After the Washington Nationals’ shocking run to the World Series crown in the 2019 MLB season, it’s now time to look ahead to the offseason and free agency.
There’s a large crop of tantalizing free agents on the market heading into the 2020 season. The choice that these players make as to where to play in the upcoming seasons will likely make a huge impact on the league.
Here are our picks for the top four free agents this MLB offseason and for where they will end up signing a contract.
1. Anthony Rendon
Rendon has been a monster for the Nationals over the past several seasons. The third baseman won a Silver Slugger Award and placed third in NL MVP voting after an elite season in which he batted .319/.412/.598 with 34 home runs and 126 RBI.
The Texas native won’t turn 30 until next June, but he has hinted in past interviews that he might call it a career after only a few more seasons. We think Rendon will take a big-money deal for four or five seasons to join the Dodgers.
Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Gerrit Cole
Cole had the best season of his career in 2019, finishing just behind Astros teammate Justin Verlander for the AL Cy Young Award. The consistent, durable righty starter won 20 games for Houston and posted a 2.50 ERA, racking up a mind-boggling total of 326 strikeouts to lead the league.
The 29-year-old, as fate has it, is an Orange County native and a UCLA alum. With the Los Angeles Angels desperate to add a front-line starter and with deep pockets waiting to make their move, we expect Cole to sign a deal to return home.
Prediction: Los Angeles Angels
3. Stephen Strasburg
Strasburg, the reigning World Series MVP, opted out of the second half of his contract with the Nationals to test the free agent waters after a successful year on the mound and an even better postseason.
He won’t be cheap for the Nationals retain, as his consistent front-line results in previous seasons have driven up his market value. However, Strasburg has always been comfortable in Washington and we expect the team to commit to him financially in order to keep him in their rotation.
Prediction: Washington Nationals
4. Madison Bumgarner
Yet another pitcher comes in at number four on the list. Bumgarner, the veteran lefty who has spent the entirety of his career with the San Francisco Giants, is a free agent for the first time and is looking to earn one final big payday.
A North Carolina native, Bumgarner seems like an ideal candidate to sign a deal with the Braves, who are looking for a top starter to add to their young and talented rotation that wasn’t good enough to advance out of the Division Series in this year’s playoffs.
Prediction: Atlanta Braves