Sure, several superstar free agents have been signed as we near Christmas, with Aaron Judge returning to the Yankees, Carlos Correa joining the Giants, Jacob deGrom heading to the Rangers, and others. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t several gems remaining on the open market for teams to snatch up.
Here’s a look at the best free agents still out there by position:
Catcher: Gary Sánchez
Early on, it looked as though Sánchez could be the catcher of the future for the Yankees after he posted a .923 OPS with 53 home runs in his first 175 games in the Majors from 2016-17. But then, outside of a solid 2019 campaign, he’s struggled both at the plate and behind it. That led to the Yanks dealing him to the Twins prior to last season in the move that sent Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa to New York. Sánchez didn’t fare any better with Minnesota, hitting .205/.282/.377 in 128 games. But he just turned 30, and he may still have something left in his bat.
First base: Wil Myers
You could make an argument for Brandon Belt here, but given that he’s entering his age-35 campaign in 2023, and that he just had another knee operation, there are a lot of question marks there. There are health questions with Myers, too, after he was limited to 77 games last season, but he’s nearly three years younger than Belt and was more productive in 2022. He posted a .713 OPS (108 OPS+) with seven homers in 286 plate appearances for the Padres, but he’s also just two seasons removed from a .959 OPS and 15 homers in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Second base: Jean Segura
Segura finally got to put his talents on display on the postseason stage last fall, reaching the playoffs for the first time in his 11th Major League season. He delivered some clutch hits for the Phillies to help them win their first pennant in 13 years, also hitting .462 in the National League Division Series against the Braves. He’s been steadily solid into his early-30s, with a .761 OPS over the past three seasons, though he’s been limited by injuries. Health moving forward will be part of the risk a team will take when it signs Segura, but he’s proven that when he’s able to stay on the field, he’s productive.
Shortstop: José Iglesias
You could probably just as easily go with Elvis Andrus here — both are about the same age and both produced between 1 and 2 Baseball Reference wins above replacement last season for their respective clubs. But we’ll give the nod to the younger Iglesias (he turns 33 in January), who has been a bit more consistent offensively over the past few years. With the Rockies in 2022, he had a .708 OPS (90 OPS+), in line with what he had produced at the plate in 2021 for the Angels and Red Sox. He had a great 2020 campaign for the Orioles, when he posted a .956 OPS, albeit in only 150 plate appearances during the pandemic-shortened season. It’s his slick fielding at short, however, that is his calling card.
Third base: Evan Longoria
He’s 37 and he's missed significant time due to injuries the past two seasons, but that’s precisely why Longoria could end up being a steal for a team in need of help at the hot corner. He’d likely be an inexpensive option who, if he can stay on the field, may produce at an above-average level at the plate while playing a serviceable third base. In 170 games over the past two seasons with the Giants, the three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award winner had a .799 OPS with 27 homers.
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Left field: Jurickson Profar
With Andrew Benintendi off the board, Profar takes the top spot among remaining left fielders after a strong all-around season for San Diego in 2022. He produced a career-best 3.1 bWAR last season, posting a .723 OPS (111 OPS+) with 15 homers. Entering his age-30 campaign in 2023, Profar comes with the added bonus of being a versatile defensive player, also having seen time at every position but pitcher and catcher during his eight-year MLB career.
Center field: Adam Engel
Engel was on track toward potentially becoming an All-Star center fielder for the White Sox, but injuries and a poor 2022 campaign derailed that endeavor. The speedy 31-year-old has always been a good defender in center, but his offense is what has lagged behind. Over his first three Major League seasons, he posted a .601 OPS for Chicago. He showed marked improvement from 2020-21, when he slashed .270/.335/.488. The trouble was, he only played in 75 games over that span due to injury. And last season, he hit just .224/.269/.310 over 260 plate appearances. Given his age, however, and if he can stay healthy, he could be a high-upside gamble that may pay off for a team willing to take a chance on him.
Right field: Adam Duvall
Michael Conforto is an intriguing option here, too, but given that he missed the entire 2022 season following shoulder surgery, there are just too many unknowns regarding whether he’ll be the same Conforto who had a career .843 OPS with 118 homers through ’20. Enter Duvall, who, although he’ll be in his age-34 season next year, is just a season removed from launching 38 homers and leading the NL with 113 RBIs for the Marlins and Braves, helping Atlanta win the World Series after coming over in a Trade Deadline deal. He missed much of last season due to a wrist injury, but if he’s right following wrist surgery, he could be a great source of power in any lineup.
Designated Hitter: Trey Mancini
Mancini didn’t produce as much at the plate as the Astros hoped he would when Houston acquired him in a Trade Deadline deal with the Orioles, but all’s well that ends well — the Astros won the World Series. Still, the 30-year-old has posted a .735 OPS with 39 homers in 1,203 plate appearances since returning to the Majors in 2021 following a cancer battle. He’s proven he’s still got pop in his bat, and he could be a cost-effective signing for a team in need of another above-average hitter in the lineup.
Starting pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi
Over the past three seasons, Eovaldi had a 3.79 ERA (120 ERA+) and a 1.21 WHIP for the Red Sox. While there are injury concerns — he’s had shoulder and elbow issues, among other injuries, over the past few seasons — when healthy, he has proven to be one of the better starters in the American League over the past five years. He also has playoff experience; in 43 postseason innings, he owns a 3.14 ERA.
Reliever: Craig Kimbrel
Yes, he ended up losing his role as closer for the Dodgers down the stretch last season, but Kimbrel still managed to finish the 2022 campaign with a 3.75 ERA and 22 saves. He’ll be entering his age-35 campaign in ’23, but he's only a season removed from posting a 2.26 ERA for the Cubs and White Sox, and it was only that high because he struggled with the White Sox after pitching to a 0.49 ERA over 39 appearances with the Cubs (23 saves). He could be a relatively cheap addition who, if he regains his form, may end up being a bargain.
Best MLB free agents remaining – MLB.com