After the first big free agent signing of the offseason saw Aaron Nola re-sign with Philadelphia on a lucrative 7-year deal worth $172 million, some of the brightest stars around the league are still without a team going into 2024. The offseason has just begun, but in the coming weeks the hot stove will heat up as teams look to address their needs before the season.
Shohei Ohtani: 11 years, $575 million to the Los Angeles Dodgers
Am I supposed to believe he doesn’t end up somewhere that he’s not wearing Dodger blue? Ohtani wants to win, and the other side of Los Angeles gives him the best chance to do that. The Dodgers are loaded but imagine how scary their lineup would be with Ohtani penciled in between Betts and Freeman. Pitchers and opposing lineups beware of the Dodgers with Ohtani on what will be his record-breaking contract.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto: 7 years, $235 million to the St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis desperately needs help in the rotation, and pitchers like Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson aren’t going to move the needle for the Cardinals. Yamamoto has a strong connection with Nootbaar after the WBC, who has openly been recruiting his Japanese teammate to the Gateway City.
Blake Snell: 6 years, $195 million to the San Francisco Giants
San Francisco is the perfect place to pitch for a pitcher like Snell. Coming off a Cy Young season in the same division, the left-hander would find himself in a familiar ballpark that leaves him less susceptible to giving up home runs. The Giants have a need in the rotation and have made it clear they are in on all big-name free agents this offseason.
Cody Bellinger: 7 years, $215 million to the San Francisco Giants
Coming off a major rebound season in Chicago, there’s almost no reason to believe Bellinger won’t get a massive contract this offseason. For a team with a stadium built for Bellinger’s swing, it’s hard to see them not making a run at their former division rival to solve their problems in center field and provide a punch in the middle of their order.
Josh Hader: 2 years, $42 million to the Baltimore Orioles
With Felix Bautista sidelined for the entire 2024 season due to Tommy John surgery, Baltimore needs help in the back end of their bullpen to go along with surprise star Yennier Cano. Baltimore’s bullpen struggled down the stretch, evident by their 4.00 ERA in the postseason, which was a major part of their quick exit coming off a 101-win season.
Sonny Gray: 3 years, $70 million to the Atlanta Braves
The so-called "best team in baseball" once again saw an abrupt end to their season, losing to Philadelphia in 4 games. For a loaded team that put up unprecedented numbers at the plate, you would think their rotation would be able to hold off opponents enough to survive in a playoff series. Gray would provide a perfect security blanket for Atlanta coming off his incredible season as a Cy Young finalist.
Jordan Montgomery: 4 years, $90 million to the Texas Rangers
As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Montgomery was incredible for the World Series champions in the postseason, and they certainly had the looks of a dominant team going into 2024 with Montgomery in the rotation. It would be shocking to see him in a different uniform next season.
J.D. Martinez: 1 year, $13 million to the Boston Red Sox
Who doesn’t love a reunion? Martinez can still mash at 36 years old, and for a team near the top of the league in most major offensive categories, they have a chance to bring back one of their own for another run. He provides negative value in the field but penciling him in at DH could be a fun move for Boston.
Matt Chapman: 3 years, $55 million to the Seattle Mariners
After seemingly trading Eugenio Suarez away for nothing, Seattle now has a glaring need at the hot corner. Chapman provides power and a potential middle-of-the-order bat to go along with some of the best defensive skills of any player in baseball.
Jorge Soler: 2 years, $40 million to the Miami Marlins
Miami simply cannot afford to lose their biggest power threat in Soler after he opted out of the final year of his contract. Coming off a surprise season clinching a playoff berth for the first time in 2020, the first-time All-Star played a huge role in the team’s success and should be seen as a cornerstone as Miami continues to develop its farm system.
Eduardo Rodriguez: 4 years, $80 million to the Los Angeles Dodgers
It was evident that Rodriguez would opt out of his contract with Detroit, and less than a year after being rumored to be traded to Los Angeles, it just makes sense that he signs with the Dodgers. Still only 30, Rodriguez is coming off a strong season in Detroit and will see a raise from his $15.4 million salary in 2023.
Jung Hoo Lee: 4 years, $75 million to the Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto made it clear going into 2023 that they were emphasizing left-handed bats with the additions of Daulton Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier. Still predominantly right-handed, signing the 25-year-old Korean phenom with premier bat-to-ball skills would be a fun and exciting move for a Blue Jays team that did not meet expectations this past season.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.: 3 years, $40 million to the Arizona Diamondbacks
Why would Gurriel want to leave Arizona? In his first season with the team, he was a solid everyday player and a veteran presence in the clubhouse. For an Arizona team that has the makings of being a perennial playoff team, retaining their own to build off their magical run is crucial and that begins with bringing Gurriel back.
Teoscar Hernandez: 2 years, $30 million to the Atlanta Braves
Just when you thought the Braves had enough power bats, they have the opportunity to add another in Hernandez. After Atlanta declined their club option for the final year of Eddie Rosario’s contract, Hernandez could slot right into the lineup for a potential 25-30 home runs and provide quality defense in left field.
Rhys Hoskins: 1 year, $10 million to the Minnesota Twins
After missing all of 2023 with a left knee injury, Hoskins will almost certainly call a new city home after Philadelphia announced Bryce Harper will be their first baseman moving forward. Hoskins still has plenty to contribute to a team like Minnesota that needs a power right-handed bat in the middle of their lineup.