Unlike last offseason, the free agent cupboard has been raided. Most of the premier options having already inked deals with their new (or old) clubs. But these five players are still on the open market with fewer than 40 days until pitchers and catchers report.
1. Josh Donaldson, 3B
The National League’s Comeback Player of the Year, Josh Donaldson figures to land a deal in the four-year, $100 million range. After he missed most of 2018 because of injury, Donaldson hit 37 home runs, drove in 94 RBIs and posted a .521 slugging percentage in 2019 while playing on a one-year, $23 million contract. His old club, the Atlanta Braves, is reportedly involved in the bidding, along with the Twins and Nationals.
2. Nicholas Castellanos, OF
MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi has reported that the Texas Rangers are frontrunners to land Nicholas Castellanos, after they swung and missed on Anthony Rendon. Outfielders Delino Deshields and Nomar Mazara were dealt by Texas in separate transactions this offseason, one of which helped land former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber. Castellanos put up a 1.002 OPS in 51 games as a Cub down the stretch, after he was shipped out of Detroit.
3. Marcell Ozuna, OF
Ozuna could have had a better contract year, as he slashed just .241/.328/.472 in 2019, but the St. Louis Cardinals have shown interest in retaining him, and the Reds and Rangers are reportedly involved in the bidding, despite the presence of a qualifying offer.
The market for Marcell Ozuna may be gaining some clarity. According to a source, the Reds, Cardinals and Rangers are among the teams still making a push for the slugger. Other teams could still be in play, but these three appear to be the frontrunners.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 2, 2020
4. Steve Cishek, RP
Cishek produced a 2.55 ERA over 134.1 innings in his last two seasons with the Cubs. A Cape Cod native, Cishek has been linked to the Boston Red Sox, but the Athletic’s Peter Gammons has reported that the $7.1 million the submarine-style hurler made last year may be “out of (Boston’s) pay range.” The Twins, per Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, seem to be the only other team interested in Cishek.
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) December 11, 2019
5. Scooter Gennett, 2B
Gennett had an injury-riddled season, during which he slashed just .226/.245/.323 over 42 games, but teams looking for a bounce-back candidate on a one-year deal could do a lot worse. He’s been linked to teams that need help at second base, like the A’s and Indians, but no concrete offers appear to be coming his way yet.