You may have seen a few articles from the Turf team depicting some of the top MLB free agents from the 2020-2021 offseason. Many of them have been signed already as Spring Training is well underway. However, there are still some lone wolves looking for a home. Let’s break down some of the top free agents still out there and I’ll even attempt to guess where they might go.
This is a name I feel like I’ve been hearing about for years as being top talent and still looking for a breakout season. Unfortunately for him, he’s already 28 years old and hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. Between 2016-2019 he hit over 20 home runs each season and was a serviceable third baseman for the Phillies. In limited action last season with the Royals he hit 8 home runs in 223 at bats with a .278 average. There are teams that could use this type of production from the hot corner so I think it’s only a matter of days until he signs somewhere.
My prediction: Baltimore Orioles
Encarnacion is turning into an Albert Pujols or Nelson Cruz. No matter how old they get, they still seem to produce at the plate on a consistent basis. In 2019, Encarnacion hit 34 home runs between Seattle and New York. After signing a one year deal with the White Sox in 2020, his numbers dipped in limited action but he still was able to belt 10 home runs. I think with some consistency, he’ll hit north of 20 home runs as a DH somewhere. A team looking for some pop would be hard pressed to find someone else out there like Edwin.
My prediction: Back to the Seattle Mariners
Throughout his career, Mike Leake has never been amazing. He’s never been terrible either. He’s always just been there. Last season, Leake made the choice not to participate in the 2020 MLB campaign due to COVID-19. However, at 33 years old and entering the twilight of his career, I don’t see him making the same choice. He has already turned down a few offers again due to the virus but as things turn more towards normalcy (hopefully) this summer, he’ll latch on to a contender needing a good back end of the rotation arm.
My prediction: New York Mets
Greene found himself the de facto closer in Detroit after they traded away Justin Wilson in 2017. Since then, he has performed pretty well in the role but after going to Atlanta in 2019, he has mainly served as a set up man instead. In 2020, he recorded 9 holds and was the proud owner of a 2.60 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 27.2 innings. I don’t know if he’ll be a closer again in MLB but he certainly has what it takes to serve as a setup man.
My prediction: Tampa Bay Rays
I was really surprised Puig didn’t latch on to a team in 2020 but I think it was just poor timing and a strange situation. In 2019 he smashed 22 home runs with the Reds before being traded to Cleveland. After arriving in Cleveland, his power dropped but he compiled a .297 average with a .377 OBP, his top numbers since 2014. Puig is now 30 years old but he definitely still has something left in the tank. I don’t know if he’s in your starting outfield but he’s capable of being your 4th.
My prediction: Boston Red Sox
Think we missed the boat? Skimmed over a key piece of the market? Let us know in the comments!
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