The MLB off season is underway and free agency is the hot topic all around baseball. Today I will be continuing my six part series highlighting the top thirty free agents— five players in each part. Today, here are the 11th-15th best free agents, and my prediction for their landing spots. The ranking of free agents comes from Fangraphs.
Part 1: Players 26-30
Part 2: Players 21-25
Part 3: Players 16-20
15. Yasiel Puig, OF, Age 28
2019 Statistics: 611 PA, .267/.327/.458 (.785), 24 HR, 84 RBIs, 7.2 BB%, 21.8 K%, 1.2 WAR
Prediction: Chicago White Sox, 1 year $10 million
Puig was once a star during his early years with the Dodgers, but his career has fallen off a bit and he is now entering the free agent market, outside f the top five position players. He is still an above average player and a good bet for a bounce back season. I think he would be best going for a one year deal and trying again next season.
I think he would be a good fit for the White Sox where he would play alongside Eloy Jiminez and Luis Robert. Chicago has talked about landing some big name free agents and they have shown they mean business by signing Yasmani Grandal. Puig would be a nice upgrade for a team with a window opening.
14. Kyle Gibson, SP, Age 32
2019 Statistics: 13-7, 4.84 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 22.7 K%, 7.9 BB%, 1.44 WHIP, 2.6 WAR
Signed with: Texas Rangers, 3 years $30 million
The longtime Minnesota Twins has found a new hope for 2020 and beyond. He is now a member of the Texas Rangers and a prime candidate for a bounce back season. After struggling for the entire 2019 season due to sickness, he will look to get back to his solid 2018 ways where he finished with a 3.26 ERA.
13. Mike Moustakas, 3B, Age 31
2019 Statistics: 584 PA, .254/.329/.516 (.845), 35 HR, 87 RBIs, 9.1 BB%, 16.8 K%, 2.8 WAR
Prediction: Washington Nationals, 3 years $30 million
Moustakas will finally get that multi-year deal he has been going after for the last few seasons. His 2019 season was the second best of his career and he has proven to be an above average third baseman who could help out any team. His defense is also above average and you can move him to second base if need be.
I think he will land on the Nationals mainly because I think Anothony Rendon is leaving. That will mean the Nats will need to fill that hole. While Moustakas is obviously no Rendon, he will help soften the blow of his absence and also allow the Nationals some extra money to spend elsewhere.
12. Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Age 32
2019 Statistics: 14-5, 2.32 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 22.5 K%, 3.3 BB%, 1.01 WHIP, 4.8 WAR
Prediction: Chicago White Sox, 3 years $60 million
Ryu is one of the five or six best pitchers on the open market this off season and after a season with the second best ERA, he should get paid. He is definitely an injury risk and teams will definitely be wary of that, but its undeniable he will be a significant upgrade for whatever team signs him.
The White Sox have shown up quite often in my predictions and they are back for at least one more time. They have shown they are willing to spend and they have made it known they will be pursuing starting pitching. They will be going for someone like Ryu, Keuchel, or Wheeler and I think Ryu is the pitcher they end up with.
11. Dallas Keuchel, SP, Age 31
2019 Statistics: 8-8, 3.75 ERA, 3.72 FIP, 18.7 K%, 8.0 BB%, 1.37 WHIP, 0.8 WAR
Prediction: New York Yankees, 2 years $28 million
Keuchel is entering free agency for the second straight off season and this one will hopefully go much better than last season when he didn’t sign until June. He proved this last season he is an effective pitcher who belongs in the middle of a rotation somewhere. He earned the multi-year contract that he will get.
I think he will end up on the Yankees. If they end up losing out of Gerrit Cole they will look to Dallas Keuchel to soldiify the middle of their rotation. He seems like a fine fit with his soft contact and ground ball percentages, and career long success in home run rates. He would pitch behind Severino, Tanaka and Paxton to form a solid rotation.
Do you have a different opinion on where some of these guys could go, or hope the Twins sign some of them? Leave a comment and discuss.
This was the fourth part of our Top 30 free agent prediction series. The next two parts will come out throughout the week.