MLB Free Agents 2020: List of Top Players This Offseason After Trade Deadline

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2020

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Trevor Bauer throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

The 2020 MLB trade deadline has come and gone, and with no waiver-trade window once again this year, rosters are more or less set for the stretch run.

That means the next time we'll see a massive roster shuffle is during offseason free agency.

This year's class does not have the same amount of star power as last year's group, which was headlined by Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg. That's especially true after free-agent-to-be Mookie Betts signed an extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

That said, there is still plenty of impact talent set to hit the open market.

Ahead you'll find a position-by-position list of notable upcoming free agents, along with a deeper dive into a few of the bigger names from the 2020-21 free-agent class.


Top 2020-21 MLB Free Agents

Nelson Cruz
Nelson CruzCarlos Osorio/Associated Press


  • Jason Castro, SD
  • James McCann, CWS
  • Yadier Molina, STL
  • J.T. Realmuto, PHI

Corner Infielders

  • 1B C.J. Cron, DET
  • 1B Yuli Gurriel, HOU
  • 3B Justin Turner, LAD

Middle Infielders

  • 2B Asdrubal Cabrera, WAS
  • SS Freddy Galvis, CIN
  • SS Didi Gregorius, PHI
  • 2B Cesar Hernandez, CLE
  • 2B Tommy La Stella, OAK
  • 2B DJ LeMahieu, NYY
  • 2B Jonathan Schoop, DET
  • SS Marcus Semien, OAK
  • SS Andrelton Simmons, LAA


  • Jackie Bradley Jr., BOS
  • Michael Brantley, HOU
  • Nick Castellanos, CINcan opt out of final three years and $46 million
  • Nick Markakis, ATL
  • Marcell Ozuna, ATL
  • Joc Pederson, LAD
  • Kevin Pillar, COL
  • Josh Reddick, HOU
  • George Springer, HOU

Designated Hitters

  • Shin-Soo Choo, TEX
  • Nelson Cruz, MIN
  • J.D. Martinez, BOScan opt out of final two years and $38.75 million

Starting Pitchers

  • RHP Jake Arrieta, PHI
  • RHP Trevor Bauer, CIN
  • RHP Anthony DeSclafani, CIN
  • RHP Kevin Gausman, SF
  • LHP Cole Hamels, ATL
  • LHP Rich Hill, MIN
  • LHP Mike Minor, OAK
  • RHP Jake Odorizzi, MIN
  • LHP James Paxton, NYY
  • RHP Rick Porcello, NYM
  • LHP Jose Quintana, CHC
  • LHP Robbie Ray, TOR
  • RHP Garrett Richards, SD
  • RHP Marcus Stroman, NYM
  • RHP Masahiro Tanaka, NYY
  • RHP Taijuan Walker, TOR

Relief Pitchers

  • RHP Alex Colome, CWS
  • LHP Sean Doolittle, WAS
  • RHP Ken Giles, TOR
  • RHP Shane Greene, ATL
  • RHP Liam Hendriks, OAK
  • RHP Keone Kela, PIT
  • RHP Trevor May, MIN
  • RHP Mark Melancon, ATL
  • LHP Tony Watson, SF
  • RHP Brandon Workman, PHI
  • RHP Kirby Yates, SD


Notable Players

C J.T. Realmuto

Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The consensus best all-around catcher in baseball, Realmuto has turned in three straight seasons of at least 4.0 WAR, including a 2019 campaign where he hit .275/.328/.493 with 36 doubles, 25 home runs and 83 RBI while also taking home his first Gold Glove Award.

The 29-year-old is expected to seek a deal that would make him the highest-paid catcher in MLB history.

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Realmuto, however, is set up for big payday as game’s best catcher with free agency coming up after year. He is expected to seek record salary for catcher (Mauer $23M is current record) and quite possibly a 7-year deal.

The Philadelphia Phillies have spent big the past two offseasons trying to build a contender, and they gave up a ton to acquire Realmuto from the Miami Marlins prior to last season, including highly regarded pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez.

Expect them to make a strong push to re-sign him, but if they fail to reach the postseason again, it could hurt their bargaining power. This could be a case of the highest bidder winning out.


SS Marcus Semien

Jed Jacobsohn/Associated Press

Semien was a bona fide American League MVP candidate last season, hitting .285/.369/.522 for a 139 OPS+ with 43 doubles, 33 home runs and 92 RBI to finish third in the balloting. His 8.9 WAR trailed only Cody Bellinger (9.1) and Alex Bregman (9.1) among all players.

If only he had been a free agent last winter.

So far this season, he's hitting just .229 with a lackluster 83 OPS+, and he has shown some troubling peripherals including a massive spike in his strikeout rate (13.7 to 21.9 percent) and a sharp downturn in his hard-contract rate (41.7 to 36.4 percent).

The 29-year-old underwent an MRI on Sunday after dealing with soreness on his left side, and while no serious issues were revealed, it could explain the sharp downturn in his production.

Regardless, he's lining up to be the biggest risk/reward option on the market.


OF George Springer

Matt York/Associated Press

Springer put together the best season of his career in 2019, hitting .292/.383/.591 while logging career highs in OPS+ (149), home runs (39), RBI (96) and WAR (6.4).

The 30-year-old is hitting .209/.339/.418 in 113 plate appearances this season, but his lengthy track record of offensive success will still make him one of the top bats on the market.

The biggest question here is how aggressively the Houston Astros will pursue an extension.

Shortstop Carlos Correa is set to reach free agency after the 2021 season, and it's going to take a significant financial commitment to keep him around. With no clear-cut long-term replacement at shortstop in the system, he could be viewed as a bigger priority.

The most likely outcome here might be a qualifying offer, a modest multiyear offer, and a turning of the page for a Houston organization with a lot of questions to answer in the years to come.


RHP Trevor Bauer

Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Will Bauer stick to his plan of only signing one-year deals the rest of his career?

"I do intend to sign one-year contracts my entire career," Bauer told reporters last August. "I'm not against signing with the same team by any means, but the reasoning behind that is I want to be on a contender."

With Mike Minor and Robbie Ray struggling mightily and Marcus Stroman sidelined with a calf injury before opting out of the season, Bauer has emerged as the clear No. 1 starting pitcher in the upcoming free-agent class.

At 29 years old, and with a stellar 2.13 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 54 strikeouts in 38 innings on the year, there will be no shortage of interested teams and potential long-term deals if he changes his tune.

The six-year, $140 million contract that Patrick Corbin signed with the Washington Nationals might be the floor for his earning power on a long-term deal.

If he decides to go the one-year route, it's not out of the question to think a team might be willing to offer up $30 million-plus since it doesn't come with any long-term risk.

Either way, his free agency will be fun to watch.


All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.