One of the most exciting times of the baseball calendar is MLB free agency and there is a handful of talent, especially at the shortstop position. The 2021-22 free-agent class at shortstop is one of the best we’ve ever seen. There are at least three superstars at the position and that’s only if you leave out Javier Baez.
A ton of money will be spent in this class and deservingly so. We all know the potential issues the collective bargaining agreement will bring on baseball when it expires on December 1st, but a few of these guys hope to sign before then. The shortstop class is loaded this season and it’s just a matter of time before we see some movement.
MLB Free Agency: Top Five Shortstops
Fresh off of a World Series appearance with the Houston Astros, Carlos Correa comes into MLB free agency as arguably the best at the shortstop position. It was reported before the season that Correa had declined a six-year, $120M extension. The Astros recently made another offer to the all-star in the form of a five-year, $160M contract. He has neither accepted nor declined but let’s just say he’s hitting the free-agent market.
Correa hit .279 with 26 home runs and 92 RBI in 148 games this season. Durability was something teams needed to see from him and now they’ve gotten that for two straight seasons. A big payday is headed for the top shortstop on the market at only 27 years of age.
There’ll be a heavy market for Corey Seager this winter as he’s one of the most talented players in the game. Seager dealt with yet another injury-riddled season as he only had 95 games but in that time, he hit .306 with 16 home runs and 57 RBI. If he played the whole season, it looked like he was on pace for another special year. When healthy, Seager is a clear MVP candidate that can hit the ball all over the place.
The Los Angeles Dodgers want Seager back but they have a fallback option with Trea Turner if they can’t get a deal done. The former World Series champion will be a top priority for any contending team looking to put their team over the top.
Trevor Story was right in the middle of talks at the MLB Trade Deadline but ultimately stayed with the Colorado Rockies. Now Story hits MLB free agency going into his age 29 season. He had a “down year” compared to other years as he had a .251 average with 24 home runs and 75 RBI but also had 20 stolen bases. In 2019, Story became the fastest shortstop to hit 100 home runs. Story has the power but he also has a lot of speed and can play exceptional defense.
With everyone that comes out of Colorado, comes the ‘Coors effect” argument but there’s a long list of guys to succeed when they leave Colorado, including his longtime friend Nolan Arenado. Story is very durable and if he gets surrounded with a good team around him, his talent might escalate even more.
The New York Mets expressed some interest in bringing back Javier Baez after trading for him at the MLB Trade Deadline last season. He resurged with the Mets just in time for a good contract this offseason as he hit over .300 with nine home runs and 22 RBI in 47 games with New York. Also being paired with one of his best friends in Francisco Lindor might’ve brought out the best in him.
Baez has power at the plate and is one of the best defenders in the league but a huge downside is that he has one of the worst strikeout rates in the league. It’s basically all or nothing at the plate but when he’s on, Baez can hit like no other. His market will be an interesting one to watch this offseason.
Although Marcus Semien had a career year for the Toronto Blue Jays at second base last season, he’s still listed as a shortstop so he belongs on this list. At age 31, Semien hit .265 with an eye-popping 45 home runs and 102 RBI along with 15 stolen bases. Nobody expected this type of season at all but now he’s getting more looks on the open market. The all-star shortstop is highly durable, playing 162 games in 2019 and 2021. He bet on himself this past season and it paid off. Now, he will get paid whether teams see him as a shortstop or second basemen.
Other Free Agent Shortstops