Ranking the Top 5 MLB Free Agents of 2023-2024

By Samantha Stephensen

MLB Free Agents

The World Series just ended but we’re already looking forward to next season. That starts with free agency and there are some intriguing names on the market. The biggest of them all is undoubtedly Shohei Ohtani, even coming off of UCL surgery. Some other players should be on every team’s radar as well. Let’s look at the top-five-free agents who could change a franchise next season.

MLB Free Agents

1. Shohei Ohtani

There isn’t a team that wouldn’t want to get their hands on this once-in-a-century talent. The lingering question all offseason will be where he ends up. There are questions if he will continue to pitch in 2024 after this injury but even if he is just a hitter for the next season or two he still would top this list. 

A return to the Angels is probable, although another big market team could come in and sign him. Look at the other team from Los Angeles to make a move as well as both New York teams and some dark horses like San Francisco or San Diego.

2. Yoshinobu Yamamoto

One of the best pitchers yet to play in an MLB game will be the hottest pitcher on the market for 2024. Large market teams are salivating over Yamamoto’s combination of command on his pitches and lethal arsenal of pitches. He’s also just 25-years-old which would make offering him a long-term deal a no-brainer. 

When a pitcher like this makes his way to the MLB, the top bidders in the MLB will all come out. The Yankees, Mets, and Dodgers should be seen as his most-likely-landing spot. 

3. Cody Bellinger

Last season Cody Bellinger made a smart move to take a “prove it” one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. He definitely made the most of it as he posted easily his best year since his MVP season in 2019. He is still young at 28-years-old and should command a sizable deal from a team looking for a big hitter for years to come.

The Cubs would likely love to have him back but Bellinger could be on his way to a team that projects to be more competitive. The Yankees are always a candidate to land the top free agents on the market and should be one of his main suitors.

4. Aaron Nola

A month ago Aaron Nola wouldn’t have made this list. The postseason spiked his free agent stock with some dominant performances. In his first three starts in the playoffs Nola went 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA. There are questions about him losing his strikeout prowess, however. In his older age he has held onto the other weapons in his arsenal which have made him one of the best pitchers in the league over the past handful of seasons. 

Philadelphia would like to have him back or a team like San Francisco who is in need of an ace should be in the bidding.

5. Blake Snell

It was hard to keep Snell out of the top four on this list but his inconsistency was troubling at times this year. To start the season he was just 1-6 with a 5.40 ERA across nine starts. Additionally, Snell doesn’t have a great strike-throwing percentage. However, to end the season he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. He could win the Cy Young for the second time in his career this season.

Snell will command a healthy amount of interest on the free-agent market. Look for the big market teams to try to snag him if they miss out on some of the other top options. Otherwise some mid-market teams may get him such as San Francisco, St. Louis, or San Diego.

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