The World Series is over, and this means one thing. It’s time for owners to get their checkbooks out and start throwing some serious cash around. This will be one of the more interesting winters in recent memory as there are many significant free agents available including two Cy Young winners and a host of all-stars.
Chris Davis, First Baseman (29)
Projected Deal: 4 years – $65 million
Chris Davis is a slugger. He’s led MLB in home runs two of the past three seasons. Davis isn’t a defensive liability, but is better suited for the American League where he can be utilized as a designated hitter.
Davis does have flaws. His big time power comes with big time strikeout numbers, but this shouldn’t scare teams away. Left-handed power is always in high demand and with few power bats on the market, Davis is a commodity.
Zack Greinke, Starting Pitcher (32)
Projected Deal: 6 years – $175 million
You’re probably wondering why David Price isn’t on this list, but stay with me. Both Price and Zack Greinke have been two of the most consistent and dominant pitchers in baseball the past eight seasons. Both are Cy Young award winners, but their post season performances separate them.
Price has an 5.12 ERA in six postseason starts. Greinke has a 3.55 ERA in six postseason starts. Greinke has also been effective in big and small markets, showing teams he can handle the pressure of a major city. Price will be a very wealthy man when he signs his next contract in the area of $200 million, but I’m sticking with Greinke here for the price and postseason.
Yoenis Cespedes, Left Fielder (30)
Projected Deal: 5 years-$100 million
When the Oakland Athletics signed the Cuba native four years ago for $36 million, they knew they were getting an elite talent, but even they didn’t know Yoenis Cespedes would become an MLB superstar.
After being traded to the New York Mets in July, Cespedes proved he could carry a ball club. This season, he set career highs in almost every major category including doubles (42), home runs (35) and RBI (105). Cespedes is a free swinger, which produces a low on-base percentage and high strikeout numbers. I’m not a fan of free swingers, but Cespedes is a big-time run producer. He will definitely cash in this winter.
Jason Heyward, Right Fielder (26)
Projected Deal: 5 years- $60 million
Jason Heyward is the most underrated free agent of the offseason. When Heyward came into the league, he was supposed to be the next Willie Mays, but has never truly reached his potential.
Heyward hasn’t had a 40-40 season yet (which he has the talent to do), but he may have found his niche. Heyward hit .293 with 16 homers, 60 RBI and 23 steals in 2015.
He cut down his swing and started making more contact producing a higher batting average. He also played his usual Gold Glove caliber defense. Heyward is only 26 years old and, although he may never hit 35 home runs and drive in 100 like many thought he would, he’s still an elite talent and coveted by many teams.