MLB Free Agency is a time for every single team to find the pieces needed to win a championship. Most teams need more than one piece to get to the playoffs, but let’s look at one player that will help every single team get closer to championship contention. Some of these moves are resigning current players, and some are acquisitions. It is impossible for every team to get their desired player, but this list should be their number one options.
Angels – Trevor Bauer
The Angels let up the fourth most runs in baseball last season, so adding the Cy Young would be huge. Realistically, Los Angeles needs more than one pitcher to fully improve their staff, but Bauer would be a start. There are many more reasons why Bauer is perfect, and those can be found here.
Astros – George Springer
The Astros biggest concern should be resigning George Springer. The outfielder was a major part of the Astros success in recent years. Although Houston’s offense was just about league average last year, Springer still gathered MVP votes in a monster year. Without Springer, the Astros downfall will continue to ensue.
Athletics – Marcus Semien
Semien had a down year in 2020, but his 2019 was still up to superstar standard. Not only has Semien been an excellent defender his whole career, his offensive numbers are finally starting to rise too. Without Semien, the Athletics infield will have an irreplaceable hole.
Blue Jays – Masahiro Tanaka
What’s better than adding a pitcher who was a 2019 All-Star and had an even better 2020? Taking him from a division rival. The Blue Jays desperately need help after allowing the sixth most runs per game.
Braves – Marcell Ozuna
Marcell Ozuna was one of the biggest surprises from this past season. The Braves finessed MLB free agency by signing Ozuna last season. However, he will come at a higher price this year after a phenomenal 2020 where he almost completed the Triple Crown after nabbing both the home run and RBI crowns in the national league.
Brewers – James McCann
The Brewers need immediate improvement on an offense that was one of the worst in baseball at manufacturing runs. McCann would replace current catcher Omar Narvaez, who hit just .176 last season. Although Realmuto may be the best catcher on the MLB free agency market, McCann is a stud who is affordable.
Cardinals – Jackie Bradley Jr.
St. Louis’ offense was subpar last year, and a below average outfield influenced that. (Cardinals Team Stats) Springer may be out of ear shot for a Cardinals front office that doesn’t love to shell out money. The next option is a 30-year-old Bradley, who’s elite defense mixed with solid offense will help boost the Cardinals.
Cubs – Jeremy Jeffress
The Cubs seemed to have the pieces to win it all last year but was upset by Miami. Their biggest concern will be retaining their closer, who sneakily had a dominant campaign. Jeffress had an ERA+ that was better than Cy Young finalist Yu Darvish. (Cubs Team Stats) A strong bullpen is a need for a World Series team, and Jeffress needs to headline that for Chicago.
Diamondbacks – Justin Turner
Arizona’s outfield was one of the best in baseball last season, offensively and defensively. This year, they will turn their attention to the 35-year-old Turner. The third baseman’s bat will help a desperate Diamondback infield.
Dodgers – Liam Hendricks
The Dodgers have Blake Treinen entering the MLB Free Agency market this offseason. The defending world champions have been projected to make several lofty signings. I don’t expect them to shell out because of their already heavy contracts. However, Hendricks would be a great replacement if they do lose Treinen.
Giants – Jake Odorizzi
San Francisco has very minimal weak points in their lineup, however pitching is a concern. The young team won’t contend without pitching, and Jake Odorizzi was an All-Star in 2019. If he can return to that form this next season, he will be perfect for the Giants.
Indians – Francisco Lindor
Lindor is not a free agent. But I believe the Indians will be making a monumental mistake if they get rid of the 25-year-old. Lindor has many suitors, but Cleveland needs to hold on to him.
Mariners – Carlos Santana
Seattle struggled to put runs on the board this year and adding Santana will help that. The Mariners may be better off signing some younger players with lesser salaries, but if there is one player that can be added to Seattle’s roster, it is the slugger from Cleveland.
Marlins – Jurickson Profar
The Marlins rode a bunch of unreliable players to the NLDS in 2020. How the Marlins Won Pandemic Baseball | Baseball Bits Profar is young, versatile, and talented. The Marlins could use him anywhere in the infield or outfield, so he could be very valuable to Miami.
Mets – J.T. Realmuto
The Mets have a new owner who is looking to make a splash. Realmuto is perfect for that, as he is going to be a $200 million dollar signing. The Mets could use a catcher, and Realmuto is the number one ranked free agent according to ESPN Free Agency.
Nationals – Marcell Ozuna
Other than Juan Soto, Washington’s outfield was very weak at the plate last season. Ozuna can change that. It is unlikely that the Nationals can pick up Ozuna but taking him from Atlanta would be a dream scenario.
Orioles – Marcus Semien
Current Orioles shortstop Andrew Velazquez is a decent defender, but his OPS+ of 36 is unacceptable. With that being said, Marcus Semien would be a fantastic addition to Baltimore’s rebuild. The shortstop can hit very well, and although he is a little older than desired, he has a few more exceptional years left.
Padres – Garrett Richards
Richards pitched very well this season for San Diego, and the Padres need to hold on to him. A playoff team can never have too much pitching, and with an explosive offense like San Diego’s, it will be important to have an experienced starting pitcher that can come through when he is expected to.
Pirates – D.J. LeMahieu
With only two hitters above the league average for OPS+, the Pirates need hitting. Lemahieu is a LONGSHOT, however he can add the pure hitting and versatility needed. I expect the Yankees to hold on to him, but Pittsburg would be thrilled to get him.
Phillies – J.T. Realmuto
Realmuto, one of the best offensive catchers in baseball, led the Phillies to the sixth best offense last season. He is rumored to be upside of 200 million if he were to resign, but he will be worth it. J.T. has been the best catcher in baseball the past three seasons, both offensively and defensively.
Rangers – J.T. Realmuto
It is time for the Rangers to move on from defensive standout Jeff Mathis. He is not helping their lack of run production, and Realmuto will be able to fill that hole in the lineup.
Rays – Charlie Morton
Although Morton is getting old, his playoff presence has shown out this past season. He pitched well in game seven of the ALCS, helping the Rays get to the world series. The Rays need to hold on to Morton and squeeze his last two years out of him.
Reds – Trevor Bauer
It will be tough for Cincinnati to hold onto the new Cy Young award winner. Although the Reds desperately need guys that can produce runs, keeping Bauer will keep them in every game he pitches. Hitting may be more important, but Bauer is too good to let go.
Red Sox – George Springer
George Springer is a perfect fit for the Red Sox, who may be losing Jackie Bradley. The Sox desperately need pitching but replacing the defensive minded Bradley with an offensive superstar such as Springer could be surprisingly impactful.
Rockies – Liam Hendricks
If I were a relief pitcher, the thin Colorado air is the last place I would sign. That seems to be the Rockies’ problem the last few years, as their bullpen is yet again horrendous. Signing Hendricks would immediately improve a bullpen that is screaming for help.
Royals – Kolten Wong
The Royals had a decent season last year. This year should see them be a playoff squad, but they need a few slight improvements. Wong is probably the most realistic move they make, as his defensive presence at second is wanted.
Tigers – Jonathon Schoop
The Tigers are young, rebuilding, and not needing to contend right now. Their goal this off season should be to keep their young second baseman, who had a very solid 2020. They need to continue to develop their players, and not shell out this free agency.
Twins – Trevor May
The Twins would be smart if they are able to keep one of their top relievers. Minnesota’s offense has obviously been talented for many years, but their bullpen has just lacked behind. If they are able to get their bullpen up to standards, the Twins will no longer be a joke in the playoffs.
White Sox – Alex Colome
Colome was a dominant closer this year for Chicago in his appearances, allowing just two runs in 22 innings this year. Although James McCann is a big player to resign, his offensive production will be replaced with the White Sox’s explosive lineup. Colome is the guy to retain for this MLB Free Agency market.
Yankees – D.J. LeMahieu
The Yankees’ best player from 2020 is a free agent, so it is a must that they hold onto him. D.J. was arguably robbed of an MVP award in 2020, and his versatility is coveted by every single team.
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