The ranking of the top 10 MLB free agent starters appeared first on NBC Sports Boston
The 2022-23 MLB offseason could be eventful for teams looking for starting spots.
Several star pitchers can opt out of their current deals and become free agents after the season, including New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom, San Francisco Giants southpaw Carlos Rodon and Houston Astros veteran Justin Verlander. All three are expected to test the open market and earn hefty contracts.
More MLB Free Agents: Top 25 overall
With Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Wacha and Rich Hill also set to become free agents, the Boston Red Sox could be one of several clubs in the mix for a first team. So, who could they be targeting? Here are the top 10 starters who could be available on the MLB free agent market this winter.
1. Jacob deGrom, RHP
Player Choice 2023: 30.5 million dollars
deGrom is reportedly planning to opt out of his $30.5 million contract with the New York Mets through 2023. If he does, he will arguably be the top player available on the open market, even though he is approaching 30 years old. The only red flag regarding deGrom’s signing is his injury history as the two-time Cy Young Award winner has dealt with shoulder, elbow and forearm issues over the past three seasons.
2. Carlos Rodon, LHP
Player Choice 2023: 22.5 million dollars
Rodon has proven that his stellar 2021 campaign with the Chicago White Sox was no fluke. The southpaw has anchored the San Francisco Giants pitching staff in 2022 and is set for a big payday this offseason. He is expected to opt out of his $22.5 million contract.
3. Justin Verlander, RHP
Player Choice 2023: 25 million dollars
Verlander is expected to opt out of his $25 million deal after being one of the best stories of the 2022 campaign. The aging veteran posted a league-leading 1.84 ERA and 0.86 WHIP through 24 starts in his return from Tommy John surgery. He has shown no signs of slowing down in his 17th MLB season and should be rewarded with a major payday this winter.
Injuries are par for the course with Kershaw at this point in the future Hall of Famer’s career. But he’s enjoying another outstanding season in Los Angeles, posting a 7-3 record and 2.59 ERA through 16 starts. It would be a shock at this point if he signs with a team other than the Dodgers.
2023 mutual option: 19 million dollars
Bassitt is expected to decline his $19 million common option after enjoying a rock debut season with the Mets. He should be a coveted arm this offseason as he’s proven capable of playing well in a big market.
Club Selection 2023: 15 million dollars
Severino’s injury history will undoubtedly factor into the Yankees’ decision to exercise the right-hander’s option to the team this offseason. Considering Severino’s bounce-back season in 2022 and his track record when healthy, it would be surprising if New York didn’t bring him back for 2023.
Wainwright just keeps defying Father Time. The three-time All-Star has been one of St. Louis’ most reliable arms and is a staple in the clubhouse, so it’s hard to imagine him in a new uniform next season.
8. Nathan Eovaldi, RHP
Injuries have been a problem for Eovaldi throughout his career, including the 2022 season. That said, he can anchor a pitching staff when healthy. He showed it in 2021 with the Red Sox when he finished fourth in Cy Young voting. Don’t be surprised if Boston, thin in the pitching department heading into the offseason, wants to bring Eovaldi back for at least one more year.
Club Selection 2023: 20 million dollars
Morton has the stuff to keep pitching into his 40s, but that $20 million price tag for 2023 might be too steep for the Atlanta Braves. If they decline Morton’s option, it won’t take long for the two-time World Series champion to find a new home.
10. Noah Syndergaard, RHP
It’s fair to say that Syndergaard’s days as a genuine Cy Young candidate are long behind him. The former Mets star remains solid in the middle of the rotation, but hasn’t looked like “Thor” since 2018. Another one-year “prove it” deal could be best for Syndergaard this offseason as he looks to rebound after a lackluster year in Anaheim and Philadelphia.