Every autumn SI ranks the best upcoming free agents—and predicts their landing spots
1 J.D. MARTINEZ OF, 30, ARI | BEST FIT: Astros
.303 BA, 1.066 OPS, 45 HR, 104 RBI, 4 SB The Astros cut him near the end of spring training in 2014; since then, Martinez has posted the seventh-best OPS (.936) in the majors. He's a genuine superstar, albeit without the profile of one, and the Astros could correct their mistake by bringing him back to replace the likely departing Carlos Beltrán.
2 YU DARVISH SP, 31, LAD | BEST FIT: Cubs
10--12, 3.86 ERA, 1.163 WHIP, 10.1 K/9 He enjoyed the NL, striking out more than 11 batters per nine with a 3.44 ERA after his trade from the Rangers. Darvish is the best starter out there, and the Cubs—likely to lose Jake Arrieta and John Lackey—should have an opening.
3 JAKE ARRIETA SP, 32, CHC | BEST FIT: Phillies
14--10, 3.53 ERA, 1.218 WHIP, 8.7 K/9 His stock sank early on—his ERA was 5.44 in mid-May—but in the final three months of the season he had a 2.26 ERA. Arrieta could be the rebuilding Phillies' version of Jon Lester: a cornerstone for a club hoping to contend soon.
4 ERIC HOSMER 1B, 28, KC | BEST FIT: Royals
.318 BA, .882 OPS, 25 HR, 94 RBI, 6 SB He picked a good time to have his best season, and he's the youngest player on this list. The Royals have a way of convincing their players to return at a discount. They'll probably focus most of their efforts on making Hosmer their latest bargain.
5 MASAHIRO TANAKA SP, 29, NYY | BEST FIT: Rockies
13--12, 4.74 ERA, 1.239 WHIP, 9.8 K/9 The market's biggest question: Will he opt out of the three years and $67 million left on his contract? Odds are he will, especially after a finish that included three playoff starts in which he yielded a total of two runs. Might the Rockies be attracted by his high strikeout numbers and groundball rate (49.2%, 13th among starters)?
6 JUSTIN UPTON OF, 30, LAA | BEST FIT: Giants
.273 BA, .901 OPS, 35 HR, 109 RBI, 14 SB His season rivaled his previous best, which came six years ago. He seems to finally be fulfilling his five-tool promise. The Giants hit the fewest homers in the league (128), with just 38 from their outfield; they desperately need power there.
7 LORENZO CAIN OF, 32, KC | BEST FIT: Mariners
.300 BA, .803 OPS, 15 HR, 49 RBI, 26 SB Yes, beware free agents over 30 whose strength has relied on their legs. But Cain does so many things well (he just set a career high in OBP) that he should be able to compensate for any loss of speed. Five Mariners centerfielders combined for a .612 OPS last year, a league low at the position.
8 WADE DAVIS CL, 32, CHC | BEST FIT: Cardinals
4--2, 2.30 ERA, 1.142 WHIP, 12.1 K/9, 32 SV Though not as dominant as he was at his peak, with the Royals (0.94 ERA in 2015), Davis's peripherals remain strong, his fastball still sits above 94 mph and he blew one save all season. The Cardinals want to get off their ninth-inning carousel.
9 MIKE MOUSTAKAS 3B, 29, KC | BEST FIT: Angels
.272 BA, .835 OPS, 38 HR, 85 RBI Moustakas is the third Royal in the top nine of this list—and he just set a franchise record for home runs. He'll almost certainly be moving on, perhaps to the Angels, who need an upgrade at third over .199 hitter Luis Valbuena.
10 JONATHAN LUCROY C, 32 COL | BEST FIT: Rockies
.265 BA, .716 OPS, 6 HR, 40 RBI A disappointment with the Rangers, Lucroy was superb after arriving in Colorado at the deadline, hitting .310 with an .865 OPS. His elite framing skills have eroded, but he's still the best catcher on the market and the Rockies should want him back.