Considering the circumstances, we figure to be in for an unusual free agency period in Major League Baseball next offseason. We’ve already run down the most notable catchers and shortstops who are slated to reach the open market once the winter rolls around in several months. We’ll do the same here with first basemen (players’ listed ages are for the 2021 campaign) …
Top Of The Class
Anthony Rizzo (31): It would be a huge surprise to see Rizzo become a free agent after next season, as he’s a Cubs icon, a valuable player and someone whose 2021 club option ($14.5MM, compared to a $2MM buyout) looks very reasonable for what he’s able to produce.
Carlos Santana (35): Santana’s future appears harder to determine than Rizzo’s. On one hand, Santana’s high-on-base ways lead to solid numbers at the plate every year. Still, it’s fair to wonder if the Indians are going to be willing to exercise his pricey option in 2021. They’re a small-market club, after all, and getting rid of Santana’s $17.5MM salary in favor of a $500K buyout would save them a substantial amount of money.
Yuli Gurriel (37): Gurriel was tremendous last season, a 31-home run, 132 wRC+ performance, but whether it was the product of a juiced ball or a real breakthrough remains to be seen. He wasn’t an offensive dynamo in his previous three major league seasons, and the fact that he’ll be closer to 40 than 30 when he becomes a free agent won’t help his cause.