2022 MLB Free Agents: Predictions for Top Pitchers Set to Hit Open Market (2023)

2022 MLB Free Agents: Predictions for Top Pitchers Set to Hit Open Market

0 of 4

    2022 MLB Free Agents: Predictions for Top Pitchers Set to Hit Open Market (1)

    AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

    The 2022-23 offseason will be dominated by discussion, speculation and, ultimately, historic contracts for some of baseball's best and most prominent pitchers.

    Mets star Jacob deGrom may be the most intriguing free agent-to-be, but veterans Chris Sale, David Price and Justin Verlander figure to have their names in the headlines as teams assess their needs and willingness to dedicate big-money deals to their rotations.

    Ahead of what figures to be a frantic stretch, find out which star pitchers may be looking for new homes this offseason.

David Price

1 of 4

    The 2022 season is the conclusion of the seven-year deal Price signed with Boston, and there is no guarantee he will play beyond it.

    Price has been far from healthy this season but still appeared in 40 games, earning two wins and producing an ERA of 2.45 and WHIP of 1.17. He added 37 strikeouts to go along with those stats, showing flashes of the dominant pitcher he once was.

    Healthy or not, it appears as though Price's days on the mound are numbered. The 37-year-old has been open about leaning toward retirement following the season, as he told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register as far back as July.

    In that discussion with Plunkett, he suggested his children's desire to have him home is likely to play a significant role in his decision but admitted that their answers change on a whim.

    If he does wrap up a stellar career, Price will have the opportunity to do so with a Dodgers team that has set the franchise record for wins in a season. They have as strong a chance of repeating as World Series champions.

    Win or lose, it feels more likely that Price steps away from the game following the season, leaving the Dodgers to seek out a veteran bullpen presence during the offseason.

    Prediction: Price retires

Chris Sale

2 of 4

    2022 MLB Free Agents: Predictions for Top Pitchers Set to Hit Open Market (3)

    AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson


    Chris Sale has pitched just 11 starts and 5.2 innings for the Red Sox since signing a massive $145 million extension with the team prior to the 2020 season, making him one of the most expensive nonfactors in the majors.

    That may sound harsh but he is very self-aware of the frustration and disappointment surrounding his lack of availability. He told reporters this past spring, "I have more teammates picking up my slack, doing my job, and I'm getting paid to do nothing. That sucks, and I'm not afraid to say it. That's who I am and that's what I believe," per John Tomase of NBC Sports.

    That leaves Sale in an interesting position. He has already addressed the fact that he has not lived up to expectations since extending his contract with Boston so there is really only one thing he can (and should) do: opt-out.

    Restructure a deal that has payments deferred through 2039, a contract only Bobby Bonilla could love. Come to an agreement with Boston that is more team-friendly and prove that he is not only a man of his word but that his greatest concern is winning.

    Baseball is a business though and considering he is still looking for a deal that is mutually beneficial, an opt-out could take him elsewhere. Perhaps to a team on the brink of greatness and looking for that one last piece of the puzzle to put them over the top.

    It remains to be seen if Sale can be that guy given the laundry list of injuries that have plagued him over the last three seasons (elbow surgery, neck strain, broken rib, broken pinky and a broken wrist).

    If he can recover, he still likely possesses the skills that led Boston to reward him with the massive extension in the first place and that could lead to the Red Sox working with their star to ensure he is tossing strikes in Fenway for the foreseeable future.

    Prediction: Sale opts out, restructures, stays in Boston

Jacob deGrom

3 of 4

    2022 MLB Free Agents: Predictions for Top Pitchers Set to Hit Open Market (4)

    David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    (Video) Battery Power TV: Free agents Atlanta Braves should target this offseason

    DeGrom is going to make a significant amount of money this offseason when he opts out of his current deal with the New York Mets and renegotiates for a market-moving contract. Arguably the best pitcher in the game when healthy and on the mound for his team, deGrom is likely to get offers in the range of what teammate Max Scherzer did an offseason ago (three years, $130 million).

    Mets owner Steve Cohen has already expressed his desire to keep deGrom in the blue and orange as recently as a late-August appearance on The Show with Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman.

    Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts told Heyman that "no one compares" to the 34-year-old. An insider echoed those statements in a text to Heyman when asked what contract deGrom gets when all is said and done: "Whatever the best pitcher in baseball is worth."

    Of course, there are some that will question his health and ability to consistently contribute to the organization but he dominated the month of August (55 strikeouts and 1.98 ERA in 36.1 innings) and was one of the few bright spots in September for a Mets team that inexplicably slumped against teams they should have beaten.

    The Mets are the only team deGrom has ever known, and while there will be other clubs offering enormous contracts, one has to imagine that if New York comes back with comparable numbers, he will stay put and work toward the team's first World Series title since the infamous 1986 squad.

    Prediction: deGrom opts out, signs megadeal to return to New York

Justin Verlander

4 of 4

    2022 MLB Free Agents: Predictions for Top Pitchers Set to Hit Open Market (5)

    (Video) Phillies Prove Building Through Free Agency is Viable

    Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

    The idea of a 39-year-old pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery and having a career year should be unfathomable. That career year coming in one as great as Verlander's has been should make it that much more so.

    Thankfully for Verlander and the Houston Astros, the AL Cy Young Award contender does not deal in shoulds.

    The best pitcher in, arguably, the best rotation in the league has amassed a 17-4 record while allowing the lowest ERA of his career (1.80) in 27 starts. He has been nothing short of phenomenal in 2022 and created an unprecedented question heading into the offseason: What exactly is the market for a player of his kind?

    It would be ridiculous to expect that Verlander will replicate this season again. It is already unheard of that he has managed to compile the sort of year he has at his age and considering the injury he is coming off. Continuing that into age 40 and beyond would be seemingly impossible.

    But so was everything he accomplished thus far in 2022.

    Traditional spenders like the Yankees, Mets and Dodgers will be eager to throw enormous offers his way. Ditto for the Mets, in particular, if they lose out on bringing deGrom back into the fold. The question is whether the Astros are willing to compete with those offers.

    The answer: probably not.

    The team has a solid bullpen full of pitchers ready to step into the starting rotation should Verlander head elsewhere. That he is likely looking for a short-term, astronomical (no pun intended) deal makes it even less likely that Houston ponies up the cash necessary to keep him around.

    Look for the Yankees to be a major player, especially if the season does not end with them celebrating a World Series win. The Phillies should not be out of the question, either, though the price will have to be right for that to happen.

    Verlander is a future Hall of Famer and should win his third Cy Young in the coming month. He may not be a long-term fix for a team in need of a starting pitcher but he is as good now as he has ever been and will benefit one of the perennial powerhouses chasing another Commissioner's Trophy.

    Prediction: Verlander wraps things up in New York as a Yankee on a one-year, $35-40 million deal


What pitchers will be free agents in 2022? ›

Top 35 MLB 2022-2023 Free Agents
  • Jacob deGrom (SP)
  • Justin Verlander (SP)
  • Trea Turner (SS)
  • Carlos Correa (SS)
  • Carlos Rodón (SP)
  • Xander Bogaerts (SS)
  • Dansby Swanson (SS)
  • Edwin Díaz (RP)
27 Oct 2022

Is Aaron judge a free agent? ›

Aaron Judge is now a free agent for the first time in his career, and MLB.com is tracking the latest rumors surrounding the 30-year-old slugger.

Is deGrom a free agent? ›

Player Opt-Out available after 2022.
2019-2024 Arbitration Extension.
Contract:5 yr(s) / $137,500,000
Average Salary$27,500,000
Free Agent:2025 / UFA
1 more row

Who is a free agent in 2023 MLB? ›

2023 MLB Free Agents
Player (335)Pos.Team
Clayton KershawSPLAD
Nathan EovaldiSPBOS
Justin Turner3BLAD
Jose Abreu1BCHW
39 more rows

Who is the best hitter in baseball 2022? ›

Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers

Dating back to his back-to-back four-hit games in mid-July, Freddie Freeman is batting . 371 over his past 65 contests. His batting average is up to . 328, leading the majors by nine points and matching teammate Trea Turner's MLB-best mark from last season.

Is deGrom a free agent after 2022? ›

Back in March, Jacob deGrom made it clear he planned to opt out of his current contract with the Mets, joining the free-agent ranks at the end of the 2022 season.

How much could Aaron judge get in free agency? ›

$500 million. 10 years. All guaranteed. That's the monster deal New York Yankees superstar Aaron Judge could land as he enters free agency, according to super-agent Leigh Steinberg.

Who is the highest paid MLB player 2022? ›

1. Max Scherzer, New York Mets: $43,333,333
  • Max Scherzer, New York Mets: $43,333,333.
  • Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees: $36 million.
  • Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: $35,541,667.
  • Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins: $35.1 million.

Does deGrom lift weights? ›

This offseason, deGrom made a small but telling change to his routine: He began lifting heavier weights than he previously had in his career.

What glove does deGrom use? ›

When you put this 2022 Jacob deGrom Pro Preferred infield/pitcher's glove on, you'll see why Rawlings is the #1 choice of pros. This glove is perfect for any elite player looking to play at a higher level this season, and it's only available here on Rawlings.com.

Does deGrom need surgery? ›

The Mets have since claimed that deGrom has made a full recovery, and that he won't require Tommy John surgery or anything of the like. This season will go down as a frustrating one for deGrom. He dealt with several injuries, including right side tightness, that limited him to just 15 starts.

Who is the number 1 2025 baseball player? ›

RankPlayerTravel Team
1Noah Franco 6-3 185 L/LCanes National 2025
Long & ultra-projectable frame, up to 86 mph on bump w/ plenty more to come, lands a breaking ball & CH for strikes; fluid LH swing w/ lift too
2Cam Caminiti 6-2 205 L/LEast Cobb Astros 17U
17 more rows
7 Sept 2022

Who is the best baseball players in Class of 2023? ›

  • Max Clark, OF, Franklin HS (Ind.) ...
  • Walker Jenkins, OF, South Brunswick HS (N.C.) ...
  • Blake Mitchell, C/RHP, Sinton HS (Texas) ...
  • Travis Sykora, RHP, Round Rock HS (Texas) ...
  • Aidan Miller, 3B, JW Mitchell HS (Fla.) ...
  • Thomas White, LHP, Phillips Academy (Mass.) ...
  • Kevin McGonigle, SS/2B, Monsignor Bonner HS (Pa.)
7 Sept 2022

Who will lead the MLB in home runs 2022? ›

There are only a couple of months left in the 2022 MLB regular season and Aaron Judge currently leads the majors with 43 home runs. The Yankees outfielder is well ahead of the field with 10 more round-trippers than the next-best slugger.
Major League Baseball Home Run Leader Odds.
Mike Trout+6600
6 more rows
4 Aug 2022

Who is the hottest hitter in baseball right now? ›

MLB's Hottest Hitters: Manny Machado, Taylor Ward, Willy Adames (2022 Fantasy Baseball)
1Manny Machado (SD – 3B).440
2Taylor Ward (LAA – LF,CF,RF).365
3Willy Adames (MIL – SS).259
4Aaron Judge (NYY – CF,RF,DH).311
21 more rows
9 May 2022

Who is the strongest batter in baseball? ›

Yordan Alvarez's 456-foot homer
  • Yordan Alvarez: .361. Tim Anderson: .332. Bryce Harper: .328. Joc Pederson: .325. 5. ( tie) J.D. Martinez: .324. ...
  • Yordan Alvarez: .773. Aaron Judge: .756. Joc Pederson: .696. Bryce Harper: .675. Mike Trout: .648. ...
  • Yordan Alvarez: .497. Aaron Judge: .463. Joc Pederson: .453. Bryce Harper: .438. 5. (
9 Jun 2022

Who is the current best hitter in the MLB? ›

So put on your shades and check out the full list below.
  • 1) Aaron Judge, RF, Yankees (last poll: 2) ...
  • 2) Mike Trout, CF, Angels (1) ...
  • 6) Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Cardinals (NR) ...
  • 7) Mookie Betts, RF, Dodgers (NR) ...
  • 8) Giancarlo Stanton, RF/DH, Yankees (NR) ...
  • 9) Yordan Alvarez, LF/DH, Astros (7) ...
  • 10) Manny Machado, 3B, Padres (6)
19 May 2022

When can MLB free agents start signing? ›

When does free agency begin? Officially, players become free agents the day after the conclusion of the World Series. However, they cannot sign with a new team until five days after the conclusion of the World Series (Thursday, Nov. 10, at 5 p.m. ET).

What was Derek Jeter's yearly salary? ›

What would Babe Ruth's salary be today? ›

In today's dollars, Ruth would have been getting paid about $226,655 when the infamous trade happened. He was traded for $125,000, which roughly translates to just over $1.6 million dollars today. At his highest salary in 1931, he was making $80,000.

What sport makes the most money? ›

Basketball is the most lucrative sport globally, which is not surprising. The finest basketball players in the NBA not only make millions of dollars in payments each year, but they also receive more endorsements and sponsorship money than any other athlete in any other sport.

How much did the Yankees offer Aaron Judge? ›

The Yankees offered seven years and $30.5 million per season covering 2023-29.

How much does a Triple-A baseball player make? ›

The minimum salary is $400 weekly at rookie level, $500 at Class A, $600 at Double-A and $700 at Triple-A.

Who has the best batting average in MLB 2022? ›

Major League Baseball Batting Leaders
  • Ohtani • LAA. 9.6.
  • Alcantara • MIA. 8.1.
  • Arenado • STL. 7.9.
  • Goldschmidt • STL. 7.8.
  • Gimenez • CLE. 7.2.
  • Machado • SDP. 6.8.
  • Alvarez • HOU. 6.8.
  • Riley • ATL. 6.5.

Who is the richest owner in baseball? ›

CharacteristicNet worth in billion U.S. dollars
Hal Steinbrenner (New York Yankees)3.8
Mark Walter (Los Angeles Dodgers)3.4
Arte Moreno (Los Angeles Angels)3.3
John Middleton (Philadelphia Phillies)3.3
9 more rows
2 Mar 2022

What do pitchers do on off days? ›

Pitching on four days rest

Toss easy on side lines. Full stretching and medi-ball program. Jog 10 poles; 10 sets of 60 yard sprints. Light weight maintenance work.

Is deGrom the best ever? ›

DeGrom has allowed one or fewer runs in 100 of his first 204 career starts, a stat that ranks as the best in MLB history. He has also allowed the second lowest walks and hits per innings pitched (0.9985) in league history, and the lowest in 112 years.

Does mass really equal gas? ›

Mass equals gas might sound catchy to say, but it's not totally accurate. The young man from above – along with the many others who have made his same mistake – are great reminders that adding mass can hurt performance as much as it can help it. This article is going to attempt to explain why.

What glove did Sandy Koufax use? ›

It is a Rawlings HSP Herb Score endorsed glove. It is a 'Heart of the Hide' model. Correct in all aspects, this exceptional glove remains in original condition with original lacing all intact just as the days that Sandy sported it on the mound.

Do major league players buy their own gloves? ›

"Most players have a contract, so they get their gloves from the manufacturer," Shawger said. "It's about the only thing we don't buy for them. They bring their gloves with them. I've never had a guy walk into the locker room and say 'hey, I need a glove.

What kind of glove does Shohei Ohtani use? ›

ASICS(Brand used by Shohei Ohtani) baseball batting gloves 3121A633 Y/N 2022.

Did Jacob deGrom have Tommy John surgery? ›

deGrom had Tommy John surgery in '10, after his first season in rookie ball, and he turned 34 in June. And during that same news conference, he said that after this season, he plans to exercise the opt-out in the five-year, $137.5 million contract extension he signed in '19.

What ligament is used for Tommy John surgery? ›

What You Need to Know. Tommy John Surgery, more formally known as ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction, is used to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament inside the elbow. A UCL is a ligament on the inner side of your elbow that helps secure your elbow joint.

How many Tommy John surgeries did Jacob deGrom have? ›

He had Tommy John surgery in 2010, and last year's injuries were of the variety that indicated ligament trouble. That is apparently not the case, however, and deGrom threw a bullpen session Monday. DeGrom will earn $33.5 million this season and can opt out of his $30.5 million salary in 2023.

Who will be the best baseball player in 5 years? ›

Here's who I think the top 10 MLB players will be in five years.
  1. Fernando Tatis Jr.
  2. Juan Soto. ...
  3. Ronald Acuna Jr. ...
  4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ...
  5. Shohei Ohtani. ...
  6. Rafael Devers. ...
  7. Wander Franco. ...
  8. Mike Trout. ...
19 Aug 2021

Who is the best college baseball team 2022? ›

ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
Preseason Feb 3Final Jun 27
1.Texas (14)Ole Miss (42–23) (31)
2.Vanderbilt (7)Oklahoma (45–24)
3.Mississippi State (5)Arkansas (46–21)
4.Arkansas (4)Texas A&M (44–20)
19 more rows

Who is the Number 1 team in baseball? ›


Who will be 2022 MLB Rookie of the Year? ›

As baseball's best players descended on Los Angeles for All-Star Game festivities in July, one burgeoning young standout had their attention most of all.

Who will be top MLB prospects in 2023? ›

Top 20 college prospects for 2023 MLB draft
  • Jacob Gonzalez, Ole Miss. ...
  • Wyatt Langford, Florida. ...
  • Jacob Wilson, Grand Canyon. ...
  • Enrique Bradfield, Vanderbilt. ...
  • Brayden Taylor, TCU. ...
  • Rhett Lowder, Wake Forest. ...
  • Will Sanders, South Carolina. Will Sanders RHP from South Carolina. ...
  • Tommy Troy, Stanford.
7 Oct 2022

Who is the best player in 2023? ›

  • Getty Images. ...
  • Getty. ...
  • Getty Images. 6Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid) ...
  • Getty Images. 5Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona) ...
  • Getty Images. 4Erling Haaland (Manchester City) ...
  • Getty Images. 3Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) ...
  • Getty. 2Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) ...
  • Getty Images. 1Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)
18 Oct 2022

Can Aaron Judge win the Triple Crown? ›

Neither Judge nor Paul Goldschmidt of the Cardinals could come up with a Triple Crown (leading the league in homers, RBI and average) in 2022, meaning Miguel Cabrera still has MLB's most recent (2012). Judge was trying to become just the second AL Triple Crown winner since 1967.

Will Aaron Judge hit 61 home runs? ›

Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris's American League record with his 61st home run of the season, and Maris's former teammate Bobby Richardson sees many parallels.

Who is projected to hit the most home runs in 2022? ›

ESPN. Alvarez, Perez, and Brandon Lowe (Tampa Bay Rays) are all projected to hit 37 home runs, according to ESPN's MLB fantasy projections.

› watch ›

Your browser can't play this video. Learn more. Switch camera.
A new year, a new board and new ranks. With Prospect Development Pipeline and the Perfect Game National Showcase in the books, we're prepared to release our...
MLB Free Agents 2022-23: Top 25 Players Potentially Available. Yankees' Aaron Judge wins two major Players Choice awards as his free agency looms.

Will pitchers bat in 2022? ›

We will likely see the universal designated hitter in MLB in 2022. Thus, pitchers will no longer take at-bats in major-league games, which, considering they hit .

Will the NL adopt the DH in 2022? ›

Well, the rules have finally changed. Among the most noticeable switches in MLB for the 2022 season will be that all 30 teams will use the designated hitter, eliminating pitchers hitting and changing one of the long-standing different quirks between the two leagues.

Are pitchers hitting in 2022? ›

The agreement implemented after the MLB lockout had a few notable rule changes to be put into play for 2022, including the long-sought-after universal designated hitter. National League pitchers will no longer hit moving forward, which is going to change roster construction.

Can Ohtani pitch and hit in MLB The Show 22? ›

Hitter in MLB The Show 22!

What is the Ohtani rule in MLB? ›

The World Baseball Softball Confederation will employ the "Ohtani rule" for its international tournaments, allowing starting pitchers to remain in games as designated hitter after leaving the mound, a source familiar with the matter said Sunday.

Do pitchers bat in interleague games? ›

Interleague play and exhibitions (until 2021)

If the game was played in an American League park, the designated hitter could be used; in a National League park, the pitcher must bat or else be replaced with a pinch-hitter.

Who is the best designated hitter of all time? ›

Best DHs Ever: Top 5 Designated Hitters in Major League Baseball History
  1. 1 | Edgar Martinez.
  2. 2 | David Ortiz. ...
  3. 3 | Frank Thomas. ...
  4. 4 | Harold Baines. Harold Baines of the Chicago White Sox batting, September 1983. ...
  5. 5 | Paul Molitor. Paul Molitor played in the big leagues from 1978 to 1998. ...
27 Feb 2021

Do the Angels use a DH when Ohtani pitches? ›

Because of how the rule is set up when Ohtani is pitching a game in an American League park, the Angels have to give up the DH and play by the NL rules. Ohtani is a pitcher, hitting, but the only difference is that he bats at the top of the order because of his talents.

Are hit by pitches increasing? ›

So the answer is yes, people are throwing breaking balls more than they have before, and they're also hitting batters with those breaking balls (and also changeups to an extent) more than they ever have before. We're also seeing breaking balls used in different ways than we have in the past in a couple of ways.

Will MLB get rid of extra inning rule? ›

MLB, players' association agree to keep automatic runners in extra innings for 2022. NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball finalized the rules change Thursday to bring back automatic runners in extra innings for a third straight season.

What is baseball's new rule? ›

Shift restrictions in 2023

The bases, which traditionally have been 15 inches square, will instead be 18 inches square. Home plate is unchanged. Though this can have a modest impact on stolen-base success rate, the primary goal of this change is to give players more room to operate and to avoid collisions.

Is deGrom coming back in 2022? ›

He reported to 2022 spring training healthy, but days before the season opener, he landed on the injured list again, this time with a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade. Finally healthy, and armed with a plan to stay that way, deGrom met with reporters Sunday ahead of his season debut.

Can a free agent be signed at any time? ›

Players who do not have a contract with a club are known as free agents. Free agents can sign for any team at any time in the yea due to the fact that they are not tied to any current club.

Who is the Most Valuable Player in 2022? ›

#1: Kylian Mbappe (€205.6 million)

Paris Saint-Germain's leading man, Kylian Mbappe, takes the top spot on Football Observatory's most valuable players list. He also becomes the first player on the list to break the €200 million mark, coming in at €205.6 million.

› mlb › news › mlb-univer... ›

Madison Bumgarner can no longer be the self-proclaimed best hitter with a .172 batting average. The agreement implemented after the MLB lockout had a few notabl...
Madison Bumgarner can no longer be the self-proclaimed best hitter with a .172 batting average. The agreement implemented after the MLB lockout had a few notabl...
I will not mourn the disappearance of pitchers at the plate. But here are some Cubs pitcher at-bats to remember.


1. Ranking The BEST MLB Free Agents of 2023 | (2022-2023)
(Sports Exposure)
2. Report: Cubs Interested In Jose Abreu
(Zara News)
3. Top Seattle Mariner Free Agent Needs!
(Mariner Mojo)
4. Padres Playoff Recap, Padres 2023 Roster, World Series Preview
(Lee Hacksaw Hamilton)
(Binge Central)
6. Evaluating MLB's Biggest Contracts from Last Offseason
(MLB Network)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Stevie Stamm

Last Updated: 02/24/2023

Views: 6854

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Stevie Stamm

Birthday: 1996-06-22

Address: Apt. 419 4200 Sipes Estate, East Delmerview, WY 05617

Phone: +342332224300

Job: Future Advertising Analyst

Hobby: Leather crafting, Puzzles, Leather crafting, scrapbook, Urban exploration, Cabaret, Skateboarding

Introduction: My name is Stevie Stamm, I am a colorful, sparkling, splendid, vast, open, hilarious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.