The Best MLB Free Agents Still on the Market
The Hot Stove for Major League Baseball is in full throttle, seeing Doug Fister traded to the Nationals, Jacoby Ellsbury probably going to the Yankees, and Robinson Cano still looking for a place to call home. This list looks at the top 5 free agents still available, and where they'll probably land.
First, let's look at the facts. Beltran is in the twilight of his career and is likely to land in an American League team that likes switch hitting bats and needs an outfielder. Quite honestly however, Beltran remains the best hitter in this free agent pool. The impressive outfielder had great numbers with the Cardinals last year, and will get his due. Detroit and Kansas City are both excellent locations for him.
A fabled baseball star lovingly called the Choo Choo train by Korean fans, Shin-Soo is about to hit his prime, has great speed, and was loved by Reds fans. Choo compiled a .285 batting average with a .423 on base percentage. He's a left handed bat that can spark a lineup. You can all but figure him to be wearing Tiger colors come Spring Training.
Hiroki Kuroda leads the crop of free agent starting pitchers in this offseason. He'll probably settle for a two or three year deal, given his age, but he still brings strong numbers to the table. He compiled a 3.31 ERA over 201 1/3 innings pitched with the Yankees last year, and has enjoyed a bit of a Renaissance in pinstripes. A reunion in New York is possible; other teams might be looking for a veteran presence to guide new pitchers.
A.J. Burnett had a rough go of it with the American League teams he pitched for, but found rejuvenation in Pittsburgh. Burnett recorded a 3.30 earned run average with 209 strikeouts in 191 innings pitched. He can bring the same type of veteran presence that Kuroda brings to the table. It's possible to see him back with the Pirates- and that'd probably be his best option.
Cano has earned the Silver Slugger award for the Yankees in consecutive years since 2010. He's been an All Star every year since 2010 as well. In addition he brings two Gold Gloves, and a World Series championship to the table. In 2013, he hit .314 with 27 home runs in 160 games played. All that said, Cano will not earn a 300 million dollar contract. I'd quite frankly be surprised to see him even get 10 years. The Mariners seem to be Cano's biggest suitor right now, but if Cano is looking to earn the MVP award that's eluded him, I'd suggest possibly a move to a National League team. With the probable signing of Jacoby Ellsbury, a reunion in New York might not be in the cards.
The free agent market has an ample supply of hitters and pitchers willing to shop their services to Major League teams. Carlos Beltran is absolutely the best player in the free agent pool as of now. He can bring a switch hitting bat, a powerful swing, and a veteran presence to a team in need of those factors.