The Ideal Free Agent Signing For Every MLB Team This Offseason

The upcoming MLB free agent class is widely considered to be the greatest in MLB history.

When's the last time where a handful of former MVPs were available on the free agent market, in the same year? Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Andrew McCutchen are among them, while other franchise players like Craig Kimbrel, Manny Machado and Dallas Keuchel all prepare for career paydays.

When's the last time where a handful of former MVPs were available on the free agent market, in the same year? Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Andrew McCutchen are among them, while other franchise players like Craig Kimbrel, Manny Machado and Dallas Keuchel all prepare for career paydays.

The star power in this year's free agent market is incredible. Harper is widely considered to be the co-face of baseball, along with Mike Trout, despite a disappointing 2018 season. Machado is a top-10 player in baseball, while Donaldson is among the game's elite when healthy. And oh yeah, Keuchel won the AL Cy Young three years ago, while Kimbrel is arguably the best closer in all of baseball right now.

And it's not just about the star power that makes this year's market so intriguing. It's the fact there are many future Hall of Famers (Joe Mauer, Adrian Beltre, etc.), and other key role players available.

Now, the difficult part is guessing where all of these players will wind up. That's impossible to guess at the moment, but we do know every team's weakness, and the kind of players they should chase.

Here is one player every MLB team must chase this winter.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

30 Arizona Diamondbacks - Wilson Ramos

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Diamondbacks already have one of the most complete and balance rosters in all of baseball. Their entire pitching staff is fine, and the lineup is full of quality bats, but they could certainly use an upgrade behind the plate.

Alex Avila has been a mediocre hitter, and his defense leaves plenty to be desired. But Wilson Ramos - named to his second All-Star game in 2018 - has been carrying a hot bat, and he should finish with a batting average of around .300.

Arizona doesn't need to break the bank on another pitcher or slugger, but they could use a quality catcher like Ramos. The best part? He could be had on a rather cheap two or three-year deal, too.

29 Atlanta Braves - Dallas Keuchel

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves have built up a terrific roster loaded with young players, and they have a great deal of prospects. As such, general manager Alex Anthopolous doesn't need to look at upgrading his lineup, but adding a veteran ace could be the final piece in taking this team from "playoff hopeful" to "World Series contender."

Veteran pitcher Dallas Keuchel is arguably the best starter on the market, and he'll likely price himself out of the Astros range, especially with them having all these other great pitchers to pay down the road.

Keuchel is a two-time All-Star, 2015 AL Cy Young winner and was instrumental in helping Houston win the World Series last year. With his strong track record, playoff success and good leadership, he's the perfect player for Atlanta to sign.

28 Baltimore Orioles - Adam Jones

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles are the worst team in baseball this year, and there's no reason to chase any of the big-named free agents. But center fielder Adam Jones is slated to become a free agent, and he's somebody Baltimore should look at keeping long-term.

Jones maintained that he wanted to finish 2018 in Baltimore, which is why they didn't manage to deal him at the non-waiver deadline.

Jones loves the city and its fans, and he could be a nice player to keep around as the Orioles prepare for a massive rebuild.

Jones is 33 years of age, but giving him a three-year contract worth around $40-50 million would be a nice move, from a public relations standpoint. It's also a reward for this very loyal player.

27 Boston Red Sox - Daniel Murphy

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox are running away with the best record in baseball, and there are virtually no weaknesses on this roster. If there's one position where they could upgrade, however, it's probably at second base.

Dustin Pedroia will be 36 next season and probably isn't returning in 2018, due to nagging knee injuries. Utility man Eduardo Nunez isn't the answer at second long-term, and that's where Daniel Murphy comes in.

Dave Dombrowski loves throwing the big bucks around for big hitters. Murphy would slot in nicely at second base. He could bat above .300 for the third straight year, and he's an annual 20-30 home run threat. Sounds like the perfect guy to replace Pedroia at second.

26 Chicago Cubs - Bryce Harper

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs will be one of the favorites to land the most prized free agent in history this upcoming winter. Why? Because, they can offer literally everything Bryce Harper would want.

The money won't be a problem, so long as they're willing to give him around $300 million.

He just happens to be close friends with the face of the Cubs franchise, 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant.

Oh, and the Cubs are one of baseball's very best teams. You know, three straight NLCS appearances and a 2016 World Series championship? Harper would join a historic organization, built to win aplenty for the next 10 years. As long as they meet his asking price (or come close to it), this is the best fit for him.

25 Chicago White Sox - Patrick Corbin

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With a boat load of young talents and prospects (Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech), the White Sox have smartly avoided paying big money for top free agents. That being said, Diamondbacks ace Patrick Corbin may be worthy of chasing hard this winter.

Corbin has built off a career year as he leads the Diamondbacks to what could be their first NL West title since 2011. He's in line to post a career best in ERA and innings pitched, having already set a personal best in strikeouts.

The White Sox could use a long-term front-of-the-line starter, and the 29-year-old Corbin would be a massive addition. Chicago figures to contend again in two or three years, and they'd have Corbin and Kopech right there to lead the way.

24 Cincinnati Reds - Lance Lynn

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds are in the middle of a lengthy rebuilding process, so there's no need to chase the top free agents. However, something must be done against a rotation that consistently ranks near the bottom of the majors in overall ERA.

Lance Lynn could be a nice add to the Reds. He's regained his old form since being traded to the Yankees, and Lynn is setting himself up nicely for a pretty good deal in the winter.

The Reds should give Lynn a three-year contract worth around $35 million. He's not going to single-handedly turn them around, but Lynn would give Cincinnati a reliable starter. That's all they need him to be, really.

23 Cleveland Indians - Joe Mauer

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians likely won't be able to outbid other teams for star reliever Andrew Miller, and closer Cody Allen is likely gone too. But the Indians still have a formidable rotation and bullpen anyway, so they don't need to pursue arms.

Rather, the Indians need another bat to help out Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion and Michael Brantley.

Minnesota Twins legend Joe Mauer would be an excellent fit for Cleveland; he can slot in at first base or as the designated hitter and platoon with Encarnacion.

Mauer hits well for average and is a well-known leader in the clubhouse. He'll likely want to join a World Series contender, too. Cleveland doesn't have the resources to spend big on the cream of the crop free agents, but Mauer could be a nice add in the bargain bin.

22 Colorado Rockies - Drew Pomeranz

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

It's been the same old story in the Mile High City. The Rockies have a terrific lineup that can score runs, but an extremely unreliable pitching staff. It's hard being a pitcher in such a hitter-friendly ballpark.

Well, the Rockies better stay away from overpaying relievers, kind of like what they did with Wade Davis and Bryan Shaw last offseason. Rather, they should try and find a reliable starter to help out the rotation.

Drew Pomeranz may be the best choice for the Rockies. He's struggled with a handful of injuries in 2018, but he was very productive in 2016 and 2017. Remember, he won 17 games a year ago with a 3.32 ERA.

Pomeranz won't cost the Rockies much, and he may only want a short-term deal and try to enhance his value for the following winter.

21 Detroit Tigers - Jonathan Lucroy

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers are headed for a fourth consecutive non-playoff season, and the rebuild has been on for two years now. Though the Illitch family has never been scared to spend big in free agency, now's not the time.

However, the Tigers could go towards the bargain hunting direction and sign veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who'd be an upgrade behind the plate over James McCann. Lucroy has been very steady defensively throughout his career, and he's been a fairly consistent hitter.

If Detroit can get Lucroy on a two-or three-year contract worth around $30 million, this would be a good offseason for them.

20 Houston Astros - Charlie Morton

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros are the defending champions, have their key roster players signed long-term and will contend for many more titles. They don't have to be too active this offseason, but there is one big task: re-sign Charlie Morton.

The 34-year-old picked the perfect time to have a career season. He'll most definitely have a career-best ERA. He's already set a personal best for strikeouts in a season, too.

Morton was key in Houston's run to the playoffs last year, and he's a reason why they're about to make the postseason again.

Houston simply can't afford to lose Morton, so they should sign him to an Astro-for-life deal.

19 Kansas City Royals - Marco Estrada

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This team has had a very ugly fall from grace since winning the 2015 World Series, and the losing won't stop anytime soon.

As such, the Royals will need to once again buy low in free agency. They're better off signing veteran players to short-term deals, hoping to flip them at the deadline for future assets.

Well, Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada may be worth a look. He needs a fresh start and probably won't get looked at by contending teams. A one-year deal would work for the Royals, who get a No. 2 or 3 starter that can be dealt next July. He's a good fit for them.

18 Los Angeles Angels - David Robertson

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels have once again failed to live up to expectations. It's another lost season for Albert Pujols and Mike Trout. Rookie Shohei Ohtani has performed well for the most part, but this team is many pieces away from contending.

One option to look at, however, is veteran reliever David Robertson. He can pitch multiple innings and has averaged nearly 12 strikeouts per nine innings in his career. But given his age (33), and the strong reliever market in general, Robertson may come cheaper than may expect.

The Angels can swoop in and land Robertson, giving themselves a reliable setup man or closer. They need to do something about this frustrating pitching unit.

17 Los Angeles Dodgers - Clayton Kershaw

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Kershaw is owed $32 million in 2019 and $33 million in 2020, per Spotrac.com. But it's safe to guess that he'll opt out this offseason in order to ensure a long-term deal that will easily surpass $150 million. If Kershaw doesn't opt out, there's a good chance he costs himself more money down the road, given that he's now in his 30s and has been hampered by back injuries.

Expect Kershaw to opt out, and the Dodgers' top offseason priority will be to get Kershaw locked up long-term. Even though they may be worried about his age and recent health woes, Kershaw is by far the best pitcher in baseball.

They aren't a bonafide contender without him.

Sign Kershaw long-term, and Magic Johnson and co. are done for the winter. Then, they can sit back and watch him lead them to more NL West pennants.

16 Miami Marlins - Andrew McCutchen

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Marlins have traded away most of their top talents already, as the Derek Jeter ownership group tries to rebuild this thing all over again. Don't expect Miami to spend a lot this winter, but former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen may be worth a look.

The 31-year-old has seen his stats decline significantly, but he would be an excellent add to a rebuilding Marlins team. McCutchen would give them a somewhat reliable hitter, and most importantly, a good clubhouse leader.

McCutchen didn't pick the best time to have another down year, and it will cost him a lot in free agency. But the Marlins will at least use Jeter to recruit the former star, and McCutchen will happily take on the leadership role.

15 Milwaukee Brewers - Gio Gonzalez

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers missed out on the playoffs by a few games last year, but they're in good position to lock down a wild card spot in 2018. But they won't take the next step until the rotation gets a legitimate starter or two.

Washington starter Gio Gonzalez could be a nice rotation at a fair price for the Brewers. He's capable of eating up 200 innings a season, and Gonzalez hasn't stopped stopped with the K's (nearly eight per nine innings in 2018).

2018 has been rough for Gonzalez, but you can say that about every Nationals player. A fresh start with a contending team is all Gonzalez needs. A three or four-year deal worth around $10-12 million a season should get it done.

14 Minnesota Twins - Nelson Cruz

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the Twins sure disappointed in 2018. They made the AL Wild Card Game, then added Jake Odorizzi and Lance Lynn in the offseason to boost their rotation. And yet, another non-playoff and losing season is in place.

The Twins just need to hit the reset button and try again for the 2019 season.

Signing a big-time slugger like Nelson Cruz could help Minnesota get back into the playoffs again, and his age (39), means he could come cheap.

Cruz has now hit 30 home runs for the fifth straight season with the Mariners. He's not slowing down as a hitter, so the Twins should get him on a two or three-year deal. This may be the only big move they need to make in the offseason.

13 New York Mets - Ian Kinsler

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have a knack for paying past-their-prime veterans a lot of money, for reasons unclear. They're about to miss the playoffs for a second consecutive season, but there's too much talent for them to be this bad. Really, it's anyone's guess how the front office goes about this winter.

The Mets could use second baseman Ian Kinsler, who would give them a reliable leader and hitter to fill the void. Kinsler continues to hit decently for both power and average, and his ability to draw talks and avoid the high strikeout rate can't be overlooked. The Mets need a big personality player like Kinsler, and he can probably be had for a one-year deal.

12 New York Yankees - Manny Machado

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers surely won't re-sign Machado this offseason, with shortstop Corey Seager returning hopefully by next season. That means the former Baltimore Orioles star will find a new home in the winter, and the Yankees are the perfect fit.

New York reportedly pushed hard to land Machado at the deadline, but they couldn't meet Baltimore's asking price. That's totally fine, because now they can spend big money on Machado, without sacrificing key prospects.

The Pinstripes own two of baseball's top sluggers in Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. Their time to win is now and for the next 10 years. They need Machado at third base, and he'd put them over the top in a stacked AL.

11 Oakland Athletics - Bartolo Colon

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletics have come out of nowhere to emerge as one of the top teams in baseball, and this young core will get them into the postseason. Oakland has always been a "money ball" team, so don't expect them to go crazy in free agency.

However, bringing back the ageless Bartolo Colon would be a typical Billy Bean move. He loves finding lovable personality players at good discounts, and the legend that is Colon would be perfect for this Oakland team.

Colon is always a sure bet to pitch 150-plus innings a season, and he'd be a nice No. 4 or 5 starter in the rotation.

Colon pitched for the Athletics in 2012 and 2013, and they got to the postseason both times. Why not brig him back, then?

10 Philadelphia Phillies - Cody Allen

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies are about to end a seven-year playoff drought, and with so many young impact players on the roster and in the farm system, they can simply avoid big purchases in the offseason.

However, the Phillies could use an upgrade in the bullpen, and Cody Allen would give them just that. He's racked up a minimum of 24 saves every year since 2014, and Allen has been excellent during his postseason career with Cleveland.

The Phillies have a good reliever in Pat Neshek and a decent closer in Seranthony Dominguez, but Allen is probably an upgrade as the closer. He won't come cheap, but they have the money to spend, and he's well worth it.

9 Pittsburgh Pirates - Adrian Beltre

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates made a "going for it" move by adding Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer at the deadline. Though they aren't going to make the playoffs in 2018, this team has the talent to make a serious run in 2019.

But the Pirates will need to upgrade their offense for next year, and future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre would be an excellent addition. He can split time at third base with Colin Moran, and Beltre would bring strong leadership to this youthful Pirates team.

Beltre's days as a 30-home run hitter are long gone, but he draws walks, is hard to strike out and hits very well for average. He's 40 next year, too, so the Pirates would get him at a reasonable price.

8 San Diego Padres - Craig Kimbrel

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Kimbrel was the Padres closer for the 2015 season, before being flipped to the Boston Red Sox for prospects.

He's in line to receive the richest contract for a reliever/closer in history this winter, and the Padres should entertain the thought of a reunion.

The Padres own baseball's top farm system, at least according to MLB.com. They gave Eric Hosmer an eight-year contract worth $144 million, a sign that ownership is willing to spend as they try to speed up the rebuild.

So why not bring back Kimbrel? There are few quality arms at the MLB level for the Padres, and Kimbrel is arguably baseball's best closer. Give him the $100 million contract, and they'll be contending before they notice it. Talk about an easy choice.

7 San Francisco Giants - Carlos Gonzalez

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants will lose outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Pence in free agency this offseason, so they'll have to go to work and find a replacement. Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez seems like a good option, as the Giants try to squeeze out any possible contention left out of this ageing group.

Gonzalez is enjoying a strong bounce-back season, and he could regain that 20-30 home run form. His batting average is back up, and Gonzalez would be a nice add to a struggling Giants lineup.

How much would it cost? Tough to tell. He's 33 in October and has battled consistency issues. But the Giants have shown the willingness to spend big money on veteran players, so don't be shocked if they overpay for Gonzalez.

6 Seattle Mariners - Zach Britton

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners are enjoying their best regular season in years, but yet their playoff drought could extend to 17 years. This team has one of the most productive lineups in the AL, but a linchpin in the bullpen is needed, and badly.

Veteran Zach Britton would be an excellent add to the Mariners, who need a reliable guy that can set up for closer Edwin Diaz. Britton had 47 saves in 2016, and he's a pure strikeout machine.

The AL West isn't getting any easier, as the Astros and Athletics boast elite cores with so much young talent. If the Mariners want to catch up fast, they better add a big bullpen arm in Britton.

5 St. Louis Cardinals - Josh Donaldson

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals have been linked to the 2015 AL MVP for some time, but the Toronto Blue Jays were never willing to move out their franchise player. Well, the Cardinals don't have to worry about giving away premium prospect for Donaldson. They can just give him a massive contract in free agency.

St. Louis has a major hole to fill at third base, and Donaldson would fill it.

He is 33 years of age, however, and has been hampered by injuries over the last two years. Donaldson may want a one-year deal to reset his value, but the Cardinals could also offer him a fancy multi-year deal that he can't pass on.

4 Tampa Bay Rays - Elvis Andrus

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Willy Adames has been fine at shortstop for the Rays, all things considered. However, an upgrade certainly is necessary in the infield, and the Rays could use the talents of Elvis Andrus, who looks destined to leave Arlington this winter.

Andrus continues to be a steady contact hitter and would be an excellent leadoff man for the Rays. This team loves to find quality talent at a good price, and Andrus might come cheaper than many expect.

He provides solid defense, can run the bases and would help Tampa Bay's underrated lineup even more.

3 Texas Rangers - Brian Dozier

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers simply need to move on from Rougned Odor and start retooling a roster that isn't anywhere close to contention. Odor has been up-and-down as a hitter at second base, and Texas may be better off trading him and thus securing a handful of quality prospects.

With that, they can then turn their attention towards slugger Brian Dozier. The annual 30-home run threat has reset his value following a trade from Minnesota to the Dodgers, and he'll be available in the bargain bin this winter.

Texas needs to reshape their lineup a bit, and a big-time hitter in Dozier is the perfect candidate for them to go after. Trade Odor, get prospects and upgrade at the position. It's a win-win, folks.

2 Toronto Blue Jays: J.A. Happ

Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Don't expect the Blue Jays to be major shoppers this offseason. Rogers ownership has never given this team the green light to spend freely, and the Blue Jays are entering rebuilding mode as the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Sean-Reid Foley and Danny Jansen lead the next era.

However, bringing back starting pitcher J.A. Happ (who was traded to the Yankees at the deadline), would be a smart move for general manager Ross Atkins.

Happ said his family loved Toronto, and he'd consider a return.

Toronto's rotation has plenty of question marks, as Aaron Sanchez tries to get healthy and Marcus Stroman tries to find out what kind of pitcher he really is.

Bringing back a respected Veteran in Happ on a three-year deal seems reasonable and beneficial for both sides.

1 Washington Nationals - Andrew Miller

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals stand to be a major loser in the upcoming offseason, as franchise player Bryce Harper seems destined to chase a massive $300 million-plus contract elsewhere. Slugger Daniel Murphy and pitcher Gio Gonzalez will likely find new homes, too.

If there's one free agent for GM Mike Rizzo to chase, however, it's probably Andrew Miller. There's another firepower in the lineup for the Nats to keep that offense going, but their bullpen has been horrible since, like, ever?

Miller, the 2016 ALDS MVP, has been used by the Indians as a setup man. But he'd likely move to closer in DC, which would be the right transition. The strikeout machine is in line for a major contract, and the Nationals need to pay whatever it takes to land the giant left-handed reliever.

More in MLB