3. Nolan Arenado3B, Cardinals (LR: 6): It’s hard to directly compare Arenado’s 2022 season and the 2019 season that has already happened Anthony Rendon on a seven-year, $245 million deal, given that the Rendon Herculean ’19 effort came during a watery football season. Offense is now down league-wide, but Arenado stacks up favorably in terms of batting averages, base-based percentages, and slip rates. Indicators like wRC+ and OPS+, weighted for both home and league park environments, show that Arenado’s 2022 production output is actually slightly better.
In defense, Arenado is almost unmatched. Since making his MLB debut in 2013, Arenado is second among all players, regardless of position, with 151 saves saved, second only to Andrelton Simmons. He’s the third to come Francisco Lindor and Nick Ahmed well above average for Statcast, which tracks defensive data dating back to 2016. Arenado’s numbers aren’t inflated by early career scores either. He’s still excellent this season, finishing third in all MLB in the DRS and second in the OAA. Defensive stats and the eye test both agree, as Arenado has been a human hit in the hot corner in his decade-long career.
The age gap between Arenado 2022 (31) and Rendon 2019 (29) cannot be ignored. However, that should be reflected in the length of an Arenado contract in theory rather than the annual value. Of course, it’s also important to note that Arenado technically still has a contract until 2027. He’s guaranteed $144 million during that time but has the option to opt out of the contract after the current season. Arenado has already experienced an opt-out clause after the 2021 season, but the 2022 campaign is the best season of his career.
Even if he is limited to a 5 year deal in the freelance company, he will be able to increase the current $28.8 million in annual value remaining on his contract by up to $5.USA– $7T – and a seemingly unthinkable six-year contract could produce such a stunning endeavor. (Freddie Freeman scored a six-year deal starting with his 32-year-old season, so there’s recent precedent.) Maybe Arenado and the Cardinals will find a compromise, and it’s always possible he decides that he She is happy in St. Louis and just switch to selection- out completely. However, if he wants to test the market one more time, another $20 is possibleUSA– $60 million in earning potential for him against his current trade.
4. Carlos CorreaSS, Twins (LR: 2): The 2022 season may not go as well as Correa or the Twins hoped, but he still enjoyed a good year, scoring .265 / .343/.433 (22% better than the league average. , in wRC + ). He had a slow start to April and fell after the All-Star break, but in the three-month period from late April to late July, Correa hit the .308 / .375 / .509 mark. Provided the current slump doesn’t last too long, Correa has a good chance of being around 30% better than average for the second straight season and the third time in four years.
Last year’s worldwide defensive ratings fell so far in 2022 – surprising for a player in general that has always been a consistent supply of elite players. He has made five free-throw errors this season, the most since 2016, but Correa has played solidly, catching only two of the balls that hit him. He spent the whole year to Miguel Sano and a temporary first baseman pair converted from other locations (Luis Arraez, Jose Miranda), so perhaps some misses could be forgiven by a team with better defensive prospects in the first base.
If the first few paragraphs feel like they’re filled with warnings – that’s right. The simple fact is that Correa hasn’t had a strong season like he did in 2021 and probably shouldn’t be expected to command the kind of contract that many (including MLBTR) consider possible. out at the end of the season. That said, Correa hasn’t even turned 28 yet – the age at which he will play most of the 2023 season. His youth alone has given him the opportunity to command the longest signing of the season. with any free agents this winter; even a 10-year contract will last until age 37.
That kind of contract might not be good without a good finish, but Correa is still a good defender and averages good headers for his age. It’s probably more logical that he could choose to work into his second year with the Twins, get an additional $35.1 million, and hope to hit freelance on a stronger platform by 2023, but the possibility His current earning is still among the best in the field in this freelance agency class of the year.
5. Xander BogaertsSS, Red Sox (LR: 4): When the final version of our list was published, Bogaerts had only four out of 174 appearances on disc while posting an ISO .135 below average (slugging minus polishing average). It was easy to ignore the small sample noise at the time, but Bogaerts has only hit five home runs in 267 disc appearances since that time and now has nine balls of length and light sensitivity. 141 ISO in 441 trips to the plate. That’s the worst power output we’ve seen from Bogaerts since 2017 by a huge margin. From 2018-21, he brought in 90 home players in 2,106 disc appearances while switching to a stout .224 ISO aperture.
Bogaerts still has a .311/.383/.452 record for the season, but he’s also posted a career-high .382 average on balls he won’t be maintaining – especially when his average exit rate, barrel speed and stiffness -speed is at or near its lowest since 2017.
It remains doubtful that Bogaerts would have opted out of the remaining three years and $60 million on his contract, but he would be higher on this list if it weren’t for his power stroke moving to MIA. Coupled with that are constant questions about his defense – some teams will no doubt see Bogaerts as a player who needs to take a short cut, perhaps as early as 2023 – and a great prospect. The current liberal rationale is a bit bleaker than expected.
However, Bogaerts has a long track record of stellar attack and above-average power output. With a good end to the season, especially in the power department, he should have no problem commanding a remarkable nine-figure deal – and something beyond that cannot be ruled out. 200 million dollars.
6. Jacob deGromRHP, Mets (LR: 7): Rated 6th here for best-case deGrom factors, but ultimately, this list is based on monetization. If deGrom gets injured again or has trouble stressing, it’s likely he’ll be dropped from the roster altogether. The latter of those two situations, however, seems unlikely, as deGrom hasn’t “struggled” since 2017. He dominated the first two of the 2022 season, at an average pace. averages 99.2 mph with his fast ball and holds the opponent up to three times with four hits. and walk with 18 punches in 10 2/3 sets.
Dating back to 2018, deGrom has a humorous 1.95 ERA in 591 2/3 innings with a 34.9% hit rate compared to a 5.3% walk rate. When healthy, deGrom was simply unmatched in its ability to dominate the pitch during that period. He’s second among all major pitchers in the league with 24 wins on substitutions since 2018, according to FanGraphs, despite the fact that he’s made just 93 appearances during that time. Max Scherzer topped the list but started 24 more games and scored 143 2/3 more – about 75% of a season’s worth.
If deGrom ends the season without any red flags, the bidding will be furious. He will turn 35 next June, making him almost three years younger than Scherzer when he lands a record three-year, $130 million deal from the Mets. DeGrom could reasonably be looking for that AAV in a multi-year deal, and he’s too good to stop bidding at two years. The biggest question surrounding deGrom is how many years someone will be willing to guarantee. A three-year deal beyond Scherzer looks doable, and a fourth year should be on the table too.
7. Dansby SwansonSS, Braves (LR: Unrated): Long is an extra defender in the short lane, Swanson is having a strong year with the gauntlet and a career year with Batman. He’s tracked 27 career-high home runs in 2021 with .292 / .348 / .461 showing through 463 trips to the plate. He’s the beneficiary of an average 0.375 on the ball that he certainly won’t sustain at a larger sample, but Swanson is also hardening his exposure to a career-best 44.7% clip and lift more ball than he has in the past several years.
A walk rate higher than his current 7.3% clip or a strike rate below his 26.3% mark would raise Swanson’s floor, but his glove alone would make him He’s become an above-average regular and he’s on his way to a second season in a row 25 hours. Plus, Swanson will play all of next season at the age of 29 and it looks like there could be a nine-figure deal. Both Trevor’s story and Javier Baez landed for six years, worth $140 million last winter at the same age. Swanson will have to compete with a qualified offer and with some of the more decorated short-haul options ahead of him on the market, but he will be in equally high demand.