Next year’s free agent class projects to be loaded. One of the most loaded we’ve seen in years. That’s the combined product of a group that was already set to be robust, plus a relative lack of extensions thanks to the pandemic and the expiring CBA, plus the load of previous free agents who signed short-term deals because of the financial state of the game.
The Cubs will, themselves, have a boatload of outgoing free agents – unless they get an extension done … – and a few of them come in for mention in MLBTR’s first free agent rankings for the class ahead.
We’ll see what happens with extensions, and then obviously player health and performance this year will also impact the rankings, but the early look has Francisco Lindor at the top, followed by Corey Seager, Trevor Bauer (opt-out), Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, Nolan Arenado (opt-out), and Freddie Freeman. Kris Bryant shows up at number eight, which feels about fair given the range of possible outcomes for him this year – it’s not hard to see him ranking much higher when the offseason actually rolls around.
Javy Báez was just outside the top 10, behind the above-mentioned eight, plus Michael Conforto and Clayton Kershaw. Báez was mentioned as a possible $100 million guy with Max Scherzer and Noah Syndergaard (like I said, it’s a deeeeep class). Anthony Rizzo is also mentioned as outside the top 10, together in a tier with guys like Marcus Stroman, Dylan Bundy, and Lance Lynn.
Give the write-up a look if you want a VERY early take on the free agent class. Guys like Zach Davies and Craig Kimbrel and Joc Pederson do not get a mention, but clearly by the time they’re finished dominating in 2021, they’ll be right up there, too …