Best Landing Spots for Remaining Free Agents

Scott Boras' Clients Remaining

As Spring training baseball begins in Florida and Arizona, talent is still available. Quite frankly, everyone expected to be off the board long before the end of January. This off-season was different than most, seeing a collection of super agent Scott Boras clients being the talk of the off-season only to remain unsigned as teams report and prepare to kick off the spring training games. Below I will dive into the top four and then a handful of next-tier Free agents with best fits as the season gets underway. Baseball is back and the next few weeks will be very interesting to see what teams do to finalize their opening-day rosters.

The Big Four

OF/1B – Cody Bellinger – Age 28

2023 Stats 130Games, 556 Plate App, 26 HR, 20 SB, .307 Ave, .356 OBP and .525 SLG

***Voted** National League comeback player of the year 2023

Cody has been linked all offseason with the Chicago Cubs, but according to Owner Tom Ricketts at the Opening to Spring Training the team and Scott Boras have had conversations, but nothing escalating to a contract offer at this time. The left-hand hitting Outfielder/1B not only can swing the bat but plays above-average defense in the field saving 10 runs last season while in the field.

Bellinger in my opinion still is best fit to return to Wrigley this year and slide into a lineup that could use his bat and give new Manager Craig Counsell options with his everyday lineup. He could easily plug Bellinger back in Center and swing Pete Crow-Armstong to the right or vice versa, allowing Seiya Suzuki to handle the DH duties. Or they could even shift Bellinger to first and let Michael Busch DH or swing Busch to third and have Morel DH. Either way the reunion of Bellinger to the Cubs makes too much sense in my opinion to see Ricketts and company let him get away. If Bellinger does not return to the Cubs on a multi-year deal, I would anticipate a short-term deal with one of the following teams below ranked in order of likelihood in my opinion.

Other landing spots: Los Angeles Angels, San Fransico Giants, or the Toronto Blue Jays

3B – Matt Chapman – Age 30

2023 Stats 140 Games, 581 Plate App, 17 HR, 4 SB, .240 AVE, .330 OBP, and .424 SLG

While Chapman may not be the same hitter he was a few years back, he still provides quality contact from the hot corner and any team that can get him on their roster would benefit from him being involved in the back end of the lineup. While his bat may not be where it once was, his glove on the other hand is still elite, winning his 4th gold glove last season while with the Blue Jays.

Chapman has been linked to the Cubs, Giants, Angels, and Mariners this offseason recently and If I had to pick the best landing spot for him, I am leaning toward Seattle all the way. His defense at the hot corner and leadership would be a big boost to this club which earlier traded away Eugunio Suarez to the Diamondbacks. I know the Mariners like Josh Rojas and he’s slated to play third for them this year, but by adding Chapman’s bat and elite defense to the squad the Mariners could make a serious push in the American League West this year. They have signed Mitch Garver as well to bolster their offense to help out Superstar Julio Rodrigues, but Chapman’s defense would be a huge benefit to the Starting rotation of the Mariners this year, which I think has the potential to be one of if not the best in baseball this year.

Other landing spots: San Fransico Giants, Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs

LHP – Jordan Montgomery – Age 31

2023 Stats 32 Games, 32 starts, 188.2 IP, 177 Hits, 18 HR, 166 K, 48 BB, and an ERA of 3.20

Montgomery played a big part in the Texas Rangers postseason success last year as they went on to win the World Series. He like the before mentioned three free agents is a Scott Boras client and has been discussed by several teams all off-season. While Montgomery had a solid season last year, especially with his time in Texas, he’s not the power pitcher you’d expect to get for the high contract demands it appears Scott Boras is pushing or should I say advising him to be after. Montgomery struggles to avoid contact and doesn’t miss many bats, which is why this lefty has never been a top-of-the-rotation guy wherever he has gone. Jordan gets by with deception rather than overall stuff with a sinker and four-seam fastball both sitting between 93-94mph. Just watch a full start and you’ll see where a slip here or a slip there and this guy appears more like a middle-of-the-road average starter more often than not, I hope it wasn’t a one-off last year for his sake, but have to look at the full body of work.

Montgomery has been linked to several teams all offseason with many new teams coming and going, but the four that seem to have been involved from the get-go remain the same Boston Red Sox, San Fransico Giants, New York Yankees, and Philadelphia Phillies. Looking at this list of potential suitors, I find the most likely landing spot to be with the San Fransico Giants.

Other Landing spots in order: Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees.

LHP – Blake Snell – Age 31

2023 Stats 32 Games, 32 Starts, 180.0 IP, 115 Hits, 15 HR, 234 K, 99 BB, and an ERA of 2.25

Blake Snell over the last seven seasons has been extremely difficult to hit off but as he’s shown with a patient eye getting on base is not impossible, he’s limited the damage of his walks by being almost unhittable over that time frame. Last year was a fantastic season for Snell while pitching for the Padres. Snell does through a lot of pitches, which limits how long he goes in games, but the 5-6 innings a start he provides are all top-notch with elite swing-and-miss stuff (Curveball, Slider, and Change up all had over 45% swiss and miss rate).

It’s been made clear that Snell has an offer on the table right now from the Yankees, but Snell seems content waiting it out. This could be to see if they can drive up the offer from New York or maybe the rumors are true and he wants to stay on the West Coast. Either way the team I think makes the most sense for Snell is the Los Angeles Angels, if Snell wants to stay on the West Coast the Angels should have the cap space to make a big splash which this rotation needs it.

Other landing spots: New York Yankees Philadelphia Phillies and the Darkhorse Boston Red Sox

Few Others:

DH – JD Martinez – Age 36

At his age his bat is declining, I think a one-year deal is about all he will find out there considering he’s locked into DH. I can see the Angels landing Martinez on a one-year deal and seeing him have very little impact, unfortunately.

Other potential landing spots: New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, and San Diego Padres

RHP – Michael Lorenzen – Age 32

Lorenzen started 25 games last season pitched in 153 innings striking out 111 batters. He is an arm to use in the 4 or 5 slots in a rotation and at this point could be a piece a team grabs on a one-year deal just to try and flip him at the deadline. Most likely landing spot in my opinion Tampa Bay pitching for the Rays this season on a one or two-year deal.

Other Landing spots: Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels, and San Diego Padres

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