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Welcome to Part 3 of Baseball Prospectus’ annual list of the top 50 free agents.

This is admittedly a very subjective undertaking, but my goal is a simple one: Rank free agents by their expected future value. This is not an attempt to predict contract sizes, although certainly there will be a strong correlation.

Part 1 featured free agents 1-10 and Part 2 covered free agents 11-30, all of whom are listed here. (Their names link to full write-ups.)

1. Manny Machado, SS/3B
2. Bryce Harper, OF
3. Josh Donaldson, 3B
4. Patrick Corbin, SP
5. Dallas Keuchel, SP
6. Michael Brantley, COF
7. A.J. Pollock, CF
8. Craig Kimbrel, RP
9. Yasmani Grandal, C
10. Wilson Ramos, C
11. Nelson Cruz, DH
12. J.A. Happ, SP
13. Daniel Murphy, 2B/1B
14. Nathan Eovaldi, SP
15. David Robertson, RP
16. Andrew McCutchen, COF
17. Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP
18. Mike Moustakas, 3B
19. Charlie Morton, SP
20. Marwin Gonzalez, IF/OF
21. Jeurys Familia, RP
22. Jed Lowrie, 2B/3B
23. Andrew Miller, RP
24. Adam Ottavino, RP
25. Brian Dozier, 2B
26. Zach Britton, RP
27. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
28. Gio Gonzalez, SP
29. Nick Markakis, COF
30. Asdrubal Cabrera, IF

Below you’ll find free agents 31-50.

***

31. CC Sabathia
Position(s):
SP
Age (as of 6/30/19): 38
Former team: Yankees

Sabathia looked dangerously close to washed up from 2013-2015, struggling to keep the ball in the ballpark and to keep his ERA under 5.00, but he’s made at least 27 starts with a sub-4.00 ERA in three straight seasons. His workhorse days are long gone, as Sabathia topped 100 pitches just four times in 2018 and didn’t record an out past the sixth inning after July 1, but he’s leaned on a cutter to help limit homers, throws as hard as he did five years ago, and got his most swinging strikes since 2012. Sabathia was a free agent last offseason and returned to the Yankees on a one-year, $10 million deal, which proved to be a bargain for 153 innings of a 3.65 ERA.

32. Adam Jones
Position(s):
OF
Age (as of 6/30/19): 33
Former team: Orioles

Jones balked at a midseason trade, spending the second half being phased out after a tremendous decade in Baltimore. He made five All-Star teams, won four Gold Gloves, and hit at least 25 homers in seven seasons, averaging 3.2 WARP per 150 games. Now the bad news: Jones is no longer a plus defender in center field and doesn’t project as an impact corner outfielder thanks to a 2018 power dip and a career-long lack of plate discipline. His remaining range will look much better in a corner spot and even a diminished Jones has been an average hitter for the past four seasons, which along with a positive clubhouse rep should be enough to snag a decent short-term deal.

33. Jose Iglesias
Position(s):
SS
Age (as of 6/30/19): 29
Former team: Tigers

Iglesias is an elite defensive shortstop and he’s a young enough to remain that way through the end of whatever contract he gets this offseason. He has very little power, swings at everything, and makes tons of contact, so his production is tied to grounders and bloopers finding holes. He batted .300 in each of his first two full seasons, but has hit just .255, .255, and .269 in three seasons since. Overall from 2016-2018 he hit .259/.301/.364, compared to .262/.318/.413 for the average MLB shortstop during that time. That’s a step above good-glove, no-hit territory, making him a quality regular, but good-glove, barely-hit shortstops still don’t usually cash in big on the open market.

34. Freddy Galvis
Position(s):
SS
Age (as of 6/30/19): 29
Former team: Padres

Galvis falls into the same good-glove, barely-hit category as Iglesias, although his quasi-adequate hitting comes in the form of a high strikeout rate and 15-homer power. The end result is basically the same, though: Over the past three seasons, Galvis has a .681 OPS compared to .665 for Iglesias. Their defensive reps are also similar, although Galvis’ fielding numbers have never been great and FRAA actually pegged him as below average in 2018. He certainly passes the eye test as a quality shortstop and, like Iglesias, he’s young enough to keep making highlights for the next few seasons. Iglesias and Galvis are both appealing in that they can keep shortstop-starved teams from signing Alcides Escobar.

35. Kurt Suzuki
Position(s):
C
Age (as of 6/30/19): 35
Former team: Braves

Suzuki is among the high-contact, low-power veterans who’ve tapped into late-career power surges by pulling and elevating more pitches. He hit a grand total of just 27 homers in 580 games from 2012-2016, followed by 31 homers in 186 games in 2017-2018. He slugged .485 in 2017-2018 after never slugging higher than .421 in any of his first 10 years. Not coincidentally, comparing 2012-2016 to 2017-2018, his fly-ball rate rose from 38 to 44 percent and his pull rate jumped from 43 to 51 percent. Suzuki’s pitch-framing numbers remain awful, in direct contrast to his sterling defensive reputation, and at age 35 the clock could strike midnight at any time, but he’s extended his window as a starting-caliber player.

36. Joakim Soria
Position(s):
RP
Age (as of 6/30/19): 35
Former team: Brewers

Traded from Kansas City to Chicago last winter and to Milwaukee at midseason, Soria took a secondary role in the Brewers’ stacked bullpen. He finished with his usual outstanding numbers, including a 3.12 ERA, 75/16 K/BB ratio, and just four homers allowed in 61 innings, posting his highest strikeout rate since 2009 and his highest swinging-strike rate ever. Soria has changed teams and roles plenty, but he’s never been less than a setup-caliber reliever since debuting in 2007. His velocity hasn’t slipped yet and his 2.56 DRA ranked 13th among relievers with at least 50 innings in 2018. Soria declined a $10 million option in order to hit the open market at age 35 and he should be able to get a two-year deal.

37. Adrian Beltre
Position(s):
3B
Age (as of 6/30/19): 40
Former team: Rangers

Beltre finally got old, producing below-average offense for the first time since his final season with the Mariners in 2009 and spending significant time on the disabled list for the second straight year. That it took until 39 for that to happen is remarkable, as is the fact that Beltre remained an excellent defensive third baseman and an average-ish all-around starter. It’s possible that Beltre could bounce back offensively with better health, although counting on a 40-year-old to avoid injuries is never safe and he’s hinted at calling it a career. At the very least he could still help plenty of teams in a part-time role, but perhaps he’d rather head to Cooperstown in five years rather than waiting six.

38. Cody Allen
Position(s):
RP
Age (as of 6/30/19): 30
Former team: Indians

Andrew Miller got more attention, but Allen’s struggles also played a big part in Cleveland’s bullpen collapse. After five straight seasons below 3.00, his ERA ballooned to 4.73 as he walked 33 batters and served up 11 homers in 67 innings. He still managed 80 strikeouts in those 67 frames, but even that was down 15 percent from his 2013-2017 strikeout rate and came attached to a dip in velocity. Allen has made at least 67 appearances and thrown at least 67 innings in each of his six full seasons, although it’s debatable whether that means he’s durable or due for a breakdown. His fastball/curveball combo is deadly when it’s on, but his hook was far less effective in 2018 and only six relievers allowed more fly balls.

39. Drew Pomeranz
Position(s):
SP
Age (as of 6/30/19): 30
Former team: Red Sox

Free agency came a year too late for Pomeranz, who had the worst season of his career in 2018 with a 6.08 ERA and two disabled list stints for arm problems. His velocity was up in August and September, but that was in a low-leverage relief role and his results weren’t any better. He went unused in the postseason, being added to the active roster for just one round. Pomeranz is among the youngest free agent starters and the 30-year-old lefty had a 3.24 ERA from 2014-2017, including back-to-back seasons with 30-plus starts in 2016 and 2017. He’ll likely have to settle for a short-term, incentive-heavy deal, but once the top names come off the board his upside should attract plenty of teams.

40. Neil Walker
Position(s):
2B/3B
Age (as of 6/30/19): 33
Former team: Yankees

It looked like the Yankees got a bargain last offseason when a down market led to Walker falling into their laps on a one-year, $4 million deal. They didn’t even have a starting spot for him, but why not? He’d been an above-average regular for eight straight seasons, topping an .800 OPS in three of the previous four years. Walker ended up starting double-digit games at first base, second base, third base, and right field, but he hit just .197 in a brutal first half. He was more or less his usual self in the second half, hitting .247/.346/.442 in 52 games to nearly match his .272/.341/.437 line prior to 2018. That should be enough to generate decent interest at age 33, and if not Walker could look like a bargain again.

41. Lance Lynn
Position(s):
SP
Age (as of 6/30/19): 32
Former team: Yankees

Lynn flopped with the Twins on a one-year, $12 million deal after finding his market lacking last offseason, but he turned things around following a trade to the Yankees with a 61/14 K/BB ratio in 54 innings. Perhaps just as importantly, he doesn’t have draft-pick compensation attached this winter. His stuff hasn’t changed much since a successful six-year run with the Cardinals, and in fact his velocity was up slightly in 2018. However, career-long struggles against lefties and deteriorating control have made it difficult to get through more than five innings. Returning to the NL in a mid-rotation role makes the most sense, and some teams may try to talk Lynn into becoming a full-time reliever.

42. Carlos Gonzalez
Position(s):
COF
Age (as of 6/30/19): 33
Former team: Rockies

Coors Field helps hide how steep Gonzalez’s decline has been. He was a great hitter through 2013 and a good one through 2016, but he’s been below average the past two seasons even if the raw numbers still look pretty good. Gonzalez’s career splits are among the most lopsided ever: .328/.388/.605 at Coors Field vs. .251/.307/.420 on the road. His road mark over the past two seasons is a putrid .222/.288/.346. All of which is a compelling argument for simply leaving him off this list, especially now that he’s no longer a defensive asset, but success at high altitude shouldn’t be totally dismissed and he’s probably still worth a one-year flier for a team in need of some lefty thump.

43. Matt Harvey
Position(s):
SP
Age (as of 6/30/19): 30
Former team: Reds

Harvey rediscovered two mph on his fastball following a trade to Cincinnati, starting 24 games with a 4.50 ERA and 111/28 K/BB ratio in 128 innings for the Reds. He still gave up too many homers and the front-line starter from 2012-2015 is gone forever, but if you can set aside expired expectations and past drama he’s a decent bet for 150 average innings in the back of a rotation. Harvey seems to realize his approach must change now that he can’t overwhelm hitters, throwing a career-high 55 percent of his pitches in the strike zone, the fifth-highest rate among MLB starters in 2018. He’d do well to choose a new locale that suppresses left-handed power and doesn’t offer New York Post home delivery.

44. Joe Kelly
Position(s):
RP
Age (as of 6/30/19): 31
Former team: Red Sox

Kelly has always had big-time velocity—Ben Carsley wrote a great history of people constantly referring to Kelly’s “great stuff” over the years—but the results have been mostly mediocre. It was more of the same in 2018, with a 4.39 ERA despite an average fastball of 98.5 mph that was fourth-hardest in baseball. He finished the year on a high note, though, allowing just one earned run in 11 1/3 postseason innings. He struck out 13 and walked zero, the latter of which really stands out after he walked 4.4, 4.2, and 5.4 per nine innings the past three years. For a pitcher with Kelly’s great stuff it doesn’t take much for everything to click and his postseason run is enough to extend the waiting period into his 30s.

45. Anibal Sanchez
Position(s):
SP
Age (as of 6/30/19): 35
Former team: Braves

Sanchez signed a minor-league contract with the Twins in February, only to be released a month later when they signed Lance Lynn. He quickly latched on with the Braves, made the Opening Day roster, and had a stellar comeback campaign, making 24 starts with a 2.83 ERA and 135/42 K/BB ratio in 137 innings. Sanchez was legitimately terrible from 2015-2017, and he’s a 35-year-old with a lengthy injury history, but he was a front-line starter from 2009-2014 and should be able to at least secure a major-league deal this time around. Sanchez made a believer out of DRA with a 2.75 mark that was his best since 2013 and 12th-best among all pitchers with 100-plus innings in 2018.

46. Steve Pearce
Position(s):
1B
Age (as of 6/30/19): 36
Former team: Red Sox

Pearce has alternated good and bad seasons for five years, the latest of which was the best season because it ended with the journeyman winning World Series MVP. He’s played for seven teams in the majors, never getting as many as 400 plate appearances in a season, and he’s spent parts of eight seasons at Triple-A. Age has taken away most of his versatility, leaving a first baseman/designated hitter who can stand in an outfield corner, but the bat certainly still plays. He hit .284/.378/.518 in 76 games for the Red Sox and Blue Jays in 2018, and has hit a combined .266/.346/.484 over the past five seasons. Typically used as a lefty-mashing platoon player, he’s decent enough against righties to be a regular.

47. Josh Harrison
Position(s):
3B/2B
Age (as of 6/30/19): 31
Former team: Pirates

Harrison’s performance has fluctuated wildly, with two All-Star seasons and two years with a sub-.700 OPS since 2014. Positional versatility gives him value even when he’s barely hitting, although at age 31 that’s likely to be less of an asset. He swings at everything and has never shown more than modest power, so he needs lots of singles to be a quality regular and his BABIP has dropped four years in a row. An oddity: Harrison was hit by a pitch 23 times in 2017, but no more than seven times in any of his other seven seasons. (His on-base percentage could use the boost.) Pittsburgh declined his $11 million option for 2018 and Harrison may have to settle for a part-time gig with platoon work versus lefties.

48. Denard Span
Position(s):
OF
Age (as of 6/30/19): 35
Former team: Mariners

Span aged out of center field several years ago—just ask a Giants fan—but he fared better as a full-time left fielder in 2018 and had a nice bounce-back year offensively, hitting .261/.341/.419 in 137 games for the Rays and Mariners. He lacks power for a corner spot, but has hit double-digit homers in three straight seasons, just posted a career-high .158 isolated power, and topped a .750 OPS in four of the past five years. Span controls the strike zone well, grinds out plate appearances, and holds his own against lefties, giving him a chance to stick around for another season or two as a quality regular. He won’t be any team’s first choice, but he makes sense as a no-frills fallback option.

49. Jonathan Lucroy
Position(s):
C
Age (as of 6/30/19): 33
Former team: Athletics

Last winter Lucroy was coming off a career-worst season and settled for a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the A’s in the hopes of bouncing back and hitting the open market again in better bargaining position. Instead he was even worse in 2018, hitting just .241/.291/.325 with four homers in 126 games and rating as one of MLB’s worst defensive catchers. Lucroy’s contact skills are mostly intact from his All-Star days in Milwaukee, but his pitch-framing and power-hitting skills have vanished and 33-year-old catchers tend not to reverse big declines. Teams in need of catching help can only be so picky and Lucroy is still durable enough to be a starter, but another one-year deal for even less money seems likely.

50. Ervin Santana
Position(s):
SP
Age (as of 6/30/19): 36
Former team: Twins

Santana pitched through a finger injury in the second half of 2017, which ended with a brutal Wild Card game start. That info didn’t become public until he got to spring training and needed surgery. He was supposed to be back by early May, but remained on the disabled list until late July and then was such a mess that the Twins shut him down five starts later. Santana’s average fastball velocity plummeted to 89 mph, which is a bright red flag for a 36-year-old. However, there’s hope that a second surgery will allow him to make a full recovery, and he made 30-plus starts with a sub-3.50 ERA in both 2016 and 2017. His market will depend on how impressed scouts are by his offseason throwing sessions.

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