Unlike football, basketball, and hockey, Major League Baseball's free agent period doesn't begin well after the championship trophy has been handed out. MLB starts the signing process a week after the World Series ends.
Another difference between the sports is the amount of activity in which the big names come off the free agent list and the amount of new players teams actually sign.
In the other three major sports, the biggest free agents get signed within the first 24 to 48 hours (at the latest), and millions upon millions of dollars get spent in the process. By the end of day 2 of the signing period, every team has usually added at least one player who the franchise feels can be a difference-maker.
In baseball, while there has been a ton of money given out, at least this offseason, many of the star players on the market like Edwin Encarnacion, Aroldis Champman, and Kenley Jansen, have found new homes just recently within the last few weeks, while other big name players like Jose Bautista, Matt Wieters, and Mark Trumbo, surprisingly still remain unsigned.
Fortunately, we still have another two months to go before spring training rolls around, so you would have to imagine that there is still enough time for the aforementioned three players and numerous others, to eventually sign on with somebody before March rolls around.
With numerous quality players still on the market, we here at TheSportster, present to you, the Top 15 Remaining MLB Free Agents and where they might sign.
15 Luis Valbuena - Minnesota Twins
If it wasn't for an injured hamstring that limited him to just 90 games last season, Luis Valbuena would have posted better numbers than the .260 batting average, 13 home runs and 40 RBIs he produced. Despite the injury, he did put up a career-best .816 OPS. When healthy, the 31-year-old Venezuelan has averaged 18 homers and .442 slugging percentage over the last three seasons.
Besides his bat, what makes Valbuena an attractive option is his versatility. Although he has played more at Third Base the last few seasons, the former Red Sox, Athletic, Indian, Mariner, and Cub also has experience playing first base, second base, shortstop, and left field.
The Minnesota Twins, who all offseason have appeared to be on the verge of trading yet another All-Star in Second Baseman Brian Dozier, would be a good fit for Valbuena.
If the Twins choose to hang onto Dozier, the New York Yankees, who need infield depth, would be a good option as well.
14 Brandon Moss - Milwaukee Brewers
One of the lesser-known names on the list, Brandon Moss represents value on the free agent market as his versatility and offensive production are hard to come by. In addition to playing in both the infield and outfield, the 33-year-old knows how to swing a bat, as he hit 28 homers and 67 RBIs last year as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Moss, who has played for six different teams over the course of his decade-long career, had his best season in 2013 as a member of the Oakland A's, where he hit 30 home runs and 87 RBIs. One year later, the Monroe, Georgia native was voted to his first and so far, only All-Star team.
While a return to the Cards appears unlikely, Moss signing a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers makes sense given that the franchise hasn't brought back slugging first baseman Chris Carter (more on him in a bit).
13 Doug Fister - Kansas City Royals
If you were to just go off of his record, his career mark of 77-76 screams average pitcher. If you take a closer look, however, you'll see that Doug Fister has won at least 10 games in four of his last five seasons, including a career-high 16 wins in 2014 as a member of the Washington Nationals. What that says is the soon to be 33-year-old Fister is like a fine wine, in that he has gotten better with age.
The Kansas City Royals, who only have the unproven rookie Matt Strahm penciled in as their number five starter, could do a lot worse than adding Fister. The right-hander would add some veteran experience to a starting rotation that features the duo of Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy, who are both under 29 years old.
Fister would also represent an upgrade over the club's other pitchers like Kyle Zimmer, Mike Minor, and Chris Young, all of who battled through injuries last season.
12 Travis Wood - Toronto Blue Jays
As a starter from 2012 to 2013 with the Chicago Cubs, Wood made 58 starts and recorded 17 wins. Armed with a good cutter and slider, Wood, the former second-round pick of the 2005 draft, is a control pitcher who relies on location due to his inability to hit mid 90s speed on his fastball.
In 2014, after watching his earned run average balloon to over 5.00 and seeing him struggle with walks when he gave up nearly 4 per 9 innings, Cubbies manager Joe Maddon moved Wood to the bullpen in 2015. The switch paid off, however, as the Arkansas native lowered his ERA to 3.84 and increased his strikeout rate.
Although there are multiple reports that he wants to be a starter, it's pretty clear that he is most effective as a reliever. A team like the Toronto Blue Jays, who need bullpen help after losing ace setup man Brett Cecil, should bring in the left-handed Wood.
11 Neftali Feliz - Washington Nationals
The 2010 American League Rookie of the Year, Neftali Feliz is the type of versatile player that teams love to have in their bullpen. The 28-year-old has succeeded in the set-up role and in the closer's role, as evidenced by his two-year stretch from 2010 to 2011 that saw him save a total of 72 games and be voted an All-Star.
After spending the first eight years of his career in the American League with the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers, Feliz made his NL debut last year as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates after signing a one-year, $3.9 million deal.
Last season in 62 appearances for the Pirates, the Dominican finished with a 4-2 record with a 3.52 ERA, 29 holds, and an average of 10.23 K's per nine innings. While his numbers don't necessarily blow anybody away, his work shows that he is capable of handling a bigger role and that he still has upside.
The Washington Nationals, who lack a proven closer, need to bring in Feliz. Virtually any team that needs middle relief help should do the same.
10 Rajai Davis - San Francisco Giants
Having played for six different organizations, there is no denying that Rajai Davis is a journeyman. Nevertheless, as we all witnessed this past season during the Cleveland Indians World Series run, the speedy outfielder is a difference-maker defensively, as he routinely makes highlight catches look easy on a regular basis.
On the base paths, Davis is perhaps even more dangerous as he recorded a team-leading 43 stolen bases, which is seven off of his career-high. What makes that stat really impressive is the fact that Davis is 36 years old.
Blessed with the ability to play all three outfield spots, the free agent can bring value to any team that he signs with. A reunion with the Cleveland Indians appears to be the best move for both parties, but with the small budget Tribe's addition of Edwin Encarnacion, there appears to be not enough money left to meet Davis' contract demands.
The San Francisco Giants, who struck out in their attempt to add free agent Dexter Fowler, would be a good landing spot for Davis.
9 Colby Rasmus - Chicago White Sox
Colby Rasmus is the epitome of an underachiever. Blessed with speed, power, and a quick bat, the 28th pick of the 2005 draft and eight-year veteran has shown flashes of brilliance during his time with the St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros. Unfortunately, the Georgia native hasn't been able to put it all together on a consistent basis. After hitting 61 RBIs and a career-high 25 homers in 2015, Rasmus struggled last year, hitting 54 and 15 respectively.
The 30-year-old is consistent, however, on the defensive side of the ball, as he didn't commit a single error last year. His versatility and aforementioned speed allow him to play left, right, and center field.
Despite his issues with offensive consistency, you can be sure that Rasmus won't last much longer on the free agent market. Expect a team like the Chicago White Sox, who have a hole in the outfield due to the loss of Adam Eaton, to sign Rasmus.
8 Greg Holland - Colorado Rockies
If it wasn't for undergoing Tommy John surgery in October of 2015, which caused Greg Holland to miss not only the Kansas City Royals World Series run but also the entire 2016 season, the closer would have signed with somebody by now.
While he might not have the resume of bigger names like Aroldis Chapman or even Mark Melancon, Holland is still a two-time All-Star and has twice saved over 45 games in a season. While teams are no doubt scared off by the surgery, they would be getting a bargain if the 31-year-old is able to return to form.
The Colorado Rockies, who only have the unproven Adam Ottavino in the closer's position, should bring in Holland on a 1-year 'prove it' deal. Worse case scenario, you can even plug the right-hander into a setup role.
7 Chris Carter - Chicago White Sox
No, not the Hall-Of-Fame NFL wide receiver, but the Milwaukee Brewers' first baseman. After playing the first six years of his career in the American League with the Oakland A's and Houston Astros, Carter made his National League debut after signing a one-year deal with the Brew Crew. Carter's decision proved to be a good one for him and the club, as the 31-year-old ended up leading the NL in home runs with 47.
While he did strike out 206 times (it was the second year in which he went over 200 K's), Carter's offensive output should be able to help him land a deal. Versatility also works in his favor, as he has experience playing left and right field as well.
A team like the Chicago White Sox, who appear to have a shortage of offense in their lineup, should sign Carter to a deal.
6 Michael Saunders - Baltimore Orioles
Michael Saunders is living proof that there's no place like home. In his first full season playing in his native country (he played in only nine games in 2015 due to injury), the Victoria, BC native outfielder had a superb year as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. In 146 games (the most he's ever played in a season), Saunders hit a career-high 24 home runs and was voted to his first ever All-Star team.
Defensively, the 30-year-old offers a ton of versatility as he can play all three outfield positions and he has proven throughout his career that he can start or come off the bench if need be.
At this stage of the game, teams won't have to break the bank to sign Saunders. For a club looking for some extra offensive punch, giving him a one-year 'prove it' deal might be the best option. The Baltimore Orioles, who have yet to re-sign slugger Mark Trumbo (more on him later) would be wise to sign the Canadian, as he would not only add pop to their lineup, but they would also weaken the Blue Jays by doing so.
5 Matt Wieters - Atlanta Braves
Matt Wieters had the luxury of hitting free agency at a time when the pool of catchers hitting the market is shallow, to say the least, as it was headlined by 29-year-old Wilson Ramos, who tore his right ACL in September.
After missing the majority of the two seasons due to Tommy John surgery, the switch-hitting Wieters, had a bounce back year as he hit .243 with 17 home runs, and 66 RBIs with a solid .302 on-base percentage and a .409 slugging percentage. The return to health paid off as he was voted an All-Star for the fourth time in his career.
Defensively, the two-time Gold Glove winner had a solid campaign as he recorded a .988 fielding percentage and he threw out 35% of base runners which was 6% better than the league average.
In terms of fit, the former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket should return to the state and sign with the Atlanta Braves, as he would be a superior option at both sides of the plate over the club's current underwhelming catcher duo of Tyler Flowers and Anthony Recker.
4 Jason Hammel - New York Yankees
With names like Rich Hill, Bartolo Colon, and Ivan Nova already off the market and the trades of Chris Sale and Jaime Garcia, the biggest, and arguably best starting pitcher still on the free agent market is Jason Hammel. Last season with the World Series champion Chicago Cubs, Hammel went an impressive 15-10 record, with a 3.83 ERA.
The best fit for Hammel's services would be the New York Yankees. At present, the Yanks' starting rotation consists of Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, and the unproven duo of Chad Green and Bryan Mitchell. In an American League East Division that has houses two of the most offensively gifted teams in the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, solid pitching will be a must.
3 Mike Napoli - Texas Rangers
The versatile catcher, first baseman, and DH played a key role on a Cleveland Indians team that came within a couple of outs of winning their first World Series since 1954. Unfortunately for Napoli, a return to Believeland looks bleak after the team signed All-Star slugger Edwin Encarnacion.
Nevertheless, the 11-year journeyman has spent his entire career in the American League, so why change it up now? A perfect fit for his services would be a team that Napoli is quite familiar with, and that would be the Texas Rangers, who he played with on two separate occasions (2010-2012 and 2015).
After losing a ton of production with the free agent losses of Carlos Beltran, Ian Desmond, and Mitch Moreland, and the retirement of former six-time All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder, the team could do a lot worse than bringing back the versatile Napoli, especially since he is coming off of a year that saw him hit a personal best 34 homers and 108 RBIs.
2 Mark Trumbo - Colorado Rockies
It boggles the mind that Mark Trumbo still remains unsigned at this stage of the game. After leading MLB in home runs last season with 47 and being voted to his second All-Star team, many people including yours truly expected him to be one of the first names to come off the board as soon as free agency started.
Besides the home runs, there is a lot to like about Trumbo. This past season, he posted a career-high in hits with 157 and RBI with 108. Defensively, he did not commit a single error while playing first base and was voted the 2016 Sporting News American League Player of the Year. He is also only 30 years old, so it's not like a team would be paying a big name who is past their prime.
Despite coming off of a banner year, his former team the Baltimore Orioles surprisingly still haven't replaced him. Since they haven't by now, you would have to assume that it won't be happening.
Another team that Trumbo would make sense on is the Colorado Rockies. Can you imagine the type of numbers he would put up in the thin air? Teamed with the newly signed Ian Desmond, the duo could be the franchise's next coming of Larry Walker and Dante Bichette.
1 Jose Bautista - Toronto Blue Jays
Without a doubt, Bautista is not only the biggest name without a home, he also carries the largest bat. While injuries caused the 36-year-old to miss 46 games last season, the four-time All-Star and author of the infamous bat flip can still make any team better due to the instant offense he provides.
Despite the addition of outfielder/designated hitter Kendrys Morales to their lineup this offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays are the best fit for Bautista, not only because of his bat, but for what he has meant to the franchise and the city over the course of his nine and a half years as a Jay.
More importantly, not only does the organization not have anybody currently penciled in to take the slugger's spot in right field, but the man nicknamed Joey Bats would be able to help replace the offense the team lost when fellow All-Star Edwin Encarnacion left to sign with Cleveland Indians.
As mentioned before, although he was slowed down by injuries last year, it's hard to bet against the production of Bautista, who has been an elite player since his breakout season in 2010.
Other Possible Fits: Baltimore Orioles, San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, Oakland A's and Colorado Rockies.
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