Top 10 MLB free agent predictions

Christopher Elwell, Sports Editor

The 2022-2023 Major League Baseball free agent period has officially opened, giving players free rein to sign with whatever team they like. This is a historic free agent class, headlined by some of the best players around the league coming off record-breaking, all-time seasons.

In the coming months, teams will be reaching out to players and their agents to hire them, in hopes of cultivating championship-winning teams. There are franchise cornerstones and major difference-makers without a team right now, wondering where they will bring their talents for the 2023 season and beyond.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 free agents available, according to mlb.com.

#1 Aaron Judge, Right Field

Judge bet on himself prior to the 2022 season, turning down a seven-year, $213.5 million deal from the New York Yankees. Coming off a season in which he broke the single-season American League home run record, Judge will easily be the most coveted free agent of the of-season. Rumors are that Judge is interested in going home to the Bay Area to play with the San Francisco Giants, a team that is in the market for a power bat, which they have lacked in recent years.

Prediction: 9 years, $340 million to the San Francisco Giants

#2 Jacob deGrom- Starting Pitcher

After two injury-plagued seasons, it’s been widely considered whether deGrom will be paid for the caliber pitcher that he has been while on the field. There is no question that deGrom is one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, and as long as he stays healthy, whichever team picks him up this offseason will be getting a front-of-the-line and potential Cy Young winning pitcher. He has expressed interest in signing with the Texas Rangers, but Mets owner Steve Cohen will give him an offer he can’t refuse.

Prediction: 4 years, $140 million to the New York Mets

#3 Trea Turner, Shortstop

Turner has turned into one of the most well-rounded players in baseball, with his home run potential, blazing speed, the ability to hit for a high average and quality defense at a premium defensive position at shortstop. Coming off the National League Pennant, the Philadelphia Phillies are one of the top teams in the market for an elite shortstop, and could certainly be willing to bring Turner in for top dollar.

Prediction: 7 years, $250 million to the Philadelphia Phillies

#4 Carlos Correa, Shortstop

Just a year ago, Correa was the top free agent on the market, and after opting out of his record-breaking contract with the Minnesota Twins, he is once again in a position to cash in through free agency. Dodgers fans may not be able to come around on Correa playing for their team after his part in the Astros’ World Series run against Los Angeles, but once he steps on the field, fans would like what they see ranging through the middle of their infield.

Prediction: 8 years, $285 million to the Los Angeles Dodgers

#5 Xander Bogaerts, Shortstop

It is hard to imagine Bogaerts playing anywhere but Boston after being a franchise cornerstone since he entered the league in 2013, but it seems that a new chapter of his career is starting. Though the Cubs are rebuilding, bringing in a veteran presence such as Bogaerts could do wonders for a young team that is looking to regain their form from their World Series team back in 2016.

Prediction: 4 years, $95 million to the Chicago Cubs

#6 Justin Verlander, Starting Pitcher

Coming off what has the looks of being his third Cy Young winning season, Verlander shut down all questions as to whether he would regain the status he found himself in before his Tommy John surgery. The ageless wonder will be entering his 40s with no signs of slowing down, and after another World Series win with Houston, it seems that he will try to run it back in an attempt to win back-to-back titles.

Prediction: 2 years, $65 million to the Houston Astros

#7 Dansby Swanson, Shortstop

Swanson put himself in the top tier of shortstops in 2022 by posting a career year in which he blasted 25 home runs, a career-high 96 RBIs, and the National League Gold Glove at shortstop. He has become a fan favorite in Atlanta, and for a team that has built a reputation of keeping their core players on team contracts, the Braves will be able to give Swanson a contract that matches his contributions to the team.

Prediction: 6 years, $175 million to the Atlanta Braves

#8 Carlos Rodon, Starting Pitcher

Rodon emerged as one of the top starting pitchers in the National League in 2022, and was named as a finalist for the NL Cy Young Award. Posting career highs in starts, innings pitched, and strikeouts, teams will certainly be willing to give Rodon a big contract in hopes that he could potentially lead their rotation and keep up the success he has found over the past two seasons.

Prediction: 6 years, $175 million to the Toronto Blue Jays

#9 Chris Bassitt, Starting Pitcher

In his first season with New York, Bassitt was perhaps the most consistent pitcher for the Mets in 2022, and after declining his $19.65 million qualifying offer from the team, Bassitt is looking to make bank on a multi-year deal. The Mets front office has quickly become one of the biggest spenders on free agents, and after seeing the lack of depth that the rotation dealt with at the end of the season, it seems logical to want to bring him back.

Prediction: 3 years, $65 million to the New York Mets

#10 Brandon Nimmo, Center Field

Nimmo posted the best full season of his career in 2022, continuing to get on base often and improving his defense in a big way to become an all-around quality player. For a team like Colorado, which has struggled in the outfield, Nimmo seems like a perfect candidate to solve an organizational problem and become a potential spark plug at the top of a lineup that finished in the middle of the league in runs scored.

Prediction: 4 years, $95 million to the Colorado Rockies