Top 10 2022 MLB Free Agents

With the World Series concluded, MLB turns its focus to an impressive crop of free agents. Let’s take a look at the top players available.

Some teams can shop at the higher end of the market, while others don’t have the budget. Still, there are many good names at both ends of the spectrum that can help teams improve toward their ultimate goals. 

Below are the top ten MLB free agents, with players able to sign as of 5:00 p.m. ET on November 10. 

1. Aaron Judge (OF, 31) 

It appears as though Aaron Judge made the right call when he turned down the New York Yankees’ offer at the beginning of the season, betting on himself. The decision saw him mash the most single-season home runs ever in the American League with 62, and he’ll get a boatload of money because of it. Multiple big market teams will be in on the superstar outfielder, and you can expect his contract to exceed $300 million. Will a bidding war break out for the slugger? Time will tell. 

2. Trea Turner (SS, 30)

Shortstops are a common occurrence on this list, and Trea Turner is the best of the crop. There’s not much Turner can’t do on the diamond, epitomizing a five-tool player. If you’re looking for a player to set the table near the top of your lineup, Turner is the guy, but he won’t come cheap. His ability to get on base, and arguably being the most dangerous stolen base threat, make him a talent that teams will break the bank for. 

3. Jacob deGrom (SP, 35)

You can make the case that Jacob deGrom should be higher on this list even though he checks in at number three. When healthy, deGrom is a bonafide ace that any team would welcome at the top of their rotation. Still, how reasonable is it to expect him to be healthy for the duration of the contract he signs? It will be interesting to see how long teams will be willing to go with their contracts, knowing there’s some risk associated. Ultimately, deGrom is a difference-maker and can propel a team to the promised lands. 

4. Carlos Correa (SS, 28)

Last winter, Carlos Correa signed a three-year contract with the Minnesota Twins, but he used his year-one opt-out to test the market again. What’s interesting about Correa is that he’s exceptionally talented and will help whatever team he signs with, but did he make the right decision with a talented crop of shortstops available?

5. Justin Verlander (SP, 40)

It was a banner year for the veteran starting pitcher Justin Verlander, who picked up his first victory in a World Series and will likely be adding to his collection of Cy Young awards. The 4o-year old starter has continued to prove that age is just a number. He’ll be looking for a short-term deal, and the fit will have to be perfect for him if he does move on from Houston. Regardless, Verlander has proven he can still pitch consistently at a very high level.

6. Xander Bogaerts (SS, 30)

Another top shortstop is available on the market with Xander Bogaerts, who has continued to have an extraordinary impact at the plate. His ability to hit and get on base makes his skillset unique. Bogaerts will command a lot of money this offseason for those elite talents. Whether he decides to leave the Boston Red Sox or not, Bogaerts has continued to be one of the most consistent offensive threats and will add an element that makes a difference for any team looking for a top-of-the-order threat. 

7. Carlos Rodon (SP, 30)

It’s now been back-to-back high-quality seasons for left-hander Carlos Rodon, who will be looking to secure a bigger contract after opting out of his deal with the San Francisco Giants. He’s the top lefty on the market, and despite some injury concerns, he should be able to cash in this winter. There’s a lot to like about his arsenal of pitches, and he should be able to parlay his last two successful seasons into a longer-term deal. 

8. Dansby Swanson (SS, 29)

Sticking with the top available shortstops, Dansby Swanson has proven to be a clutch player throughout his tenure with the Atlanta Braves. After re-entering the draft in 2015, he was selected first overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks and later traded to the Braves. Swanson can cash in, but you have to wonder how being the projected fourth-best shortstop on the market will hinder his price. Will he be patient, or will he and his team jump the gun in the market?

9. Willson Contreras (C, 31)

The first catcher on this list, Willson Contreras, is a power threat every time he steps to the dish. There are defensive concerns, but he brings a lot to the plate. A team may sign him as part of a tandem, allowing him to DH when he’s not behind the plate.

10. Chris Bassitt (SP, 34)

Another former New York Mets starting pitcher will test the market in right-hander Chris Bassitt. There are a lot of high-end starters available, but Bassitt shouldn’t cost as much as those upper-echelon arms, so he could be a fallback option for teams looking to upgrade their rotation.

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