Updated: Apr 29, 2022
Ball Boys, Ball Girls, I write this in the 16th hour of the CBA talks from February 28th to March 1st. I believe there will be an insane spending frenzy to happen, and the word Tampering will be thrown around A LOT. However, nearly $1.7 billion was committed to free agents during November before the Lockout, smashing the prior record by 4x. That might be smashed ever further post Lockout. I will give you my predictions for some of the top names who will sign a deal shortly. Lightening Hot Takes coming in ENERGIZED today by Raze Energy. I am feeling energized.
Before jumping into the content, check out Raze Energy, which voted 2021 best energy drink brand and is my source of fuel for the blog.
Use my code "ballboy" at checkout to support the blog and save 30% by clicking here.
Kers is going back to the Dodgers on a three-year deal. Kershaw will get Mad Max money at 33yo; Kershaw has years left in him to continue to cement his HOF legacy with the Dodgers
At 29 years old and coming off a 5th place finish in the Cy Young voting. Rodon has options galore, and I can see him landing a true contender. There are rumors that the Rangers want Kershaw to come home, and they need a pitcher to compete with this offense. I think that the Rangers sign Rodon to an excellent five-year deal.
Greinke isn't going to a team that isn't locked for World Series contention. He likely signs with the Dodgers, Astros, Padres on a one-year deal to end his career and hopefully get himself that long-awaited ring. I can see Greinke going to the White Sox or Mariners as well. This is a final deal and 1yr deal here.
Anderson isn't the perfect name, but he is a solid, consistent competitor. At 32yo, Anderson is also in a boat to compete and contribute to a playoff team. I can see the Mariners keeping their guy in the house. However, I think a signing with the Tigers or Blue Jays would be great for Anderson. I can see the Cardinals swinging here if we are looking at NL. 1 year deal here with a +1
Kikuchi got the boot from Seattle after three seasons of ups and downs and flashes of potential. He never got the ace potential we all thought he would. Kikuchi is only 30yo and healthy. I can see the Mets getting him or the Giants taking a stab at it here. I also like the fit with the Red Sox or Yankees. The 2-year deal here with a +1
At 33yo and after two seasons in the MLB from the KBO, the same can be said for Kim as it can for Kikichu, where we have seen flashes; however, Kim has had some health issues that have limited him. The stuff is good from Kim. I think the re-sign with the Cardinals here is likely, but a move to the TB Rays would make a lot of sense. The one-year deal here.
The 14yr vet is now 36, and at the end of his career, he either goes and becomes a mentor or signs with a powerhouse to do so. I can see the re-sign with the Royals to run it back to where he got his ring. A reunion with the Reds is also an option, and I also know that Jerry Dipoto loves him some Cueto and the fit in Seattle makes too much sense. The one-year deal here.
The former Mariner/Yankee/Twin enters his age 33 seasons now, and with that, he looks to provide a veteran presence to any club. There are health concerns and durability issues. Pineda will need to take a back-end role and possibly stay in the AL; I think a move to the TB Rays, but don't count out a team like the Braves to swing for a 6'7" starter. I am giving Pineda a one-year deal most.
The 34yo, 11yr vet is one of the best closers to take the mound in the last decade. In recent years, things have fallen off, and the lockdown isn't there. However, he can still give a lot to a competitor now. Jansen will be a top-tier contender and might have to settle for a #2 role. However, the Brewers, Giants, Yankees should all be in the mix here for Jansen and give him a 2-3 year deal, tops.
The 36yo, 13yr vet is also one of the better relievers we have seen in recent history, and the track record says it all. I fully expect him to serve in a late-innings role with a competitor. The Braves, Red Sox, Astros could all use Miller on a one-year deal.
Another great lefty on the market right now is primed to land a great deal at 31yo and possibly one of the best LHRP on the market left. No team needs a veteran left more than the Mariners, and I see the deal being made here to balance the pen and support the likes of Ken Giles and Munoz coming back.
After two not-great seasons, he didn't pitch a lot for the Mets after leaving the Yankees. I see Betances landing a one-year deal with anyone who will take him as we have seen him as one of the best setup men in the MLB.
Since Edwin Diaz came to town, the now 32yo Familia has served as a good setup man while also showing that he can lock down the 9th inning. The one team that instantly comes to mind can use a solid Setup man in the LA Angels to set up recently extended closer, Iglesias.
At only 28yo and dealing with injuries on and off for the last four seasons, I see Kela getting a shot, and I see that shot coming with the Blue Jays, Cubs, or even the Phillies, who each need an upside bullpen piece. Kela is going to get a one-year prove-it deal.
The now 35yo righty showed well with the LAA in 74 games and shows that he still has the juice to give a pen in a complementary role. You have to put Cishek on a team where he can play in the 7th/8th inn, and I see the Padres, Tigers, Phillies, Marlins, and Reds all being good fits for him on a one year deal.
Colome notched 17saves for the Twins in 2021, and now entering his age 33 seasons, the options are wide open. The play has been chiefly AL to this point in his career, and I think he sticks around. Indians, Royals, Rangers all look good fits for Colome to get 9th inning work. A 2 year isn't out of the question.
At 29yo, the 6yr vet is on the market after a meh season in 2021 with the Phillies. A reunion will be the best case here as the Phillies will want to keep a reliever possibly going into his prime. The three-year deal here.
Vogt is at the point where he is a backup and a mentor at 37, and no one needs a fun vet more than the Orioles and Giants do for their young top-catching prospects.
After playing in just 28 games with the Cubs in 2021, I don't think that the veteran 33yo catcher will likely find a starting job and end up as a backup on a one-year deal.
The 38yo, 15yr vet, would like to end up back on a team where he can just help and be a vet. I don't have teams in mind for him. However, I think he lands where ever gives him a one-year deal.
The now 34yo, 13yr vet is likely to end up back with the Tigers since he knows some people there and can help a young pitching staff with veteran leadership.
Thanks for Reading! Stay tuned for Infielders!