The MLB off season is underway and free agency is the hot topic all around baseball. Today I will be starting my six part series where I highlight the top thirty free agents— five players in each part. For, today, here are the 26th-30th best free agents, and my prediction for their landing spots. The ranking of free agents comes from Fangraphs.
30. Brock Holt, IF/OF, Age 32
2019 Statistics: 295 PA, .297/.369/.402 (.771), 3 HR, 31 RBIs, 9.5 BB%, 19.3 K%, 1.3 WAR
Prediction: Cleveland Indians, 2 years, $8 million
Holt is not exactly your modern hitter. Despite his lack of power, he has still had two above average seasons in a row and will be valuable somewhere. He is one of the more versatile players in baseball, playing every fielding position except catcher and center field in 2019. Holt is the type of player who will get a nice deal and fit perfectly on a team as the new 26th roster spot.
The Indians no longer have Jason Kipnis or Yasiel Puig and maybe even Lindor. Brock Holt can come in for a cheap price and play a Marwin Gonzlez type role with Cleveland. For two seasons, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Cleveland to acquire Holt.
29. Wade Miley, SP, Age 33
2019 Statistics: 14-6, 3.98 ERA, 4.51 FIP, 19.4 K%, 8.5 BB%, 1.34 WHIP, 2.0 WAR
Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers, 2 years, $16 million
Miley is coming off a solid 2019 season where he posted an ERA under four, but he fell apart in the second half. He had a 3.28 ERA in the first half and a 5.07 in the second half. He still did have his best K/9 since 2014 but the FIP, home run rate, and BB/9 are a bit concerning.
The Brewers need some solid starting pitching at the back of their rotation. Wade Miley was in Milwaukee in 2018, and pitched very well. Milwaukee acquiring Miley for two seasons at $8 million per year would be good for both sides.
28. Rick Porcello, SP, Age 31
2019 Statistics: 14-12, 5.52 ERA, 4.76 FIP, 18.6 K%, 5.9 BB%, 1.39 WHIP, 1.8 WAR
Prediction: San Francisco Giants, 2 years, $15 million
The former Cy Young Award winner will not be making money anywhere close to what others who have won the award should make. Porcello has had one really good season mixed in with a bunch of average years sine his 2013 debut. You know exactly what you’re getting with him, 185 innings, an ERA in the mid-four area, and a solid strikeout to walk ratio.
His fly ball and home run numbers will scare off a lot of teams, but a ballpark like San Francisco may be exactly what he needs. If a team is looking for a back of the rotation guy to eat innings, Porcello is your guy.
27. Avisail Garcia, OF, Age 29
2019 Statistics: 530 PA, .282/.332/.446 (.778), 20 HR, 72 RBIs, 5.8 BB%, 23.6 K%, 1.8 WAR
Prediction: Cincinnati Reds, 1 year, $12 million
Avisail Garcia is one of the more underrated players in this class due to a market featuring Nicholas Castellanos, Yasiel Puig, Brett Gardner and others. He is very similar to Eddie Rosario in terms of on base percentage, but with less power and better fielding. I expect him to take a one year deal because he still has some upside, and the potential for another 4 WAR season like his 2017.
The Reds are in the market for an outfielder, and going after Garcia saves some money. With Avi, you also know what you’re getting—plus some extra value added if the Reds can unlock it. With a one year deal he can bet on himself and take advantage of a good situation in Cincinnati.
26. Adam Wainwright, SP, 38
2019 Statistics: 14-10, 4.19, 4.36, 20.5 K%, 8.6 BB%, 1.43 WHIP, 2.2 WAR
Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals, 1 year, $9 million
The Cardinals legend showed last season he still has some gas left in the tank. He started on a downward path in 2017, but was able to turn it around in 2019 for a 2.2 WAR season to secure himself for at least one more year in baseball. He still has one of the best curveballs in baseball to pair with his declining fastball so hopefully someone can get another good year from him.
I personally do not see him leaving the Cardinals for a different team. He has been there since 2005 and I don’t think either side will be ready to part ways until Wainwright officially hangs it up for the final time. He will continue to fit in well in the back end of their rotation.
Editor’s Note — Wainwright signed for one year, $5 million on November 12th.
Do you have a different opinion on where some of these guys could go? Leave a comment and discuss.
This was the first look at the top free agents in baseball. Next time we will look at guys #25-20; as this six part series that will continue throughout the next few weeks.