With the 8 p.m. ET deadline for arbitration-eligible players bidding passing Friday night, it quickly became clear that among those Players who are not signed are some notable and interesting names. That includes the 2019 NL MVP, the 2020 MLB Leader of the Year, and many others who, while missing due to injuries and/or lack of production, could help a team or two in the future.
Here’s a look at the 10 intriguing free agents added to the pool on Friday:
1. Cody Bellinger, CF (Not pitched by the Dodgers)
Bellinger’s run from 2019, when he was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player, was sensational — since he posted a 1.035 OPS with 47 homers that year, he batted 0.203/.272/.376 with 41 homers in 295 games.
The Dodgers have continued to give their quarterback time to get things right over the past three seasons, but it just never happened. Now, while the Dodgers can re-sign him even after that Not offering a contractBellinger may be looking for a fresh start in a new outfit.
2. Dominic Smith, 1B (Mets)
Smith had a breakout season for the Mets at age 24 in 2019, when he had a 0.881 OPS with 11 homers in 197 plate appearances with New York. He built on that with a phenomenal campaign during a pandemic-shortened 2020 season, when he posted 993 OPS with 10 homers in 199 boards.
But as Pete Alonso continued on his way to stardom, Smith backed off233/.298/.345 over the past two seasons. Still only 27 years old, he could be a great free agent to follow up on what he did on the plate as recently as two years ago.
3 – Luke Voight, 1B/DH (Nationals)
Most recently in 2020, Voit led Majors in homers, striking out with 22 in 234 Yankees appearances during the shortstop. Since then, though, the huge player has hit just 33 hits in 809 plate appearances split between the Nationals and Padres. At 31, he might still have enough pop in that bat to catch up somewhere.
4. Franchie Cordero (Red Sox)
Cordero’s exciting raw tools—the 6-foot-3, 226-pound outdoorsman hit a baseball 117.9 mph and also ranked the 84th percentile in Sprint Speed last season, According to Statcast He has not translated into a production so far in his MLB career. But while he only has a .676 career OPS, he’s still only 28 years old and could be a great pick if the club can unlock his potential.
5. Alex Reyes, RHP (Cardinals)
Reyes was one of the Cardinals’ best prospects when he debuted in the MLB in 2016, and for good reason — the right-handed outfielder featured a three-digit fastball and devastating curveball, resulting in a 1.57 ERA and 28 percent strikeout. Score over 46 rounds this rookie season. But since then, a series of injuries has derailed him, limiting him to 26 2/3 innings of 2018-20 (he missed the 17 season recovering from Tommy John surgery).
In 2021, Reyes had an impressive first half, earning his first All-Star selection. His second-half ERA, however, was 5.52, and he missed 22 campaign due to shoulder surgery. like cardinals Get away from himCould a change of scenery lead to Reyes’ return?
6. Jimer Candelario 3B (Tigers)
Only one year removed from leading the Major Leagues in doubles (42) while posting a .795 OPS for the Tigers, Candelario Free agent. He struggled in 2022, seeing his offensive production drop dramatically — he had a 0.633 OPS in 124 games for Detroit last season. But he’s still relatively young, at 29 years old on November 24, and could be a huge acquisition for a team looking for a cornerback.
7. Adam Engel, CF (White Sox)
From 2020-21, Engel added a powerful bat to his already solid defense and speed on the White Sox’ primary tracks. After slashing just .215/.271/.330 during his first three seasons with Chicago, he put up a .823 OPS the next two years. The only problem was that he was injured for most of that stretch, with injuries limited him to 75 games.
Then, last season, Engel’s OPS was just . 579 in 260 plate appearances. He will be 31 next month, so He will need to prove himself Soon, but his raw toolkit is hard not to dream about.
8. Aristides Aquino, (Reds)
Remember when Aquino totally lit up his opposition pitching as a rookie in 2019? He earned the nickname “The Punisher” by tying seven homers in his first 10 home runs for the Reds, tying Trevor Story’s 2016 home run record. He also set a Major League record by striking out in three consecutive innings against the Cubs in August 10th. He later set a new record by hitting his 13th homer in his 100th career plate appearance.
Overall, Aquino finished with 19 homers and an .891 OPS that year, but hasn’t come close to matching that production since. From 2020-22, his home runs average is just 0.647 with 22 homers. With that said, Aquino enters his 29-year-old season in 2023, and you can’t assume there’s no more pop left in his racket.
9. Edwin Rios, INF (Dodgers)
Rios really introduced himself to the baseball world in his 15th career game, going 4-for-5 with a pair of homers on August 14, 2019, against the Marlins in Miami. He would hit two more homers over the next 13 games and finish with a 1,010 OPS in 56 plate appearances during his rookie campaign. It came after he set Pacific Coast League homers ablaze with 31 homers and a . 915 OPS for Triple-A Oklahoma City during the first four months of the Minor League season.
Things continued to look good for Rios in 2020, when he hit eight other players and posted a . 946 OPS in 32 games during the pandemic-shortened campaign. But then, injuries and offensive slumps hampered him, leading the Dodgers to consider him expendable. The 28-year-old can certainly be seen as a player jumping at the chance of a club looking for a corner-back.
10. Brian Anderson, 3B (Marlins)
Anderson was worth 8 wins above replacement (baseball reference) over 341 games for Miami from 2018-20, a period in which he had a 0.785 OPS and played both right third field. But, as with most players on this list, injuries were a factor from 2021-22, when he posted a 0.681 OPS with 15 starters in 165 games. With his defensive versatility and track record of strong attacking numbers before being hampered by injuries, Anderson could be an attractive option for many clubs.