B/R MLB Offseason 100: Top 100 Players Available in Trades, Free Agency

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterNovember 16, 2015

B/R MLB Offseason 100: Top 100 Players Available in Trades, Free Agency

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    After spending the last week or so going position by position, the B/R MLB Offseason 100 now arrives at its final destination. It's time to rank the top 100 players available this offseason.

    In case you're just now joining us, the idea of the B/R MLB Offseason 100 is to pluck players from the free-agent and trade markets and rank them according to a scoring system that weighed their talent, durability and value outlooks. If you missed any of the individual positional rankings, here they are:

    In all, we analyzed and ranked 100 players. It's now time to put most of them in an overall list of 100.

    Now, the reason we say "most" instead of "all" is because things change on a daily basis on the offseason market. Some players have been subtracted from the free-agent market, and others have been added to the trade market. As such, our list of 100 players has been altered by additions and subtractions.

    Otherwise, there's not much else to know. In the event of ties, the nod went to the player we'd rather sign or trade for. And along the way, you'll find plenty of links to relevant data at Baseball-ReferenceFanGraphsBrooks BaseballBaseball Prospectus and Baseball Savant

    Step into the box whenever you're ready. 

100. Hanley Ramirez, 1B, Trade

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    Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Speculation Source: Mark Polishuk of MLB Trade Rumors

    Talent Outlook

    32/70

    Like fellow free-agent signee Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez's first year in Boston, 2015, was a disaster. A strong offensive start faded, and he finished with just a .717 OPS. Ramirez also didn't adjust well to his move from shortstop to left field, turning in a terrible performance that has forced his move to first base.

    To be fair, injuries played a part in Ramirez's demise in 2015. But so did the fact that he got overly aggressive and seemed to sell out for power, dooming himself to a .291 OBP. And though transitioning him to first base is the right idea for Boston, he's frankly never been a good defender. One feels comfortable enough saying Ramirez can keep the power coming, but everything else is a question mark.

    Durability Outlook

    5/20

    The injury bug limited Ramirez to just 214 games in 2013 and 2014 and refused to leave him alone in 2015. Beyond hurting his ability to produce, lingering shoulder and hand injuries also limited Ramirez to just 105 games.

    That makes it four seasons out of five in which Ramirez has been waylaid by injuries. That's a disturbing trend, and he's at an age, 31, where he's not likely to put his injury troubles behind him for long.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    It's unclear whether Ramirez is actually on the block, but Polishuk is right to think that the Red Sox will dangle him this winter, as he writes the Boston brass "will put feelers out." New boss Dave Dombrowski could save himself quite a bit of trouble by getting rid of as much of the $68.25 million the Red Sox still owe Ramirez over the next four years as he can.

    Given Ramirez's total lack of trade value, odds are a swap involving Ramirez would be a Josh Hamilton-esque salary dump in which the Red Sox eat a chunk of money and get little in return. As far as prospective buyers are concerned, that means there could be little risk in rolling the dice on Ramirez.

    Total

    42/100

99. Alex Avila, C, Free Agent

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    Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    32/70

    Alex Avila is coming off a year in which he played in just 67 games and posted a career-worst .626 OPS. That marked his third straight year of safely below-average hitting, which so happens to correspond with a worsening swing-and-miss habit. Mix in poor pitch framing, and it looks like there's not much to see.

    But don't call Avila a lost cause just yet. His excellent eye should continue to allow him to at least get on base at a decent rate. And though he may not be the best framer, he's thrown out at least 30 percent of would-be base stealers in three of four seasons, and there's research that says his reputation as an elite game-caller is well-earned. All told, he's one for the "Not Good, But Better Than You Think" pile.

    Durability Outlook

    5/20

    This is where Avila's appeal is rocky. He's played in only 293 games over the last three seasons, in which he's battled several concussions and, most recently, a significant knee injury.

    So suffice it to say Avila is pretty beat up for a guy who heading into his age-29 season old. And by far the biggest concern are those concussions. One is concerning enough, and he's been dealt a few more than one concussion. Even in what's likely to be a short-term deal, that's cause for alarm.

    Value Outlook

    6/10

    Given the way his career has gone off the rails in recent seasons, it could be that Avila is only in line for a one-year deal this winter. But if Nick Hundley could find a two-year pact despite coming off a rough age-30 season last winter, Avila may be able to as well.

    Whatever the case, it's hard to imagine Avila is in line for much money. And for a guy who can get on base and call a good game when healthy, that makes it possible that he could provide good value in the end.

    Total

    43/100

98. Cliff Pennington, SS/UTIL, Free Agent

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    Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    25/70

    Cliff Pennington is coming off a typical year for his bat, which, as you probably well know, is not a compliment. Pennington hit .210 with a .578 OPS and has now hit just .227 with a .611 OPS over the last four seasons. He still has a solid approach, but hitting the ball squarely just isn't his thing.

    Fortunately, Pennington can still get it done on defense. He has an established track record as a good defensive shortstop, and he's proven recently that he can also get it done at third base, second base and even left field. Thanks to these skills, he's a worthwhile infield backup.

    Durability Outlook

    13/20

    Pennington hasn't played in a full season since 2011, and injuries he's suffered along the way are partially to blame for that. But of course, his infrequent playing time over the last four years has much more to do with how he's been serving as a mere part-time player.

    If there's a bright side to that, it's that he's not as beat up as most 31-year-old middle infielders. In a short-term deal, he's a solid bet to stay on the field.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Pennington is coming off a season in which he made a little over $3 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility. He might be lucky to find a deal worth that much on the open market, as there just isn't a ton of demand for defense-first backup infielders.

    On the bright side, that means it will be virtually impossible for Pennington to be a waste of money.

    Total

    43/100

97. Brayan Pena, C, Free Agent

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    25/70

    You don't employ Brayan Pena for his bat. He owns a .260 average and .651 OPS for his career, qualifying him as a well-below-average hitter. And so it has gone in the last two years, in which he's managed just a .652 OPS. These numbers could be ignored if Pena's defense was outstanding, but it's not.

    Still, Pena does have some merits. At the least, he's going to put the ball in play when he's at the dish. And whereas he's terrible from the right side against lefties, he's nearly decent from the left side against righties. Lastly, he at least brings a bit of versatility on defense, as he can also play first base.

    Durability Outlook

    14/20

    Pena is a soon-to-be 34-year-old who's spent parts of 11 seasons in the majors. But while that would make you think that he's dealt with his share of injuries, you'd be wrong. Pena hasn't been on the disabled list since 2008, and has dealt with only minor aches and pains since then.

    For a guy who's only in the market for a short-term deal, this bodes well. Pena's age can't be ignored, but he is indeed a better bet to stay on the field than most guys his age.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Pena is coming off a two-year contract with the Reds in which he made less than $3 million. Given his limited skill set and playing time potential, the best he can probably hope for is to match the $1.4 million salary he earned in 2015.

    Pena may not be a steal at that rate, but it would be awfully difficult for him to be a waste.

    Total

    44/100

96. Shawn Kelley, RHP, Free Agent

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    Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    33/60

    A mediocre reliever with the Yankees in 2013 and 2014, Shawn Kelley turned into a good one with the Padres in 2015. He posted a 2.45 ERA and a 4.20 K/BB ratio, his best since first breaking into the league back in 2009. As a bonus, he finished with a career-best pop-up rate (12.8 IFFB%).

    Kelley showed with an 11.8 K/9 rate in pinstripes that he had the stuff to miss bats. The difference for him in San Diego was that he got more consistent finding the strike zone, resulting in less of a high-wire act when he took the ball. The big catch is that he remains vulnerable against left-handed batters. That makes him more of a righty specialist than a true shutdown reliever.

    Durability Outlook

    7/15

    Kelley has topped 50 appearances and 50 innings in each of the last three seasons, which will do fine for consistency as far as relievers go.

    Kelley does have some red flags, though. He dealt with serious elbow trouble in 2010 and 2011, hence why the Padres were holding their breath when his elbow started barking late in 2015. And if he continues to insist on being a slider-first pitcher, the 31-year-old's elbow may not leave him alone.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    There's a possibility that Kelley will get looks as a closer candidate on the open market, but he's more likely to be viewed as a setup man who's best used in platoon situations. But as Sergio Romo's two-year, $15 million contract can vouch, even guys like that can find solid multi-year deals.

    Whatever the case, Kelley is due to make more than the $2.84 million he earned in 2015. Given his skill set and questionable durability, he may end up being overpaid.

    Total

    44/85

95. Doug Fister, SP, Free Agent

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    32/70

    Doug Fister was one of the league's better starters between 2011 and 2014, posting a 3.11 ERA in 750.2 innings. But it all fell apart in 2015. He managed just a 4.19 ERA while serving up an ugly .796 OPS, and he eventually lost his spot in Washington's rotation. 

    Granted, this makes Fister look like a classic reclamation project. But he does come with a buyer-beware label all the same. He'll be 32 in February, and recent seasons have seen him lose both fastball velocity and his once-excellent ability to induce ground balls. Rather being than an outlier, his 2015 season may be a warning.

    Durability Outlook

    8/20

    Another red flag is his lack of durability in recent years. Fister's made more than 30 starts just once in the last four seasons, missing time with an intercostal strain, a lat strain and forearm tightness. 

    None of that sounds good for a pitcher who is safely on the wrong side of 30. Even if Fister takes a one-year deal to rebuild his value this winter, durability will be no sure thing.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    After the year he just had, it's not surprising that the Nationals declined to make Fister a $15.8 million qualifying offer. Because he needs to rebuild his value, he's really only in the market for a one-year contract worth no more than the $11.4 million salary he earned in 2015.

    A deal like that would sound fair for a guy who was one of baseball's best starters as recently as 2014. But considering that Fister's sudden decline didn't exactly come from bad luck, it would be hard to call such a contract a steal.

    Total

    44/100

94. Sean Rodriguez, UTIL, Free Agent

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    Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    26/70

    You never know what Sean Rodriguez is going to do offensively in a given year. He's had some solid seasons here and there, but he's coming off a 2015 campaign in which his .642 OPS dropped his overall career OPS to .666. Such is life when you're an aggressive hacker with no real patterns in your batted-ball profile.

    But lest we sell Rodriguez's offense short, he's generally good when played against left-handed pitching. Then there's his main selling point, which is a glove that can be put at virtually any position on the diamond. He's no Ben Zobrist, but Rodriguez is a solid utility man.

    Durability Outlook

    14/20

    For a guy who has a bad habit of beating up inanimate objects, Rodriguez's durability track record could look worse. He's been on the disabled list only once in his career, and he's played in more than 110 games three times in five seasons despite being a part-time player.

    As such, Rodriguez is a solid bet to stay healthy in what will presumably be a one-year deal. The only worry is that his body could crumble without warning, as he's now on the wrong side of 30 and has accumulated a decent bit of mileage—unless you count the punching, in which case there are two worries.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Rodriguez made only $1.9 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility in 2015. If he finds a raise on the open market, odds are it won't be for much. Backup infielders with modest offensive skills aren't in high demand, after all.

    But like we're going to be saying about quite a few players on this list, it'll be hard for Rodriguez to be a waste of money if he comes that cheap.

    Total

    45/100

93. Jose Reyes, SS, Trade

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    Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

    Speculation Source: Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post

    Talent Outlook

    34/70

    Jose Reyes had a lost year in 2015, finishing with just a .688 OPS that, when combined with his usual well-below-average defense, helped make him a well-below-average player. And now that he's 32 years old with a lot of miles on his body, the notion that Reyes has begun his decline can't be ignored.

    To be sure, Reyes' 24 steals go to show that his trademark speed isn't disappearing, and his ability to put the ball in play is a valuable talent these days. But his power looks like it's on the downswing, and what was already bad defense isn't going to get better as he treads deeper into his 30s. In the final two years of his contract, he may have trouble standing out as even an average everyday shortstop.

    Durability Outlook

    7/20

    It's not a closely guarded secret that Reyes has had issues with durability throughout his career. He managed to play in 160 games back in 2012, but that remains the only season in the last seven in which he's topped 150 games. Most recently in 2015, he played in only 116 contests.

    This, certainly, is a bad look on a guy who's now inching toward his mid-30s. In the last two years of his contract, nothing should be taken for granted where his durability is concerned.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Saunders is right to think that the Rockies will look to move Reyes this winter, as he notes one factor being that they have "prospect Trevor Story on deck to take over shortstop at some point next season." But the incumbent didn't do them any favors by struggling in a Rockies uniform, and his recent arrest on domestic violence charges hurt his trade value even further.

    Given all this, odds are the Rockies only trading Reyes if they agree to eat a sizable portion of the $48 million he's still owed, or if they find a team willing to swap bad contracts. But given everything that's happened with Reyes on and off the field in the last few months, even getting him with relatively little risk doesn't sound like such a great idea.

    Total

    45/100

92. Juan Uribe, 3B, Free Agent

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    33/70

    Juan Uribe was a disaster in 2011 and 2012, but he's since rebounded to post a solid .761 OPS over the last three seasons. This is mainly thanks to his power, which is holding steady even despite his aggressive style. And he's been a reliable third baseman over the last three years.

    All this being said, Uribe is coming off a 2015 season in which he was mediocre on both offense and defense. This was bound to happen given his advanced age (36), and it raises questions as to whether he can be an everyday player. He may be better suited for a job as a backup infielder/platoon hitter.

    Durability Outlook

    7/20

    Though Uribe has been productive in the last three seasons, he hasn't been a picture of health. After topping out at 132 games in 2013, he's played in fewer than 120 games in each of the last two seasons.

    It's only minor injuries that have done in Uribe. But in dealing with a seemingly never-ending string of those, he fits the mold of an aging ballplayer with a lot of miles on his body. In what will surely be a short-term deal, his health will be no guarantee.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Uribe just wrapped up a two-year, $15 million contract signed after he had re-established himself as a worthwhile regular in 2013. His situation is different now, as he only looks like a complementary piece rather than an everyday player. Factor in his age, and he should be in line for a cheap one-year deal.

    Provided he could at least play in more than 100 games while continuing to provide decent pop and good defense, such a pact could pay off.

    Total

    45/100

91. Mat Latos, SP, Free Agent

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    R. Yeatts/Getty Images

    Talent Outlook

    30/70

    Mat Latos struggled more in 2014 than his 3.25 ERA indicated, and he hit bottom with a 4.95 ERA in 2015. Injuries have flattened his stuff and have made his command highly inconsistent. In turn, his ability to miss bats  and avoid hard contact hasn't been the same.

    If there's a bright side, it's that Latos at least managed to regain some velocity in 2015. Given that he's only headed for his age-28 season, that allows for at least a shred of hope that he could be a worthwhile reclamation project on a cheap one-year deal.

    Durability Outlook

    10/20

    As noted above, injuries have had a big hand in derailing Latos' career. Knee and elbow injuries held him back in 2014, and his knee also acted up in 2015. As a result, he's made only 40 appearances and pitched only 218.2 innings over the last two seasons.

    Fortunately, Latos' youth allows for some hope that he can put these issues behind him. However, two injury-marred years are significantly more concerning than one such campaign. Even if he signs a one-year deal, Latos' health may be no sure thing.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    After a season like the one Latos just had, it will behoove him to go looking for a one-year deal that would hopefully allow him to rebuild his value for next winter. And given the circumstances, such a pact would probably require him to take a pay cut from the $9.4 million he made in 2015.

    A deal like that would have few guarantees of paying off. But for a reclamation project like Latos, it's hardly outrageous.

    Total

    45/100

90. Pablo Sandoval, 3B, Trade

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    Winslow Townson/Associated Press

    Speculation Source: Mark Polishuk of MLB Trade Rumors

    Talent Outlook

    30/70

    Hoo boy. Suffice it to say Pablo Sandoval's stock has fallen a bit from where it was a year ago, as he's gone from being a World Series hero with a solid track record to a guy who was probably the worst everyday third baseman in the league in 2015. He OPS'd just .658 and struggled mightily on defense.

    The only real bright side is that 2015 is so far out of line with Sandoval's history that surely it must be an outlier. But it's just as easy to believe otherwise. His offense has been trending downward for years, and his defense has never been especially consistent. And between his insanely aggressive approach and his issues with his weight (he's listed at 5'11", 255 lbs), it's easy to doubt his ability to pull off a turnaround in either department. The remaining four years of his contract are a big question mark.

    Durability Outlook

    10/20

    Sandoval didn't just struggle with his performance in 2015. Injuries also limited him to 126 games, making it four years out of five that he's failed to make it through a season unscathed. That's a troubling pattern.

    Sure, Sandoval is still only 29. But between his assorted injuries and his constant battle with his weight, his body has been through more than many players his age. Going forward, he's no sure thing to be durable.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    There's nothing concrete that says Sandoval is on the block, but Polishuk is right to think that Boston's new front office will at least put feelers out. Dave Dombrowski was brought in to clean up a mess, and getting rid of the $77.4 million Sandoval is still owed would go a long way toward doing just that.

    But like with Ramirez, the best the Red Sox can probably hope for is a Josh Hamilton-esque salary dump that requires them to eat a chunk of Sandoval's contract while taking on little in return. If a team out there is willing to give Sandoval a shot, it could therefore do so with relatively little risk.

    Total

    45/100

89. Dioner Navarro, C, Free Agent

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    28/70

    When Dioner Navarro hit the open market a couple of winters ago, he was coming off a year in which he OPS'd .856 with 13 home runs. Now he's coming off a season in which he OPS'd just .682 with five home runs. And overall, he was roughly a league-average hitter in two seasons with Toronto with a 98 OPS+.

    That may be the best that Navarro is capable of, as it's hard to be consistent when you're a pull hitter with a preference for fly balls. But Navarro is not totally without appeal. At the least, there's his track record against left-handed pitching and his ability to play solid, if less than spectacular, defense.

    Durability Outlook

    13/20

    Russell Martin's arrival in Toronto marginalized Navarro's role on the team and ultimately limited him to just 54 games in 2015. Because of that, he's played in more than 100 contests in a season just once in the past six years.

    The bright side, such as it is, is that injuries have had little to do with Navarro's recent track record of playing time. He's been relatively healthy. Because of that, he's in a better place than most catchers are when they get to be his age (nearly 32). In a short-term deal, durability may not be an issue.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Navarro earned $5 million in 2015 and $8 million total in his two years in Toronto. At his age and coming off the kind of season he just had, it'll be a surprise if he finds another multiyear deal or that much salary. In all likelihood, he's headed for a cheap one-year pact.

    If nothing else, it's hard to lose on contracts like those from a team perspective.

    Total

    46/100

88. Mark Lowe, RHP, Free Agent

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    John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    34/60

    Mark Lowe looked like he was on his way out of baseball for a while there, but he reappeared to post a 1.96 ERA in 57 appearances in 2015. And it was legit, too, as he posted an excellent 5.08 K/BB that came mainly from his striking out exactly 10.0 batters per nine innings.

    The major ingredient in Lowe's resurgence was his fastball velocity getting back into the mid-90s. Between that and his increased slider usage, it makes sense that he was so overpowering, especially against right-handed batters. He's at least a solid setup man and a good righty specialist.

    Durability Outlook

    8/15

    Lowe has dealt with quite a few injuries through the years, which explains why he's made over 60 appearances just once in a big league career that spans 10 seasons. And at 32, he's getting up there in baseball years.

    On the bright side, whoever considers Lowe this winter will only be looking to pick him up on a short-term deal. He doesn't have to try to be durable for very long.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    After coming back from the dead and proving himself as an effective reliever in 2015, Lowe may have it in mind to be this winter's Zach Duke. But given that Duke was a year younger when he got his three-year, $15 million contract last offseason, the best Lowe can do is probably two years and $10 million.

    Lowe living up to a deal like that would require him to sustain his 2015 velocity spike while avoiding run-ins with the injury bug. That may be asking a lot.

    Total

    46/85

87. Kelly Johnson, 2B/UTIL, Free Agent

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    Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    28/70

    There was a time when Kelly Johnson was one of the more capable everyday second basemen in the league, but those days are gone now. He's spent the past few seasons as a left-handed bat for hire, and he's made his living at quite a few positions outside of just second base. So shall it be going forward.

    We can give Johnson some credit, however. He gets billed as a platoon hitter, but his career splits against righties and lefties are pretty even. And while he's not a very good hitter anymore, the 14 homers he hit in 2015 vouch he still has power to offer. That and his versatile glove make him a worthwhile addition.

    Durability Outlook

    13/20

    It's been years since Johnson last played a full season's worth of baseball, but that has as much to do with his part-time status as it does the injury bug. Throughout his career, Johnson has been relatively durable.

    That obviously bodes well given that he'll very likely only be choosing from one-year contract offers this winter. The only word of warning, really, is that Johnson is no longer a young man. At 33 years of age, he's in that range where durability can disappear without warning.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Johnson signed just a one-year, $1.5 million contract last winter. He's coming off a better season this time around, however, so it's fair to expect that another one-year deal would pay him slightly more. Say, maybe $3 million or $4 million.

    That would be just fine. Johnson won't be a steal at that rate, but he can live up to it.

    Total

    46/100

86. J.A. Happ, SP, Free Agent

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    Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    33/70

    Through 21 appearances with the Seattle Mariners in 2015, J.A. Happ lived up to his track record with a mediocre 4.64 ERA. But then he posted a 1.85 ERA in 11 starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he got all sorts of confidence in his fastball and, not so coincidentally, threw a whole bunch of strikes.

    Now, you don't want to read too much into Happ's dominance as a Pirate. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs pointed out that it was partially influenced by favorable opposition. But if he maintains his extremely fastball-heavy and strike-happy approach, he could at least carry on as a solid innings-eater.

    Durability Outlook

    11/20

    Well, we can put it this way: 2015 was Happ's age-32 season, and it was the first time he'd ever made more than 30 starts while crossing even so many as 170 innings.

    Some of this has to do with how he hasn't been very reliable as a starter, but Happ has also had his share of injury troubles during his career. Between that and his unimpressive track record as a workhorse, his durability could be lacking during what may well be a multiyear deal.

    Value Outlook

    3/10

    Whether he would have gotten one is a good question, but the July trade that sent Happ from Seattle to Pittsburgh blocked him from receiving a $15.8 million qualifying offer. Given that and his strong finish, it wouldn't be surprising to see him land a two- or three-year deal worth around $10 million per season.

    To this end, the phrase "buyer beware" would definitely apply. Happ may have finished 2015 on a strong note, but it's hard to say for sure that his days as a below-average starter are behind him.

    Total

    47/100

85. Bartolo Colon, SP, Free Agent

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    30/70

    Bartolo Colon has continued to eat innings as a Met, racking up 397 in two seasons. He's also continued to be one of the league's most aggressive strike-throwers, which is what you'd expect from a guy who throws over 80 percent fastballs. If nothing else, Colon is efficient.

    However, Colon's 4.13 ERA over the last two seasons is a reminder that he's also vulnerable. As his 47 homers and .728 OPS allowed can vouch, throwing so many fastballs in the zone doesn't work so well once hitters get the gist. He may be a workhorse, but he's also a below-average pitcher.

    Durability Outlook

    12/20

    Colon's two years in New York were his age-41 and age-42 seasons, yet he still managed to top 30 starts and 190 innings in both of them. Overall, it's been years since he last dealt with a major injury. Given that he's probably only in line for a one-year deal, this bodes well.

    Still, history is working against a continuation of Colon's recent pattern again in 2016. It will be his age-43 season, and Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index tells us that only four pitchers have ever topped 30 starts and 190 innings at the age of 43.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Colon only made $11 million in what was just an OK campaign in 2015, so it's no wonder the Mets declined to make him a $15.8 million qualifying offer. Chances are he's only in the market for a one-year deal that will keep him in range of his 2015 salary. 

    A contract like that would buy innings, to be sure. And that's a good thing. But they likely wouldn't be particularly good innings, so it would only be a fair deal rather than a steal.

    Total

    47/100

84. Alexei Ramirez, SS, Free Agent

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    29/70

    Following a solid 2014, Alexei Ramirez endured a not-so-solid 2015. Though he once again notched double-digit homers and steals, he finished with a career-low .642 OPS and continued his defensive decline. And now that he's 34 years old, whether he can put a year like that behind him is a good question.

    There may not be much hope for Ramirez's bat. He's very good at putting the ball in play, but he doesn't take his walks or hit the ball all that squarely. But because he should at least still have some speed to give, and because his defense isn't entirely terrible yet, he's a solid option for a stopgap shortstop.

    Durability Outlook

    14/20

    Ramirez's talent may be on the fritz, but there's never been any cause to question his durability. He's played in at least 154 games each year since 2010. In all, only three players have played in more contests than he has over the last six seasons.

    That's what you can do when the only injuries you've suffered have been nagging ailments, and which have been few and far between, to boot. And though Ramirez's durability will surely fade eventually, it likely won't be within the life of his next deal. Odds are it'll be a short one.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Ramirez is a 34-year-old who was essentially a replacement-level player for the White Sox in 2015, so turning down his $10 million option for 2016 was a no-brainer for the club. He now finds himself in a position similar to where Stephen Drew was last winter. A one-year deal worth less than $10 million may be in the cards.

    Given where he is in his career, it's not a given that Ramirez could make a steal out of a contract like that for a prospective buyer. However, it would also be hard for him to go bust.

    Total

    48/100

83. Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Free Agent

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    30/60

    Antonio Bastardo has been one of the league's more reliable lefty relievers in recent years. Since 2011, he owns a 3.28 ERA and has racked up an 11.3 K/9. His forte has been getting left-handed batters out, holding them to a sub-.200 average in each of the last five seasons.

    With Bastardo, one catch is that he doesn't offer much command. His career walks per nine innings is an ugly 4.3. But his fastball-slider combination is nasty enough to make up for that—especially these days, as he's coming off a velocity bump. If he can hold that, his reliability as a lefty killer should last.

    Durability Outlook

    13/15

    With the lone exception being 2013, a year in which he was hit with a 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drug use, Bastardo has made at least 60 appearances in four of the last five seasons. But while that sounds like a big workload, he's pitched over 60 innings just once in that span.

    That highlights how Bastardo isn't your typical late-inning reliever. He's not so much a guy who's guaranteed a full inning as he is a one whom managers can use to play the matchup game. As a result, his 30-year-old left arm is relatively well-preserved and should stay that way.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Though Bastardo is mainly good for getting lefties out, he's not a true left-handed specialist. That will help his market, perhaps to a point where he'll be able to find a multiyear deal with a total worth over eight figures.

    That can be a scary notion where relievers are concerned, but it's hard to imagine a multiyear deal for Bastardo being worth more than $15 million. He'll thus be making a mid-range salary every year, which isn't bad for a solid middle reliever.

    Total

    48/85

82. Chris Young, SP, Free Agent

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    35/70

    After disappearing in 2013, Chris Young reappeared to post a solid 3.65 ERA in 2014. He followed that with a 3.06 ERA in 2015. If he's sent any kind of message over the last two years, it's that he knows how to make an extreme fly-ball style work as well or maybe even better than anyone else.

    Mind you, this does seem to be too good to be true, knowing that Young works off a mid-80s fastball. But his 6'10" frame allows him to release the ball closer to home plate, which makes his velocity play up. His fastball also has quite a bit of rise, which helps keep his fly balls in the yard. Some advanced metrics suggest otherwise, but he looks no worse than an average pitcher.

    Durability Outlook

    7/20

    This is where Young doesn't look so great. He hasn't made at least 30 starts in a season since back in 2007, as his right arm was wrecked by a series of shoulder injuries.

    Granted, Young's shoulder has behaved in the last two seasons. There's also the reality that he's probably only in the market for a one-year deal. But at 36 years of age and with his injury track record in his wake, his days as a workhorse are likely well behind him.

    Value Outlook

    6/10

    Despite his strong return to form last year, Young was forced to settle for a one-year deal worth less than $1 million last offseason. Due to his injury history and the limited appeal of his pitching style, odds are he'll probably be in the market for another cheap, one-year pact this winter.

    Because he can only be counted on for so many innings, that sort of a contract wouldn't exactly be a mega-steal. But at this point, it's hard to deny Young's effectiveness when he does take the ball.

    Total

    48/100

81. Pedro Alvarez, 1B, Trade

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Speculation Source: Charlie Wilmoth of MLB Trade Rumors

    Talent Outlook

    30/70

    One compliment we can pay Pedro Alvarez is that his bat isn't the problem. He had a .787 OPS and 27 home runs in 2015 and has averaged a .767 OPS and 28 home runs over the last four seasons. There's not much to his approach, but he makes up for that by having some of the best raw pop in the game.

    But Alvarez's bat is far from perfect. With a huge strikeout habit and tendency to pull the ball, he's not built for consistency. It's also clear from looking at his career splits that he's best suited for a platoon role against right-handed pitching. And because he's been disastrous at both corners in the last two seasons, he also looks like a DH. All that is to say, basically, that his bat is only worth so much.

    Durability Outlook

    15/20

    The injury bug hasn't bothered Alvarez that much, as he's played in at least 149 games in three of four seasons since becoming an everyday player in 2012. The one exception is a 122-game showing in 2014, in which a foot injury undid him at the end of the year. 

    Looking ahead, it bodes well for Alvarez's health that he's not even 29 yet with only one year to go until free agency. If his track record is any indication, he's likely to remain healthy until then.

    Value Outlook

    3/10

    It's not official that Alvarez is on the block, but Wilmoth is right to highlight a trade as a possibility for the Pirates. Assuming they don't just non-tender Alvarez, shopping his power around is their best option.

    On the bright side for prospective buyers, Alvarez doesn't have enough value to command more than spare parts in a trade. On the not-so-bright side, he's due a raise over the $5.75 million he made in arbitration last year. Ultimately, he won't be cheap, as Wilmoth projects him at $8.1 million in 2016.

    Total

    48/100

80. Mike Napoli, 1B, Free Agent

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    35/70

    From an overall perspective, Mike Napoli is coming off a rough 2015 season in which he hit just .224 with a .734 OPS. But he only had one bad half, as his OPS went from .648 in the first half to .903 in the second half. That indicates that the 34-year-old slugger may not be done as an above-average hitter.

    Despite his slow start, Napoli continued to draw walks at a high rate and ultimately finished the year making hard contact at more like his usual rate. Also, prospective suitors know that he could at least handle a platoon role against left-handed pitching. For a guy who's only in the market for a short-term deal, Napoli stands out as a low-cost bat worth investing in.

    Durability Outlook

    8/20

    Unless you want to count his nasty sleep apnea surgery, Napoli has never had any major injury issues. But he's not exactly an iron man, either, as he's never played in more than 140 games in a season and is seemingly always dealing with a nagging injury of some kind.

    And at 34, Napoli isn't getting any younger. Factor in how he has a degenerative hip condition, and you get a picture of a guy who's no sure thing to stay healthy.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Napoli is highly unlikely to match the last contract he signed, which was for two years and $32 million. But if Mike Morse could find a two-year, $16 million deal last offseason, it wouldn't be surprising if Napoli found a similar contract this winter.

    That would be a steal if Napoli returned to his status as an above-average offensive first baseman. But even if we only count on him filling a platoon role, it could still end up being a solid deal for a potential suitor.

    Total

    48/100

79. Tony Sipp, LHP, Free Agent

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    34/60

    Tony Sipp has had an up-and-down career, but he's heading into free agency coming off an up year. He posted a career-best 1.99 ERA in 2015, mainly because he established some command (career-low 2.5 BB/9) to go with his ability to miss bats (10.3 K/9).

    This had to do with Sipp's improved ability to get hitters to chase, with a related story being increased use of his splitter. That makes him more of a complete pitcher, with a bonus being that he's been equally effective against lefties and righties. That's a good look for him as he heads for his age-32 season.

    Durability Outlook

    10/15

    Sipp has undergone Tommy John surgery, but that was all the way back in 2008. In six seasons since 2010, he's made at least 50 appearances every year while topping 60 innings only twice.

    As such, his arm is relatively well-preserved compared to quite a few other relievers his age. That is good, because he has the kind of high-effort delivery that's typical of relievers, and his in particular looks like it puts a bit of strain on his shoulder.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Sipp is set to cash in on his strong 2015 performance but presumably not to an absurd degree. A good guess is that he finds a two- or three-year deal somewhere worth at most $5 million per year.

    A pact like that wouldn't be buying a hidden gem of a reliever, but it would still likely prove to be money well spent.

    Total

    49/85

78. Ryan Madson, RHP, Free Agent

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    Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    40/60

    After missing three years trying to come back from Tommy John surgery (2012-14), Ryan Madson returned with a vengeance in 2015. He posted a 2.13 ERA in 68 outings, complete with a 4.14 K/BB ratio and plenty of ground balls.

    That Madson returned throwing his heat in the mid-90s is a very good sign, but what's equally important is that he continued to throw three different fastballs in addition to his changeup. He may be 35 years old, but he showed in 2015 that he can still pitch like his vintage self.

    Durability Outlook

    5/15

    As noted above, Madson missed three years dealing with a particularly troublesome recovery from Tommy John surgery. After an ordeal like that, it's only natural to wonder if there will be any adverse affects from such a heavy workload—especially at his age.

    If there's a bright side, it's that Madson has a relatively clean delivery that doesn't appear to put too much pressure on his arm. But even granting that, his age and recent history still loom large.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    It's not often that a guy falls off the radar for three years only to come back and pitch as well as Madson did in 2015. But if one had to wager a guess, it's that Madson will be looking to beat Pat Neshek's two-year, $12.5 million deal from last winter, both in terms of years and dollars.

    That will be money well spent if Madson can do what he did in 2015 several more times. But at his age, that should be considered unlikely.

    Total

    49/85

77. Ian Kennedy, SP, Free Agent

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    Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    30/70

    After rebounding with a 3.63 ERA in 2014, Ian Kennedy careened in the other direction with a 4.28 ERA in 2015. At the heart of his struggles was a revived problem with home runs. He gave up 31 of them, and that habit largely overshadowed his strong walk rate (2.8 BB/9) and strikeout rate (9.3 K/9).

    Considering his track record as a gopher magnet, whether Kennedy can correct that problem is iffy. But it's also hard to call the 30-year-old a lost cause. The velocity spike he enjoyed in 2014 lasted into 2015. That helps explain the strikeouts, and any pitcher who can keep those coming will get by OK.

    Durability Outlook

    17/20

    Though Kennedy suffered an early-season hamstring injury and failed to make it to 170 innings in 2015, it ended up being his sixth straight campaign of at least 30 starts. That makes him a member of a surprisingly exclusive club.

    Looking ahead, it's slightly concerning that Kennedy is now on the wrong side of 30, as he turns 31 in December. But his 1,234.2 career innings make him relatively well preserved for a pitcher his age, and his delivery really isn't as high-effort as all his moving parts make it look. Continued durability isn't assured, but it's a solid bet.

    Value Outlook

    2/10

    Despite his pedestrian 2015 season, Kennedy was confident enough in his market to reject the $15.8 million qualifying offer. He's now tied to draft-pick compensation, but indications are even that won't keep him from landing a multi-year deal for upwards of $12 million per year.

    Such a deal would be a steal if Kennedy were to regain his 2014 form. But he was able to do that only because his home run problem abandoned him, and his career track record makes that look like an outlier. With that being the case, he seems likely to be badly overpaid.

    Total

    49/100

76. Jean Segura, SS, Trade

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

     Speculation Source: Buster Olney of ESPN.com

    Talent Outlook

    25/70

    Jean Segura made the National League All-Star team in 2013, but it's been all downhill from there. He OPS'd just .583 in the second half of 2013, and .615 in two seasons since then. He's also been just OK on defense, making it hard to tell what the 25-year-old is supposed to be, exactly.

    Segura's offensive struggles don't look fluky. He can put the ball in play just fine, but he's not much for making good contact or drawing walks. That leaves his speed as his only skill that actually produces results. So at this point, interested parties have to look at him as a change-of-scenery candidate who might get his career back on track in new surroundings.

    Durability Outlook

    20/20

    Segura has played in at least 140 games in each of the last three seasons, going on the disabled list only once with a broken finger this past year.

    As such, one bright side of his career is that the injury bug has largely left him alone. And considering that he's still only 25 with little mileage on his body, he should have plenty more healthy years in front of him before his inevitable breakdown comes.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Olney reports that the Brewers are willing to listen to offers for anyone on their roster. That presumably includes Segura, who is at a point where he's still young enough for interested parties to be optimistic about what he can do in his final three seasons before free agency. If the Brewers move him in a rebuilding trade, they might be able to get a B-list prospect or two for him.

    Given his recent trajectory, there's no guarantee Segura could justify such a deal. But if nothing else, it makes him a low-risk target relative to your usual young shortstop who was recently an All-Star.

    Total

    50/100

75. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, Free Agent

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    Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    33/70

    Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a devil of a time in Miami, posting just a .661 OPS in 123 games before being released in early 2015. But on either side of that performance is the good stuff: an .804 OPS in Boston in 2013 and an .805 OPS with Arizona down the stretch in 2015.

    Mind you, Salty's cringe-worthy strikeout habit ensures that inconsistency will keep coming with the territory. And when he's not hitting, his defense doesn't make up for it. He's a subpar thrower and receiver. But with quality plate discipline and a bat that makes a lot of hard contact, he's worth a flier as a potentially dangerous power source behind the plate.

    Durability Outlook

    12/20

    Saltalamacchia has played in only 193 games over the last two seasons, in part because a couple of injuries have laid him low. He missed some time with a concussion in 2014 and with a neck injury in 2015.

    Otherwise, Saltalamacchia has been generally healthy in recent years. And though he's not young anymore with his age-31 season on the horizon, that he's only caught 669 games is encouraging. Many catchers his age are more beat up than he is. In a short-term deal, he's a decent bet to stay healthy.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    The last contract Saltalamacchia signed was for three years and $21 million. He's definitely not getting that kind of money again. But after bouncing back like he did in Arizona, it's possible that he'll find a cheap multiyear deal along the lines of the two-year, $8 million contract Dioner Navarro signed a couple winters ago.

    Such a pact would be a steal if Saltalamacchia were to continue being his best self. But as far as that goes, well, who knows?

    Total

    50/100

74. Austin Jackson, CF, Free Agent

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    David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    31/70

    Austin Jackson was an All-Star-caliber player earlier in his career, but not so much anymore. He's OPS'd just .674 over the last two seasons and has gone from rating as an elite defender to rating as just an OK defender. As a result, he now looks like more of a complementary piece than a regular. 

    Still, Jackson has his merits. He strikes out too much to be a good hitter, but he at least has some decent power to offer. He's also stolen 37 bases over the last two seasons. At 28 years old, he likely has a couple more seasons of good speed left. That and his glove highlight him as a Rajai Davis sort of part-timer.

    Durability Outlook

    14/20

    Jackson has played in more than 150 games just once in the last four seasons, in part because of abdominal and hamstring injuries that sidelined him in 2012 and 2013. 

    Even with those taken into account, however, Jackson's injury history doesn't look too bad. He's in reasonably good shape for a guy approaching the end of his 20s. Besides which, he's in a position right now where he only has to worry about staying durable in a short-term deal.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Jackson is coming off a season in which he earned $7.7 million in his final year of arbitration. With him likely to be perceived as a light-hitting part-time outfielder, it would be surprising if he got an annual salary that big in a one- or two-year deal.

    In other words, it's going to be hard to overpay Jackson.

    Total

    50/100

73. Joakim Soria, RHP, Free Agent

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    Fred Vuich/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    38/60

    Joakim Soria spent 2013 and 2014 trying to get his bearings after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012. He finally did in 2015, posting a 2.53 ERA in 72 appearances. He wasn't overpowering, striking out just 8.5 batters per nine innings, but he showed off strong command and was OK at managing contact.

    Certainly, one thing that helped Soria make his comeback was a notable gain in fastball velocity. He actually threw harder on average in 2015 than he ever had before. With that being the case, though, it is concerning that he was just an OK strikeout artist. Whether he's true closer material is debatable.

    Durability Outlook

    8/15

    Because of his Tommy John operation in 2012 and additional injury trouble in 2014, this past season was Soria's first full campaign since 2011.

    As for whether Soria can keep it up with the heavy workload, there is the reality that he's no longer a young man at 31 years of age. But given that he has a cleaner delivery than many relievers, he shouldn't be considered entirely doomed to repeat his past injury issues.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Between his history as a dominant closer and his strong return to form in 2015, it's a fair bet that Soria will be on the lookout for a deal reminiscent of the three-year, $18.5 million contract that Luke Gregerson found on the open market last year. Even if he doesn't get exactly that, he won't come cheap.

    Soria's track record says he shouldn't. His current reality as a less than dominant reliever, however, suggests otherwise.

    Total

    50/85

72. Marlon Byrd, RF, Free Agent

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    35/70

    Marlon Byrd emerged as a reinvented player back in 2013. He was suddenly all about hitting for power, and his newfound approach resulted in an .847 OPS and 24 home runs. In two seasons since, he's hit another 48 home runs. It's a safe guess that he'll have upward of 20 homers in him again in his age-38 season in 2016.

    He may not be much of a hitter, though. Byrd's .751 OPS over the last two seasons grades out as slightly above average. Between his strikeouts and his pull-happy approach, that's no surprise. But if he can at least keep the power coming while continuing to play a decent right field, Byrd will be a solid regular. 

    Durability Outlook

    10/20

    Byrd didn't have much trouble staying on the field in 2013 and 2014, playing in a total of 301 games. But thanks to a wrist fracture that sidelined him for a few weeks, Byrd played in only 135 games this past season.

    Granted, fractures do heal. But what happened to Byrd in 2015 is still a reminder that, at 38 years old and with somewhat of an extensive injury history, he's less than indestructible. Even in what's likely to be a one-year deal, it's not a given that he'll stay on the field in his next contract.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    The Giants showed what they thought Byrd was worth by declining his $8 million option for 2016. Because of that, $8 million is presumably the best he'll be able to do in a one-year contract this winter. In all probability, he'll have to settle for a lower base plus incentives.

    In other words, Byrd's direction is a good place for teams to look for some cheap power.

    Total

    50/100

71. Justin Morneau, 1B, Free Agent

30 of 100

    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    40/70

    Though Justin Morneau was limited to 49 games in 2015—more on that in a moment—he was successful when he did play. Following a 2014 season in which he won the NL batting title with a .319 average, Morneau was solid again with a .310 average. All told, he hit .316 with an .850 OPS in two seasons in Colorado.

    Obviously, you wonder about the Coors Field effect. But Morneau's bat can theoretically play anywhere, as he's a strongsolid contact hitter who uses the whole field. He's also a steady defender at first base. He's worth a look as an everyday option and is at least a good candidate for a platoon role.

    Durability Outlook

    5/20

    Herein lies the big red flag where Morneau is concerned. Though he managed to play in over 150 games in 2013, he's otherwise had trouble staying on the field in recent years.

    His biggest problem has been concussions, which robbed him of a lot of action in 2010 and 2011 and sidelined him for a big chunk of 2015. A history like that doesn't look good on anyone, but it arguably looks worse on a guy who's heading into his age-35 season. Without a doubt, durability is Morneau's biggest question mark.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Morneau is coming off a two-year, $12.5 million deal with the Rockies that he signed following a mediocre 2013 season. He showed he could be productive in the life of that contract, but he didn't get younger or more durable. As such, he's likely in the market for a one-year deal for less than $10 million.

    If nothing else, that means Morneau will be an affordable option for a team in the market for a lefty-swinging first baseman.

    Total

    50/100

70. Chris Young, OF, Trade

31 of 100

    Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    35/70

    Chris Young looked like he was on his way out of baseball not too long ago, as he looked lost with the A's in 2013 and lost with the Mets in 2014. But then the Yankees picked him up and squeezed a .792 OPS and 17 home runs out of him in 163 games. He now looks like at least a solid platoon outfielder.

    And that's no mirage. The 32-year-old Young succeeded with the Yankees largely because they exploited his success against left-handed pitching, and his emergence as a fly-ball hitter with an extreme pull habit in 2015 bodes well for his power. That and his versatile glove make Young worth a look as a complementary piece.

    Durability Outlook

    11/20

    There was a time when Young was a good bet for over 150 games per year, but that time has passed—and not just because he's a platoon player now, as he's also dealt with his share of nagging injuries in recent years. 

    It bodes well that Young played in 140 games in 2015 despite his limited role. But considering his injury track record, nobody should take too much for granted in a short-term deal.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Young signed for just $2.5 million on a one-year deal last offseason. Because his value is significantly higher now, he should be able to find a contract that calls for him to make at least twice that per season. And rather than a one-year deal, a two-year pact sounds about right.

    Maybe Young won't be a steal for that kind of money. But if he keeps the home runs coming while roaming all over the outfield, it would be money well spent.

    Total

    51/100

69. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, Free Agent

32 of 100

    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    33/70

    After a couple of rough seasons in 2013 and 2014, it looks good that Asdrubal Cabrera bounced back with a .744 OPS and 15 home runs in 2015. It also looks good that, a year after being pushed out of the position, he lasted the entire season at shortstop. His value looks very much re-established.

    However, buyers should be wary of Cabrera. His numbers may have improved in 2015, but his extra-aggressive approach and mediocre contact are red flags. And though he lasted the whole season at shortstop, he continued to rate as a subpar defender. Going forward, the 29-year-old may not be much more than a warm body to stick at shortstop.

    Durability Outlook

    14/20

    Cabrera hasn't played in more than 150 games in a season since 2011, but injuries have hardly wrecked his career. The soon-to-be 30-year-old has dealt with only minor ailments, and those haven't kept him from playing in at least 140 games in each of the last two seasons.

    Cabrera won't stay healthy forever, of course. But regarding his next contract, he doesn't have to. If he gets more than a one-year deal, it'll probably be for only two or three years. He should keep from falling apart.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Cabrera earned a $7.5 million contract when he was coming off probably the worst campaign of his career in 2014. After a bounce-back season in 2015, he is indeed likely to find a multiyear deal worth close to or even over $10 million per year.

    Any team that hands that kind of money to Cabrera will be hoping for the player who showed up in 2015. As we discussed, that player may have been a mirage.

    Total

    51/100

68. Matt Kemp, RF, Trade

33 of 100

    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Rumor Source: Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports

    Talent Outlook

    37/70

    Matt Kemp didn't see much of a drop-off in his power from 2014 to 2015, as he went from 25 home runs to 23 home runs. But his OPS dropped nearly 100 points, going from .852 to .755. And though he played right field on a full-time basis, the metrics rated him as a downright terrible defender out there.

    Because Kemp was never especially instinctive to begin with and is now a shell of the athlete he used to be, that's likely permanent. But at least his bat is still dangerous. He's become too aggressive to be consistent, but the last two years have seen him make hard contact at an elite rate. In the four years he has remaining on his contract, he should at least provide good power.

    Durability Outlook

    11/20

    Kemp only played in 179 games in 2012 and 2013, a period in which he was laid low by several leg injuries and trouble with his left shoulder. Hence why you probably think of him as injury-prone.

    But in the last two seasons, Kemp has been fighting the good fight. He's played in a total of 304 games, and kept himself in good shape. This doesn't mean we can overlook the 31-year-old's past troubles with durability, but it does give hope that he may not be permanently damaged goods after all.

    Value Outlook

    3/10

    The Padres have already moved Joaquin Benoit and Craig Kimbrel, and now Rosenthal reports they want to move Kemp. It's a tough task, as he's clearly past his prime and the Los Angeles Dodgers are only covering $14 million of the $87 million Kemp is owed over the next four years.

    Odds are, the Padres will have to eat some of Kemp's contract in order to get young talent back for him. But even if they do, prospective buyers are probably going to have to take on quite a bit of money. Dealing for Kemp is probably going to be more trouble than he's worth at this point.

    Total

    51/100

67. Jay Bruce, RF, Trade

34 of 100

    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    Rumor Source: C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports

    Talent Outlook

    35/70

    Between 2010 and 2013, Jay Bruce racked up an .826 OPS and averaged 30 home runs per year. He also played generally strong defense in right field. But the last two seasons have seen him fall off a proverbial cliff. He's posted just a .695 OPS, hit just 44 home runs and been hit-or-miss on defense.

    As we'll get to in a moment, Bruce's health has had a hand in his downfall. But between his strikeout habit and his extreme pull tendency, he's not built for consistency in this day and age. The bright side is that he showed in 2015 that he still has power. As long as he has that, he's worth playing.

    Durability Outlook

    13/20

    Bruce's durability got away from him in 2014, as he missed a portion of the season with left knee surgery and suffered through the rest of the campaign after rushing back from the injury. In his words, he endured the "worst six months of my life."

    However, it's significant that Bruce came back to play in 157 games in 2015. That made it three years out of four in which he's played in at least 155 contests. He'll also turn just 29 in April. So, he's not such a terrible bet to remain durable for at least the final guaranteed year of his contract in 2016.

    Value Outlook

    3/10

    According to Rosecrans and Rosenthal, Bruce is one of a number of players the Reds are willing to trade to further their rebuild. As Rosenthal notes, said rebuild has begun with young pitching but needs more young position players. If the Reds deal Bruce, that will presumably be their goal.

    It will be one of them, anyway. Another may be to ditch the $13.5 million Bruce is still owed. Dealing for him may very well entail sacrificing young talent and taking on a decent-sized chunk of payroll, which sounds like a steep price for a guy who's career has taken a turn for the worse.

    Total

    51/100

66. Yunel Escobar, 3B/SS/2B, Trade

35 of 100

    Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    Speculation Source: Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider

    Talent Outlook

    36/70

    After racking up a .256 average and a .668 OPS between 2012 and 2014, Yunel Escobar surged to a .314 average and .790 OPS in 2015. It was his best offensive season since 2009, and it put him back on the map of quality infielders.

    However, Escobar's resurgence doesn't pass the smell test. It's fine that he got more aggressive, but it's odd that he hit for such a high average without cutting his strikeouts or changing his batted-ball profile. Factor in how even a move to third base didn't correct his bad defense from 2014, and you get the sense he'll be roughly an average player in the final guaranteed year of his contract in 2016.

    Durability Outlook

    12/20

    Escobar has been an everyday player since 2008, yet he's played in more than 150 games in just one season of his career. That's the price he's paid for dealing with a laundry list of minor injuries over the years.

    Still, Escobar could have a worse durability track record. He's made it over 150 games only once, but he's typically been good for around 140 contests. And though he is 33 years old, remember he has to make it through only one more season before his contract runs out of guaranteed years.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    It's not clear whether Escobar actually is on the block, but Zuckerman is right to think it's a possibility. The Nationals have an excess of infielders, and they can sell high on Escobar by putting him on the block. If the Philadelphia Phillies could get a couple of young players for Jimmy Rollins' walk year last winter, then surely the Nationals could do even better for Escobar.

    But while that would be good for them, it may not be so good for whoever deals for Escobar. The idea would presumably be to get another season like 2015, and that's probably not happening.

    Total

    52/100

65. Chris Coghlan, OF, Trade

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    Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Speculation Source: Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors

    Talent Outlook

    38/70

    Albeit with little attention, Chris Coghlan has done a fine job resurrecting his career over the last two seasons. In addition to reinventing himself as a utility player who can play all over, he's OPS'd .793 with 25 home runs. Not bad for a former Rookie of the Year who was looking like a one-year wonder for a while.

    Mind you, the big catch is that Coghlan, 30, needs the platoon advantage. But he's shown in the last two years he can be really good if he gets it on the regular basis, as he's increased his walks and hit for some solid power. Between that and his versatile glove, he's a good guy to have around.

    Durability Outlook

    9/20

    Injuries were part of the reason Coghlan's career went off the rails after his Rookie of the Year season in 2009. Between 2010 and 2013, he played in only 265 games due in part to knee and back injuries.

    Fortunately, Coghlan has remained healthy in his last two seasons. But he's now on the wrong side of 30 with a considerable injury history, so there's a limit to how much anyone can count on continued durability.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Though there's been some talk about the Cubs possibly putting Kyle Schwarber out on the market, Dierkes is correct in thinking that dealing Coghlan is a "safer alternative." He won't fetch an especially big haul, but trading him would clear up Chicago's outfield logjam without costing the Cubs a potentially elite bat.

    If the Cubs do trade Coghlan, the idea will likely be to add a complementary piece like a reliever or a back-end starter. Because he only has one year of club control left, he could presumably only fetch a player with similar controllability. If so, there's a fair swap to be made.

    Total

    52/100

64. Nori Aoki, OF, Free Agent

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    Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    38/70

    It would appear that Nori Aoki is very particular where his batting averages fall. In four major league seasons, the 33-year-old Japan native has hit .288, .286, .285 and .287. In that time, he's also stolen 81 bases. All this says he's very much deserving of a spot atop pretty much any lineup.

    Looking ahead, Aoki should keep hitting for average and stealing bases. He has the contact skill and the bat control for the job. And though his speed is likely past its prime, he should at least keep making it to double-digit steals. Just don't expect anything more, as he has neither good power nor especially good defense to offer. He can be a solid regular, but that's it.

    Durability Outlook

    8/20

    Aoki played in over 150 games in each of his first two seasons in the big leagues, but the injury bug has found him in each of the last two. He missed time with a groin strain in 2014, and a broken leg and a concussion limited him to 93 contests in 2015. 

    All this doesn't sound so good on a guy who's headed for his age-34 season in 2016. Even in what's going to be a short-term deal, Aoki isn't an especially good bet to stay healthy.

    Value Outlook

    6/10

    Aoki is only a free agent because the Giants declined his $5.5 million option for 2016. That gives some insight into what Aoki's market value is like these days. He's probably in line for a one-year deal for $5 million, or at best a two-year contract worth $10 million.

    In either case, the one risk factor will be Aoki's health. But if he can stay healthy, he should do more than enough to earn his money.

    Total

    52/100

63. David Freese, 3B, Free Agent

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    Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    40/70

    It's clear now that David Freese peaked back in 2012, when he OPS'd .839 with 20 home runs. But he's been a solid player in the last two seasons, OPS'ing .723 with 24 total home runs while playing at least passable defense at third base. When he plays—more on this in a moment—he's decent.

    But decent is probably all the 32-year-old Freese can be. He's not an especially advanced hitter, as his walk rate has dropped while his strikeout rate has remained high. Also, he doesn't have especially good raw power or eye-popping defensive skills. In what's very likely to be a short-term deal, odds are he'll continue to be a good but not great player.

    Durability Outlook

    7/20

    This is where Freese has something of a negative reputation, and deservedly so. He's played in more than 140 games just once in his career and is coming off a season in which he played in only 121 contests due, in part, to a finger injury.

    With his age-33 season due up, it's hard to imagine that Freese is about to get any more durable. Even in the life of a short-term deal, he's no lock to stay healthy.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    The Angels declined to make Freese a $15.8 million qualifying offer, so he's hitting the open market free of ties to draft-pick compensation. He won't come close to matching the four-year, $52 million deal Chase Headley signed last winter, but three years and $30 million is possible.

    With a lost draft pick, the overall cost of a deal like that would look too high for an acquiring team. But without a lost draft pick? Not as much.

    Total

    52/100

62. Brad Boxberger, RHP, Trade

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Rumor Source: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times

    Talent Outlook

    35/60

    Though he led the AL in saves and made the All-Star team, 2015 ended up being a step back for Brad Boxberger. His ERA rose to 3.71 from 2.37 in 2014, and he also dropped his K/BB from 5.20 to 2.31. A late-season skid didn't help, but in general he wasn't as overpowering as he was in 2014.

    Boxberger's control may not bounce back, as the 4.6 BB/9 he posted in 2015 is in line what what he's done for most of his pro career. But he should at least keep missing bats, as he complements his low-90s heater with a changeup that Eno Sarris of FanGraphs places among the game's nastiest. The 27-year-old has four years to until free agency, and he should be a solid reliever for all of them.

    Durability Outlook

    14/15

    There are gripes to air about Boxberger's talent, but not so much about his durability. Apart from some triceps tightness this past June, his injury history is clean. And in logging over 60 appearances and 60 innings in each of the last two seasons, he's shown he can handle a heavy workload.

    All this sounds good for a guy who's only 27 with four years of club control left. The only thing worth being worried about is Boxberger's delivery. It's a herky-jerky affair that doesn't seem very efficient, so he may become more prone to injury the more he pitches.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    According to Topkin, it would take "A LOT" for the Rays to deal Boxberger. Given that he's an All-Star reliever with four years of club control left, that's understandable. And given that the San Diego Padres just got a basket of prospects for Craig Kimbrel, the Rays are justified in demanding at least half a basket of prospects for Boxberger.

    Buyer beware. The price for Boxberger may reflect that of a shutdown reliever, but in reality he's probably only an above-average reliever.

    Total

    XX/85

61. Jake McGee, LHP, Trade

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Rumor Source: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times

    Talent Outlook

    44/60

    When he's been healthy, Jake McGee has generally been very effective. He posted sub-2.00 ERAs in 2012 and 2014, and finished at 2.41 in 2015. In each of these seasons, he struck out over 11 and walked around two batters per nine innings. That's good stuff for a guy who only throws one pitch: his fastball.

    McGee's fastball gets the job done because it usually sits in the high-90s with life. But while his age, 29, would normally indicate his fastball has plenty of prime years left, one red flag is that his velocity fell off sharply at the end of 2015 while he was dealing with a bad left knee. That's a cause for concern as McGee heads into his final two years of club control.

    Durability Outlook

    5/15

    McGee may only be 29 years old, but he's taken some damage in his career. He had a good run between 2012 and 2014, appearing in at least 69 games each year, but on either side of that is a Tommy John operation in 2008 and elbow and knee surgeries that limited him to 39 appearances in 2015.

    Those setbacks are obviously concerning, especially considering that his bad knee seemingly hurt his velocity. One wants to think his youth will help him make a strong recovery, but it's probably not the best idea to assume he'll be a picture of health in his final two years before free agency.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Despite his red flags, there's no denying that the Rays have a valuable trade chip in McGee. If the San Diego Padres could get a pair of prospects for Joaquin Benoit and his walk year and a whole bunch of prospects for Kimbrel, the Rays are in a position to demand a big haul for McGee.

    If that's how the Rays play it, they'll be demanding market price for a guy whose value took a hit in an injury-plagued 2015. A deal for McGee would involve some risk for a potential suitor.

    Total

    53/85

60. Tyler Clippard, RHP, Free Agent

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    38/60

    Though his effectiveness hasn't been entirely consistent, Tyler Clippard has generally been a good late-inning reliever over the last six years. He's racked up a 2.67 ERA while striking out over 10 batters per nine innings in that span, and he attracts additional easy outs by being a pop-up specialist.

    Looking ahead, it's not the best sign that Clippard's velocity has slipped from its 2010-2013 peak. But his fastball still has a considerable amount of rise, making it a good pitch to pair with his diving changeup. In the life of a short-term deal, the 30-year-old righty should remain an effective reliever.

    Durability Outlook

    12/15

    Clippard's injury track record is about as clean as can be, which indeed explains how he's averaged over 70 appearances and 70 innings pitched per season over the last six years. In fact, he's been the hardest-working reliever in MLB.

    But while that looks good on Clippard's track record, it does make one wonder how much longer his durability can last. Any team that signs him for multiple years will have to consider that he might break down in the near future.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Odds are Clippard won't be in the market for closer money this winter, but he has the goods to pursue a Luke Gregerson-esque contract of three years and around $20 million. And because he won't be tied to draft-pick compensation—the trade that sent him from Oakland to New York barred him from receiving a qualifying offerhe could actually get a deal like that.

    Money like that would buy a solid late-inning reliever. But an elite late-inning reliever? Eh, maybe not.

    Total

    54/85

59. Shawn Tolleson, RHP, Trade

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

     Rumor Source: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports

    Talent Outlook

    35/60

    Shawn Tolleson has emerged as a pretty good reliever in his two seasons in Texas, posting a 2.88 ERA and a 3.22 K/BB in 137 total appearances. He was especially good in 2015, upping his K/9 to a respectable 9.5 while lowering his BB/9 to a strong 2.1. With his age-28 season due up, Tolleson may be on the rise.

    If he has one thing going for him, it's that his velocity is on an upward trajectory. If he has another thing going for him, it's that he's gotten good at finding the zone. It's too bad that his slider and changeup are only mediocre at missing bats. Also, the 19 homers he's allowed over the last two seasons are too many and a reflection of how he's not totally overpowering. Tolleson is a good reliever but not a great one.

    Durability Outlook

    14/15

    Tolleson missed pretty much the entire 2013 season due to surgery on his back, but he's come on strong in two campaigns since. In addition to pitching in more than 130 games, he's logged more than 140 innings.

    Looking ahead, the reality that Tolleson is still a few years short of 30 bodes well heading into his final three seasons of club control. So does the fact that his pitching mechanics don't appear to place too much stress on his arm or shoulder.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Heyman didn't indicate that the Rangers are actually looking to move Tolleson, only that they've "fielded some interest" in their closer. Because they're in win-now mode, it'll presumably take an established player for them to give up Tolleson. For example, they could use some rotation depth.

    Because he's less than an elite reliever, swapping an established player for Tolleson would carry some risk for a potential suitor. But because he could be at least a solid back-end guy for the next three years, there's a decent chance he could prove to be worth it in the end.

    Total

    54/85

58. Daniel Murphy, 2B, Free Agent

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    Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    40/70

    If you watched the postseason, you might be thinking Daniel Murphy is one of MLB's best power hitters. But while there is some substance to his awakening as a power hitter in the postseason, it's Murphy's regular-season numbers that tell the true story. With a .288 career average and .755 career OPS, he's really only a solid hitter.

    And he should stay that way. Murphy is outstanding at putting the ball in play, which is as strong a backbone for good production as there is. But he's more of a line-drive hitter than a power hitter, and that keeps his overall production from rising too high above average territory. Add in subpar defense and baserunning that won't get better with age, and you get only a good, solid player.

    Durability Outlook

    10/20

    Murphy's durability hit its peak in 2012 and 2013, when he played in 317 of a possible 324 games. But he failed to make it through full seasons in 2011, 2014 and this past year. Each time, the main culprit was a leg injury.

    That's not the best look for a guy who's now on the wrong side of 30. It's an even worse look on a second baseman, as the only position that deals out more physical punishment on an annual basis is catcher. In a multiyear pact, Murphy is no sure thing to remain healthy.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    It was once debatable as to whether Murphy should receive a qualifying offer, but he erased any doubt with his postseason performance. He got one and rejected it, signaling his belief that he can find a rich contract despite ties to draft-pick compensation. He probably won't get the five-year, $75 million contract that an AL executive proposed to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, but four years for eight figures a year is possible.

    That may sound like a good deal now in the wake of his postseason dominance, but it's not so much in reality. Murphy is only a solid player to begin with, and the prime of his career likely doesn't have much life left in it.

    Total

    54/100

57. Gerardo Parra, OF, Free Agent

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    35/70

    Because he was hitting .328 with an .886 OPS at the time, Gerardo Parra was a hot item on the summer trade market. But then he slumped after Milwaukee traded him to Baltimore, returning to his status as a below-average hitter with a 69 OPS+ after the deal. Throw in defense that no longer looks Gold Glove-caliber, and you get a middle-of-the-road free agent. 

    But lest we disparage Parra too much, he does have selling points. Offensively, he offers an ability to put the ball in play and a quality bat against right-handers, as well as a decent mix of power and speed. And at the very least, his glove is versatile. The 28-year-old looks like, at the least, a good part-time option.

    Durability Outlook

    15/20

    Parra's talents may be questionable, but his durability is solid. He's played in at least 150 games three years in a row, and he has yet to go on the disabled list in his career. Even nagging injuries have been relatively few and far between.

    All that's a good look on a guy who's entering his age-29 season. The big question is whether Parra will be durable in a short-term deal or more of a long-term deal. Here's thinking he's more in line for a short-term pact, so we'll give him the short-term maximum.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    As a left-handed hitter with a strong contact habit and a decent, if not quite great, glove to offer, the best-case scenario for Parra involves matching Nick Markakis' four-year, $44 million contract. But because he doesn't have Markakis' track record, odds are he'll have to settle for something more like three years at $10 million-$12 million per year.

    That would be a steal if Parra got back to being who he was in the first half of 2015. But given that he's best used as a platoon outfielder, probably not.

    Total

    55/100

56. Brandon Phillips, 2B, Trade

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    Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

    Rumor Source: C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer

    Talent Outlook

    38/70

    After a rough 2014, Brandon Phillips looked more like himself in 2015. He hit .294 with a .723 OPS, hit 12 home runs and topped 20 stolen bases for the first time since 2009. In the meantime, he continued to play above-average (and occasionally brilliant) defense at second base.

    Still, skepticism is warranted where Phillips is concerned. There's little doubt he can remain a strong defender, but his offense has red flags. He's still not taking his walks and, though he makes plenty of contact, he isn't a consistent source of hard contact. And after stealing only seven bases combined in 2013 and 2014, he probably doesn't have another 20-steal season left in him. At 34, he's at best a slightly above-average player.

    Durability Outlook

    14/20

    Phillips has been nothing if not dependable over the years. In logging 148 games in 2015, he's now played in more than 140 contests in all but one season since 2006. The one exception was 2014, in which various setbacks bothered him.

    Mind you, the reality that Phillips is in his mid-30s and still playing a rough position means that continued durability likely isn't guaranteed heading into the final two years of his contract. But relative to many guys his age, he's in good shape.

    Value Outlook

    3/10

    Rosecrans writes that Phillips is among the players the Reds are willing to listen to offers for. Given where they are, they'd probably love nothing more than to acquire a young bat or two while also offloading as much of the $27 million Phillips is still owed as they can.

    Because Phillips is coming off a renaissance 2015 season, the Reds might actually stand a chance of getting what they want. Buyers should beware where Phillips is concerned.

    Total

    55/100

55. Denard Span, CF, Free Agent

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    43/70

    If Denard Span is anything, he's an ideal top-of-the-order hitter. He's hit over .300 in back-to-back seasons, and he owns a career .352 OBP. Two of his primary talents are putting the ball in play and drawing walks, a combination of talents that's rare these days. That gives him a wide-ranging sort of appeal. 

    What else Span will be able to offer going forward, however, is a good question. He's never had much power, and his defense has rated poorly in each of the last two seasons. If that's because his speed is waning thanks to his age (nearly 32) and assorted injuries, then his days as a 20-steal guy may also be coming to an end. Span should be productive, but his peak is likely behind him.

    Durability Outlook

    8/20

    This is where things get messy. Span played in over 150 games only once between 2011 and 2014, and he is coming off a 2015 season in which injuries limited him to just 61 games. He began the year recovering from core muscle surgery, and his season ended early thanks to hip surgery.

    So, suffice it to say Span was pretty beat up in 2015. That would be easy to overlook if he was a younger player with a strong track record of durability, but he's an older guy with a modest track record of durability. In what will likely be a multiyear deal, his health may not cooperate.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Evidently worried that he would accept it coming off his injury-filled 2015, the Nationals did not extend a qualifying offer to Span. That should be a relief to him, as not being tied to draft-pick compensation will make it easier for him to find a multiyear deal. Because he's in a position similar to the one Shane Victorino was in after 2012, three years and $35 million-$40 million is possible.

    Span could easily live up to a deal like that if he were to stay healthy and be a consistent OBP merchant atop the lineup. But as we discussed, his continued health probably isn't a good bet.

    Total

    55/100

54. Chris Carter, 1B/DH, Trade

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    Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Rumor Source: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe

    Talent Outlook

    32/70

    Though he hit only .199 in 2015, Chris Carter still managed to save face as roughly a league-average hitter. You can do that when you post a .307 OBP and a .427 slugging percentage, which point to Carter's two biggest strengths: his ability to draw free passes and his booming raw power.

    Take away those abilities, however, and there's nothing there. Carter isn't much of a hitter, runner or fielder. Even when you add a solid bat to those three things, you don't get much of a player. In his final three seasons before free agency, Carter is best suited to be an everyday DH.

    Durability Outlook

    18/20

    Carter ran into a spot of bother when he sprained his ankle this summer, but he's generally been healthy since he started getting regular major league playing time back in 2012. In the last three seasons, he's averaged over 140 games per year.

    Looking ahead, further durability should be in the cards for the 28-year-old slugger—especially if he does indeed land in an everyday DH role. That would help save his massive 6'4", 250-pound frame from wear and tear on defense.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Cafardo noted in his report that Carter's abundance of right-handed power makes him an attractive trade chip, but nobody's about to pay a high price for him. As a one-dimensional player who fits best as a DH, Carter is likely worth at most a couple of B-level prospects.

    Because he is indeed a one-dimensional player, there's no guarantee Carter could be a steal even at that price. But if he keeps the power coming, he could at least live up to such a deal.

    Total

    55/100

53. Trevor Cahill, RHP, Free Agent

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    Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    35/60

    Trevor Cahill looked like he was on his way out of baseball for a while there, but he looked pretty darn good in a relief role with the Cubs toward the end of 2015. Though it came in just 11 outings, he struck out 22 batters in 17 innings and got ground balls on better than 60 percent of the balls in play off him.

    Because Cahill has always been a strong ground-ball pitcher, that part isn't surprising. As for his sudden strikeout ability, that can happen when you go from averaging 90.9 mph as a starter to 92.7 as a reliever. It appears Cahill's stuff plays up in a relief role. He looks like a good target for a bargain buy.

    Durability Outlook

    15/15

    Cahill dealt with a series of injuries back in 2013, but his limited workload since then has had more to do with his general ineffectiveness.

    As such, we can look on the bright side and say his recent struggles have helped preserve his arm. And said arm, by the way, is still only 27 years old. For a guy who's only likely to be signed on a short-term deal, he's a strong bet to be durable going forward.

    Value Outlook

    6/10

    Though Cahill came on strong toward the end of the year, teams probably learned a good lesson from watching what happened to the big contract Brian Wilson signed coming off a small-sample-size success story in 2013. In all likelihood, Cahill is only going to be in the market for a one-year "prove it" deal.

    For a guy who looks like he's actually cut out for a relief role, such a contract could be a steal for potential suitors.

    Total

    56/85

52. Mark Buehrle, SP, Free Agent

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    John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    37/70

    Mark Buehrle logged 198.2 innings and posted a 3.81 ERA in 2015, thereby continuing his legacy as an above-average innings-eater. That he did all this with a fastball that averaged just 83.4 mph is a testament to how well he locates and uses his changeup to keep hitters off balance.

    Looking ahead, the reality that Buehrle's talents have already passed the test of time makes it easier to imagine that he could indeed keep it up for one more year. And given his particular circumstances, just one more year of work ought to do it.

    Durability Outlook

    14/20

    Before falling short by just four outs in 2015, Buehrle had logged at least 200 innings every year between 2001 and 2014. If that's not durability, then what is?

    Mind you, Buehrle is not immune to pain. He had to get a cortisone shot in his shoulder this year and, as Doug Padilla of ESPN.com reported, has dealt with shoulder pain for much of his career. With his 37th birthday approaching in March, the end may be nearing for him.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Though it would have been a pay cut after he earned $20 million in 2015, the Blue Jays declined to extend the $15.8 million qualifying offer to Buehrle. Though he is indeed probably only in the market for a one-year contract this winter, something more like $10 million to $12 million will be in the cards.

    For a pitcher of his caliber, that's hardly an overpay. Money like that would be buying a solid innings-eater, which would be money well spent.

    Total

    56/100

51. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF, Trade

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Rumor Source: Joel Sherman of the New York Post

    Talent Outlook

    35/70

    Before 2015, we knew Jackie Bradley Jr. as an outfielder who could play otherworldly defense, but whose bat lagged very far behind. However, after he finished 2015 with an .891 OPS and nine home runs in his last 60 games, now it's possible to wonder whether that will change.

    The best we can say is maybe. Bradley is capable of good contact and drawing walks, but his ongoing battle with strikeouts is a red flag that looms large. Any team interested in trading for him should anticipate elite defense as a given and anything else as a bonus.

    Durability Outlook

    19/20

    Bradley has yet to handle a full season's workload, but not because he's had trouble with injuries. He's played in only 238 games in three seasons because he simply hasn't earned more playing time.

    But his lack of injuries in that time shows he's relatively well preserved even for a guy who's only 25 years old. Bradley's all-out style in the outfield may leave him vulnerable getting hurt, but in general his durability isn't much of a question mark as he looks ahead to five more seasons of club control.

    Value Outlook

    2/10

    According to Sherman's report, the thinking among executives is that Boston may believe that Bradley's "strong finish inflated his value beyond his actual skill" and that "this may be the best time to maximize dealing a young, defensive-star outfielder." In other words, he's very much a sell-high candidate, one that could be used in a trade that could flesh out Boston's starting rotation with an established player.

    If that's what the Red Sox are thinking, then prospective buyers need to tread carefully around Bradley. He may come at a high price, but with more bust potential than your typical controllable talent.

    Total

    56/100

50. Neil Walker, 2B, Trade

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    Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

    Rumor Source: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports

    Talent Outlook

    41/70

    Neil Walker became a regular back in 2010 and has since emerged as one of the league's better offensive second basemen. In six seasons, the switch-hitter has racked up a .772 OPS and averaged 16 home runs per year. That's more than enough offense to offset his below-average defense.

    Walker should be able to keep this up in 2016, his final year before free agency. He's turned into a solid contact hitter in recent years, all while maintaining solid power. That stems from a line-drive stroke that produces solid contact. Better defense would be nice, but he can be a solid regular even without it.

    Durability Outlook

    11/20

    The 30-year-old Walker is coming off a season in which he played in 151 games, his first time topping 150 contests since back in 2011. Due to assorted injuries—including back, hand and rib ailments—he averaged just over 130 games per season between 2012 and 2014.

    In short, Walker has been beat up a bit. That he was able to stay healthy in 2015 helps ease the concern somewhat, but his injury track record and his status as a 30-year-old who plays a rough position mean there's only so much that can be taken for granted heading into his walk year.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Heyman only reported that the Pirates are fielding offers for Walker, with no notes on what they're interested in acquiring. One thing they need, though, is starting pitching depth. After the Angels got Andrew Heaney for Howie Kendrick's walk year last winter, the Pirates could have that trade in mind.

    In other words, it could take an MLB-ready pitcher to land Walker. For a guy who's a bat-only second baseman with one year of club control left, that would be a high price.

    Total

    56/100

49. Kenta Maeda, SP, Free Agent

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    Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    40/70

    Following Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka, Kenta Maeda is looking to be the next great Japanese pitcher to come to MLB via the posting system. All he's done in his eight seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball is post a 2.39 ERA with a strong 3.87 K/BB ratio.

    Be warned, though: Maeda generally isn't considered to be on the same level as Darvish or Tanaka. As Ben Badler of Baseball America wrote in his 2013 scouting report, Maeda only throws 87-93 mph without a wipeout secondary pitch. He's going to have to get by on commanding and sequencing his pitches, so odds are he'll be more of a mid-rotation guy than an ace.

    Durability Outlook

    13/20

    It's not hard to dig up injury histories for MLB pitchers, but NPB pitchers are another issue. Really all we have to go off of is Maeda's workload track record, which looks pretty good. Going back to 2009, he's started at least 26 games and pitched at least 175 innings every year. Plus, Maeda is only 27 years old.

    If there's a reason to be skeptical, it's that his 1,509.2 innings are a lot for a guy his age. Within recent memory in MLB, only CC Sabathia, Matt Cain, Felix Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw have eaten that many innings by the age of 27. That's only half-encouraging, and then there's the reality that Maeda isn't built like an innings-eater at just 6'0" and 154 pounds. Signing him to a long-term deal might be risky.

    Value Outlook

    3/10

    The Hiroshima Carp haven't posted Maeda yet, but Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports that it is "likely" to happen. Assuming it does, he'll likely be posted for the maximum amount of $20 million. Locking him up after that probably won't require Tanaka money (seven years, $155 million), but it could take Darvish money (six years, $60 million).

    All told, Maeda is going to command a sizable investment. Given that he's likely only a mid-rotation starter with a lot of miles on his slight frame, maybe too sizable.

    Total

    56/100

48. Marcell Ozuna, CF, Trade

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    Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Rumor Source: Jayson Stark of ESPN.com

    Talent Outlook

    37/70

    Marcell Ozuna seemed to have a big breakout in 2014, posting a .772 OPS with 23 home runs and pretty good defense in center field. But 2015 ended up bringing an early-season demotion, and he finished with a .691 OPS and just 10 home runs. Between that and what he did in 2013, Ozuna's 2014 looks like an outlier.

    Still, the thing to keep in mind is that Ozuna is only 25 years old with four more years of club control left. And though he doesn't have an approach befitting a top-of-the-order hitter, his bat packs a good punch thanks to a good hard-contact ability and solid bat control. And with a plus arm and solid athleticism, he has what he needs to be a good defender. All this makes Ozuna a worthwhile upside play.

    Durability Outlook

    17/20

    Ozuna's left arm has been pretty beat up, as he suffered a broken wrist as a minor leaguer in 2010 and a torn ligament in his thumb in 2013. Apart from that, he's also suffered a couple of injuries on slides into second base.

    But while this does mean Ozuna has suffered his share of hurts, that he's still only 25 allows for some optimism. He may not be totally bulletproof in his final four years of club control, but he's hardly a candidate to break down, either.

    Value Outlook

    3/10

    According to Stark's report, the Marlins are only interested in dealing Ozuna for a No. 2-type starter. That's not a crazy ask based on his upside and controllability, but Stark is right about it being a tough sell following Ozuna's 2015 season.

    For that matter, even a No. 3-type starter might be a tough sell at this point. For all of Ozuna's upside, there's no denying that his trade value is considerably lower now than it was a year ago.

    Total

    57/100

47. Adam Lind, 1B, Trade

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    Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

    Rumor Source: Buster Olney of ESPN.com

    Talent Outlook

    41/70

    Adam Lind's solid 2015 season, in which he OPS'd .820 with 20 home runs, feels like it came out of the blue. But it was actually typical. He's been OPS'ing over .800 and averaging over 20 homers a campaign since 2009. Without a doubt, he's one of the game's more overlooked offensive producers.

    Mind you, the catch is that Lind is really only useful against right-handed pitching, which brings out the best in his batting eye, ability to make contact and ability to drive the ball. These skills may erode someday but probably not before his final year before free agency in 2016.

    Durability Outlook

    11/20

    Lind has occasionally battled back trouble throughout his career, which doesn't bode well for a guy who is now 32 years old. In all likelihood, his back problems aren't over.

    On the bright side, back trouble hasn't stopped Lind from playing in over 140 games in two of the last three seasons. He's not a sure thing to stay healthy, but he's not quite a walking injury liability, either.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Olney writes that the Brewers are willing to listen to offers for everyone on their roster. As well they should be, and Lind is among those they should definitely be willing to move. After the season he just had, they could turn his walk year into a solid young player or two—not elite, but solid.

    For prospective buyers, a deal like that could be worth it if Lind has another year like 2015 in him. And as long as his back cooperates and he continues to play strictly against right-handed pitching, he should.

    Total

    57/100

46. Howie Kendrick, 2B, Free Agent

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    Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    43/70

    Howie Kendrick has been remarkably consistent at the plate since becoming a full-timer in 2009. His average has landed in the .279-.295 range each year, mainly through a Derek Jeter-like focus on the opposite field. Along the way, he's also averaged double-digit home runs and stolen bases, and carved out a reputation as a solid defender to boot.

    Now 32 years old, however, you do have to wonder how much longer Kendrick can be a complete threat. He stole only six bags in 2015 and rated as a poor defender. His ability to hit for average and some power is fine, but those issues point to fading athleticism that is likely permanent.

    Durability Outlook

    11/20

    Kendrick has generally been durable throughout his career, but his 117 games played in 2015 made it two out of three years that he fell short of 125 contests. Both times, a leg injury was the primary culprit.

    That's not a good look on a guy who's 32 years old, much less one who has been one of the more active two-way second basemen in the league for the last seven seasons. In a multiyear deal, continued durability is probably not guaranteed for Kendrick.

    Value Outlook

    3/10

    Kendrick rejected the qualifying offer, so he's now tied to draft-pick compensation. That will hinder his market, but not too badly. If Omar Infante could get a four-year, $30.25 million contract heading into his age-32 season a couple of winters ago, then Kendrick may be in line for as much as $50 million over four years.

    That would be a fair deal based on Kendrick's track record. But considering that he's very likely in the twilight of his career both from a talent and a durability perspective, it wouldn't necessarily be money well spent in the end.

    Total

    57/100

45. Brett Gardner, LF, Trade

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    Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Speculation Source: Bryan Hoch of MLB.com

    Talent Outlook

    42/70

    In each of the last three seasons, Brett Gardner has posted an OPS in the mid-.700s and stolen at least 20 bases. And in the last two years, he's turned on the power and hit 33 combined home runs. Along the way, he's looked like his typical self: a pesky hitter at the plate, and a speedy runner on the bases and on defense.

    However, the 32-year-old's speediest days are clearly in the past, as he's no longer capable of swiping upward of 40 bags and is now rating as roughly an average defender. He also owes a good chunk of his power to Yankee Stadium's short porch. He has the ability to be a solid top-of-the-order hitter and defender in the final three years of his contract, but his prime is very likely behind him.

    Durability Outlook

    11/20

    An elbow injury limited Gardner to 16 games in 2012, but he has otherwise been good for at least 145 contests in five of six years. For the most part, he's been durable.

    But Gardner's the type of guy who attracts nagging injuries, including a wrist ailment that bothered him throughout 2015. He's been able to fight through these nagging injuries so far. But at 32 years of age with plenty of miles on his body, you do wonder if that can continue.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    There's nothing concrete that says the Yankees are looking to move Gardner, but Hoch is right to think that dealing him is a good way for New York to add some much-needed flexibility to its roster. Gardner is one of the only Yankees with trade value and without an albatross contract, as the $39.5 million he's still owed isn't overly steep.

    But these being the Yankees, they'd surely be more interested in adding talent than jettisoning Gardner's contract. And given where they are, anything coming back would likely have to be either established MLB talent or MLB-ready talent. It'll take more than spare parts to acquire Gardner.

    Total

    57/100

44. Carlos Gonzalez, RF, Trade

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

     Rumor Source: Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post

    Talent Outlook

    45/70

    Carlos Gonzalez went through a tough stretch for a while there, posting just a .723 OPS in an injury-marred 2014 and getting off to a slow start in 2015. But he ultimately finished with an .864 OPS and 40 home runs, thus indicating that he may not be finished as the excellent hitter he was between 2009 and 2013.

    The trouble is that Gonzalez's baserunning and defense both seem past their prime, and that his career home/road splits don't inspire much confidence that he can succeed away from Coors Field. His aggressive style and swing-and-miss habit won't help. One big reason for optimism, though, is that Gonzalez does tend to crush the ball when he puts it in play. That's a habit that can travel, and it should ensure that he's at least a good power source in the final two years of his contract.

    Durability Outlook

    9/20

    Gonzalez played in more than 150 games for the first time in his eight-year career in 2015. Injuries held him back in previous years, most notably a seemingly never-ending series of leg setbacks.

    Theoretically, getting away from Coors Field and its gigantic outfield could be what Gonzalez's legs need. But given that he is now on the wrong side of 30 with a lot of miles on his body, even that thought provides only so much comfort. In the final two years of his contract, he's a toss-up to stay healthy.

    Value Outlook

    3/10

    According to Saunders, the Rockies will "certainly listen" to offers for Gonzalez this winter. That's very much believable, as trading him now is a chance for Colorado to capitalize on his rebuilt value while it can. 

    Gonzalez is owed $37 million over the next two seasons, and his home/road splits mean he has more value to the Rockies than he does to anyone else. Even still, they're not going to move him at a discounted price. A team that deals for Gonzalez will likely have to sacrifice some talented prospects and eat a lot of cash, which would be a high price to pay for a guy who looks like a Coors Field product.

    Total

    57/100

43. Jonathan Papelbon, RHP, Trade

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Rumor Source: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports

    Talent Outlook

    40/60

    Though the ending of Jonathan Papelbon's 2015 season was discouraging in more ways than one, it shouldn't be lost on anyone that he's been about as effective as his vintage self over the last two seasons. He's racked up a 2.08 ERA and a 4.41 K/BB ratio.

    That Papelbon has done this despite averaging under 92 mph on his fastball raises some suspicion, but he deserves credit for how he's now downplaying his modest velocity with location and sequencing. He's not immune to damage, but he's adjusted well to what's clearly the twilight of his career.

    Durability Outlook

    14/15

    Papelbon is nearly 35 years old with 11 big league seasons under his belt, but he has yet to spend even a single day on the disabled list. That's partially owed to him being well-built at 6'4" and 225 pounds, and it has to do with how his mechanics are more efficient than many relievers' motions.

    Mind you, Papelbon's age makes it hard not to worry about his eventual breakdown. But since trading for him wouldn't require a long-term commitment—Papelbon is only under contract through 2016—the worry shouldn't be big enough to scare anyone off.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Papelbon is a good reliever, but he's also in his mid-30s and has declining stuff, an $11 million salary and all sorts of baggage stemming from his recent dugout antics. The Nationals will be lucky if they even find a taker for him, much less get anything of value for him.

    As such, any team brave enough to swing a trade for Papelbon could find itself getting a pretty good deal.

    Total

    59/85

42. Yovani Gallardo, SP, Free Agent

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    Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    40/70

    Yovani Gallardo hit bottom when he posted a 4.18 ERA in 2013, but he has since rebounded with a 3.46 ERA in 376.2 innings over the last two seasons. His 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings in this span goes to show that he doesn't miss bats like he used to, but he can make up for that by being a decent contact manager.

    That's a skill that should have a solid shelf life. Gallardo now has a much more diverse pitch mix than he used to. That and his style of playing with the strike zone make him a frustrating opponent to face. In so many words: He's become a capable finesse pitcher. That bodes well.

    Durability Outlook

    15/20

    Gallardo has never been a big-time innings-eater, but he's been a good one for seven years now. Between 2009 and 2015, he's made at least 30 starts and logged at least 180 innings every year. Along the way, he's dealt with only minor injuries.

    Looking ahead, though, there is a limit to how much anyone can bank on Gallardo's durability. He has nearly 1,500 career innings on his arm, and he's racked them up with something of a high-effort delivery. Over the life of a multiyear deal, he may run into some overdue trouble.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Gallardo's strong 2015 earned him a qualifying offer. He rejected it, tying himself to draft-pick compensation. Despite that, it will be surprising if he doesn't make like other midlevel pitchers in recent memory and find a four-year deal worth around $50 million.

    While that would indeed be fair market value, that money would only be buying a solid innings-eater who's probably not as above-average as his 2015 performance makes him look.

    Total

    59/100

41. Dexter Fowler, CF, Free Agent

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    45/70

    Dexter Fowler is going into free agency off a strong year, as he finished 2015 with a .757 OPS, 17 homers and 20 steals. He now owns a .790 OPS over the last four seasons, three of which have seen him post double-digit homers and steals. Pretty good stuff for a center fielder.

    Of course, one catch is that Fowler is not a good defender in center field. And though he's not a bad hitter, his approach might be overly passive. He tends to look more interested in drawing walks than actually hitting the ball. But despite these nitpicks, Fowler still stands out as a good top-of-the-order hitter who can play every day in center field. He's worth a multiyear deal.

    Durability Outlook

    10/20

    Believe it or not, 2015 marked the first season in which Fowler managed to play in more than 150 games. Injuries had a big hand in holding him back in previous years. Few were serious, but they were definitely frequent.

    That's not the best look on a guy who just played his age-29 season. Fowler's 30s lie ahead, and his track record suggests they're not going to be defined by durability. 

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Not surprisingly, Fowler's strong 2015 resulted in his receiving a qualifying offer. He rejected that, and will now hope that his ties to draft-pick compensation won't get in his way of finding a contract befitting of a solid top-of-the-order hitter. He won't get Jacoby Ellsbury or Shin-Soo Choo money, but a four- or five-year deal at around $15 million per season could be doable.

    That may not sound too bad based on the player Fowler is now. But between his somewhat one-dimensional game and his durability red flags, that plus a lost draft pick would actually be steep.

    Total

    59/100

40. Stephen Vogt, C, Trade

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    Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

    Speculation Source: Charlie Wilmoth of MLB Trade Rumors

    Talent Outlook

    41/70

    Stephen Vogt started off 2015 like gangbusters, OPS'ing over 1.000 through early May. But then he OPS'd just under .700 over his final 111 games. Given his issues with left-handed pitching and his preference to pull the ball, that regression was likely inevitable. And to pile on a little more, Vogt is just an OK defender.

    But let's not diminish Vogt too much. On the whole, he's been an above-average hitter for two seasons now. That's related to his talent for hitting right-handed pitching and, by extension, his solid mix of patience and power. He's at least a solid everyday guy and certainly an even better platoon bat.

    Durability Outlook

    15/20

    Pressed into full-time duty for the first time in his career in 2015, Vogt caught 100 games and played in 136 overall. The only blemish was a, um, groin injury that looked worse than it hurt.

    Apart from that, there's really not much to say about Vogt's injury track record. He's only been in the majors for four seasons and has been largely healthy throughout. For a 31-year-old catcher, he's in pretty good shape heading into his final four years of club control. The only thing worth worrying about is the fact that he is, alas, a catcher. Over the next four years, he's going to get beat up.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Wilmoth briefly mentioned the possibility of the A's making Vogt available, but in reality the idea is coming just as much from us. The A's do have a reputation for trading veterans, after all, and dealing Vogt now would be a case of them selling high. That seems like something they would do.

    If the A's dangle Vogt, they'll be dangling an older catcher, sure, but also a 2015 All-Star with four years of club control left. Such a player can command a high price. Given that Vogt may only be a platoon player disguised as an everyday backstop, he'll potentially command too high a price.

    Total

    60/100

39. Josh Reddick, RF, Trade

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Speculation Source: Charlie Wilmoth of MLB Trade Rumors

    Talent Outlook

    46/70

    Josh Reddick's production has been up and down ever since he became a regular back in 2012, but he's looking pretty good right now. The eye test says his right field defense didn't slip as much in 2015 as the metrics say it did, and the 2015 campaign saw him post a full-season career-best .781 OPS with 20 home runs.

    The thing to keep in mind with Reddick's offense is that it comes with a platoon split. But the 28-year-old left-handed batter has always had solid power, and now he's quickly becoming an elite contact hitter. That should ensure that he keeps the above-average production coming. That combined with his glove, and youth make for a pretty attractive trade chip.

    Durability Outlook

    10/20

    Reddick is coming off a season in which he played in 149 games, but you'll recall that he had issues staying on the field in 2013 and 2014. Wrist and knee injuries conspired to limit him to just 223 games.

    Sure, it bodes well that Reddick is still young and coming off a healthy season. But his track record can't be ignored, especially in light of how he's a slender player (6'2", 180 lbs) who doesn't take it easy on his body with his style of play.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    The big disclaimer here is that it's been reported that the A's would rather extend Reddick than trade him, which is something A's general manager Billy Beane doesn't want to do. But as Wilmoth noted, Beane's past suggests you shouldn't be surprised if and when Reddick is traded this winter.

    If Beane does shop Reddick, he'll be shopping a talented two-way right fielder. That's a valuable asset that could cost a team a small handful of young prospects. Given Reddick's history of injuries and inconsistency, such a swap would definitely involve some risk.

    Total

    60/100

38. Hisashi Iwakuma, SP, Free Agent

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    Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    46/70

    Hisashi Iwakuma peaked when he posted a 2.66 ERA back in 2013, but he's been solid in posting a 3.53 ERA over 308.2 innings across the last two seasons. Home runs have continued to plague him, but he's helped himself by maintaining his strong ground-ball habit while posting a downright excellent 6.31 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

    The red flag is that the 34-year-old Japan native is slowly leaking velocity, but it's not an especially big warning sign. With superb command and an unpredictable pitch mix, Iwakuma has what he needs to age gracefully in a multiyear contract.

    Durability Outlook

    9/20

    Durability has been an issue for Iwakuma in the last two seasons. He's made only 48 starts, missing time with a finger injury in 2014 and with a lat strain in 2015.

    Certainly, it's hard to expect him to become more durable as he heads toward his age-35 season. Beyond his recent struggles, he has over 2,000 professional innings on his arm. In the life of a multiyear deal, his durability is probably a toss-up.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Despite his issues with his health in the last two seasons, Iwakuma rejected Seattle's qualifying offer and tied himself to draft-pick compensation. Mind you, that could actually be neither here nor there where his market is concerned. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the "strong industry belief" is that Iwakuma is going to end up back in Seattle.

    Regardless, Iwakuma is a good bet for at least a Kyle Lohse-like contract of three years and $10 million to $12 million per year. Despite his durability question mark, that wouldn't be outrageous money for a guy with his talent.

    Total

    60/100

37. Ian Desmond, SS, Free Agent

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    Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    43/70

    Ian Desmond picked a bad time to have a down year, finishing 2015 with a .674 OPS while making 27 errors on defense. But his season looks worse than it actually was. He once again topped double-digit home runs and stolen bases, and his offense (.777 OPS) and defense really improved in the second half.

    Mind you, Desmond still strikes out too much and generally sells out for power too often to be a consistent hitter. But his hot second half dispelled the notion that his style of play has outlived its usefulness. He may not be finished as the guy who OPS'd .788 while averaging over 20 homers and steals and playing solid shortstop defense between 2012 and 2014. 

    Durability Outlook

    15/20

    Desmond dealt with an oblique strain in 2012 that held him out of action for about a month, but he's otherwise been a picture of durability since becoming an everyday player in 2010. In five years out of six, he's played in at least 154 games.

    To be sure, the reality that Desmond is now on the wrong side of 30 with quite a few miles on his body means continued health can't be taken for granted. But in a short-term deal, it's a good bet.

    Value Outlook

    3/10

    By rejecting the Nationals' qualifying offer, Desmond signaled that he thinks he can do better than $15.8 million per year even despite the fact he's coming off a lost season. In his mind, there will be a multiyear deal for him somewhere out there.

    Given the scarcity of good offense at shortstop, there just might be. If a guy like J.J. Hardy is worth a three-year, $40 million extension heading into his age-32 season, Desmond is certainly worth more heading into his age-30 campaign. Even for a guy whose down year wasn't as bad as it seems, that and the lost draft pick would sound like a pretty steep price.

    Total

    61/100

36. Starlin Castro, 2B/SS, Trade

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    Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

    Rumor Source: Julie DiCaro of 670 The Score

    Talent Outlook

    40/70

    It has become hard to know what to make of Starlin Castro. He's been a flawed player all along, but the last three years have seen him go from terrible (2013) to quite good (2014) to mediocre (2015). This past season also saw him lose his job at shortstop to Addison Russell, as he made the move to second base in August.

    But at the least, Castro is a good contact hitter who's capable of good bat control. Also, it shouldn't be lost on anyone that he caught fire and played solid defense after making the move to second base. And above all, remember that he's still only 25. Dealing for him could potentially mean trading for one of the game's better two-way second baseman, and one who's controlled for five more seasons to boot.

    Durability Outlook

    18/20

    Castro suffered a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for the final month of the 2014 season. Apart from that, he's played in at least 150 games since becoming an everyday player in 2011.

    And once again, he's still only 25 (though he'll turn 26 in March). He's not at an age yet where his body should be breaking down. As such, there's only one real concern: that the general roughhousing that goes hand-in-hand with playing second base will accelerate his breakdown.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    There were only whispers before, but DiCaro's report suggests the Cubs are serious about moving Castro this winter. If so, here's thinking they aren't simply looking to offload an inconsistent player. With talent, youth and a team-friendly contract, Castro is a legit trade chip who would command a strong package.

    So no, the Cubs won't be giving him away. And though Castro has plenty of ability, the reality is that dealing for him would involve paying a hefty price for one of the game's biggest enigmas.

    Total

    62/100

35. Carlos Santana, 1B, Trade

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Speculation Source: Paul Hoynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group

    Talent Outlook

    42/70

    Carlos Santana is coming off a down year, as he hit just 19 home runs and OPS'd .752. But it shouldn't be overlooked that he has a rock-solid career OPS of .798. And though the Indians have never been fully committed to him at the position, he's actually been a passable first baseman

    There should be more of this in store, as the 29-year-old Santana will still be in his prime in the final two years of club control that his team-friendly contract offers. And though his approach at the plate—basically: swing seldom, swing hard—can be frustrating, he's good enough at making contact and hitting the ball hard to make it worthwhile. Factor in his non-terrible defense at first, and you get a solid player.

    Durability Outlook

    15/20

    In addition to being reasonably consistent, Santana has been durable in recent years. He's played in more than 150 games in four of the last five seasons, dealing with only minor aches and pains along the way.

    There should be more of this in store. The Indians did Santana's durability a favor by removing him from behind the plate in 2014, and we'll repeat that he's still in the prime of his career.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Because the Indians need as many bats as they can get their hands on, one isn't so sure about Hoynes' claim that the club will look to trade Santana this winter. But if Cleveland does, it'll be marketing a solid power-hitting bat that can be controlled for two more years at a little over $20 million.

    A player like that isn't worth a bucket of prospects, but Santana could fetch an established major leaguer who could fill a role in Cleveland. In the end, such a deal could work out for both sides.

    Total

    62/100

34. Wei-Yin Chen, SP, Free Agent

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    40/70

    A mediocre pitcher in 2012 and 2013, Wei-Yin Chen has turned the corner and become an above-average pitcher in the last two years. In posting a 3.44 ERA across 377 innings, he's racked up a 3.80 K/BB ratio that has mainly come courtesy of his aggressiveness within the strike zone.

    Chen's weak point is his proneness to home runs. He's given up 51 over the last two years, primarily on a four-seam fastball that is rarely overwhelming. But while that may be his single biggest shortcoming, his ability to throw strikes and eat innings makes him a good attraction for a multiyear deal.

    Durability Outlook

    19/20

    Chen missed a good chunk of time with an oblique strain in 2013, but he has otherwise been durable in his brief major league career. In three of four seasons, he's made at least 30 starts and logged at least 185 innings.

    The thing to keep in mind, though, is that Chen is now 30 years old with nearly 1,400 professional innings on his arm. But while that raises at least a small measure of suspicion about his durability, his track record and remarkably low-effort mechanics still bode well for his durability over the course of a multiyear deal.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Chen rejected the qualifying offer, making him one of quite a few notable free agent starters tied to draft-pick compensation. But if the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana could find deals in the four-year, $50 million range, Chen should as well.

    Chen is a pretty good pitcher, but he's more of a No. 3-type starter than a No. 2. Between the money and the lost draft pick, all signs point toward him costing a bit too much.

    Total

    63/100

33. Jeff Samardzija, SP, Free Agent

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    Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    40/70

    There's something about odd years that disagrees with Jeff Samardzija. After struggling with a 4.34 ERA in 2013, he was even worse with a 4.96 ERA in 2015. He earned that, too, striking out fewer than seven batters per nine innings and serving up a career-high 29 homers.

    But, Samardzija is not a lost cause. His velocity is still hanging in the mid-90s, and he still has strong command of an arsenal that's about as diverse as they come. Abilities like these give him the potential to be an above-average pitcher. You know, like the one he was in 2012 and 2014.

    Durability Outlook

    20/20

    Samardzija has been a picture of health in his big league career. He hasn't gone on the disabled list once. And so far as yours truly can tell, he hasn't even dealt with any nagging injuries.

    This makes Samardzija different from most 30-year-old pitchers, but there are good reasons for his durability. That he has fewer than 1,000 big league innings on his arm means he's relatively well preserved. He's also well-built at 6'5" and 225 pounds, and with solid mechanics to boot.

    Value Outlook

    3/10

    Though his value took a hit in 2015, Samardzija showed confidence in his market by rejecting the qualifying offer. Indications are that he was right to do so, as the thinking is that Samardzija will find a deal for up to five years and at least $15 million per year even despite ties to draft-pick compensation.

    Either way, signing Samardzija will not be a cheap roll of the dice. That will be doubly true if he finds a multiyear deal, and there's a pretty good chance of that happening.

    Total

    63/100

32. Drew Storen, RHP, Trade

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Rumor Source: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports

    Talent Outlook

    45/60

    It looks bad that Drew Storen finished 2015 with a pedestrian 3.44 ERA. But then you remember that he had a 1.12 ERA in 2014 and a 1.52 ERA as late as August 6 in 2015. And he was actually more overpowering in 2015, upping his K/9 from 7.3 to 11.0 while continuing to manage contact well.

    All that was no accident. Storen operated with his best velocity since 2012, and he dominated with a slider that gained a whole bunch of glove-side run. At 28 years old, he's very much in his prime as he heads toward his final year before free agency in 2016.

    Durability Outlook

    13/15

    Storen hasn't been able to dodge the injury bug in his career, notably missing time recovering from elbow surgery in 2012 and with a broken thumb at the end of 2015, the gift of a misguided locker punch. Hence why he's made it to 60 appearances just twice in the last four seasons.

    Still, it helps that Storen is still only 28 years old. It also helps that he has cleaner mechanics than many of his reliever brethren. He's thus a solid bet to stay healthy in his final year of club control in 2016.

    Value Outlook

    6/10

    After the Nationals alienated Storen by demoting him following their July deadline trade for Jonathan Papelbon over the summer, it's really no secret that they pretty much need to deal Storen this winter. That won't help their leverage in trade talks and could very well result in Storen's coming at a discounted rate.

    So, interested parties should step on up. Trading for Storen could be a chance to deal for one of baseball's better relievers—and for a bargain price to boot.

    Total

    64/85

31. Derek Norris, C, Trade

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    Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

    Speculation Source: Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune

    Talent Outlook

    41/70

    Derek Norris emerged as a solid platoon bat in 2012 and 2013 before playing well enough to make the All-Star team in 2014. His 2015 season thus looks like a significant step back. His OPS fell from the mid-.700s to just .709, with a big part of the problem being a career-high number of strikeouts.

    Things aren't as bad as they seem, though. Norris hit a career-high 14 home runs, and his approach didn't disintegrate as badly as his walk rate suggests. It also shouldn't be overlooked that he made strides defensively, throwing out 34 percent of would-be base stealers and rating as one of the game's top receivers. Norris is a solid regular who, at 26, is in his prime.

    Durability Outlook

    16/20

    Norris has dealt with his share of nagging injuries in his four seasons in the big leagues, but he's only been on the disabled list once. That was back in 2013.

    That and the fact that Norris is still in his physical prime bode well going forward. In his final three years of club control, he's about as good a bet to stay on the field as a catcher can be.

    Value Outlook

    7/10

    Lin's thinking is that the Padres could move Norris for two reasons: because he's about to get expensive in arbitration, and because they have a young defensive stud who's worth playing in Austin Hedges.

    These are pretty good excuses for the Padres to move Norris, but they'd be selling low after the year he just had. Given that he stands a solid chance of bouncing back from that year and having three good seasons before free agency, he's a potential steal waiting to happen.

    Total

    64/100

30. Andrew Miller, LHP, Trade

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

     Rumor Source: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports

    Talent Outlook

    58/60

    After being picked No. 6 overall in the 2006 draft, Andrew Miller looked like a massive bust in posting a 5.78 ERA between 2007 and 2011. But he's found himself as a reliever in recent seasons. He owns a 2.03 ERA across 133 outings in the last two campaigns, in which he's also racked up a 5.49 K/BB.

    If Miller has a weakness, it's that his control is really just OK. But that's all it needs to be with his stuff, as he complements a mid-90s fastball with a nasty slider that's elite at missing bats. It's mainly thanks to said slider that Miller, 30, struck out nearly 15 batters per nine innings over the last two seasons, and the offering should ensure he remains an elite reliever in the final three years of his contract.

    Durability Outlook

    5/15

    Though Miller was able to continue his run of dominance in 2015, he couldn't avoid the injury bug. A forearm setback cropped up in June and put him on the disabled list for a couple of weeks.

    So it goes for Miller. Injuries have tended to be a problem for him throughout his career, as his trip to the DL in 2015 was his sixth. Given his age, his somewhat funky mechanics and his now-extreme reliance on his slider, there's a good chance that injuries will continue to plague him.

    Value Outlook

    2/10

    According to Heyman, the Yankees are more open to trading Miller than they are hoping to trade Miller. As such, it's no wonder Heyman says they'll only move the closer if it means getting "an ace pitcher or some other huge return."

    Miller is awfully good, but that's a pretty big price to pay for a guy who's only going to pitch in 60 or so innings in any given season. There's also the reality that the Yankees probably wouldn't eat all or even most of the $27 million Miller is still owed. So no, he's not going to come cheap.

    Total

    65/85

29. Scott Kazmir, SP, Free Agent

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    45/70

    Scott Kazmir struggled to a 4.17 ERA in 13 starts with the Astros down the stretch, but he's still been largely good in posting a 3.33 ERA over the last two seasons. Along the way, he's shown off much better command than he had earlier in his career, and he has become quite good at limiting hard contact.

    The downside is that Kazmir hasn't sustained the velocity spike he enjoyed in his return to the majors in 2013. But a cutter has given him an arsenal of hard stuff that allows for different looks. That, plus his improved command, makes him a solid bet to remain effective as he goes into his mid-30s.

    Durability Outlook

    14/20

    Kazmir's lack of durability played a part in forcing him out of the league a few years back, but he's had to go on the DL just once since returning in 2013. And in the last two seasons, he's made at least 30 starts and logged at least 180 innings each year.

    Mind you, this doesn't mean Kazmir's past history with injuries can be completely discarded. But his more recent durability can be attributed to mechanical adjustments that have allowed him to put less stress on his body. As long as he keeps it up, durability might not be an issue in a multiyear deal.

    Value Outlook

    6/10

    After Oakland traded him to Houston prior to the July deadline, Kazmir was barred from receiving a qualifying offer. Despite that, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says Kazmir's issues in Houston may push him to accepting a three-year deal worth $10 million to $12 million per year.

    At a time when even midlevel guys are costing teams draft picks and upward of $10 million to $12 million per year, a deal like that would sound pretty good from a club perspective. Kazmir is no ace, but he's good enough to be at least a solid No. 3 in just about any rotation.

    Total

    65/100

28. Hyun Soo Kim, OF, Free Agent

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    Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    45/70

    For the last eight seasons, Hyun Soo Kim has been one of the very best hitters in the Korean Baseball Organization. He's hit over .300 in every year but one and is a .318 career hitter with an .895 career OPS overall. The 27-year-old left fielder also has 142 career home runs, including a career-high 28 in 2015.

    As for how Kim's skills will translate to MLB, it bodes well that he has a career walk rate (12.5 BB%) that's higher than his career strikeout rate (10.5 K%). That could ensure he'll be at least a solid top-of-the-order type if his power fails to translate, which is probably likely. And as a three-time Gold Glove winner, he's a candidate to play solid defense. In all, he sounds like a quality regular in his prime.

    Durability Outlook

    17/20

    Full disclosure: This is an area where we're flying blind. Injury histories for MLB players are easy to look up. But for KBO players? Not as much.

    However, what we do know is Kim played in more than 120 games in each of the last eight seasons. Because the KBO campaign is notably shorter than MLB's, that's a good sign. And at 27 years old, one advantage he has over many stateside free agents is that he's in his physical prime. Optimism is warranted.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Unlike fellow Korean stars Byung Ho Park and Ah Seop Son, Kim is not coming to MLB via the posting process. As Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported, Kim is an international free agent who's free to sign with any team.

    This should work to Kim's favor, as being able to negotiate with any club will help him drive up his price. But as far as prospective buyers are concerned, that will likely mean Kim won't be a cheap roll of the dice—especially not after Jung Ho Kang showed that star Korean hitters can cut it in MLB.

    Total

    66/100

27. Ah Seop Son, OF, Free Agent

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    Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

    Talent Outlook

    45/70

    Here's a guy who needs no introduction in Korea but is definitely in need of one to North American fans. Ah Seop Son is a nine-year veteran of the Korean Baseball Organization and one of the league's top hitters. Over the last six seasons, Son hit .329 with an .874 OPS and averaged double-digit home runs and stolen bases per season. And he's not all about offense, as Son has also won multiple Gold Gloves. 

    As for how all this might translate to Major League Baseball, the reality that Jung Ho Kang was able to make a successful transition in 2015 bodes well. And though Son doesn't have Kang's power, he looks like the better pure hitter. In addition to his impressive surface numbers over the last six years, Son posted a 15.8 K% and 10.8 BB% that look pretty good by MLB standards. If all goes well, the 27-year-old could be a solid-hitting, solid-fielding regular in the majors.

    Durability Outlook

    17/20

    Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. A Google search didn't turn up any injuries for Son, so we're pretty much flying blind here.

    But things do look good on the surface. Son averaged over 120 games played in his last six seasons, a number that looks pretty good in light of how the KBO campaign is notably shorter than MLB's (144 games, increased from 128 in 2014. And with only his age-28 season ahead of him, Son is very much in his prime. Durability shouldn't be an issue.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    We don't know just yet what kind of bid is going to win Son's posting, but we can hazard a guess that it will fall between the $5 million that won Kang's posting last winter and the $12.85 million that won fellow KBO veteran Byung Ho Park's posting this winter. In addition, Kang's success paves the way for Son to receive a better contract. It wouldn't be surprising if he gets double the $11 million that Kang got.

    In other words: no. Son is probably not going to be a Kang-like steal in the end. But if Kang's success is any indication, it's hard to imagine a team paying too much for Son.

    Total

    67/100

26. Mike Leake, SP, Free Agent

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    45/70

    Mike Leake is coming off something of a ho-hum season. In posting a 3.70 ERA in 192 innings, he showed he's still the same solid innings-eater he's been for several years. His trick is to use strong command and a diverse arsenal of pitches to throw strikes and keep the ground balls coming.

    The downside is that Leake is hardly overpowering, as he consistently posts low strikeout rates and serves up plenty of homers. But his act is effective enough to make him a solid No. 3 or No. 4. And with only his age-28 season due up, he's very much in his prime.

    Durability Outlook

    18/20

    When Leake strained his hamstring back in August, he had to go on the DL for only the second time in his career. That's how you make at least 30 starts and pitch at least 179 innings four years in a row.

    Working against Leake's durability is the fact that he's not a big guy at just 5'10" and 190 pounds. But his youth is a big advantage over other free-agent pitchers. Whereas virtually all of them are on the wrong side of 30 and approaching their breakdown years, Leake has a few seasons to go still.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Leake was barred from receiving a qualifying offer thanks to the July trade that sent him from Cincinnati to San Francisco, so he's hitting the market free of ties to draft-pick compensation. Between that and his age, he could be in line for a five- or six-year deal worth around $15 million per season.

    With a lost draft pick, a pact like that would be way too steep for a pitcher of Leake's caliber. Without a draft pick involved, however, it's only a little steep.

    Total

    67/100

25. Evan Longoria, 3B, Trade

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    Winslow Townson/Associated Press

    Speculation Source: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe

    Talent Outlook

    48/70

    Evan Longoria hasn't been bad over the last two seasons, as he's OPS'd .744 with 43 home runs. That's easily above-average production. It only looks bad because of all that came before, as an average Longoria season before 2014 featured an .870 OPS and 27 home runs with excellent defense at third base.

    Longoria doesn't look like that guy anymore. His power has fallen off in a significant way, and even the defensive metrics are against him now. He only turned 30 in October, but the recent turn his career has taken suggests he's already into his decline phase. For a guy who has seven years left on his contract, that doesn't bode well.

    Durability Outlook

    15/20

    Things looked dicey when leg woes limited Longoria to just 74 games back in 2012, but he's since played in at least 160 games in each of the last three seasons. Though his skills are eroding, his body is holding up just fine.

    Still, you do wonder how long that can last. Longoria has over 1,100 MLB games in his past, and those have put plenty of mileage on his 30-year-old body. Over the next seven years, it's less than a given that he'll remain a picture of good health.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    According to Cafardo, the Longoria trade buzz is coming from people outside of the Rays rather than the franchise itself. But it makes sense. The Rays have some retooling to do, and moving the seven years and $110.5 million remaining on his contract could go a long way toward that rebuild.

    The Rays won't be able to demand a huge package of prospects if they also want to move all that money, but they would presumably need some young talent coming back to move Longoria. Because it may not even be a given that he can live up to the $110.5 million he's still owed, it's not a given that Longoria could live up a deal like that.

    Total

    67/100

24. Mark Melancon, RHP, Trade

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    Gene J.Puskar/Associated Press

     Rumor Source: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports

    Talent Outlook

    50/60

    Following a disastrous stretch in Boston back in 2012, Mark Melancon has come into his own in Pittsburgh over the last three seasons. He posted sub-2.00 ERAs in 2013 and 2014, and a relatively more modest 2.23 ERA in 2015 didn't stop him from leading baseball with 51 saves.

    There is one cause for concern: Melancon's K/9 rate dropped to a subpar 7.3 in 2015. At the heart of that was a velocity loss that, with his age-31 season due up, may be permanent. But though Melancon may be done missing bats, the movement on his cutter and curveball and his ability to command them make him an excellent control artist and contact manager. Those skills should age fine.

    Durability Outlook

    14/15

    Melancon had Tommy John surgery as a minor leaguer all the way back in 2006. Since then, however, the injury bug has left him alone.

    He's taken full advantage of that, logging over 70 appearances and pitching over 70 innings in four of the last five seasons. There's a possibility all this work will catch up to him in 2016, his final year before free agency, but his clean injury history says it's not especially likely.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Heyman doesn't say in his report what the Pirates would prefer to acquire in a trade involving Melancon, but it's a fair guess that they're not interested in prospects. They're in win-now mode. It's much more likely they have it in mind to deal Melancon for starting-pitching depth or a corner-infield upgrade.

    That is to say, it's going to take an established player to acquire Melancon, who is owed a raise over his $5.4 million 2015 salary before hitting free agency next winter. It'll be difficult for a team to turn him into a steal. 

    Total

    68/85

23. Darren O'Day, RHP, Free Agent

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    53/60

    Darren O'Day has been a quality reliever his whole career, but he's become elite in the last two seasons. In racking up a 1.61 ERA during that span, he's posted a 4.70 K/BB and become impossible to touch up for hard contact. And for a guy with a reputation as a right-handed specialist, he's now quite good at getting lefty batters out.

    Mind you, O'Day still doesn't have overpowering stuff. But becoming more confident in his four-seamer allows him to give hitters different looks, and he can combine that sequencing with pinpoint command to make for a truly tough matchup. He's looking like the best reliever available on the free-agent market.

    Durability Outlook

    10/15

    Injuries wrecked O'Day's 2011 season, as he missed a good chunk of the year with hip and shoulder problems. In four seasons since then, however, he's been good for at least 68 appearances and 60 innings every year.

    Mind you, at 33 years of age, O'Day is no longer a young player. And because his funky delivery seemingly puts quite a bit of strain on his elbow, you do have to wonder how he would hold up in a multiyear deal.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Despite his recent stretch of dominance, O'Day did not receive a qualifying offer. That should work out for him. Not being tied to draft-pick compensation will make it easier for O'Day to find a multiyear deal, with something in the range of three years and $25 million being within the realm of possibility.

    He'll be expensive, all right. But considering how good O'Day has proved himself to be, he is indeed worthy of being paid like a shutdown late-inning reliever.

    Total

    68/85

22. John Lackey, SP, Free Agent

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    Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    50/70

    John Lackey was solid in 2013 and 2014, posting a 3.67 ERA. But he was excellent in 2015, finishing with a career-best 2.77 ERA and logging 218.0 innings. That ERA probably overstates how good he was, but he wasn't bad. He finished with an above-average K/BB ratio (3.30), and he got his share of grounders.

    What's remarkable about Lackey, 37, is how well he's maintained his velocity deep into his 30s. But he also showed in 2015 that he no longer wants to lean on his velocity, as he deepened his arsenal by reviving his two-seamer. All this plus his strong command does indeed equate to strong pitching talent.

    Durability Outlook

    15/20

    Lackey missed all of 2012 recovering from Tommy John surgery, and then he immediately ran into arm trouble early in 2013. But it's been smooth sailing for him ever since, as he's logged at least 189 innings in each of the last three seasons.

    Of course, the fact that Lackey is a 37-year-old with nearly 2,500 career innings on his arm does create some doubt about his durability going forward. But his recent history bodes well, as does the fact that he's a big guy (6'6", 235 pounds) with efficient mechanics.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Not surprisingly, Lackey received and rejected a qualifying offer, tying himself to draft-pick compensation. He'll now look to make like Tim Hudson and land a multiyear deal despite his advanced age. Odds are, at least one offer would take the shape of a two- or three-year deal worth between $12 and $15 million per year.

    That sounds like a steal, from a team's perspective, for a guy who posted a 2.77 ERA. But given that it's unlikely he'll do that again, such a deal would probably only prove to be fair in the long run.

    Total

    70/100

21. Ben Zobrist, UTIL, Free Agent

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    Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    54/70

    Even if you disregard WAR's notorious love affair with Ben Zobrist, you can still see a really good player. After OPS'ing .809 with 13 home runs in 2015, Zobrist has now racked up an .804 OPS and averaged 16 homers a year since 2008. In the process, he's played quality defense at multiple positions.

    His glove held up until recently, that is, as Zobrist's defense didn't rate well in 2015. Between that and his three stolen bases, it's possible the 34-year-old's athleticism is fading. But even after acknowledging that much, we can still grant that Zobrist is a very talented player. On offense, he draws walksputs the ball in play and provides solid power. And on defense, he'll at least have his versatility going forward.

    Durability Outlook

    11/20

    Zobrist was extremely durable between 2009 and 2013, playing in at least 150 games each year. But he fell short in playing in 146 contests in 2014, and knee surgery helped limit him to only 126 games in 2015.

    To be sure, that Zobrist's issues with durability have begun so recently hardly makes for the worst track record. But he is at an age that makes his recent issues look like a larger red flag, and we have to consider the reality that he's put his body through a lot by being so active throughout his career. In a multiyear deal, it wouldn't be surprising if good health eluded him.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    The trade that sent Zobrist from Oakland to Kansas City blocked him from receiving a qualifying offer, so he's not tied to draft-pick compensation. Between that and the reality that he's a fit for pretty much every team, he should get plenty of interest. Maybe even enough to land a three- or four-year deal worth upward of $10 million per year.

    With a lost draft pick, a pact like that would be pushing the boundaries of good sense. But without a lost draft pick, Zobrist could probably do just enough to live up to such a deal.

    Total

    70/100

20. Alex Gordon, LF, Free Agent

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    54/70

    In Alex Gordon, you're looking at maybe the best left fielder in baseball. The last five seasons have seen him post an .809 OPS while averaging 18 home runs per year and playing truly fantastic defense. Add in quality baserunning, and it's no wonder Baseball-Reference's version of WAR rates him well above all other left fielders. Oh, and so does FanGraphs

    Looking ahead, Gordon's offense should remain strong. Everything is built off a good approach and contact habit, and a move away from Kauffman Stadium would only help his power. But with his age-32 season due up, you do wonder about his baserunning and defense. In a long-term deal, there will inevitably come a point where he's not able to move like he used to.

    Durability Outlook

    12/20

    Gordon was a picture of health between 2011 and 2014, playing more than 150 games each year and generally keeping the injury bug at bay. It wasn't until this past July that things took a turn for the worse, as Gordon suffered a groin injury that sidelined him for over a month.

    You know that point about his legs wearing down? That applies to this section as well. Beyond his age, another red flag is that Gordon's years of activity on the basepaths and in Kauffman Stadium's huge outfield put a lot of miles on his wheels. In a long-term deal, continued durability is less than a sure thing.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Gordon turned down a $14 million option to become a free agent, and then the $15.8 million qualifying offer. And rightfully so, as his market will likely lead him toward a contract of around five years and $100 million even despite his ties to draft-pick compensation.

    Money like that would be a downright steal if Gordon were to continue playing like his 2011-15 self. But that's definitely his prime, and he's at an age where that will very likely soon be behind him. 

    Total

    70/100

19. Tyson Ross, SP, Trade

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    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Rumor Source: Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports

    Talent Outlook

    55/70

    Though Tyson Ross made the NL All-Star team in 2014, he still looks like an under-the-radar success story. Since 2013, he owns a 3.07 ERA that's come mainly courtesy of a slider that allows him to miss a ton of bats and a sinker that gets him a ton of ground balls

    Ross' one limitation, mind you, is that he has lousy control that stems from funky mechanics. Walks are always likely to be an issue. He's also leaking some velocity as he gets closer to his 30th birthday. Nonetheless, he shouldn't change much in his final two years before free agency, and that's a good thing.

    Durability Outlook

    13/20

    Though Ross has yet to pitch more than 200 innings in a season, he has shown he can be a solid workhorse. In each of the last two campaigns, he's made more than 30 starts while pitching more than 190 innings.

    Ross doesn't have the cleanest injury history, however, as he's dealt with shoulder and elbow ailments within the last three years. And with inefficient mechanics and a pitching style that goes heavy on sliders, he's probably not guaranteed to remain healthy in the next two seasons.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Ross is a good but not quite elite starter who is headed for his age-29 season with two years of club control left. That puts Ross in roughly the same boat Doug Fister was in two winters ago, and the Tigers dealt Fister for three controllable pieces of talent. Odds are Ross would have to fetch the same price to be moved.

    If Ross were to find some control, he could easily outperform a price like that. But with that unlikely to be the case, odds are the best he would do is merely live up to it.

    Total

    73/100

18. Ken Giles, RHP, Trade

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Speculation Source: Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly

    Talent Outlook

    54/60

    After debuting to the tune of a 1.18 ERA and 5.82 K/BB in 2014, Ken Giles regressed in 2015. Instead of being brilliant, he was merely outstanding in posting a 1.80 ERA and a 3.48 K/BB ratio. He didn't have the finest control in posting a 3.2 BB/9, but he continued to overwhelm hitters in posting an 11.2 K/9.

    To that end, it is slightly concerning that Giles was inconsistent with his fastball velocity in 2015, which helped cause a diminished whiff rate on the pitch. But there's nothing wrong with an average fastball of 96.5 miles per hour. And at 25 years old, Giles' velocity should be sticking around for a while still. Coupled with his nasty slider, he has what he needs to be a shutdown reliever for years to come.

    Durability Outlook

    15/15

    Before Giles arrived in The Show in 2014, he battled through an injury-plagued season in the minor leagues in 2013. Oblique trouble cost him a good portion of the campaign.

    Since then, however, the injury bug has left Giles alone. And at 25 with only 113 major league appearances in two seasons under his belt, it'll be a few years before his workload becomes a concern. In the five seasons of club control he has left, he's as good a bet as anyone to stay on the field.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    The idea of the Phillies dealing Giles seems unlikely. He's very young and very talented, and he won't hit free agency until after 2020. For a rebuilding team like the Phillies, he's a valuable asset. And yet, Salisbury wrote that there "are signs that the Phillies brass has at least kicked this idea around." 

    If they have, it's presumably because Giles's trade value is especially high in relation to the weak market for free agent relievers. For him alone, they may be able to acquire a couple of talented prospects. Whatever the case, the price for Giles is understandably high. But if he has five more years like either of his first two in him, he could actually be worth the price.

    Total

    74/85

17. Yoenis Cespedes, LF/CF, Free Agent

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    56/70

    Yoenis Cespedes picked a heck of a time to have a career year in 2015. He posted a career-best .870 OPS with a career-high 35 home runs while continuing to play excellent defense in left field. Along the way, he looked like a near-impossible blend of speed, power and overall athleticism. 

    The way in which Cespedes fell apart in the postseason, though, was a reminder that he's not perfect. His hyper-aggressive style at the plate has limited him to a .309 OBP over the last three seasons, and he can be guilty of lapses in judgment on defense. He's also now on the wrong side of 30. Though his tremendous raw ability should and will land him a big contract, odds are 2015 will prove to be his peak.

    Durability Outlook

    13/20

    Cespedes had some issues staying on the field in the first two years of his career but has been able to play in more than 150 games in each of the last two. And though he may be 30, the big bright side there is that he's more well-preserved than many guys his age. Before he was a major leaguer, he was playing in fewer than 100 games a year in the Cuban National Series.

    All the same, there's no ignoring how Cespedes attracts plenty of nagging injuries. And with his body type and style of play, injuries are always going to be a risk. In a long-term deal, good health is less than guaranteed.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Both Cespedes' contract and his trade from Detroit to New York barred him from receiving a qualifying offer, so he's hit the open market off a career year and without ties to draft-pick compensation. That will only make it easier for him to make lots and lots of money, with a good bet being something in the range of five or six years at upward of $25 million per season.

    With a lost draft pick, a deal like that would arguably be too steep for a suitor. But without a lost draft pick, it doesn't sound so bad.

    Total

    74/100

16. Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Trade

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

     Speculation Source: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe

    Talent Outlook

    60/60

    Following another dominant season in 2015, Aroldis Chapman now has a 1.90 ERA and an absurd 16.1 K/9 since becoming a full-time closer in 2012. What's responsible for all this is no secret. He may not always know where the ball is going, but you don't need to when you're baseball's hardest thrower over the last three years.

    That 98.8 average fastball velocity probably isn't going away anytime soon. Chapman is only going into his age-28 season, after all, and his velocity is better now than it was in his first couple of full campaigns. The day will come when he's no longer throwing triple digits but very likely not before he hits free agency next winter.

    Durability Outlook

    13/15

    Chapman missed a chunk of time with a bad shoulder in 2011. But since then, the only notable injury issue he's dealt with involved a line drive to the face in early 2014. His arm and shoulder have generally been fine.

    To be sure, there is some concern that good health could abandon Chapman without much warning. He may have a relatively clean injury history, but his high velocity and high-effort delivery make him look like an arm injury waiting to happen. His durability probably isn't 100 percent guaranteed.

    Value Outlook

    2/10

    Chapman may only have one year of club control left, but it's no surprise that Cafardo's report says it would take a "boatload of prospects" to acquire the reliever, who "could very well be available." The Reds are rebuilding, after all, and Chapman is without a doubt one of the game's top relievers.

    It's hard to say exactly what kind of haul Chapman could bring to Cincinnati. But knowing that he's a mere relief pitcher who will be a one-year rental, any large trade package would have a high chance of proving to be too large for a potential buyer.

    Total

    75/85

15. Johnny Cueto, SP, Free Agent

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    David Goldman/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    59/70

    Johnny Cueto has spent the better part of the last five years as a dominant pitcher, posting a 2.71 ERA. Through command and sequencing of a solid arsenal, he racked up a strong 3.30 K/BB ratio and generally collected his share of ground balls and pop-ups.

    But things got weird for Cueto in Kansas City, where he posted a 4.76 ERA in 13 starts down the stretch. That struggle didn't come from nowhere. His velocity became inconsistent, and his excellent 4.9 BB% masks how his command often wasn't quite as fine. It's hard to know what to make of all this. But at the very least, it's an indication that his smoke-and-mirrors style of pitching isn't entirely foolproof.

    Durability Outlook

    11/20

    Cueto pitched over 240 innings in 2014 and easily made it over 200 again for the third time in four years in 2015. Despite his recent heavy workload, however, the 1,420.1 career innings he has on his 29-year-old arm doesn't stand out as a scary number.

    But Cueto's durability outlook still has red flags. Shoulder injuries have caused him to miss some time in the last five years, and he dealt with some elbow trouble earlier in 2015. For a guy in line for a multiyear deal, none of this sounds especially encouraging.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    When the Reds traded Cueto to Kansas City in July, he was a lock for a huge contract. But even despite the fact he's not tied to draft-pick compensation thanks to that trade, now you have to wonder. He's probably not going to be forced into taking a one-year deal, but it seems very possible that he'll be forced to settle for something as small as a four-year pact worth under $100 million.

    This is to say that Cueto could sign for less than his track record says it's worth. But given his durability outlook and his recent struggles, such a deal would be more of a good gamble than a steal.

    Total

    75/100

14. Stephen Strasburg, SP, Trade

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

     Rumor Source: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe

    Talent Outlook

    60/70

    Though his career's gone through some rough patches, Stephen Strasburg isn't lacking in talent. He's not the best contact manager, but his awesome stuff and sharp command have helped him rack up a career 4.69 K/BB ratio and 3.09 ERA.

    Any team that trades for Strasburg would be able to expect more of the same. Barring a contract extension, he'd only be a one-year rental before hitting free agency next winter. With 2016 set to be his age-27 season, he should be the same pitcher he's been throughout his career.

    Durability Outlook

    11/20

    This is where it's hard to take much for granted with Strasburg. He's made 30 starts only twice, and he's crossed 200 innings only once. And in 2015, assorted injuries limited him to just 23 starts.

    Looking ahead, Strasburg's youth is really the only bright side. His body is pretty beat up at this point, and he would arguably be an injury risk even without his track record. As ESPN.com's Lindsay Berra and others have noted, Strasburg's mechanics aren't as efficient as they are pretty.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Strasburg is a talented pitcher in his late 20s who's due to make close to $10 million in his final year before free agency. That makes him similar to what Jeff Samardzija was last year, so the Nationals could theoretically get four young players for Strasburg. Cafardo writes there's "a lot of buzz that the re-tooling Nationals could make the 27-year-old available."

    Any team that wants to trade for Strasburg can anticipate having to pay a high price—one that's arguably too high, given that his durability issues often subtract from his talent.

    Total

    75/100

13. Jordan Zimmermann, SP, Free Agent

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    54/70

    Following three excellent seasons from 2012 to 2014, Jordan Zimmermann took a step back to post a 3.66 ERA in 2015. He still managed a characteristically strong 4.21 K/BB ratio, but a velocity drop hurt his ability to miss bats and keep the ball in the yard.

    Mind you, Zimmermann still has above-average velocity to go along with his excellent command. But there is some concern over what could be in store if he leaks more velocity, as he doesn't have the diverse pitch mix or sequencing talent to make the transition from power pitcher to finesse pitcher. He's only 29, but his decline phase may be near.

    Durability Outlook

    17/20

    Zimmermann underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009, but he hasn't had any further medical issues since becoming a full-time starter in 2011. And beginning in 2012, he's been good for at least 30 starts and 195 innings per year.

    As such, Zimmermann's TJ operation might have actually done him a favor. With only 1,094 career innings on his arm, he looks relatively well preserved. That and his clean mechanics allow for some optimism regarding his durability in the life of a long-term deal.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    After David Price and Zack Greinke, Zimmermann is likely to be the third-most desirable pitcher on the open market. And given that he's hitting said market after his age-29 season, something like a five- or six-year deal worth around $20 million per season should await him even despite his ties to draft-pick compensation.

    That would have sounded like a steal a year ago, when Zimmermann was coming off his excellent 2014 campaign. But after what happened with him in 2015, now it only sounds like a fair price.

    Total

    76/100

12. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves

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    David Goldman/Associated Press

    Rumor Source: Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports

    Talent Outlook

    54/70

    Though injuries limited Freddie Freeman to just 118 games in 2015, it was another solid season for the 26-year-old. He hit .276 with an .841 OPS and 18 home runs. As a result, he's now hitting .296 with an .863 OPS and an average of 20 home runs over the last three years. To boot, his defense is pretty good.

    If there's a cause for concern, it's that Freeman only slugged .395 after returning from a mid-season wrist injury in 2015. But because Freeman draws his walks and hits a ton of line drives, his offense should be fine even if his power doesn't come back right away. And even if it doesn't, his contract gives him six more years to find it again.

    Durability Outlook

    18/20

    Freeman's wrist wasn't the only thing that landed him on the DL in 2015. He also had an oblique injury that put him on the DL. And looking back over the rest of his career, nagging injuries have been something of a problem.

    But not too much of a problem. Freeman played in 162 games in 2014, and averaged about 150 games between 2011 and 2013. With him only headed for his age-26 season, he should have little trouble staying on the field in the final six years of his contract.

    Value Outlook

    4/10

    Rosenthal says Freeman is being actively shopped by the Braves, who are apparently interesting in shedding payroll. Moving him would definitely accomplish that, as he's owed nearly $120 million over the next six seasons.

    Because Freeman is still in the thick of his prime, the Braves might actually be able to move all that money and get some young talent back in return. As good as Freeman is, that would be a heck of a price tag to live up to over the next six years.

    Total

    76/100

11. Yasiel Puig, RF, Trade

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    Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

    Speculation Source: Joel Sherman of the New York Post

    Talent Outlook

    58/70

    Without question, Yasiel Puig was one of the game's top right fielders in 2013 and 2014. In addition to hitting .305 with an .888 OPS and combined 35 home runs, his defense rated as pretty good. But that all looks like ancient history after Puig's 2015, in which he was limited to a .758 OPS and 11 home runs in 79 games. And in general, Puig's great moments have come with a seemingly equal number of frustrating ones.

    Still, there's no denying his potential. He's a bundle of athleticism who's only going to be 25 in 2016, and he's at least proven he can take his walkshit for power and use his arm to make mincemeat of baserunners. And with three years left on his contract, there is time to hone his other skills to a point where they show up consistently rather than occasionally.

    Durability Outlook

    12/20

    This is where it's somewhat harder to be optimistic about Puig. He missed all but 79 games in 2015 because of leg injuries. And even in playing in 252 contests across the two prior seasons, he dealt with a near-constant barrage of nagging injuries.

    The good news is that Puig is still very young. The not-so-good news is that the injury bug may never leave him alone. His all-out style doesn't take it easy on his body, and all his bulk only gives the injury bug more areas to aim for.

    Value Outlook

    7/10

    Because Puig is signed for three more years at less than $20 million total, Sherman is right to think that there will be interest in him if the Dodgers put him out there. But because they're trying to win now, it'll likely cost an established player or two to land Puig. And good ones, at that.

    However, keep in mind that the Dodgers would be selling low on Puig if they deal him this winter. He's at a point where his trade value is much lower than his star potential, so whoever acquires him will have a high chance of landing a steal.

    Total

    77/100

10. Jonathan Lucroy, C, Trade

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    Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

     Rumor Source: Buster Olney of ESPN.com

    Talent Outlook

    55/70

    After putting together an MVP-worthy season in 2014, Jonathan Lucroy struggled in 2015. Injuries limited him to just 103 games, and he watched his OPS fall from .837 to .717. In addition, his generally outstanding pitch framing became merely above-average pitch framing.

    But don't utter the word "decline" just yet. Lucroy's bat rebounded nicely after a painfully slow start to 2015, and overall he remained a disciplined hitter with a good contact habit and good bat control. Between that and his track record as an elite receiver, it's very likely 2015 was just one bad year. With as many as two years of club control left, Lucroy should be viewed as a very attractive trade chip.

    Durability Outlook

    15/20

    Staying healthy was no problem for Lucroy in 2013 and 2014, but 2015 was another story. A broken toe sidelined him for over a month at the start of the season, and a concussion ultimately cut his season short at the end of the year. All told, not exactly the best way for Lucroy to spend his age-29 season.

    If there's a reason for optimism, however, it has to do with how Lucroy hasn't been worked as much as other catchers his age. He's only caught 643 games, which doesn't sound bad when compared to, say, the 1,046 games that Brian McCann had caught heading into his age-30 season. Lucroy may not be ironclad, but he's a solid bet to bounce back from his injury-marred 2015.

    Value Outlook

    8/10

    In Lucroy, the Brewers have an established catcher who can be controlled for two more seasons at less than $10 million total. But they also have a guy coming off a down year, so the price to acquire Lucroy is certainly not as high as it would have been last season. It may take one top prospect to secure a deal, but maybe just the one.

    If so, Lucroy could prove to be a major steal if he were to bounce back after his trying 2015 season. And as we discussed, there's a very good chance he will.

    Total

    78/100

9. Todd Frazier, 3B, Trade

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    Speculation Source: Buster Olney of ESPN.comCharlie Wilmoth of MLB Trade Rumors

    Talent Outlook

    55/70

    Though he hasn't been able to kick his habit of falling apart in the second half, the last two seasons have seen Todd Frazier emerge as a top-notch power hitter. He's hit 64 home runs with a .479 slugging percentage. Add in 33 stolen bases and quality defense at the hot corner, and you get a pretty good player.

    Inconsistency is sure to remain Frazier's biggest shortcoming, however, as he's an aggressive swinger with a whiff habit and a preference to pull the ball. But since he's still only 29, he should remain in his prime as a power-first player in the two years he has left until free agency.

    Durability Outlook

    18/20

    Frazier may be approaching 30, but he didn't break into the league until he was 25 and didn't become a full-time player until he was 26. He's thus relatively well preserved for a guy his age and has proved to be durable by playing in at least 150 games in each of the last three seasons.

    If there's cause for concern, it's that Frazier's high-energy style of play could take its toll. But he's not far enough along in his MLB career for that to be a big concern. And, again, barring an extension, any team dealing for him would only require a two-year commitment.

    Value Outlook

    6/10

    There's nothing concrete saying Frazier is on the block, but the two links above do a good job of highlighting the scenario in Cincinnati. The Reds are rebuilding, and Frazier is arguably their most attractive trade chip. According to Wilmoth, he's worth at least one top-100 prospect in a swap.

    That's not a cheap price, but Frazier could justify it if he has two more years of 30 home runs, good baserunning and good defense left in him. And he should.

    Total

    79/100

8. Chris Davis, 1B, Free Agent

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    58/70

    Chris Davis suffered through a lost season in which few things went right in 2014, but it's his 2013 and 2015 campaigns that look like truer reflections of his talent. He led the majors in home runs both seasons and racked up OPS numbers of 1.004 and .923, respectively. 

    Looking ahead, it's not ideal that Davis will soon be on the wrong side of 30. But the only real question regarding his long-term future is whether his stupendous power will last. Here's thinking it will. His smooth swing and 6'3", 230-pound frame allow him to generate effortless power, and that should continue to make him a threat for upward of 35 home runs on an annual basis in a long-term deal.

    Durability Outlook

    17/20

    Though his performance-enhancing drug suspension in 2014 muddies the picture a bit, Davis has generally proved to be durable in recent seasons. That proved especially true in 2013 and 2015, in which he played in exactly 160 games apiece.

    Going forward, there's naturally some worry that Davis' big, strong frame will start to crumble and render his durability a question mark, a la fellow first base sluggers Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. But if he has one advantage, it's that he didn't hit 500 at-bats in the majors until 2012 season. Compared to most sluggers his age, he's been relatively well preserved.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Davis is a client of Scott Boras, who negotiated a nine-year, $214 million contract for Fielder the last time he had a slugging first baseman hit free agency. Davis won't get that many years or that much money, but even his ties to draft-pick compensation likely won't bar him from a six- or seven-year deal worth around $25 million per season.

    That would be a lot of money. But knowing how easily Davis generates power and how well his body has been preserved to this point, it's not nuts to think that he could live up to such a deal.

    Total

    80/100

7. Justin Upton, LF, Free Agent

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Talent Outlook

    57/70

    Justin Upton clearly peaked with his MVP-level performance in 2011, but even his lesser self is still a really good player. Over the last three years, he's posted an .814 OPS and hit 82 home runs. He also showed with 19 steals in 2015 that he's not done being productive on the basepaths, and he's at least a solid left fielder.

    Upton's decline will come eventually, but not soon. He's only 28, and he presently boasts a strong approach and a reasonably consistent hard-contact habit. In the life of a long-term deal, he should have more than a few prime seasons still left in him. 

    Durability Outlook

    19/20

    Upton found his way to the disabled list in 2008 and 2009 but hasn't been back since. In each of the last five years, he's dealt with only minor injuries in averaging more than 150 games played per season.

    The one downside to all this is that Upton has accumulated more mileage (1,184 career games) than a lot of guys his age. But he also hasn't pushed his body any harder than he's had to, as his style of play has been more Robinson Cano-like smoothness than Aaron Rowand-like recklessness. In the life of a long-term contract, continued durability shouldn't be too much trouble.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Upton is definitely not a perfect player, but it's rare that established stars as young as he is hit the open market. Even despite his ties to draft-pick compensation, he should be in the market for a six- or seven-year deal worth $20 million-$25 million per year.

    That plus the lost draft pick would be a pretty high price to pay. But if Upton does indeed have plenty more prime seasons left in him, he could be worth it in the end.

    Total

    81/100

6. Carlos Carrasco, SP, Trade

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Speculation Source: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe

    Talent Outlook

    62/70

    Since stepping into Cleveland's rotation in late 2014, Carlos Carrasco has put up a 3.00 ERA in 40 starts. And even that undersells how good he's been. Using a high-octane fastball and an awesome slider-changeup combination, he's racked up 294 strikeouts and 54 walks in 252.2 innings.

    There should be more of this to come. Carrasco proved in 2015 that he can maintain high velocity over a full season as a starter. And though he's headed for his age-29 campaign, that he only has 556 big league innings on his arm could mean that he's due for a later decline phase than most pitchers.

    Durability Outlook

    15/20

    Carrasco is a Tommy John survivor, having undergone the surgery in 2011. He also wasn't able to make it through his first full season as a starter unscathed, as he had some trouble with his shoulder in August.

    Looking ahead, the fact that Carrasco is a big guy (6'4", 210 pounds) with relatively few innings on his arm bodes well for his durability. But one wonders if he'll be free from the threat of injury, as he's a hard thrower who doesn't appear to have the most efficient mechanics.

    Value Outlook

    6/10

    Carrasco may have a limited track record of success, but he's a 28-year-old hurler who's signed to a team-friendly contract through at least 2018, with team options for 2019 and 2020. He could be dealt for a couple of prospects or perhaps the established hitter that Cafardo notes the Indians seek. He wrote: "There’s no question the Indians are going to deal a starting pitcher for a hitter this offseason."

    Despite Carrasco's slightly shaky durability outlook, such a trade could easily be worth it. As a talented pitcher who's controllable for another five years, there's plenty of value in Carrasco's future.

    Total

    83/100

5. Danny Salazar, SP, Trade

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    Speculation Source: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe

    Talent Outlook

    60/70

    Danny Salazar was never able to get on track in 2014, but he established himself as a legit major leaguer with a 3.45 ERA in 185 innings in 2015. His mid-90s velocity and sharp splitter allowed him to keep striking out over a batter per inning, and going with a more unpredictable pitch mix helped him avoid hard contact.

    Looking ahead, Salazar may only get better. At 25, he's much too young to worry about his awesome stuff abandoning him. And if he continues to hone his craft, he could soon stand out as a hard-thrower who also knows how to pitch. In other words: He's probably only getting started.

    Durability Outlook

    18/20

    Salazar is now a few years removed from a Tommy John operation in 2010, and his arm has been largely healthy ever since. And with only 347 big league innings, he hasn't been subjected to much wear and tear.

    If there's one thing worth worrying about, it's that Salazar isn't a very big guy at just 6'0" and 195 pounds. As he accumulates more innings, he may be at more risk of breaking down. Even with that noted, though, there's no denying he's only beginning his prime.

    Value Outlook

    7/10

    Salazar is a hard-throwing 25-year-old who won't be arbitration-eligible until next winter and who won't hit free agency until after 2020. That makes him a hugely valuable asset who could land the Indians a basket of young players or, as Cafardo says they would prefer, an established major league hitter.

    But while that's a big price to pay, keep in mind that whoever trades for Salazar will be getting a pitcher with top-of-the-rotation talent for five years. The return on investment could be more than worth it.

    Total

    85/100

4. David Price, SP, Free Agent

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    Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    65/70

    David Price won the AL Cy Young in 2012 and may win another for his performance in 2015. He racked up a 2.45 ERA in 220.1 innings, also posting a characteristically excellent 4.79 K/BB ratio. Certainly, it helped that he maintained his excellent control while also regaining quite a bit of lost velocity.

    With Price now on the wrong side of 30, the question going forward is whether that velocity spike can last. But even if it doesn't, his excellent control and increasingly unpredictable pitch mix should allow him to remain effective. The end of his days as a high-end pitcher should not be nigh.

    Durability Outlook

    19/20

    Price is nothing if not durable, as he's topped 30 starts and 200 innings in five seasons out of six. The one exception happened when a triceps injury felled him in 2013, but that now looks more like an outlier than a red flag.

    Another thing is the reality that Price's 1,441.2 career innings through his age-29 season aren't that many relative to quite a few other pitchers in recent memory. That's no guarantee that he'll stay healthy throughout the life of a long-term deal, but it's a solid assurance that a breakdown may not be imminent.

    Value Outlook

    3/10

    More than likely, Price's objective in free agency will be to at least match the seven-year, $210 million contract that Max Scherzer got last winter from the Washington Nationals. To this end, it will help that Price has a longer track record of success. Just as important, it will help that he isn't tied to draft-pick compensation thanks to his July trade. 

    As such, Price does stand a solid chance of matching Scherzer's contract. But while such a price would be fair, goodness knows it won't be a steal. It's one thing to earn one a pact like that, but living up to a $200 million contract is very, very difficult.

    Total

    87/100

3. Zack Greinke, SP, Free Agent

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    66/70

    Zack Greinke, 32, was downright excellent in three years as a Dodger, as his 1.66 ERA in 2015 lowered his overall mark in Los Angeles to 2.30. And he more than earned that, posting an excellent 4.30 K/BB ratio and racking up plenty of soft contact with some of the best command and sequencing you'll find anywhere.

    On that last note, that's the beauty of where Greinke is now. He's not a true power pitcher anymore, as he gets by on keeping both lefties and righties guessing with a constant barrage of heaters and off-speed stuff on the outside corner. His style of pitching is one that should continue to age well.

    Durability Outlook

    18/20

    Greinke has topped 30 starts and 200 innings in six of eight years since 2008. The two times he didn't came in 2011 and 2013, and only because he suffered freak injuries playing basketball and holding his ground against a charging Carlos Quentin.

    The down side, of course, is that Greinke is now 32 years old. But that number isn't as scary on him as it is on other pitchers. He has a relatively clean injury history for good reasons, most notably smooth mechanics and a general awareness for how to stay healthy. His durability should also age well.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Relative to other top-end starters on the open market, Greinke's age and ties to draft-pick compensation both put him at a disadvantage. But if Cliff Lee could get a five-year, $120 million contract coming off his age-31 season in 2010, it's not hard to imagine Greinke getting $140 million to $150 million in a five-year pact. He may even have a shot at a six-year deal.

    Either way, of course, he's not going to come cheap. But given his strong talent and durability outlooks, he could live up to a big-money contract.

    Total

    89/100

2. Jason Heyward, RF, Free Agent

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    Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    Talent Outlook

    65/70

    As far as Baseball-Reference's version of WAR is concerned, Jason Heyward has been one of the game's 10 best position players since his debut in 2010 (No. 11 at FanGraphs). That's his reward for being so well-rounded. In addition to OPS'ing .784 in six seasons, he's averaged 16 home runs and 14 steals a year while playing superb right field defense.

    This is not to say Heyward doesn't come with any red flags. After starting strong, his power has become more like average in the last two seasons. But that's pretty much it. Heyward's ability to make contact and draw walks makes for a solid offensive foundation. And because he's only 26 years old, the skills that have made him an excellent baserunner and defender shouldn't fade anytime soon. Make no mistake: He has plenty of years as an elite player left in him. 

    Durability Outlook

    19/20

    An appendectomy and a fastball to his face limited Heyward to 104 games back in 2013, but he's otherwise had little trouble staying healthy in recent years. In three of the last four seasons, he's played in at least 149 games.

    That and the fact that Heyward is still so young obviously bode well for his durability going forward. If there is a concern, it's that the effort he puts forth on the basepaths and in the field may hasten his breakdown. It's a relatively small concern, though.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    At 26 years old and arguably the top position player on the market, Heyward definitely isn't going to come cheap. In addition to a draft pick by way of his rejection of his qualifying offer, signing him may also cost close to $200 million in a nine- or 10-year deal.

    As we've seen with Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and, more recently, Robinson Cano, deals like that can quickly become albatrosses. The difference with Heyward, however, is that he's significantly younger and fresher than many other players who have gotten such long pacts. He could actually be worth it.

    Total

    89/100

1. Matt Harvey, SP, Trade

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    Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

    Speculation Source: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, John Harper of the New York Daily News

    Talent Outlook

    67/70

    Though he often seemed like the forgotten ace of the Mets rotation, Matt Harvey was very good in his return from Tommy John surgery in 2015. He racked up an excellent 5.08 K/BB ratio and finished with a 2.71 ERA, bringing his career ERA to 2.53 over 65 big league starts.

    Harvey's excellence shouldn't diminish anytime soon. He showed in 2015 that he still has mid- to high-90s heat and three sharp secondary pitches to go with his strong command. And at 26 years old, he shouldn't have to worry about losing his stuff until years from now.

    Durability Outlook

    18/20

    With his Tommy John operation in 2013, Harvey has already experienced a major injury and surgery. Going forward, the question now is whether he's at risk of further harm.

    He may not be. Harvey's high-velocity style may mean he's more at risk than most pitchers, but it helps that he's built well at 6'4" and 215 pounds. And with his strong drop-and-drive mechanics, he's able to save his arm and shoulder from too much stress. His most durable days should be ahead of him.

    Value Outlook

    5/10

    Harvey is a 26-year-old with a 2.53 career ERA who's under club control through 2018. It's no wonder Heyman wrote in his September report the Mets "wouldn't discount him one iota" if they were to put him on the block. And the idea has more merit than you might think. The Mets have a lot of holes to fill this winter. And rather than money to spend on free agents, what they have an abundance of is young starting pitching to use in trades. After this year's awkwardness, Harvey is a sensible candidate to go.

    While the price for Harvey would certainly be high, he could live up to it. After all, trading for him would mean getting an elite power pitcher in his prime for three seasons. A return like that is worth a big investment.

    Total

    90/100