It is not even December and we have already seen a couple of moves, headlined by the White Sox acquiring Yasmani Grandal and bringing back Jose Abreu. The Braves also joined the fun by signing reliever Will Smith and catcher Travis d’Arnaud.
Beyond Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Anthony Rendon, the pool of free agents is deep and we will see plenty of moves from now until February. Below, I share 35 free agency predictions including four moves that the Pittsburgh Pirates will make.
Gerrit Cole, Pitcher — Los Angeles Angels
Anthony Rendon, 3B — Washington Nationals
Stephen Strasburg, Pitcher — San Diego Padres
Zach Wheeler, Pitcher — New York Yankees
Madison Bumgarner, Pitcher — Atlanta Braves
Hyun-jin Ryu, Pitcher — Los Angeles Dodgers
Cole Hamels, Pitcher — Philadelphia Phillies
Dallas Keuchel, Pitcher — Milwaukee Brewers
Gio Gonzalez, Pitcher — New York Mets
Michael Wacha, Pitcher — Houston Astros
Felix Hernandez, Pitcher — Miami Marlins
Jake Odorizzi, Pitcher — Minnesota Twins
Dellin Betances, Pitcher — New York Mets
Sergio Romo, Pitcher — Boston Red Sox
Greg Holland, Pitcher — Boston Red Sox
Didi Gregorius, SS — Philadelphia Phillies
Josh Donaldson, 3B — Texas Rangers
Chris Iannetta, Catcher — Milwaukee Brewers
Mike Moustakas, 2B/3B — Los Angeles Angels
Mitch Moreland, 1B — Milwaukee Brewers
Francisco Cervelli, Catcher — Colorado Rockies
Howie Kendrick, 2B — Minnesota Twins
Yan Gomes, Catcher — San Diego Padres
Ben Zobrist, Utility — Chicago Cubs
Marcell Ozuna, Outfielder — San Francisco Giants
Corey Dickerson, Outfielder — Cleveland Indians
Nick Castellanos, Outfielder — Chicago White Sox
Brett Gardner, Outfielder — New York Yankees
Yasiel Puig, Outfielder — Detroit Tigers
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B/DH — Tampa Bay Rays
Now it’s time to make some Pirates predictions. I am intrigued to see how Ben Cherington and Co. will approach this offseason. I do think a lot of pieces will be on the move, most notably Starling Marte. With an emphasis on the future, management will look to add veterans with pulses to play alongside the future pieces of Bryan Reynolds, Kevin Newman, Mitch Keller, Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Oneil Cruz.
With Starling Marte being traded for future prospects, I think the team will add two veteran outfielders to the roster: speedster Billy Hamilton and Kole Calhoun.
The Pirates also need to add an arm, ideally a starter. I think they will add veteran lefty Drew Smyly to hold down one of the rotation spots.
And lastly (and most boldly), I think the Pirates bring back a familiar face. In a move to garner an infielder with a bat (and attempted fan interest/nostalgia), the Pirates will bring back the Pittsburgh Kid Neil Walker. You know the saying: when one Neal exits…another Neil must enter.
And speaking of nostalgia…