Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match. Find me an arm, catch me a bat …
Front-office executives won’t be serenading potential free agents with bad baseball puns sung to the tune of the “Fiddler on the Roof” classic, but they’ll all be trying to upgrade their respective rosters in the coming weeks and months.
With that in mind, it’s time for our annual exercise in which we try to match up free agents with new teams. This list isn’t meant to serve as a prediction of what’s to come this winter, but rather a chance to play free-agent matchmaker.
We call it “30 free agents for 30 teams.”
1. Every player has to be from another team (no incumbents).
2. Each player can only be on the list once.
The Blue Jays’ 3.98 rotation ERA ranked eighth in the AL, but José Berríos (5.23) and Yusei Kikuchi (5.19) had terrible seasons, and Ross Stripling is a free agent. Taillon’s six starts against the Jays (4-2, 2.62 ERA) were more than he made against any team. He actually had better numbers against winning teams (3.74) than losing teams (4.13).
The Orioles’ rotation ranked 10th in the AL with a 4.35 ERA, but Dean Kremer and Austin Voth were the only starters with an ERA below 4.00. Baltimore should look to spend money after its surprising season, and while the club might not be ready to go big-game hunting for Jacob deGrom or Carlos Rodón, a veteran such as Eovaldi would be a good mentor for some of the Orioles’ young arms.
The Rays struggled against right-handed pitching last season, posting a .678 OPS, ranking 11th in the AL. They could try to bring back David Peralta, but the 35-year-old Brantley — who posted an .810 OPS in 189 plate appearances against righties — could be an affordable option after he played in just 64 games in 2022.
Boston’s bullpen was woeful in 2022, ranking 14th in the AL with a 4.59 ERA while blowing 28 saves — third most in the league. No reliever notched more than eight saves last season, so adding a proven closer should be a priority. The 37-year-old Robertson had a strong season with the Cubs and Phillies (2.40 ERA in 58 appearances) and shouldn’t require a lengthy deal, making him an ideal addition for a Red Sox team that has plenty of other areas to address.
With Taillon a free agent, the Yankees will have at least one hole to fill in the rotation. Why not go for the big game and sign Verlander to a Max Scherzer-type contract? After all, the Yankees took a swing when the right-hander was a free agent last winter. A record AAV over two years would give the Yankees a powerful 1-2 punch, reuniting former Astros teammates Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
The Guardians were the league’s youngest team in 2022, and although Josh Naylor and Owen Miller held their own offensively this season, Miller is better suited at second base and Naylor as a designated hitter. Mancini would not only stabilize first base for Cleveland, he would bring some veteran leadership to the young club.
The Royals had…
Read More: Free agent match for each MLB team 2022-2023 offseason 2022-11-21 21:35:59