The 2018 MLB offseason is going to be one of the greatest ever in its history. The list of talent of this class is going to be insane and will end up changing the entire shape of the MLB. The faces of many franchises will most likely be on new teams following this offseason, so it is one that many fans are already looking forward to, but also scared of. Teams could very well lose their status as contenders if their best player or players move on.
So with this article, we will be looking at the top 15 free agents of this class and where they should sign in 2018. It is important to note that players such as Clayton Kershaw and David Price have been disregarded from this list because they are under player/team options.
With that, here is the list of the top 15 free agents and the teams they need to join.
15. Adrian Beltre: New York Yankees
Adrian Beltre has been a top MLB player for the past two decades and is definite future Hall of Famer. By the time the 2018 offseason comes, he will be 39 and will definitely look toward winning a championship. Although the Texas Rangers have been amazing home for him, it is most likely time for him to move on if he wants to win.
Looking at the direction the New York Yankees are heading, Beltre would make an excellent fit for their ballclub. Beltre could provide them with a leader in the clubhouse, while having the chance to play for a contender. Beltre could slot into their third baseman role or he could even become their future designated hitter.
14. Cody Allen: Colorado Rockies
Cody Allen has been one of the top closers in the MLB for a handful of seasons now and will be a great addition to any team that is looking for a stud closer. If Allen chooses to leave the Cleveland Indians next offseason, it will leave a giant hole in their bullpen. Yet, if Allen wants to make the most amount of money, he should test free agency.
Allen would be a great fit for the Colorado Rockies because they are a team on the rise, but also desperately need help with their bullpen. Currently, they are in the bottom 10 in bullpen era and that needs to change if they want to become top contenders in the league. With Allen, they would improve immensely.
13. Andrew Miller: Chicago Cubs
Andrew Miller is a very interesting story to follow because when he began his career with the then Florida Marlins, he struggled a lot as a starting pitcher. Yet, after switching to the bullpen, he has grown into one of the best relievers in the entire MLB. So with a player like Miller, you know you are getting quality stuff and a persistent pitcher.
Like Allen, it will not be surprising to see Miller go toward the money and test free agency. Miller is getting older in age and will definitely look to win a World Series sooner rather than later. The Cubs would be a great fit for Miller because he could become their setup man and help the Cubs win another World Series.
12. Justin Smoak: Kansas City Royals
Justin Smoak is a very intriguing player to follow because at one time, he was considered to be a major bust. Smoak never seemed to reach expectations during the beginning of his career and saw himself bounced around from team to team. Yet, this season, Smoak has emerged into one of the league’s best hitters.
When it comes to Smoak, he needs to test the market now because it is not likely that he will continue to play at this pace. He is a similar player to Orioles’ slugger Chris Davis and we all know how that has turned out. The Kansas City Royals would be a good spot for him because they are a team trying to stay contenders and could use a power bat in their lineup.
11. Nelson Cruz: Houston Astros
Nelson Cruz has remained one of the league’s best power hitters for many seasons and still is producing at a high level even at age 37. Cruz will most likely leave the Seattle Mariners because he is older and definitely wants to win a World Series Championship. He came close twice with the Texas Rangers, but lost both years.
Cruz should consider joining the Houston Astros because they are a spectacular team and seem to be on the verge of greatness. They are currently the best team in the AL and are full of young talent. Cruz would provide them with leadership and obviously, a very talented power hitter.
10. Brian Dozier: St. Louis Cardinals
Brian Dozier has emerged into one of the better power hitters in the MLB, but remarkably as a second baseman. Second baseman like him are a such a rarity in the league, so he will be highly coveted once the 2018 offseason start. If Dozier can keep his numbers up, he will make an excellent fit on any team.
Dozier will most likely leave the Minnesota Twins and go toward a team that can pay him far more money. The St. Louis Cardinals would be an excellent fit because they are a team that have had a lot of playoff success and are one star player away from competing in the NL Central again.
9. Zach Britton: Boston Red Sox
Zach Britton is one of the top closers in the MLB and will have a very high payday when he becomes a free agent after next season. Britton recently just set an AL record 60 consecutive saves, so it is clear that he is very reliable and clutch. This will make him a very popular target during the 2018 offseason.
Britton should join a contender when he hits the open market and the best fit could be the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox most likely will be losing Craig Kimbrel, who will be looked at next on this list, so they need to find a replacement. Britton could be a great addition and very well could end up being a better fit.
8. Craig Kimbrel: Washington Nationals
Craig Kimbrel has consistently been one of the top closers in the MLB since he started his career, but it is clear that he is far better in the National League. During his stint with the Atlanta Braves, Kimbrel lead the NL in saves for four consecutive seasons and was absolutely dominant in the process.
With that, Kimbrel may elect to go back to the NL and join the Washington Nationals. The Washington Nationals need an elite closer in their bullpen to ever contend in the MLB. This season the Nationals have the second worst bullpen in terms of ERA and that needs to change quickly. Kimbrel could be the answer to the problems.
7. Andrew McCutchen: Milwaukee Brewers
Andrew McCutchen has been one of the MLB’s top players since he started his career and he definitely deserves a big payday when he becomes a free agent in 2018. Although McCutchen had a down year in 2016, he has turned it around this year and is showing that he is still an elite MLB player.
McCutchen will most likely move on from the Pittsburgh Pirates because they appear to be falling off yet again and he needs a new home. McCutchen should the Milwaukee Brewers because they are a team on the rise and they need a superstar in their lineup. McCutchen would help the Brewers compete with the Cubs.
6. Daniel Murphy: Cleveland Indians
There are far better players than Daniel Murphy in the MLB and for that, he will be given a huge contract in the 2018 offseason. Murphy has thrived since his tenure with the New York Mets and has been even better for the Washington Nationals. Yet, Murphy is getting older and he wants to win right now.
The Cleveland Indians would be a great destination for Murphy because they are arguably the deepest team in the MLB. Murphy would give them a player who has a lot of experience in the postseason and could be the extra charge that they need. Murphy would slot in excellently with the Indians’ amazing cast of players.
5. Charlie Blackmon: Los Angeles Dodgers
Charlie Blackmon has grown into one of the best outfielders into the MLB and he will one of the top targets of the 2018 offseason. This season Blackmon has already reached a career high in homeruns and there is still over a month left of play. If he can bring this success into next season, he will become a very wealthy man.
The Los Angeles Dodgers need some help in their outfield and Blackmon could be the best addition for them. The Dodgers are contenders every season, but have yet to win the World Series this decade so bringing in a player like Blackmon should be a necessity. Expect to see Blackmon in Blue and White at the start of the 2019 season.
4. Josh Donaldson: Boston Red Sox
Ever since Josh Donaldson joined the Toronto Blue Jays, he has been one of the best players in the league. Nothing will top his MVP season from 2015, but it is clear that there is still more to come from the star third baseman. However, it is pretty clear that he will most likely leave Toronto after the 2018 season.
Donaldson should join the Boston Red Sox because they are desperate for a power bat since the retirement of David Ortiz. Donaldson would most likely have to switch to first base to make this happen or be there designated hitter, but it still would be a good call on both sides. It could make the Red Sox the best team in the AL.
3. Dallas Keuchel: Toronto Blue Jays
Dallas Keuchel is definitely the best pitcher from this free agency class and will most likely receive a max deal. Although Keuchel would most likely want to stay with the Astros, it remains unlikely because the Astros are full of stars that need big deals as well. So with that, Keuchel will most likely be on the open market.
Although challenging, Keuchel would be an excellent fit for the Toronto Blue Jays because they need an ace and they are a big market. Keuchel would instantly become the heart of the club and would be the x-factor for them to become contenders again. With that, Keuchel would be an amazing addition for the Blue Jays.
2. Manny Machado: San Francisco Giants
Manny Machado is a superstar with a large personality who always seems to get under the skins of opposing players. Yet with that, he still is one of the league’s best and will be pursued heavily during the 2018 offseason. Machado will most likely leave the Orioles because of this and join a market that is far larger.
Although the San Francisco Giants are having an abysmal season, they will most likely rebound quickly and would be a great fit for Machado. Machado would be the guy on a large market and have the chance to grow his legacy more. It is apparent that this year is just a fluke for the Giants and they will be back on top sooner rather than later, especially with Machado.
1. Bryce Harper: Chicago Cubs
Bryce Harper is the number one free agent of this class and he all but definitely is leaving the Washington Nationals. The superstar has been open about wanting to test the market and will be given a max deal no matter where he ends up. At this point, the Nationals should be ready to accept that he will be gone.
Numerous sources have stated that Harper wants to join the Cubs and play with his childhood friend, Kris Bryant. Although financially it would be challenging for the Cubs to bring in Harper, it definitely is something that will want to consider. Harper is a once in a lifetime type talent and could make the Cubs grow into a dynasty.
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