Ranking MLB's Top 5 free agent infielders
The MLB offseason is upon us, with over 160 free agents ready to be wined, dined, and signed.
We’re counting down the Top 5 free agents available at various positions this month. We’ve already discussed the best pitchers and the best outfielders on the open market. Now we’ll move on to the best infielders, with a look at where they might land.
5. Kris Bryant
Though he’s playing the corner outfield positions more often than ever, Kris Bryant is still primarily a third baseman, and a good hitting one at that. Bryant is a career .278 hitter who’s averaged 31 homers and 89 RBI per 162-game season since arriving in the major leagues in 2015.
The four-time All-Star and former NL MVP is apparently being courted by the New York Mets, who have longed been linked to him. It would not be shocking if the San Francisco Giants avoid the bidding war on Bryant based on recent rumors.
But Bryant is not expected to sign right away, as agent Scott Boras’ reputation precedes him.
4. Freddie Freeman
Though it’s almost universally accepted that first baseman Freddie Freeman will re-sign with the World Series champion Atlanta Braves, stranger things have happened.
The Braves already appear to be losing the race against time with the CBA expiration (Dec. 1). It’s anyone’s guess as to how long a labor stoppage would last, and if Freeman would have a change of heart if negotiations are interrupted.
Freeman has an NL MVP to his name (2020), as well as five All-Star nods, three Silver Sluggers, and a Gold Glove, making him a valuable commodity in the event he chooses to test the open market.
3. Marcus Semien
After having an MVP-like 2019, Marcus Semien struggled in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. That forced him to take a one-year contract from the Blue Jays, and what an investment that was for Toronto.
Despite playing shortstop for his entire six-year stint in Oakland, Semien shifted to second base with the Blue Jays, and promptly set the MLB record for most homers in a single season at that position (45). He earned his first career All-Star nod, as well as his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award en route to another third-place finish in the MVP voting.
Boras will try to get Semien paid much like Francisco Lindor did, but it remains to be seen how high teams will go on the 31-year-old. Just about every team with money to burn this winter – from the Texas Rangers to the Boston Red Sox – have been linked to Semien.
2. Corey Seager
Corey Seager is not the most durable of the highly-prized shortstops on the market this offseason, but he’ll still attract some big-spending suitors.
He’s a career .297 hitter who averaged 26 homers and 93 RBI per 162-game season over seven years with the Dodgers. L.A. is interested in a reunion, but at the right price, otherwise they’ll shift to Trea Turner at short. If the Dodgers drop out, the New York Yankees could come calling.
1. Carlos Correa
Carlos Correa has been a lightning rod for controversy in the wake of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, recently stirring the pot in New York by criticizing Derek Jeter’s defense. But there’s little not to like about his ability on the baseball diamond.
Correa hit .279 in 2021 – his best figure since 2017 – with a career-high 26 homers. He received his second career All-Star nod, finished fifth in the MVP voting, and won the Platinum Glove for his work at shortstop.
Despite all that, only the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers seem to be serious bidders for Correa, who is apparently seeking “Lindor money” as well.