Major League Baseball’s free agency period has seen several big deals, but there are plenty of solid contributors left on the market.
So far this offseason, there have been several blockbuster free-agent contracts handed out. Yoenis Cespedes got his long-term deal with the New York Mets, and Aroldis Chapman went back to the New York Yankees on a record-shattering contract. Dexter Fowler flipped sides in the bitter Cardinals-Cubs rivalry, and the Colorado Rockies gave Ian Desmond $70 million while they wait to figure out his position for the next five years.
The Houston Astros have been very active so far, signing Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick and trading for Brian McCann. The Toronto Blue Jays have also begun preparing for life after Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion by signing Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce. Trades have also headlined the offseason, with the Chicago White Sox landing a massive prospect haul for Chris Sale and Adam Eaton.
With all of the big moves made so far, there are still plenty of big names that need new contracts for next season and beyond. The big sluggers of the class — Bautista, Encarnacion, and Mark Trumbo — have seen their market dry up due to the presence of younger or cheaper sources of power. The Los Angeles Dodgers took two big names off the market this week by re-signing Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen.
Not every free agent left on the market is a household name, but there is still plenty of big value to be had, even at the lower end of the spectrum. Read on for a breakdown of the top 20 remaining MLB free agents.
18. Tyson Ross, RHP
Signing Tyson Ross will require a team to take a big leap of faith. He made only one ugly start in 2016 on Opening Day before being shut down for the rest of the year with thoracic outlet syndrome. Ross required shoulder surgery to relieve the potentially career-ending condition.
Before the shoulder injury, Ross was one of the most underrated pitchers in the National League, an NL version of Jose Quintana, if you will. He posted a 3.03 ERA between 2014 and 2015, while allowing very few home runs and posting a solid strikeout rate. Ross is a taller pitcher at 6-foot-6, and he has had difficulty with walks in his career.
Ross could make sense for the Cubs, and they reportedly have some interest in adding him as their fifth starter. Mike Montgomery is currently penciled in for that role next year, but it’s with a very thin pencil. Thoracic outlet surgery is a very difficult one to come back from, but if Ross can show that he is at least moderately healthy, a team will take a shot on him coming back close to his near-ace form.