The Baltimore Orioles just signed Mark Trumbo to a three year deal, and the Blue Jays took another major free agent off the board earlier this week by reuniting with Jose Bautista. Despite these two big signings, there is still quite a bit talent remaining in the free agent pool, especially when you consider that it is mid-January. Here's a look at where each free agent could end up in the coming weeks:
Matt Wieters: Washington Nationals. Two Years, $27 million.
After losing Wilson Ramos to the Rays, the Nationals could look to replace his presence in the lineup with a former all-star in Wieters. Scott Boras appears to have a strong relationship with the Nationals, and Wieters has spent his whole career playing for the nearby Baltimore Orioles. Signing Wieters would allow the Nats to trade Derek Norris or Jose Lobaton to the Blue Jays, which could help free up money.
The Rockies are another strong fit, but it's unclear as to whether or not they have the necessary payroll space. The Diamondbacks already inked Chris Iannetta, and it's tough to see a rebuilding team like the White Sox making the commitment.
Jason Hammel: New York Yankees. Two Years, $25 million.
The Yankees can certainly afford Hammel, plus there is a clear need in their starting rotation. The 34-year old right-hander boasts an ERA under 4.00 in each of the past three seasons, but pitching in front of a terrific defence certainly helped his cause. Due to a weak pitching market, it's tough to envision the Yankees finding a better option, and the team was even linked to Hammel earlier in the offseason.
With a trio of Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, and Tyler Clippard in the bullpen, the Yankees should have no problems preserving leads, but starting pitching depth is needed to make this roster competitive. The Padres, Athletics, and Reds would also make sense on a short-term deal.
Mike Napoli: Texas Rangers. Two Years, $21 million.
It's tough to find a strong fit for Napoli at this point, but the Texas Rangers could certainly use a big right-handed bat in the middle of their lineup. After losing Carlos Beltran to the division rival Houston Astros, I expect the Rangers to look to fill the void, and Napoli brings an ability to draw a walk and hit for power.
The Kansas City Royals could also target Napoli as a replacement for Kendrys Morales, and the White Sox could use a designated hitter if his market collapses.
Brandon Moss: Oakland Athletics. Two Years, $16.5 million.
Michael Saunders just signed a one year, $9 million contract with the Phillies, and Moss boasts the advantage in terms of both power and defence. As Moss' former team, the A's definitely know what he's capable of, and adding a left-handed power bat would be a welcoming addition to their lineup.
The Blue Jays also make plenty of sense, especially if Moss looks for a one-year deal in a hitter-friendly park. I'd expect the Orioles to be out of the running following the Trumbo signing, but a team like the Yankees could jump in to the market at the right price.
Angel Pagan: San Francisco Giants. One Year, $5 million.
Don't expect him to hit 12 home runs again, but Pagan can still put the ball in play and hit for a strong average. San Francisco could use a cheap outfield addition, and Pagan likely wants to return to the Giants given their success. Given his profile as a low-power, high-contact bat, he's a better fit for AT&T Park than anywhere else. If a reunion does not happen, the Orioles look like the next best fit.
Chris Carter: Colorado Rockies. One Year, $6 million.
Pedro Alvarez: Chicago White Sox. One Year, $5.25 million.
Adam Lind: Kansas City Royals. One Year, $3 million.
Hank Conger: Toronto Blue Jays. One Year, $2 million.
Chase Utley: Los Angeles Angels. One Year, $7.5 million.
Jerry Blevins:Toronto Blue Jays. Two Years, $13.5 million.
Boone Logan: New York Mets. Two Years, $11 million.
Travis Wood: Philadelphia Phillies. Two Years, $11 million.
Ryan Hanigan and Dioner Navarro could instead end up in Toronto, but Hank Conger would be my preference. The Jays seem to be in the market for a left-handed reliever, and Blevins is the best name available. Personally, I would not overpay for a left-handed specialist, but I will not be surprised if that is ultimately what happens.
What are your predictions for the rest of the offseason? Let us know in the comments.