2022 MLB Free Agents: Rumors and Predictions for Top Available Players

Erik BeastonDecember 14, 2022

2022 MLB Free Agents: Rumors and Predictions for Top Available Players

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    PENNSYLVANIA, PA - OCTOBER 15: Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves looks on during the National Anthem before game four of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 15, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)
    Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

    And then there was one.

    Dansby Swanson is the final, high-profile shortstop remaining in this year's free-agency period following the San Francisco Giants' signing of Carlos Correa Wednesday night to a 13-year, $350 million deal.

    Which franchises have their eyes on the young star, hoping to improve their squads and win a World Series ring?

    Which other remaining star free agents are garnering buzz and where might they end up?

    Find out with this recap of recent insider reports.

The Twins Now Turn to Dansby Swanson

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    ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 12: Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves warms up as the the sun sets before game two of the National League Division Series at Truist Park on October 12, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)
    Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

    Swanson is the sole, hotly coveted shortstop in this year's free agency period, but that may not last long.

    The Minnesota Twins, previously with their eyes on Correa, are now likely to turn their attention to the former Atlanta Brave, per The New York Post's Jon Heyman on Twitter:

    Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

    Twins made a decent try for Correa, offering close to $285M fir 10 years. Twins will consider Dansby Swanson now.

    Swanson smashed 25 homers, 96 RBI and had an on-base percentage of .329 in 2022, all stats that were near or surpassed the best of his young career. He is a player still ascending in the majors and should be an asset to any team smart enough to acquire him.

    The Twins were hoping to reunite with Correa, but Swanson's stats last season either matched or bettered the 2017 World Series champion, proving there may not be quite the dropoff Minnesota thinks there is between the two.

    The idea that Swanson is anyone's backup or that the Twins would have to "consider" him, as Heyman tweeted, is absurd. Sign the guy now and benefit from his play immediately. It is a win-win scenario for the Twins, and if they do not take the initiative and get the deal done, a team like the Cubs will.

    As would the Dodgers, Red Sox and maybe even his former team, the Braves, as Russell Dorsey of Bally Sports and Stadium reported.

    Prediction: Swanson signs with the Cubs, who were interested early and did not have to "consider" him as a replacement

Yankees Make Carlos Rodón an Offer

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    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: Carlos Rodon #16 of the San Francisco Giants reacts against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on September 09, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    The New York Yankees have made their first offer to lefty Carlos Rodón, per Heyman.

    The Yankees will have to overcome a gap between the desired deal and what they offered, though.

    Rodón is coming off a strong year that saw him dominate from the mound, thanks in large part to just two different pitches.

    Injury history does create a reason to be cautious when tossing out offers to Rodón, whose 2019-2021 was plagued by Tommy John surgery and arm fatigue caused concern in Chicago with the White Sox.

    Still, Rodón's ability to strike opponents out appeals to any team, especially a Yankees organization that needs help in its overworked rotation. He amassed the most strikeouts of his career in 2022, by far, with 237 and had the second-best ERA of his eight Major League seasons.

    New York's rotation ranked fourth in innings pitched in 2022, with ace Gerritt Cole compiling 200, Nestor Cortes 158 and Jameson Taillon 177.

    Whether they can bridge that aforementioned gap will determine if they can bolster their already expansive roster or if they have to go the route of the busy Heyman's third report.

    Prediction: Rodón signs with the Yankees, presumably after a second, revised offer.

New York Also Eyeing Nathan Eovaldi as Backup?

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    HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 01:  Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (17) looks toward the outfield during the MLB game between the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros on August 1, 2022 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    If Rodón is a no-go for the Yankees, the team could be eyeing Nathan Eovaldi, formerly of their rivals the Red Sox.

    "The Yankees believe Rodón wants to come to New York, but if they can't bridge their difference, they may turn to their next choice, believed to be ex-Yankee Nate Eovaldi."

    Eovaldi had a so-so 2022 campaign, with a 6-3 record and a .387 ERA that ranks right in the middle of his career efforts. He recorded 103 strikeouts, far fewer than Rodón. He also pitched fewer innings than he did the year before and gave up the most home runs of his career with 21.

    He would help improve the Yankees' already-solid rotation, even if it is overworked, but he would also be a considerable step down from Rodón.

    Eovaldi has a history with the Yankees, so the organization knows exactly what it is getting out of him—or at least what his strengths and weaknesses tend to be, which may be a positive.

    Prediction: Eovaldi signs elsewhere, but definitely not Boston, which has reportedly shown less interest in him than other teams, per Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston.