MLB free agent rankings: Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon lead list of best players available in 2019-20

Sporting News

The 2019 World Series is in the books, and it’s time to get on with the business of baseball.

This year’s free agent crop is solid, especially for teams looking for starting pitching (and isn’t everyone always looking for starting pitching?). There are elite starting pitchers available, back-of-the-rotation guys available and even several roll-the-dice options, too.

MORE: Five potential landing spots for Gerrit Cole

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So let’s take a look at this year’s group. We tried to include players with opt-outs who will exercise those clauses (Hello, World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg) and we left off guys who aren’t likely to exercise those clauses (Hello, Jason Heyward). There are potential free agents who will join the list, as teams decide whether to exercise club options, too. We’ll add those players to the list as those decisions happen, and we’ll keep this list updated all offseason as players and teams agree on contracts.

UPDATE: Ryan Zimmerman, Yan Gomes, Derek Holland, Alex Gordon, Jedd Gyorko, Juan Lagares and Fernando Abad had team options turned down this weekend and are now added to the free-agent player pool.

MLB free agent rankings 2019

1. Anthony Rendon, 29, 3B

Underrated no more, Rendon’s incredible second half and even better postseason guaranteed a massive payday this offseason.

2. Gerrit Cole, 29, SP

Cole followed a possible Cy Young regular season with a 1.72 October ERA. Every contender is drooling right about now.

3. Stephen Strasburg, 31, SP

Strasburg opted out of the four years and $100 million left on his deal. After his October, he can definitely beat that.

4. Madison Bumgarner, 30, SP

It’s been a few years since MadBum has dominated the World Series, but teams haven’t forgotten. Still great K/BB ratio in 2019 (4.72), even if the ERA was a career-worst 3.90.

5. J.D. Martinez, 32, DH

Martinez, essentially a DH only at this point, has an opt-out, with three years, $62 million left on his deal. UPDATE: Martinez declined to use his opt-out, so he's back with the Red Sox.

6. Josh Donaldson, 34, 3B

Donaldson’s healthy and productive 2019 — 37 homers, .900 OPS, 6.1 bWAR — showed he’s still an elite middle-of-the-order bat.

7. Hyun-Jin Ryu, 33, SP

Ryu, who has no draft-pick compensation attached, has a 2.21 ERA in 44 starts over the past two seasons.

8. Zack Wheeler, 30, SP

Wheeler’s ERA was up a tick in 2019, but his other numbers — K/BB, FIP, WAR — were at or better than career averages.

9. Nicholas Castellanos, 28, RF

In 51 games after he was traded from the Tigers to the Cubs, Castellanos — invigorated by a pennant race — hit 16 homers, with a .321 average and 1.003 OPS. That’ll play.

10. Aroldis Chapman, 32, RP

Chapman, still an elite closer, has an opt-out with two years, $30 million left on his deal. He can certainly top that. UPDATE: Chapman is staying with the Yankees; the sides extended his current deal, adding one year and $18 million.

MORE: Every MLB team's most pressing free-agent need

11. Yasmani Grandal, 31, C (UPDATE: Grandal signed a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox)
12. Marcel Ozuna, 29, LF
13. Didi Gregorius, 30, SS
14. Jake Odorizzi, 30, SP (UPDATE: Odorizzi accepted the Twins' qualifying offer)
15. Dallas Keuchel, 32, SP
16. Cole Hamels, 36, SP
17. Mike Moustakas, 31, 3B
18. Daniel Hudson, 33, RP
19. Will Smith, 30, RP (UPDATE: Smith signed a three-year, $40 million deal with the Braves)
20. Yasiel Puig, 29, RF








21. Avisail Garcia, 29, OF
22. Howie Kendrick, 36, 2B
23. Jose Abreu, 33, 1B (UPDATE: Abreu accepted the White Sox's qualifying
24. Michael Pineda, 30, SP
25. Drew Pomeranz, 31, RP
26. Rick Porcello, 31, SP
27. Will Harris, 35, RP
28. Wade Miley, 33, SP
29. Asdrubal Cabrera, 34, INF







30. Brett Gardner, 36, OF
31. Kyle Gibson, 32, SP
32. Alex Wood, 29, SP
33. Corey Dickerson, 31, OF
34. Edwin Encarnacion, 37, DH
35. Dellin Betances, 32, RP
36. Chris Martin, 34, RP (UPDATE: Martin signed a two-year, $14 million deal with the Braves)
37. Homer Bailey, 34, SP
38. Jordan Lyles, 29, SP
39. Scooter Gennett, 30, 2B
40. Joe Smith, 36, RP









41. Brock Holt, 31, OF
42. Steve Cishek, 33, RP
43. Robinson Chirinos, 35, C
44. Tanner Roark, 33, SP
45. Sergio Romo, 37, RP
46. Craig Stammen, 36, RP
47. Brett Anderson, 32, SP
48. Ivan Nova, 33, SP
49. Jose Iglesias, 30, SS
50. Adam Wainwright, 38, SP (UPDATE: Wainwright signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Cardinals)








51. Cameron Maybin, 33, OF
52. Eric Sogard, 34, INF
53. Jonathan Schoop, 28, 2B
54. Brian Dozier, 33, 2B
55. Todd Frazier, 34, 3B
56. Drew Smyly, 30, SP
57. Tyler Clippard, 35, RP
58. Brandon Kintzler, 35, RP
59. Travis d’Arnaud, 31, C (UPDATE: d'Arnaud signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Braves)
60. Michael Wacha, 28, SP








61. Francisco Liriano, 36, RP
62. Gio Gonzalez, 34, SP
63. Hunter Pence, 36, OF
64. Mitch Moreland, 34, 1B
65. Yoshihisa Hirano, 36, RP
66. Andrew Cashner, 33, SP
67. Matt Wieters, 33, C
68. Pedro Strop, 34, RP
69. Jonathan Lucroy, 33, C







70. Josh Tomlin, 35, RP
71. Austin Romine, 31, C
72. Martin Maldonado, 33, C
73. Collin McHugh, 32, RP
74. Adeiny Hechavarria, 30, MI
75. Adam Jones, 34, RF
76. Justin Smoak, 33, 1B
77. Neil Walker, 34, INF
78. Melky Cabrera, 35, OF
79. Felix Hernandez, 33, SP








80. Juan Nicasio, 33, RP
81. Jason Castro, 32, C
82. Pablo Sandoval, 33, 3B
83. Trevor Cahill, 32, RP
84. Matt Albers, 37, RP
85. Brad Brach, 33, RP
86. Jarrod Dyson, 35, OF
87. Francisco Cervelli, 34, C






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