More than two months after the conclusion of the World Series, some of the best MLB free agents to start the offseason are still available. Chris Davis, Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton are still looking for contracts, and they might not sign new deals anytime soon.
The top six free-agent starting pitchers signed contracts worth a combined $833.5 million, and pitchers have made more than $1.2 billion this offseason, leaving little money for the top hitters available. Plenty of teams are still active and trying to make moves, but they are looking to get better without handing out blockbuster deals.
The Rockies signed a second-tier outfield free agent, reportedly giving Gerardo Parra a three-year contract worth $27.5 million. The 28-year-old hit .328 with the Milwaukee Brewers before posting a .237 batting average after he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles last season. Still, Parra gives Colorado depth in the outfield, allowing them to explore their trade options.
According to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, the Rockies and Orioles are involved in trade talks involving Colorado outfielders. The group is led by Carlos Gonzalez, who was at the center of trade rumors in the summer during his 40-home run season. Charlie Blackmon hit .287 with 17 homers for the Rockies in 2015, and the Orange County Register’s Jeff Fletcher reports that the Los Angeles Angels could make a play for him. With Corey Dickerson and Raimel Tapia on the roster, as well, the Rockies have four left-handed hitting outfielders, and there seems to be a good chance that one of them will be dealt.
New York Mets
Since they lost the World Series, it’s been assumed by most in MLB that Cespedes would find a new home in 2016. But the outfielder has yet to get the lucrative contract offer that he seeks, perhaps opening the door slightly for a return to the Big Apple.
With Cespedes unable to secure a six-figure deal thus far, it’s possible that he might consider signing a one-year contract, hoping to test the market next offseason when there is less competition for a big contract. That isn’t expected to happen though, and the Mets aren’t likely to add another big name this winter. The team did work out Cricket star Kiernan Powell, who also tried out for the Milwaukee Brewers. There was speculation that New York might be interested in Colorado’s Gonzalez around last year’s trade deadline, but the Mets traded for Cespedes instead.
Washington’s biggest move of the offseason came when the team signed Daniel Murphy to a three-year deal worth $37.5 million. After signing the former Met, it’s possible that the Nationals could make another move in the form of a trade.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Washington nearly traded left-hander Gio Gonzalez to the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier in the offseason. Recently, the Nationals had been discussing the possibility of trading Gonzalez for an outfielder and replacing him with starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen. However, Chen signed with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, and Washington acquired centerfielder Ben Revere. Gonzalez is 30 years old, and his 3.79 ERA in 2015 was his highest since 2009. The Nationals still haven’t replaced free-agent outfielder Denard Span, and shortstop Ian Desmond remains on the market.