By: Chandler Ragsdale
With Spring Training right around the corner, there are still a handful of players that have not signed with a team yet for the 2018 season. With that being said, here are my predictions on where 4 impact free agents will end up for 2018.
1. J.D. Martinez (Arizona Diamondbacks)- Outfielder/DH J.D. Martinez has still not found a deal that he wants to take. In 2017, Martinez launched 45 balls over the fence, and he also gained some more postseason experience. He will provide a big bat and some good experience to whatever team signs him. The two biggest players left in the market for Martinez right now appear to be the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Boston Red Sox (mlb.com). The Red Sox have offered Martinez a deal already, but it has been on the table for too long now for me to be convinced that he will take it. He also generates most of his power by going to right field, and that won’t play as well in Boston as someone who could hit the green Monster consistently. Overall, I see J.D. Martinez going back to where he spent the latter half of 2017 season, in the desert with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
2. Jake Arrieta (Milwaukee Brewers)- Pitcher Jake Arrieta doesn’t look like he will be going back to the Cubs now that they have signed Yu Darvish. With that being said, two teams still wanting Arrieta are the Milwaukee Brewers and the Minnesota Twins (mlb.com). The Brewers are the team that I believe will land Arrieta. Last season the Brewers finished second in the NL Central after a very hot start to the season. Signing a pitcher like Jake Arrieta can really help them to become an even stronger contender in 2018, despite his growing ERA. Also, staying in the NL Central would be ideal for Jake Arrieta being that he will see action against the Cubs a good bit, and he could really give them a challenge in some key games down the stretch. Arrieta won’t provide the numbers that he did in Chicago, but he will definitely still be an anchor to any rotation.
3. Eric Hosmer (San Diego Padres)- First Baseman Eric Hosmer is another impact player that is still on the free agency market. He doesn’t have many teams eyeing him like some other free agents have, but he can still be a stable bat in the middle of a lineup. He brings a good glove with him to the table as well. I see Hosmer going to the San Diego Padres, due to the fact that the Padres are really needing a household name to help their team not only with play, but also with ticket sales and a general excitement around the team. Also, San Diego is a beautiful place and now that they’re the only professional sports team left in San Diego, more and more fans will be behind the Padres.
4. Mike Moustakas (San Diego Padres)-Third Base has become a position with a lot of talent at it as of late in the MLB. One third baseman that has held his own is Mike Moustakas. “Moose” doesn’t have a clear team after him as of right now, but it is certain that there will be a team that benefits from his play in 2018. I’m going out on a limb here by saying that he will end up with the San Diego Padres. I have already predicted that Eric Hosmer will end up in San Diego, and being that they were former teammates in Kansas City, I believe that this can create some pull and interest to convince Moustakas to go to San Diego also. If this ends up being the case, San Diego will have two solid players at the corners of their infield to build off of in the 2018 season.