Right before the 2021 MLB season started, I published an article stating the top MLB free agents left to sign with a team in 2021. After seeing things shake out, it looks like I haven’t done the greatest job in finding these guys a home. But there’s still hope! Below, I’m going to show my prediction and the result then add in a few other guys who I think should sign with a team this summer.
My March prediction: Baltimore Orioles
Reality: Signed with the Baltimore Orioles on March 16th. 1 for 1!
My March prediction: Seattle Mariners
Reality: Still a free agent. I do think Encarnacion latches on to a team needing some power, but it’ll likely be a contender. I’m going to go with the Tampa Bay Rays.
My March prediction: New York Mets
Reality: Still a free agent. Leake has said that he is still interested in pitching in the big leagues but has taken the first half of the season off due to COVID-19. I still believe he will be going to the New York Mets especially as they work through some injuries to Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco.
My March prediction: Tampa Bay Rays
Reality: Signed back with the Braves on 5/9. This was my gut but I decided to get cute with it. Always go with your gut!
My March prediction: Boston Red Sox
Reality: Due to a sexual assault accusation, Puig was not offered any deals. He signed on 4/21 with the El Águila de Veracruz of the Mexican Baseball League.
Current Free Agents
Now we’re getting down to the scraps. These are guys who we all know but are getting up there in age. I think they still could get signed with a team this summer but at their ages, it’s gotta be worth their time.
I just assumed Braun was injured or something which is why I hadn’t heard about him in awhile. Braun is now 37, but the former NL MVP showed in 2020 he still had a little pop left in his bat. On the shortened 2020 season, Braun hit 8 homers with 26 rbis. I could see a team taking a chance on Braun to either get into playoff contention or maybe a small market team looking to sell some tickets (once stadiums are 100% capacity).
My May prediction: Back to the Brewers for a finale. If Pujols can still play, Braun can.
Rick Porcello has been declining year after year. He had so much hype during his first few years in the bigs and had some solid seasons to back it up. Surprisingly, he was never an all-star despite a 22-4 record in Boston back in 2016. For the shortened 2020 season, the Mets called up Porcello to see if there was any gas left in the tank. Unfortunately, he compiled a 1-7 record with a 5.64 ERA and was not brought back to Queens for 2021. I don’t see why a team who needs a backend starting pitcher wouldn’t give him a shot. Is his time running out for a spot?
My May prediction: Washington Nationals (especially if Strasburg goes down again)
This one is really surprising to me. Yes, he had a terrible 2020 season but I don’t think we should be using that as the sample scale here. In 2019, Samardzija started 32 games for the SF Giants and finished with a 3.52 ERA with 140 strikeouts to boot. I think if anything, he should be able to latch on to a team needing some long relievers. I think Samardzija seems like a perfect fit for the Yankees. He’ll just need to cut his hair.
My May prediction: New York Yankees
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