MLB free agent predictions: Landing spots for top 20 players

CBS Sports

Major League Baseball's offseason is now officially underway, with free agents able to sign wherever they please. Some players, like left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney, have already found new homes; others are certain to follow between now and Dec. 1, when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires. The owners are expected to lock out the players at that point, bringing the offseason to a halt.

Even so, we're going about our normal winter business, including running articles like this one, wherein we predict the landing spots of the top 20 free agents. (You can check out our full rankings of the top 50 free agents here.) As with psychic readings in the lovely state of New Jersey, we are legally obligated to note that these predictions are only for entertainment purposes. 

With that out of the way, let us process.

No. 1 Carlos Correa, SS: Yankees

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has declared that he has the payroll "latitude" to make additions. What, precisely, that entails is to be seen. Correa makes a lot of sense for the Yankees: he can provide them better defense at the shortstop position, and he would give their lineup another impact-level bat. The Yankees have already signed one former Astro to a massive contract, in Gerrit Cole, suggesting New York's front office is unlikely to worry too much about the sign-stealing scandal.

No. 2 Corey Seager, SS: Cubs

The Cubs have been signaling, both publicly and privately, that they intend to spend money this winter. Seager would provide a face to their new-look roster while also giving their lineup a much-needed boost. That Seager may have to eventually slide off shortstop seems like less of a problem for a team in transition than it was for, say, the Dodgers.

No. 3 Kris Bryant, 3B/OF: Mets

Bryant's defensive versatility makes him a fit for several teams. We're going with the Mets here because they could use another potent bat. Plus, it would be cool to see Bryant play next to Francisco Lindor.

No. 4 Marcus Semien, 2B: Mariners

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has boxed himself in on which top free agents he can pursue without breaking public promises. Semien, who leads the majors in position-player Wins Above Replacement since 2019, would still seem to fit. 

No. 5 Freddie Freeman, 1B: Braves

It would be shocking if the Braves allowed Freeman to walk right after they won their first World Series in more than two decades. We think they'll figure it out.

No. 6 Robbie Ray, LHP: Blue Jays

Since we have Semien heading elsewhere, we'll keep Ray in Toronto. The Blue Jays certainly have the means to reward his excellent season with a longer, more lucrative contract than the one-year deal worth $8 million they gave him last winter.

#baseball, #professional

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