Photo Credit: Sports Mockery
After Sunday’s Super Bowl, it is time to finally turn our attention to baseball season. Heading into spring training, many teams have their rosters set and believe it their year to finally win a world championship. But, some teams are still in the mix to sign some of the best talent this league has to offer. Here’s a look at where the top three free agents should sign prior to spring training.
2018: .249 BA, 34 HR, 100 RBI, 103 R, 1.3 WAR
Potential Landing Spots: Nationals, Phillies, Padres, White Sox
While I would like to see Harper continue his career in the nation’s capital and finally become win a World Series for the Nationals, something that franchise has come close to doing in previous years, the obvious choice for Harper is to sign with the Phillies. With a nice, up and coming team with a core of Rhys Hoskins, Odubel Herrera, and Maikel Franco, and a boatload of money the front office seems ready to spend, Harper has a chance to put this team in serious contention. In signing with the Phillies he would become the face of their franchise and change the attitude from being a “few years away” to a win now mentality. With young talent on the infield, the addition of Harper in right field would certainly complete their outfield with Andrew McCutchen taking over the left field while Odubel Herrera mans center field. While the Nationals seem to be taking no steps back and after the Braves had perhaps the most surprising improvement from a year ago, the Phillies need to make a splash and keep up if they want to be chasing the NL East crown in the years to come.
2018: .297 BA, 37 HR, 107 RBI, 84 R, 5.7 WAR
Potential Landing Spots: Dodgers, Yankees, White Sox, Phillies
While the market hasn’t seemed to be what the top free agents were expecting this year, there are still plenty of teams who would love to sign a player of Machado’s caliber. While the Phillies are an option, they seem to be narrowed in on Harper and with the abundance of infield depth the Yankees have, I don’t see them having Machado on their roster come opening day. This leaves just the Dodgers and White Sox left in play. If I were Machado I would certainly sign with the Dodgers rather than the White Sox. With Corey Seager’s health in question after undergoing arthroscopic hip surgery as well as Tommy John elbow reconstruction just a year ago, the shortstop position is open for the Dodgers, a club eager to win in 2019. That being said, I could see Machado taking a shorter deal around two years with the Dodgers to try and win a World Series and then enter the market again at the age of 28 and strike a deal in the ballpark of $300 million.
2018: 12-11, 204.2 IP, 3.74 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 153 SO, 2.6 WAR
Potential Landing Spots: Astros, Braves, Reds
Photo Credit: Sporting News
This one really comes down to if Kechel wants to be the “ace” or not. If Keuchel is ok with being the third guy behind Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, he should stay in Houston. The Astros, for the third straight year, have all the pieces to get it done and potentially win their second World Series in three years, so if winning is what he is most interested in, Houston is the place. However, if Keuchel wants to re-establish himself as the top guy in a rotation, while still giving himself a decent chance to win, he should strongly consider the Atlanta Braves. After adding former MVP Josh Donaldson to a roster that saw Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. turn into potential superstars in the making, the Braves look set to turn this rebuild into a potential dynasty for years to come. Acquiring Keuchel, one of the best ground ball pitchers in the game, could play a big role in Atlanta’s success considering SunTrust Park was ranked as the 6th best hitters park in 2018. Overall, both spots would be a great fit for Keuchel, it just comes down to it he is willing to sacrifice his role for his best chance to win.
PLEASE, can these guys just sign already?