Major League Baseball's free-agent market may be on a break, but that isn't stopping the rumor mill from spinning.
For instance, have you heard the latest on Trevor Story?
On Monday, Jon Heyman of Audacy and MLB Network reported that both clubs from this year's American League Championship Series have their eyes on Story. A few days prior, Robert Murray of FanSided noted that another rising power in the American League also has him on the radar.
This means at least three clubs are after the former Colorado Rockies shortstop, though others certainly fit him well and could make a play for him.
Let's size up his market value and then count down his top 10 potential landing spots.
What Will Story Be Looking For in Free Agency?
If Story had hit the open market after 2020, he could have set his sights on a megadeal akin to the 10-year, $325 million contract that fellow shortstop Corey Seager inked this month with the Texas Rangers.
He didn't, however, and the nature of his 2021 season complicates his value on this winter's market.
After starring to the tune of a .909 OPS, 83 home runs, 65 stolen bases and a shortstop-high 15.7 rWAR between 2018 and 2020, Story hit a wall this year. An elbow injury hindered him early, and he hit .251 with an average 103 OPS+.
The 29-year-old nonetheless rejected an $18.4 million qualifying offer from the Rockies, thereby choosing to bet on himself in free agency. Given the team's baffling handling of him during the summer trading season, Story might also have simply wanted out of Colorado.
His decision looks even better in the context of the big bucks the market has paid out not only to Seager but also to Marcus Semien (seven years, $175 million) and Javier Baez (six years, $140 million). Even after his volatile 2021 season, Story can aim to land between the latter two players.
As for which clubs might be willing to pay that kind of money for Story, let's start with his hometown team.
10. Texas Rangers
Irving, Texas, is where Story was born and where he made himself worthy of a first-round draft pick in 2011 with his play at Irving High School.
His professional journey began a short drive away from the Rangers' home in Arlington. If he wants to bring things full circle, the Rangers might be happy to accommodate him.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers met with Story before they dropped $500 million on Seager and Semien. Such huge signings take them out of the running for Story in theory, but maybe not in reality if they fancy him as a third baseman.
That's where the Rangers have Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who's a gifted defender but not a good enough hitter for the hot corner. Story, on the other hand, has the goods to be a two-way star.
Yet this is admittedly a reach. Even if the Rangers wanted to stretch their budget further than they already have, Story might not see a homecoming as worth a position switch and a less hitter-friendly home ballpark than he's used to.