With little over five weeks until the end of the regular season some teams can be forgiven for starting to plan for the 2019 season and one of those avenues to improve a team is free agency.
We will look at the top ten (IMO) free agents available come November.
10. Antonio Bastardo (RP/Washington Nationals)
32 year old leftie from the Dominican Republic was claimed by the Nationals from the Astros in mid July. Bastardo had struggled in Houston after executing his option year but has settled into the Nationals org with a 2-0 record, 2.16 ERA while improving his BB/9 and K/9 rates and dropping his WHIP to under 1.00.
Throws a ++ Slider and Changeup.
Will earn $7.69m this season between Houston and Washington.
9. A.J.Ramos (RP/Los Angeles Dodgers)
31 year old rightie from Texas, an off season move from Miami via a trade with four Dodgers moving east in return. Has declined slightly this season, but still putting up good numbers but has allowed 3 times the home runs he allowed in Miami and his BB/9 and K/9 rates have gotten worst.
Throws a fastball/slider combo with the slider rated one of the best in the business.
Will earn $7.05m this season.
8. Drew Smyly (SP/Tampa Bay Rays)
29 year old rightie from Little Rock, AR. It looks increasingly likely the Rays won’t be able to resign Smyly from 2019 and beyond. Smyly matched his win total from 2017 three starts earlier, has seen his BB/9 drop but also his K/9 has dropped. Susceptible to the long ball more this season, his curveball is his best pitch but batters cannot discount his fastball or changeup.
Earning $7.35m this season.
7. Al Alburquerque (RP/Washington Nationals)
Second National reliever on the list, a 32 year old rightie from the Dominican Republic. Was signed as a free agent early 2018 and made the short move north from Baltimore. Saved 30 games for the Nationals this season, striking out 78 in 56 innings thus far. Another fastball/slider combination (like Ramos) with again one of the league’s’ best sliders in the game.
Earning $12.5m this season.
6. Garrett Richards (SP/Los Angeles Angels)
30 year old rightie from Edmond, OK. Drafted 42th overall by the Angels in 2009 and making his pro debut in 2011 and has won double digit games the last four seasons for LAA. Consistent pitcher throughout the years with 5 pitches in his arsenal with his fastball been his best pitch/
Earning $13.125m this season.
5. David Robertson (RP/Toronto Blue Jays)
33 year old rightie from Birmingham, AL. Traded from the Nationals in late 2015 and had saved 56 games in ‘16 & ‘17 but was demoted to set up duties and replaced by Wade Davis this season. K/9 rate has jumped from 8.8 to 11.4 but has seen his BB/9 rate and WHIP increase. Unique reliever with four ++ pitches with devastating changeup.
Earning $13m this season.
4. Jacob Turner (SP/Chicago Cubs)
27 year old rightie from Bay St.Louis, MS. Has gone 42-19 in the 4 seasons of SSG and has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the league totally 11.1 WAR since 2015. Excellent control pitcher with a 1.5 BB/9 and posting in his best WHIP total since SSG started.
Best pitch is the curveball, complemented with a fastball and above average slider and changeup.
Earning $12.5m this season.
3. Andrew McCutchen (OF/Detroit Tigers)
31 year old right handed batter from Ft.Meade, FL. Traded from Pittsburgh last season and has thrived in Detroit hitting 37 home runs in Tiger colours and hitting over .300. Can play left or center field, above average range in field and can use his speed in the outfield or on the basepaths when given the green light.
Earning $14.5m this season.
2. Greg Holland (CL/Baltimore Orioles)
32 year old rightie from Marion, NC. In the last two season has saved 56 games in stints in Baltimore and Washington. Started 2017 in Baltimore only to be traded on deadline day to the Nationals and become a WS winner. Six days into the new year he was on his way back to Baltimore, has saved 17 games this season, seen his K/9 rate go back to his pre-Washington days. Has three ++ pitches in his fastball, curveball and slider.
Earning $9.78m this season.
1. Brett Lawrie (3B/Minnesota Twins)
Traded after the trade deadline from Oakland Lawrie a 28 year old from Fort Langley, BC, Canada is projected to post his best year measured in WAR this season. Since his move he has still hit for average and increased (slightly) his home run rate for the playoff chasing Twins. Good contact, better gap/power hitter with a nice glove at the hot corner.
Earning $15.7m between Oakland and Minnesota this season.
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