MLB Free Agency Predictions


Photo by Jerome Miron-Courtesy of Reuters via the Texas Tribune

This year’s Free Agency class is loaded with talent that can help any given team make a World Series run.

Jack Mezey, Managing Editor, Online

Well, it happened. The Atlanta Braves, the team of destiny, won the 2021 World Series. But 29 other teams didn’t. And their respective brain trusts in the front office are doing everything they can to not do what they did last year: not win the World Series. 

Expect to see a lot of action on the hot stove this winter, as many teams are hungry for talent and there is plenty of it. We may have to wait for it though. Don’t expect to see many deals early on in free agency, as teams and players will want to wait and see what the MLB and the Players Union come up with in their new Collective Bargaining Agreement. We may have to wait even longer if there is a lockout. I’d say there’s a fifty-fifty chance we start the 2022-23 season on the scheduled Opening Day next year. But that doesn’t mean that players still can’t sign with teams, so let’s get into it. 

I’m going to compile a list of the top 15 free agents out of the 160 players that are available and give my prediction for where they will land, how much the contract is worth, and how long the deal is. 


Corey Seager, SS, 27- Dodgers (8 years, $272MM)

  • Seager has expressed a desire to stay in LA, and the Dodgers are going to try hard to keep him. He’ll likely move to third base if he re-signs, with Trea Turner moving to shortstop and Justin Turner being the DH, which will be a likely addition to the National League this upcoming season. His injury history will keep most teams from offering a long-term contract, but he will sign with the Dodgers on a long-term deal worth 34 million a year.  

Carlos Correa, SS, 27- Tigers (10 years, $330MM)

  • Correa reunites with his former Astros Manager A.J. Hinch in Detroit. (What can I say? Cheaters like fellow cheaters.) Detroit is only a couple of years away from getting Miguel Cabrera’s massive contract off of the payroll, as well as from calling up a young group of promising talent from the farm system. Correa sacrifices three seasons of losing to join a team that will likely contend from the mid ’20s on. 

Trevor Story, SS, 28- Mariners (7 years, $168MM)

  • The Mariners surprised a lot of people this season, coming agonizingly close to making the playoffs. Their surprise contention and the Seattle market attract star SS Trevor Story, as well as a couple of other quality free agents like Starling Marte. With the Astros losing Correa, combined with their great free agency, the Mariners will win the AL West. 

Max Scherzer, SP, 37- Dodgers (2 years, $76MM)

  • Mad Max wants to play for a National League contender on the West Coast. That eliminates everyone except for the Dodgers, Giants, and Padres. He won’t go to the Padres, as he vetoed a trade to San Diego last year in favor of the Dodgers. He adores the Dodgers, and the Dodgers adore him. He stays in LA and will be one of three aces in the rotation, as well as becoming a Cy Young finalist for the second year in a row. 

Freddie Freeman, 1B, 32- Braves (7 years, $224MM)

  • He’s not leaving. The Braves aren’t letting him go.

Clayton Kershaw, SP, 33- Rangers (2 years, $41MM, Player Option after 1st Year)

  • The Dodgers are going to be forced to pick between Scherzer and Kershaw after keeping Seager around for a big price tag. They go with the better pitcher right now in Mad Max. Kershaw will only play for one team besides the Dodgers: his hometown Texas Rangers. He wants to raise his children here in Texas, and it’s a perfect fit for the Rangers, as they are in desperate need of a veteran leader to help the young roster. He will either play for one or two more years, then retire and enter the Hall of Fame as a Dodger. Consider his Rangers years as a phasing into his retirement stage.

Kenley Jansen, RP, 34- Dodgers (3 years, $33MM)

  • Jansen will take a small pay cut to stay in LA, as he loves it there and doesn’t seem to be worried about how much he gets paid. He will finish his career as a Dodger. 

Nicholas Castellanos, OF, 29- Padres (4 years $100MM)

  • Castellanos makes the Padres roster look incredible on paper, the same way it did last year. And just like last year, they will miss the playoffs.

Kris Bryant, 3B/1B/OF, 29- Cardinals (4 years, $110MM)

  • Bryant surprises a lot of people by going to St. Louis. The Cardinals had a fantastic second half of last year and they will carry that momentum through to this season with the help of Bryant, who will move from the infield to the outfield. 

Anthony Rizzo, 1B, 32- Red Sox (3 years $49MM)

  • Rizzo switches sides of the greatest rivalry in sports, moving from the Yankees to the Red Sox. The Red Sox lack a decent first baseman, and Rizzo fills their opening perfectly. He provides lefty power to an infield that only has one other left-handed hitter. He helps the Red Sox make another run in the postseason. 

Joc Pederson, OF, 29- Angels (1 year, $12.5MM)

  • Joc loves the big market. He loves LA, but the Dodgers just don’t have room for him in the outfield. I love Joc about as much as anyone, but the Angels continue to waste money on offensive players that they don’t need. They will fail to sign any quality starting pitchers while wasting money to bring in Joc Pederson. Despite their offense, they miss the playoffs by a hefty margin once again due to their lack of pitching. 

Marcus Semien, 2B, 31- Blue Jays ($5 years, 120MM)

  • Semien has played great in Toronto and is an important key to their promising future. By the end of his deal, he will have become a true leader in the clubhouse; something that the Blue Jays are lacking. 

Kevin Gausman, SP, 30- Giants (4 years, $92MM)

  • Gausman returns to the Giants to help them make another run at a World Series. Gausman will be a great number two in the rotation and him sticking around in the Bay gives them some stability in an unpredictable starting rotation, which was their only fault last year, especially in the NLDS against the Dodgers.

Marcus Stroman, SP, 30- Giants (4 years, $92MM)

  • To further stabilize their starting pitching situation, the Giants bring in Marcus Stroman to be their number three guy behind Logan Webb and Gausman. He had a great season last year with the Mets with a 3.02 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP but lacked the run support to have a quality W-L ratio. He won 10 and lost 13 last year, but with the Giants explosive offense he will win over 15 games in the upcoming season and help the Giants to another playoff appearance. 

Chris Taylor, Utility, 31- Dodgers (3 years $42MM)

  • Chris Taylor proved himself last season. In the playoffs he came in clutch on multiple occasions, including a walk-off homerun in the Wild Card Game, and a three-homer night against Atlanta in Game 5 of the NLCS. He takes a paycut to stay with the Dodgers, where he will start at second base for most games with Seager and Turner shifting a position to their right. Though he gives the Dodgers the option to move guys around given his ability to play outfield, second base, and third base. Gavin Lux will become the odd-man-out in this situation and turns into the utility guy that Taylor was last year.

Winners and Losers:

Winner: Seattle Mariners

  • The Mariners land themselves a marquee shortstop in Trevor Story and a quality outfielder in Starling Marte to propel them to an AL West pennant and their first postseason berth since 2001. 

Winner: LA Dodgers

  • The Dodgers somehow manage to retain Corey Seager, Max Scherzer, Chris Taylor, and Kenley Jansen. LA only loses Clayton Kershaw in free agency, and they already have a reputable and capable in-house replacement in Dustin May. That gives them arguably the best four-man rotation in baseball, and that’s assuming that Trevor Bauer, who has opted into his second-year contract, is not going to be available for next season. They are ready to go title-chasing once again. 

Winner: Rangers

  • Do the Rangers swing and miss on Seager, Story, and Nicholas Castellanos? Yes. But somehow they land the greatest pitcher of this generation in Clayton Kershaw. Don’t expect Kershaw to win a ring with Texas, as he will have retired by the time top minor league prospects get called up, but he will give the franchise a better reputation and can be a leader for the young guys. A great leader’s impact can be felt years after his departure. 

Loser: LA Angels

  • They don’t sign any starting pitching. As they have (or rather haven’t) done for Mike Trout’s entire career. The Angels are quickly becoming one of my most hated teams due to their wasting of Trout and Shohei Ohtani. It’s a travesty. 

Loser: NY Yankees

  • The Bronx Bombers lose the bomber named Anthony Rizzo and don’t sign any new bombers named Seager, Correa, or Story. Oh, is another Wild Card Game exit after a disappointing regular season what I’m sensing? Yes, yes it is. 

And that concludes my MLB Free Agency Predictions. Do you agree with my picks? Feel free to write in with your thoughts on this off-season’s hot stove.