Top 20 free agents & where they’ll sign part 1
By Neil Raymond
10. Willson Contreras, C
4 years/$80 million with the Minnesota Twins
Willson Contreras is the top catcher available on the free agent market. Contreras is 30 years old and will turn 31 early next season. He batted .243/.349/.466 in 113 games and 416 AB in 2022. He also hit 22 home runs, drove in 55 RBI and produced a 3.9 WAR.
Are there any red flags with Contreras? Yes. His defense hasn’t been the greatest, with him producing 0.5 dWAR this season, 0.7 in 2019 and 0.2 in the shortened 2020 season. It is however important to mention that he had a 1.8 dWAR in 2021. The narrative that he’s a bad defender is clearly not completely accurate. It will however affect him a bit, as well as the qualifying offer that he’s been saddled with.
As the top free agent catcher, there should be a lot of teams in the mix for him. That said, too many seem to fall out of contention for him when it’s time to pick the likeliest destination. The New York Mets have the need and money, but a top prospect blocks the way; the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays already have catchers. The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels probably won’t spend and the Houston Astros will likely prioritize defense.
The Minnesota Twins have both money and need and I suspect that they may actually win the bidding for him. It doesn’t seem smart to pick them fo win the bidding on anyone at first glance, but I really do feel that they can pull this off sue to lower demand everywhere else.
What do you think? Do you agree with my picks? Do you think that these players will sign somewhere else? Do you think that the contracts will be different? Part two is coming up and will cover the remaining top 10 free agents.