The season is now over. The Washington Nationals have won their first championship in franchise history. Now that the World Series is over, it’s time to look at the offseason. Managerial and staff hirings/firings have been well underway and it’s about time to look at the MLB free agents in 2019-20. There is a mix of unrestricted and restricted free agents on the market. Teams looking to get better have a great selection to choose from. Let the bidding begin. Here are the top five MLB free agents in 2019-20.
Top Five MLB Free Agents in 2019-20
Gerrit Cole: Starting Pitcher
The biggest name in free agency, Gerrit Cole, is due for a huge payday. The right-hander is one of the best pitchers in the game. He helped the Houston Astros make it to the World Series but fell short. In 33 regular season starts, Cole went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA. He registered a whopping 326 strikeouts in 212.1 innings. He hasn’t lost a game since May until game one of the World Series. Except for game one, he was dominating in the playoffs as well. He is a candidate for the AL Cy Young award along with his teammate Justin Verlander. Many teams will be bidding for Cole this offseason.
Anthony Rendon: Third Baseman
Anthony Rendon is coming off of a career and will be a candidate for the NL MVP. He led the Nationals to their first World Series championship in franchise history. The Nationals offered him a big contract during the season but he didn’t want to take it. This doesn’t mean he won’t want to go back but he wants to see what’s out there. Rendon scored 117 runs this season, had 126 RBI’s and 34 home runs for a .319 batting average. In the World Series, he hitting .276 with eight RBI’s and two huge home runs. He could’ve easily won the World Series MVP but fell short. He is a valuable asset at the hot corner this offseason.
Stephen Strasburg: Starting Pitcher (Restricted)
The number one overall pick in the 2009 draft finally won a World Series. Stephen Strasburg showed us why he was the number one pick by winning the World Series MVP and his dominate post-season. One caveat is that he is a restricted free agent so he could pick up the option to stay with the Nationals. Although he might stay, he might want to look around the market before he makes his decision. He was 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 251 strikeouts in the regular season. He was even better when it mattered. In the five post-season starts and one relief role in the wild card game, he posted an ERA of 1.46 with 71 strikeouts and only gave up nine earned runs. In two starts in the World Series, he was 2-0 with an ERA of 2.51. He is still a very good pitcher at 30 years old. He will be a top option if in fact, he declines his option.
Madison Bumgarner: Starting Pitcher
He is the first left-handed pitcher on this list and that alone will get him interest. Madison Bumgarner hasn’t been the same over the past couple years but he can still be a good, reliable option. He has spent his whole career with the San Francisco Giants so seeing him in a different uniform will be weird. In 2019, he was 9-9 with a 3.90 ERA but just got over 200 strikeouts. Like I said before he hasn’t been himself the past couple of years but he still is a great option for teams looking for a starting pitcher.
Aroldis Chapman: Relief Pitcher/Closer (Restricted)
Aroldis Chapman is a restricted free agent but all signs point to him opting out to become an unrestricted free agent. If he does opt out, he is eligible for a qualifying offer. The 31-year-old still can bring the heat from the pen. He is a reliable pitcher although, in his last game with New York Yankees, he gave up a walk-off to Jose Altuve that knocked them out. Chapman appeared in 60 games and posted an ERA of 2.21 with 37 saves. He was once again dominant in 2019 but with what happened with Craig Kimbrel last season, teams need to act fast and sign him early.
Other Notable Free Agents:
- J.D. Martinez: Outfield/DH (Restricted)
- Hyun-Jin Ryu: Starting pitcher
- Josh Donaldson: Third Baseman
- Zack Wheeler: Starting Pitcher
- Marcell Ozuna: Left Fielder
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