the Astros might be the most likely scenario as they try to move away from the cheating scandal of 2017.
DJ Lamahieu, 2B
DJ’s smashed his two years in the Bronx, and I’ve hated every minute of it. But, he’ll be a free agent, and despite being 32 when Opening Day comes around in 2021, he’ll receive a ton of interest. I still think he’ll stay with the Yankees (because when have they ever lost a free agent they wanted to keep), but the Red Sox and Twins will definitely try to pull him away.
Yasiel Puig, OF
I wanted to mention Puig because even though he didn’t play this year, I expect him to get some interest on the market, even if it’s not a huge contract. He almost played for the Braves this year before he contracted COVID, so they might be in play again (especially if they lose Ozuna). The Red Sox will probably also call if JBJ walks, but ultimately I think the Marlins will sign him. After their surprise run to the postseason, I think they may try to build a strong team to compete sooner rather than later.
There’s plenty of other notable FA’s out there, but these are the ones I’ll be keeping my eye on. And of course, the signing means nothing if the play doesn’t follow the next season. Hopefully everyone plays to the contract they sign so we can have some good ball played in 2021!
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