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Anthony Wilson
Anthony Wilson

2015 Mlb Agent Tracker

Major League Baseball free agency began on Nov. 7. Technically there were 139 free agents after the end of the 2015 season (full list here), but we've seen some options picked up and some players retire. For the purposes of brevity, we narrowed that list to the 50 best and for the purposes of sorting them easily with what players you might want your favorite team to target, we ranked them.

2015 Mlb Agent Tracker

The rankings were compiled by the average rankings of our Eye on Baseball team: Matt Snyder, Dayn Perry, Mike Axisa and David Brown. Definitely keep age in mind. These aren't rankings of how good the players were in 2015, as free agent signings involve betting on the future, not the past.

Arroyo, a 2006 NL All-Star with the Cincinnati Reds, became a free agent in November when the Los Angeles Dodgers declined a $13-million club option and paid a $4.5-million buyout. The Dodgers acquired him from the Atlanta Braves as part of a three-team deal at the July 31 trade deadline.

Coming off their first World Series appearance in 15 years, the Mets were looking to reinforce their bullpen after setup man Tyler Clippard became a free agent. Bastardo likely will team with right-hander Addison Reed to set up closer Jeurys Familia.

Carter, who hit .199 with 24 homers and 64 RBIs in 2015, made $4,175,000 in 2015 in his first year of arbitration. Houston let him go rather than pay the likely more than $5-million salary he would have commanded in arbitration this year.

The three-time All-Star was among the top names left on the free agent market after revitalizing his career over the past three seasons with the Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros. He ranked fourth in the American League with a 3.10 ERA last year while going 7-11 for the Athletics and the Astros.

An NL All-Star in 2014, Alvarez went 0-4 with a 6.45 ERA in four starts for Miami during a 2015 season shortened by two stints on the disabled list for injuries to his right shoulder. He had season-ending surgery July 28 and became a free agent when the Marlins failed to offer a 2016 contract.

Under the agreement, Cueto can opt out after the 2017 season and become a free agent again. He is due to earn $46 million before the opt out. If he exercises that clause, he would hit the market one year before the 2018 free agent class, which could include Clayton Kershaw, Dallas Keuchel, Matt Harvey, Jose Fernandez and David Price.

The Orioles announced that the 33-year-old free agent had re-signed with the team. He will make $6 million next year, $7 million in 2017 and $9 million the following two seasons. There will be $1 million deferred each year.

The 32-year-old Morton has a record of 45-70 with a 3.91 ERA. He went 9-9 with a 4.81 ERA in 23 starts for the Pirates in 2015, missing the first two months while recovering from a procedure on his hip. Morton won six of his first seven starts in 2015, but struggled after the All-Star break, going 3-7 with a 5.81 ERA in the second half.

A two-time All-Star, Broxton was acquired from Milwaukee in August for minor league outfielder Malik Collymore and went 3-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 26 games with the Cardinals with 26 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings. St. Louis declined a $9-million option in favor of a $1-million buyout, allowing him to become a free agent.

Flowers became a free agent last week, when the Chicago White Sox failed to offer him a 2016 contract. The 29-year-old spent seven seasons with Chicago and hit .239 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 112 games this year.

A person with direct knowledge of the deal says free agent pitcher Ryan Madson has agreed to a $22 million, three-year contract with the Oakland Athletics, giving the club another proven reliever they sought this offseason.

Arizona indicated earlier this month that it wasn't taking free agency lightly, as it offered a $120 million contract to free agent right-hander Johnny Cueto, only to be turned down. This time, apparently, the Diamondbacks went all in.

The Chicago Cubs have agreed to sign free agent John Lackey, re-uniting the veteran pitcher with former Boston Red Sox teammates Jon Lester and David Ross and GM Theo Epstein, according to multiple reports.

Lackey, 37, brings durability and veteran leadership to the rotation. He's averaged 202 innings per year the last three seasons since returning from Tommy John elbow surgery. In 2015, he had one of his finest seasons. He went 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA in 33 starts last season for the Cardinals and tossed 218 innings -- the most since 2007. Against NL Central teams, including the Cubs, Lackey had a 2.13 ERA.

Beckham has played third base, shortstop and second base in his eight-year career, almost all with the Chicago White Sox. The 29-year-old Beckham, a .242 career hitter, hit only .209 with six homers and 20 RBIs with Chicago in 2015.

Smoak hit .236 with 18 homers and a career-best 59 RBIs in a bounce-back season. Taken by Texas with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2008 amateur draft, Smoak has a .224 average with 92 homers and 223 RBIs. He can become a free agent after next season,

Iannetta spent the past four seasons with the Los Angeles Angels but struggled at the plate in 2015, hitting just .188 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs. The batting average was the lowest of Iannetta's career. A year earlier, he hit .252 in 108 games with the Angels.

The 35-year-old pitcher began the 2015 season with Washington's Triple-A club in Syracuse before going 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in four starts and 29 innings with the Boston Red Sox as a September callup. He had 36 strikeouts to five walks.

This signing period has provided a pipeline for MLB teams and their roster, with 30 percent of players on Opening Day rosters have come from Latin American countries. Miguel Cabrera, for example, was signed in 1999 by the then Florida Marlins as an amateur free agent.

A growing international signing period has led to an expansion of programs and developmental leagues in these countries, making this free agent period stacked with talent for the MLB teams to tap into. Near the top of the international prospect list are Vladimir Guerrero's son and nephew. Vladimir Jr. is ranked as the No. 2 international prospect by and Gregory, his nephew, is rated as the 14th best prospect in this years class.

The Sox added an option they hope will be dependable in the rotation when they struck a deal with free agent Garrett Richards. The 32-year-old right-hander is coming off a promising season with the San Diego Padres where he posted a 4.03 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 8.1 K/9 over 14 games, 10 starts. It marked his first full year back after returning from Tommy John surgery he had in mid 2018. He will slot into the middle of the rotation and could perform closer to the top.

Corey Kluber was one of the starting pitchers the Red Sox were looking at as a potential addition. But he cut off that possibility when he agreed to a deal with the Yankees. The Sox rotation is thin with Chris Sale recovering from Tommy John surgery, Eduardo Rodriguez coming back from a season lost to COVID-19 and myocarditis and Nathan Eovaldi being the only true locked-in starter right now. The Sox need more depth, and may need to look at an option like Jake Odorizzi now on the free-agent market.

As minor league players became free agents, the Red Sox agreed to deals to keep nine of their own: RHP Seth Blair, RHP Caleb Simpson. RHP Raynel Espinal, LHP Stephen Gonsalves, C Jhonny Pereda, 1B Josh Ockimey, OF Johan Mieses, and 1B/OF Joey Meneses and were all re-signed. Blair, Gonsalves, Simpson, Pereda and Ockimey had been in the 60-man player pool during the season.

One day after the World Series, Bradley, Castillo and Collin McHugh automatically hit the open market as their contracts expired. (For Castillo, it came after spending the past four seasons in the minor leagues making big-league money.) The Red Sox further trimmed their roster by outrighting Peraza, Cesar Puello and Dylan Covey (those three would also become free agents). The moves opened roster spots for Dustin Pedroia, Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale, Andrew Benintendi, Colten Brewer and Kyle Hart to be activated from the injured list, a necessary formality since the injured list does not exist in the offseason.

The Wild plan to sign free-agent defenseman Greg Pateryn, center Eric Fehr and goalie Andrew Hammond. Also hearing the Blackhawks are pursuing veteran Chris Kunitz.

The Wild look almost certain to sign Dallas Stars physical defenseman Greg Pateryn. The Wild are also pursuing Carolina Hurricanes center Derek Ryan, but it could get pricey. Several teams are after him, including Toronto and Calgary. The Wild also began the buyout process for winger Tyler Ennis, creating an extra $2.433 million of salary cap space. Ennis will become a free agent Sunday.

The Blackhawks are actively searching for a veteran goalie with NHL experience and have reached out to unrestricted free agents Jonathan Bernier, Carter Hutton and Cam Ward, according to sources.

John Tavares and his agent, Pat Brisson, were slated to have more discussions Thursday, according to a source, and no doubt the Barry Trotz hire adds another wrinkle to a very difficult decision for the franchise player.

Multiple NHL executives tell The Athletic that pending restricted free agent Jason Zucker and fellow forwards Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle have found their names smack in the middle of persistent trade talk.

MLB Trade Rumors is proud to present our 16th annual top 50 free agents list! For the entire list of free agents, plus the ability to filter by signing status, position, signing team and qualifying offer status, check out our mobile-friendly free agent tracker here.

MLBTR writers Steve Adams and Anthony Franco joined me in this collaboration, debating free agent contracts and destinations for many hours over the past month. One change for this year: We included separate team picks for myself, Steve and Anthony. 041b061a72

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