Ranking the top 89 MLB free agents for 2023, from Aaron Judge to Tyler Naquin

Well, the World Series is done, and the offseason has officially arrived.

So, let’s jump into free-agent rankings. The top of the class is extremely talented, as always, and if your favorite team needs a shortstop, there are several really good options. We’ll take a look not just at the top guys, but rank available free-agents all the way down to the 89th-best player on the market.

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For players with opt-outs and club/player/mutual options, we’re taking a guess who will be on the market. For example, Tim Anderson, Aaron Nola and Luis Severino have club options that are pretty much no-brainers to be exercised, so they’re not here. But Chris Bassitt is almost certainly going to decline his player option with the Mets, even though he hasn’t officially announced that, so he’s included.

Let’s jump in.

1. Aaron Judge, OF, 31

Judge bet on himself, turning down a reasonable but not exceptional extension offer from the Yankees this spring, and it paid off big time. The Yankees would be crazy to let him leave, but teams such as the Mets (hi, Steve Cohen!) and Giants (Judge is from the area, and the team has a ton of money coming off the books) will pursue him relentlessly. Worst-case scenario for the Yankees: Judge doesn’t sign until January/February and then picks somewhere other than New York, and all the other impact free agents are gone. Not an impossible-to-imagine scenario.

2. Trea Turner, SS/2B, 29

You’ll probably see rankings that have Jacob deGrom in the No. 2 spot, but if I’m a team owner/front-office type and I’m preparing to spend truckloads of money, Turner feels like the better long-term bet. He’s ridiculously fast but just turned in a 100 RBI season despite taking almost half of his plate appearances in the No. 2 spot in the Dodgers lineup. Even in a stacked shortstop class, Turner is a clear No. 1 in that group.

3. Jacob deGrom, SP, 35

The AAV on deGrom’s deal will be astronomical, certainly. He’s been clear about his desire to opt out for a long time now, so at least the Mets wouldn’t be caught off-guard, and that won’t be affected by a so-so finish to the season. Serious suitors will be limited to teams that deGrom feels can compete for World Series titles multiple times in the next two years. For reference, here’s what deGrom had remaining on his deal: $30.5 million for 2023 and a club option for $32.5 million in 2024.

4. Carlos Correa, SS, 28

Correa wasted no time opting out of his deal with the Twins, as everyone expected from the moment he signed as a free agent last spring. Minnesota faded down the stretch, but that’s not on Correa, who had a .304 average and .866 OPS in the second half. And it’s not necessarily that Correa wants out — he’s open to coming back — but with the lockout-shortened offseason last year, Correa didn’t have time to find the deal he wanted. So he signed with the Twins and included a one-year opt-out, allowing him to test the market again in a “regular” offseason schedule.

5. Carlos Rodon, SP, 30

It’s still mildly surprising that he wasn’t able to land a better, longer-term deal last offseason, even with the lockout mess. Rodon was fantastic with the Giants and will certainly use his opt-out. His numbers the past two seasons: 55 starts, 2.67 ERA, 2.42 FIP, 12.2 K/9, 157 ERA+. Yeah, that’ll play on the free agent market

6. Xander Bogaerts, SS, 30

Bogaerts massively outplayed the past few years on his contract, and it was pretty clear that the Red Sox knew it; remember how they gave that money to Trevor Story last spring? Story played well at second base last year, but he’s a shortstop. You can’t close the door on a return to Boston, but the Red Sox will have to compete with every other team for his services.

7. Justin Verlander, SP, 40

Remember what Max Scherzer got from the Mets last year? Verlander will get a similar AAV, maybe just one year and an option, though, even though he wasn’t exactly dominating in the World Series. The expected 2022 Cy Young award (voting will be revealed soon) counteracts that.

8. Edwin Diaz, RP, 29

Diaz was nothing short of amazing in 2022, with 32 saves, a 1.31 ERA and 17.1 K/9. He’s not the only reliever on the market, but he is by far — by FAR — the best one out there.

9. Dansby Swanson, SS, 29

He’s a former no. 1 overall pick coming off a 5.7 bWAR season, entering his Age 29 year with a World Series title on his resume. That’s quite the recipe for free-agent riches. He’s behind the other three big FA shortstops, though; his career has not been nearly as consistent as the other three. So his contract won’t look like Trea Turner’s or Carlos Correa’s, but Swanson is hitting the market at the perfect time.

10. Brandon Nimmo, CF, 30

Only five outfielders over the past three seasons have a bWAR in double digits: Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, Mookie Betts, Kyle Tucker and, you guessed it, Nimmo. He has a .384 on-base percentage and 133 OPS+ in that stretch, and he’s coming off his finest season. The Mets have made it clear that they want him back, which means other teams will want him, too.

11. Wilson Contreras, 31
12. Clayton Kershaw, 35
13. Jurickson Profar, 30
14. Nathan Eovaldi, 33
15. Chris Bassitt, 34 (mutual option)
16. Jameson Taillon, 31
17. Kenley Jansen, 35
18. Josh Bell, 30
19. Anthony Rizzo, 32 (opt out)
20. Andrew Benintendi, 28

21. Jose Quintana, 33
22. Taijuan Walker, 29 (player option)
23. Martin Perez, 31
24. Tyler Anderson, 33
25. Mitch Haniger, 32
26. Rafael Montero, 31
27. Nick Martinez, 32 (opt out)
28. Jose Abreu, 36
29. Noah Syndergaard, 30
30. Michael Wacha, 30

31. Brandon Drury, 30
32. Zach Eflin, 29 (mutual option)
33. Joc Pederson, 30
34. Michael Conforto, 30
35. Ross Stripling, 33
36. Taylor Rogers, 32
37. Craig Kimbrel, 34
38. Zack Greinke, 38
39. Seth Lugo, 33
40. Michael Brantley, 36

41. Gary Sanchez, 30
42. Christian Vazquez, 31
43. Kyle Gibson, 34
44. Adam Ottavino, 37
45. Adam Duvall, 33
46. ​​JD Martinez, 35
47. Robert Suarez, 32 (player option)
48. Kevin Kiermaier, 33 (club option)
49. Sean Manaea, 31
50. Andrew Chafin, 32

51. Yuli Gurriel, 39
52. Andrew Heaney, 31
53. Joey Gallo, 29
54. Elvis Andrus, 34
55. Mike Clevinger, 32
56. Trey Mancini, 31 (mutual option)
57. Corey Kluber, 37
58. Trevor Williams, 30
59. David Robertson, 38
60. Andrew McCutchen, 36

60. Corey Dickerson, 33
62. Michael Lorenzen, 31
63. Matt Strahm, 30
64. Tommy Kahnle, 33
65. Aledmys Diaz, 32
66. Aroldis Chapman, 35
67. Michael Fulmer, 30
68. Matt Carpenter, 37
69. David Peralta, 35
70. Jace Peterson, 33

71. Corey Knebel, 30
72. Adam Frazier, 30
73. Pierce Johnson, 31
74. Jose Iglesias, 32
75. Chris Martin, 37
76. Ben Gamel, 30
77. Zack Britton, 34
78. Brandon Belt, 35
79. Robbie Grossman, 33
80. Cesar Hernandez, 32

81. Jorge Soler, 30
82. Rich Hill, 42
83. Austin Hedges, 30
84. Carlos Santana, 37
85. Omar Navarez, 31
86. Michael Pineda, 33
87. Donovan Solano, 35
88. Alex Colome, 34
89. Tyler Naquin, 32

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