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MLB free agency reset: Who’s left on the market with spring training around the corner?

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Most Major League Baseball teams have not yet released their spring training reporting dates, but we know it is happening soon. After having heard that things have settled on a 2021 season happening on time, we can surmise that pitchers and catchers will report for all 30 teams here within the next two weeks (look for around Feb. 17 as kind of a sweet spot, we’ll guess). Within the last several weeks, there has been a lot of player movement, too. Friday, we saw Trevor Bauer pick the Dodgers and Marcell Ozuna agree to return to the Braves

That is to say, at long last, most of our top 60 free agents have found a home. However, there are still plenty of free agents. 

Given that it’s a Saturday with the Super Bowl on Sunday and that a decent portion of North America is covered in snow, I figured this was a good time to run through what free agents are left. We’ll go by position. 

Catcher

Among possible starters, there is Yadier Molina, who seems destined to end up back with the Cardinals. Robinson Chirinos could also work as a starter, but he’s heading to his age-37 season and coming off a bad year. Some available backups: Tyler Flowers, Jeff Mathis, Matt Wieters

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First base

The most useful remaining option appears to be Mitch Moreland. Some others: C.J. Cron and Matt Adams

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Second base

Brad Miller and Jonathan Villar are probably the best guys here, though some past star power is available in Jed Lowrie, Jason Kipnis, Dee Strange-Gordon and Neil Walker. Joe Panik and Logan Forsythe are also available. 

Third base

Justin Turner is far and away the best guy left here. Marwin Gonzalez isn’t really a primary third baseman, but we need to list him somewhere and he spent more time at third than anywhere else in 2020. Todd Frazier, Jake Lamb, Travis Shaw, Maikel Franco, Zack Cozart, Eric Sogard and Jedd Gyorko are also out there. 

Shortstop

There isn’t really a viable shortstop in free agency. 

Outfield

Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brett Gardner are the obvious starters still left on the board. Yasiel Puig, Adam Duvall, Josh Reddick and Shin-Soo Choo would be the next tier. Some of the rest: Jay Bruce, Nomar Mazara, Brock Holt, Nick Markakis, Cameron Maybin, Jon Jay, Kevin Pillar, Jake Marisnick, Danny Santana, Jarrod Dyson, Brian Goodwin, Matt Joyce, Ben Gamel, Billy Hamilton, Jarrod Dyson, Tyler Naquin and Albert Almora

Designated hitters

There remain some big names here, even if they aren’t nearly what they used to be in Edwin Encarnacion, Yoenis Cespedes and Ryan Braun. Let’s throw Matt Kemp in here, too. 

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Starting pitchers

James Paxton is the best guy here, even with his injury concerns. Jake Odorizzi and Taijuan Walker are mid-rotation options. Trevor Cahill is a back-end guy. Some other possibilities: Jake Arrieta, Jeff Samardzija, Anibal Sanchez, Julio Teheran, Brett Anderson, Homer Bailey, Mike Fiers, Gio Gonzalez, Rich Hill, Cole Hamels, Mike Leake, Rick Porcello, Jordan Zimmermann, Tyson Ross, Matt Shoemaker and Tommy Milone

Relievers

Possible closers: Trevor Rosenthal, Shane Greene, Mark Melancon and Ken Giles (though he’s coming off Tommy John surgery and will likely miss all of 2021).

Possible setup types: Yusmeiro Petit, Tyler Clippard, Jeremy Jeffress, Sergio Romo, David Robertson and Tony Watson (L). 

A non-exhaustive list of some of what is left here on the market is below. 

Lefties: Jake McGee, Justin Wilson, Oliver Perez

Righties: Brad Boxberger, Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Brandon Workman, Ian Kennedy, Brandon Kintzler, Jared Hughes, Nate Jones, Collin McHugh, Brad Peacock, A.J. Ramos, Juan Nicasio


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