The Hot Stove is Heating Up: Who’s Signed, Who’s Next?

In the free agency world, rumors are flying left and right these days. Without games to talk about, most of the sports websites are basically just drumming up stories to fill space and time. Most are about how the Yankees are going to offer Gerrit Cole more money than all of the other teams combined, or here are the best fits for each team, or here are a bunch of random top-ten lists. I try not to feed into the frenzy, and try to only let you know when things are looking 99% legit – i.e. Cole Hamels to Atlanta being pretty much a done deal when I posted about that one. But in this week leading up to the Winter Meetings, we’ve finally seen some things starting to happen. Here are some of the more notable signings/contracts so far this off season. (I’m not going to list them all, you’d be bored and I don’t have that kind of time.)

Recently Signed

  • Will Smith, RP, 3 year, $39 million deal with Atlanta Braves
  • Cole Hamels, SP, 1 year, $18 million deal with Atlanta Braves
  • Yasmani Grandal, C, 4 year deal, $73 million with Chicago White Sox
  • Mike Moustakas, 3B, 4 year, $64 million deal with Cincinnati Reds
  • Kyle Gibson, SP, 3 year, $28 million deal with Texas Rangers
  • Zack Wheeler, SP, reported 5 year, $118 million deal with Philadelphia Phillies
  • Alex Avila, C, 1 year, $4.25 million deal with Minnesota Twins

Trades and Waiver Claims

  • Jesus Aguilar, 1B, claimed off waivers by Miami Marlins
  • Jonathan Villar, INF, traded by Baltimore to Miami for MiLB pitcher Easton Lucas
  • Jake Marisnick, traded by Houston to New York Mets for two prospects

Staying Put (By way of club/player options, or new contracts)

  • Aroldis Chapman, RP, amended contract to 3 years, $48 million
  • Corey Kluber, SP, Cleveland Indians, $17.5 million club option
  • Jake Arrieta, SP, Philadelphia Phillies, $20 million player option
  • Nelson Cruz, DH, Minnesota Twins, $12 million club option
  • Jake Odorizzi, SP, Minnesota Twins, accepted $17.8 million qualifying offer
  • Michael Pineda, SP, Minnesota Twins, 2 year, $20 million contract extension (Still has 39 games left of 60-game suspension)
  • Yan Gomes, C, Washington Nationals, 2 year, $10 million extension
  • Howie Kendrick, INF, Washington Nationals, 1 year, $6.25 million with mutual option for 2021
  • Tyler Flowers, C, Atlanta Braves, 1 year, $4 million extension
  • Nick Markakis, RF, Atlanta Braves, 1 year, $4 million extension
  • Starling Marte, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates, $11.5 million club option
  • Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs, $16.5 million club option
  • Adam Wainwright, SP, St Louis Cardinals, 1 year, $5 million (with $5 million more in incentives) contract extension
  • Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox, 3 year, $50 million contract extension

Biggest Names Still Available

Let’s be clear, these names are going to be the most sought after and will come with a steep price tag. It wouldn’t be surprising to me to see some of them not get a deal until closer to spring training. Remember last year when Dallas Keuchel didn’t sign until mid season? Whether he was holding out for too much money, too many years, or he just didn’t have a good fit, or if it was a bit of all three, I could see the same thing happening again with at least a few of these guys. (Though, Keuchel may have learned his lesson last year and will likely sign much sooner this year.)

Most teams have the flexibility to try to go with some of the second tier names and can get away with mid-range contracts for players that are good but might not have the same star-power as some of the other guys on this list. Other teams (ahem, Yankees) will stop at nothing and will spend record amounts to land at least one, if not two of the big names (ahem Cole or Strasburg).

Top Remaining Free Agents By Position:

  • Gerrit Cole, SP
  • Stephen Strasburg, SP
  • Madison Bumgarner, SP
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP
  • Dallas Keuchel, SP
  • Rick Porcello, SP
  • Sergio Romo, RP
  • Brandon Kintzler, RP
  • Fernando Rodney, RP
  • Jason Castro, C
  • Jonathan Lucroy, C
  • Russell Martin, C
  • CJ Cron, 1B
  • Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
  • Eric Thames, 1B
  • Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
  • Starlin Castro, 2B
  • Jason Kipnis, 2B
  • Ben Zobrist, 2B
  • Brian Dozier, 2B
  • Anthony Rendon, 3B
  • Asdrubal Cabrera, 3B
  • Todd Frazier, 3B
  • Didi Gregorius, SS
  • Addison Russell, SS
  • Jose Iglesias, SS
  • Marcell Ozuna, OF
  • Kole Calhoun, OF
  • Yasiel Puig, OF
  • Kevin Pillar, OF
  • Nicholas Castellanos, OF

What say you, readers? Leave a comment below.