MLB’s Biggest Free Agents and Their Predicted Landing Spots

It’s that time of year again: the offseason. With the holidays coming around, general managers and front offices won’t be making lists of gifts for themselves or their families, they will instead become the Santa Claus of their organization as some look to spend big to meet their team’s needs. 

Will Judge remain loyal to the Yankees or end up back in his home state of California with the Giants? Where will each of the big name shortstops end up? Which teams will spend big this offseason? 

Aaron Judge— New York Yankees: 8 years, $330 million

Judge will remain a Yankee. He has to, he’s too valuable to the Yankees for them to let him go. With Judge recently winning the 2022 AL MVP, there’s no doubt that he’s going to become the highest paid position player, surpassing Mike Trout, and become the first position player to make over $40 million. The Yankees’ fan base will riot if this isn’t the verdict (pun intended), and it seems that owner Hal Steinbrenner and GM Brian Cashman remain confident they can retain him. 

Jacob deGrom— Texas Rangers: 4 years, $160 million

I have that feeling that the Rangers will go at it again this offseason; we saw the same thing last year when they spent big and signed both Corey Seager and Marcus Semien to long term deals. It makes sense for the Rangers to go after deGrom, he is arguably one of the best starting pitchers in the league and the Rangers seem desperate for starting pitching as they are big contenders to watch for in the pitching market this offseason. 

Trea Turner— Philadelphia Phillies: 8 years, $280 million 

Turner could practically fill any in hole as a 2B/SS for just about any team, but after their most recent trip to the World Series, Dave Dombrowski’s Phillies have shown that they have the talent to make it in the postseason, and that they also have flaws. Signing Trea Turner would give them a significant boost to their lineup and provide some speed and solid defense up the middle of the infield. With Turner’s young age, signing him to a long term deal would give the Phillies years of his athleticism to work with. Along with his connection with Bryce Harper as former teammates, the All-Star could persuade some type of deal to go through. 

Carlos Correa— Baltimore Orioles or Chicago Cubs: 9 years, $300 million

It’s hard not to see either the Orioles or Cubs walking away with at least one of the top shortstops. Baltimore is building up a strong core filled with young talent in their farm system and some already well established players to keep building off of for the future. The Cubs on the other hand completely sold their 2016 World Series core last season, but they have the money to start spending to get back into the playoff picture. Correa’s young age gives the Cubs years to come to build off of his talent and develop a new core. With the expanded playoff format continuing for the foreseeable future, both the Cubs and Orioles—more so the Orioles at this point in time— could earn a berth by signing Correa. 

Dansby Swanson— Atlanta Braves: 6 years, $126 million

We all know Alex Anthopoulos has that magic touch to retaining his players to cheap, long term deals and I believe it will be the same case with Swanson. Dating back to 2020, Swanson has become a valuable piece to the Braves’ lineup and has even made his way up the top shortstop rankings. Retaining Swanson on a long term contract would be a smart move for the Braves, especially if they want to keep their core locked up for even more years to come. 

Xander Bogaerts— St. Louis Cardinals: 6 years, $180 million

In a world where the Red Sox wouldn’t try to retain their All-Star shortstop, the Cardinals makes too much sense as a potential Bogaerts landing spot. Last season, the Cardinals rolled with Tommy Edman at short, who primarily has played second, and long story short, he put up a pretty good year defensively. Adding in the offensive machine that is Bogaerts to a lineup with both Nolan Arenado and reigning NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt would be such a significant offensive boost. The Cardinals are there in terms of playing performance as a team, adding on Bogaerts would give them that extra push. 

Justin Verlander— Los Angeles Dodgers: 2 years, $80 million

A Cy Young winning season was not expected from an aging Verlander, who will be entering his age 40 season this coming season, and with that performance comes a big paycheck in return. Rumors circulating around what Verlander is seeking is similar to what Max Scherzer’s current contract with the Mets is worth, around $40 million per year. Even with Verlander’s remarkable return from Tommy John, it’s risky for any team to commit to that contract for a pitcher Verlander’s age. The Dodgers and Verlander just make sense. The Dodgers have a lot of money coming off their books this offseason, and after losing out on Tyler Anderson, Verlander could be another spark for their rotation. Kershaw. Verlander. Buehler. Urias. Gonsolin. Wow. 

Carlos Rodon— New York Mets: 5 years, $135 million

Rodon opted out of his previous contract with the Giants despite putting up his best season to date. With the Mets potentially losing out on three of their five starters— deGrom, Bassitt and Walker— it would be shocking if Steve Cohen and the Mets don’t go after a big name pitcher. Even when the Mets were seen to have the best one-two punch in Scherzer and deGrom last season, their rotation was still flawed in injuries. Perhaps Scherzer- Rodon could be the next great one-two punch in the Mets’ rotation.

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