Patrick Corbin was an exception last offseason.
Amid a slow free agent market — some stars didn’t sign until after the start of spring training — Corbin’s search for a new home was over in December when he received a $140 million, six-year contract from Washington.
That worked out pretty well for both team and player. Corbin was a key part of the Nationals’ starting rotation this year, and he threw three scoreless innings in relief in Game 7 of the World Series, helping the team win its first World Series title.
Now, another offseason is in full swing. It’s hard to say whether teams will be more aggressive in pursuing free agents, hoping to land the next Corbin, but the Atlanta Braves already made a significant move, signing reliever Will Smith away from San Francisco.
Here’s a look at the top free agents still available, broken down by position. Players are listed with their most recent teams, with their ages in parentheses:
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers (32)
The runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award, Ryu went 14-5 with a 2.32 ERA — and he made 29 starts, nearly doubling his total from 2018.
Other options: Would you believe Madison Bumgarner just turned 30 this August? You could make a case that he’s the top lefty available, but he just posted a career-worst ERA of 3.90, and he received a qualifying offer from San Francisco, which could depress the market for the former World Series MVP. Dallas Keuchel knows all about that after his free agency last offseason dragged all the way until June. He eventually signed a one-year deal with Atlanta and went 8-8 with a 3.75 ERA. Injury-prone Rich Hill is still effective when he can take the mound, but that happened only 13 times this year, and he turns 40 in 2020.