Seriously, spend that money people! I want to spend mine!
Thursday was a great day for baseball fans. The lockout ended, a new CBA was in place and we found out we’ll get a full 162-game regular season.
That season starts April 7 — less than one month from today.
There are still roughly 300 free agents looking for work.
Which is a problem. Because my fantasy draft is coming up in a week and I need to know where these guys are going to be playing this year so I can make big decisions.
First base questions
There are three first basemen who are going to stir the rumor mill a lot in the coming days.
Freddie Freeman was a hero in Atlanta for years, and finally got a ring. But he didn’t get a deal done before the lockout. He’s the top name on the market right now.
But the teams that have interest in Freeman are also checking in on Matt Olson of the A’s, who is reportedly available via trade. He has two years of control after the 2022 season and is a terrific player.
And, if a team fails to land either of those, they could “fall back” on Anthony Rizzo, who was traded to the Yankees by the Cubs last year.
All three of these guys will be a big bat in the middle of a lineup. And, right now, we don’t know where they’re going to be playing.
Before the lockout, a few of the big name shortstops got deals done. Corey Seager and Marcus Semien both signed in Texas and Javier Baez got a deal from Detroit.
Carlos Correa was a No. 1 overall pick by the Astros. He was a key member of multiple trips to the World Series, though their championship is tainted. He’s young, arguably the best defensive player at the position in the game and available.
Teams have already been in touch with Correa, who will undoubtedly be looking at Seager’s 10-year, $325 million deal with the Rangers as his target. The rebuilding Chicago Cubs have been rumored to be a likely landing spot… which is interesting.
If you don’t want to spend $300 million or give up a decade of contract, Trevor Story could be a great option. He was terrific for the Rockies for years and could/should have been traded last season. The Rockies allegedly want him back, but he’ll be a hot name as well.
They’re among the top offensive shortstops in the game, so where they land will impact a lot of fantasy drafts.
National League DH candidates
Welcome to the world of a global designated hitter, y’all. And there are three free agents who will benefit from every team being able to sign a guy who doesn’t have to play defense.
Nelson Cruz is the active OG at DH. He’s performed everywhere he’s been and brings a lot of power to the middle of any lineup. But he hasn’t touched a glove in years, so having the NL on board gives him more options.
Nick Castellanos can play the outfield, but he’s turned into one of the more lethal bats in the game. His market went up exponentially with the ability of teams to put him in the lineup and have a better option to play right field.
And Kyle Schwarber, who has become an adequate left fielder, has a big bat that will lose balls in any park. Like Cruz, he’s a left-handed bat who will add power to the middle of a lineup.
All three of these guys needs a job. Where they sign will impact their value to fantasy owners.