The 2019 MLB regular season is starting to wind down.
There are only six weeks left and yet a handful of teams are still fighting for a chance to play in the playoffs. However, some teams’ front offices are already starting to plan for the offseason and what moves they can make to improve. The 2019 free agency class was exciting and deep, but the 2020 class has even more big names, and every team in baseball will be fighting for their services.
Let’s take a look at the top ten impending free agents for this upcoming offseason.
Cole is currently 14-5 with a 2.87 and has been lights out for the first-place Houston Astros. Cole will be a candidate for the American League Cy Young Award with his excellent performance this year. All-time, Cole is 88-52 with a 3.80 ERA; he will be the No. 1 free agent target this upcoming offseason.
The second-best free agent this offseason also happens to be the second-best third baseman in all of baseball. Anthony Rendon has been a household name since coming into the league. This current season, Rendon is batting .318 with 26 home runs and 92 runs knocked in as the new face of the Washington Nationals’ offense. The Nationals currently hold the first wild card spot in the NL. Rendon’s career numbers read .289 with 128 home runs and 512 runs batted in.
Madison Bumgarner will be a highly sought after free agent because he is left-handed, absolutely fabulous in the postseason, and he can hit very well (which is a benefit for NL teams). 2017 and 2018 were not great years for Bumgarner because of injuries, and he did struggle to start the 2019 season, too, but has been pitching great lately. Bumgarner is only 8-7 with a 3.63 ERA this season, but he still has some gas left in the tank and tremendous playoff experience that teams love to have when October comes around.
Wheeler is a hard-throwing right-handed starter who had a great year in 2018, posting a 12-7 record with a 3.31 ERA. Wheeler has been up and down in his during his career. His career numbers are 42-37 record with a 3.84 ERA so far in his career. The fact that Wheeler throws his fastball in the high 90’s will draw him a lot of interest from multiple teams this offseason.
Top outfield free agent Nicholas Castellanos spent his first six-and-a-half years with the Tigers. He was recently traded to the Chicago Cubs. Between the AL and NL this year, Castellanos is batting .287 with 16 home runs and 44 RBI’s. He is a pretty decent defensive outfielder who has some power and can hit for average. With Castellanos being only 27 years old and having tremendous upside, multiple teams will be gunning for his services come this offseason.
Cole Hamels is getting up there in age, but given the fact he throws left-handed and has playoff experience, teams will be calling for his services once the season is over. Hamels is currently 6-4 with a 3.69 ERA this season. Hamels, like every other pitcher, has gone through his ups and downs, but for his career, he is 162-118 with a 3.41 ERA and former NLCS and World Series MVP. His years pitching in the regular season and postseason will have teams lined up asking him to play for them.
Ozuna is having a better 2019 season compared to his 2018 season for the Cardinals. His best year was in 2017 when he batted .312 with 37 home runs and 124 runs batted in. Ozuna is what you would call a power hitter; he has had 23, 10, 23, 37, 23 and 22 home runs over the past six seasons, respectively. His power alone will make him a highly sought after free agent.
Yasiel Puig is probably one of the more complex players in the MLB with the way he acts on and off the field. Besides those issues, Puig can hit for power, and he has speed and a great arm. It’s recommended that you don’t run on Puig because he will most likely throw you out. He also has some power to his bat as well; he is currently batting .264 with 23 home runs and 69 runs knocked in.
Will Smith is a left-handed relief pitcher who is having a great season out of the bullpen for the San Francisco Giants. He is currently 4-0 with a 2.55 ERA and 29 saves. It’s sporadic that there are left-handed closers in the MLB. However, when they have 44 career saves, they will be the highest sought-after reliever in free agency, and that will be true this offseason when Smith hits the open market.
Adam Eaton is a player that can bat in the leadoff or number two spot in your lineup every day. He has speed, hits for average and can put some baseballs over the outfield fence. Eaton is currently batting .284 with eight home runs, 32 runs knocked in and 13 stolen bases. Eaton is also a tremendous outfielder; he only has 27 career errors, 48 outfield assists, and a .984 fielding percentage. Eaton is hitting for average, has speed and is an excellent outfield defender — this will make him another highly sought after free agent this offseason.