2021 MLB Free Agent Tracker
**UPDATED** Greg Jewett gives a complete look at who the 2021 MLB free agents are and what they're signings mean for Fantasy Baseball.
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|Pos||Player||Old Team||New Team||Stats||Related Players||BreakDown|
|SP||Trevor Bauer (R)||CIN||Unsigned|
|SP||Charlie Morton (R)||TB||ATL||2-2, 38 IP, 42:10 K:BB, 4.74 ERA, 1.39 WHIP||Staying close to his home, Morton agreed to a one-year deal with Atlanta adding much needed veteran pitching depth. This move also allows the team to be patient with the return of Mike Soroka.||An odd 2020 season affected Morton in the regular season missing time with a shoulder injury. He rebounded pitching well in the playoffs. With a reduced price in drafts, Morton lacks upside many crave but over the last five years owns a 47-18 record with a 3.34 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 646 strikeouts over 546.1 innings of work. Pretty, pretty good.|
|SP||James Paxton (L)||NYY||Unsigned|
|SP||Masahiro Tanaka (R)||NYY||Unsigned|
|SP||Jake Odorizzi (R)||MIN||Unsigned|
|SP||Robbie Ray (L)||ARI||TOR||2-5, 51.2 IP, 6.62 ERA, 1.90 WHIP, 68:45 K:BB||Toronto needing to bolster its staff added late season acquisition Ray to the roster for the 2021 season. Can Toronto help Ray improve his mechanics, command to maximize his strikeout upside?||Fantasy enigma Robbie Ray agreed to return to Toronto. Prior to 2020, Ray logged at least 162 innings in three of the previous four seasons. He remains on the periphery of fantasy due to his ability to rack up strikeouts. How he's utilized (perhaps with an opener) by the Blue Jays makes him worth a flier on a roster needing strikeouts which can absorb his ratios (plan on an ERA in the 4's and a WHIP near 1.3).|
|SP||José Quintana (L)||CHI||LAA||**2019: 13-9, 171 IP, 152:46 K:BB, 4.68 ERA, 3.80 SIERA, 1.39 WHIP||Quintana only logged one start in 2020, so his numbers from 2019 provide a better picture of him shifting to the Angels for 2021.||Injuries cut Quintana's season short but his fastball velocity remained intact last season. Quintana's a vanilla filler for those hoping for upside so treat him as such to avoid disappointment. His value lies in accruing innings without killing ratios if he returns to old form.|
|SP||Taijuan Walker (R)||TOR||Unsigned|
|SP||James Happ (L)||NYY||MIN||2-2, 49.1 IP, 42:15 K:BB, 3.47 ERA, 4.53 SIERA, 1.05 WHIP||Happ agreed to a one-year $8 million dollar deal with Minnesota. He slots in as their fourth or fifth starter for 2021.||Trying to muster up excitement for Happ proves tough to do. He's won 31 games the last three years while his strikeout percentage declines, he's produced more swinging strikes? Happ's value lies in eating up innings for a contender who may accrue enough wins to exist on the periphery of fantasy relevance but do not use him against an elite offense like the White Sox.|
|P||Jonathan Lester (L)||CHI||WSH||3-3, 61 IP, 42:17 K:BB, 5.16 ERA, 5.14 SIERA, 1.33 WHIP||Veteran southpaw leaves the Cubs hoping to rekindle his competitive spirit with Davey Martinez at the helm.||Between 2013-through-2019 Lester recorded double digit win totals in each season. His ratios blew up in the shortened season so Washington hopes he returns to solid command inducing ground balls to avoid big innings. Whether or not Lester can do this remains to be seen. Proceed with caution, end game only.|
|SP||Mike Minor (L)||OAK||KC||1-6, 56.2 IP, 62:20 K:BB, 5.56 ERA, 1.24 WHIP||Coming full circle, Minor returns to Kansas City where he rehabbed his labrum injury working as a high leverage reliever in 2017 before leaving for a chance to start in Texas. Of more importance, adding Minor means the Royals can slow bake their bevy of high impact rotation arms on the cusp of the majors .||A key to if Minor can return to fantasy relevance, his fastball velocity. Minor's fastball dropped to 90.6 MPH on average in 2020 resulting in the spike in his ratio statistics. However, Minor fired 16 quality starts in 2019 while winning 14 of his 32 starts. A late round flier with potential upside, so monitor his radar readings in the spring.|
|RP||Liam Hendriks (R)||OAK||CWS||3-1, 14 Saves, 25.1 IP, 37:3 K:BB, 1.78 ERA, 1.90 SIERA, 0.67 WHIP||After admiring what the White Sox presented after seeing them in the playoffs, Hendriks decided it serves his interest best to join them in hopes of chasing a World Championship. Adding the top closer on the market enhances Chicago's chances of winning.||Since taking over as the closer in Oakland on June 21st of 2019, Hendriks has notched 39 saves over 68 innings with a robust 111:7 K:BB and minuscule ratios. During this time frame, Hendriks ranks sixth in ERA (1.99), first in SIERA (1.87) and second in WHIP (0.79). His strikeout percentage of 43.4 percent ranks third while his walk rate (2.7%) leads all qualified relievers and Hendriks 20.7 swinging strike percentage places him second. He's a late blooming reliever landing in a prime spot to rack up saves in 2021.|
|RP||Alex Colomé (R)||CWS||Unsigned|
|RP||Mark Melancon (R)||ATL||Unsigned|
|RP||Trevor Rosenthal (R)||SD||Unsigned|
|RP||Archie Bradley (R)||CIN||PHI||2-0, 6 Saves, 18.1 IP, 18:3 K:BB, 2.95 ERA, 3.44 SIERA, 1.09 WHIP||As if fantasy owners craved more closer headaches, Bradley's arrival in Philadelphia creates another closer conundrum. Beat writers suggest he might become the closer but it may be a spring competition.||From the second half of 2019 through the end of 2020, Bradley's notched 24 saves (sixth best total in the MLB) with a 2.16 ERA, 3.83 SIERA and 1.08 WHIP. He ramped up usage of a change-up last year with great results, especially in its 21.9 swinging strike percentage and 60 percent ground ball rate. He needs more strikeouts and less fly ball to ascend to the top of high leverage with his new team. Stay tuned.|
|RP||Brandon Kintzler (R)||MIA||Unsigned|
|RP||Shane Greene (R)||ATL||Unsigned|
|RP||Trevor May (R)||MIN||NYM||1-0, 2 Saves, 23.1 IP, 38:7 K:BB, 3.86 ERA, 1.16 WHIP||Perhaps stealing a page from the crosstown rivals of building a rotation from the back (bullpen) to the front, the Mets added May to their high leverage mix. May not only provides strikeout upside, but owns the arsenal to step in when Diaz needs a rest in save situations.||While many teams may kick themselves for not taking a chance on May as their closer, the Mets address a clear need to improve the bullpen. Last year the Mets ranked 18th in relief ERA (4.60) and built a shaky bridge to Diaz. Since 2018, May owns a 3.19 ERA over 113 innings and turned in his best season with pitching coach Jeremy Hefner. As Herb and the Peaches taught us, reunited and it feels so good.|
|P||Kirby Yates (R)||SD||TOR||**2019 Stats: 0-5, 41 Saves, 60.2 IP, 101:13 K:BB, 1.19 ERA, 1.30 SIERA, 0.89 WHIP||Elbow surgery to remove bone chips cut Yates season short in 2020, so using his past performance may shed more light on his move to Toronto.||A calculated gamble Toronto needed to make, Yates may be the closer they need. Now, Yates may only own a majority share of the save chances, but if he's healthy 20-plus saves at a discount makes Yates also a worthy bet for fantasy owners as well. Heed his spring velocities and pounce if his splitter remains nasty.|
|RP||Sean Doolittle (L)||WSH||Unsigned|
|RP||Brad Hand (L)||CLE||Unsigned|
|RP||Tony Watson (L)||SF||Unsigned|
|C||J.T. Realmuto (R)||PHI||Unsigned|
|C||James McCann (R)||CWS||NYM||31 G, 20 Runs, 7 HR, 15 RBI, 1 Stolen Base; .289/.360/.536||Perhaps not the splash signing Mets fans craved, but McCann handles a staff well while taking steps forward as a run producer with the White Sox. This puts Wilson Ramos into a reduced role for New York and fantasy owners alike.||From being released by the Tigers to a 4-year $40 million dollar contract, McCann made the most of his time with the White Sox. Over two seasons, McCann hit .289/.360/.536 with 82 runs, 25 home runs, 75 RBI and five stolen bases. Of his 372 batted ball events, McCann generated 31 barrels (8.3 percent) and a 44.9 hard hit rate (Events with an exit velocity of 95 MPH or higher). Moving to a new team may depress his offense early, but he moves into the top-10 at his position if he carries over the gains from Chicago.|
|C||Yadier Molina (R)||STL||Unsigned|
|C||Kurt Suzuki (R)||WSH||LAA||33 Games, 15 Runs, 2 HR, 17 RBI, SB; .270/.349/.396||Suzuki agreed to a one-year deal with the Angels hurting any Max Stassi breakout speculation.||Poster boy for the ideal second catcher in fantasy who does not kill a team's batting average. Suzuki hit .270 in the truncated season but with less power. He's an accumulator, so how many plate appearances he accrues determines his counting category statistics.|
|1B||Carlos Santana (B)||CLE||KC||60 G, 34 Runs, 8 HR, 30 RBI; .199/.349/.350||Moving to an in-division rival strikes a shot across the bow. Cleveland will remain in a rebuild while the Royals spend. Santana's arrival also signals a move back to 3B for Hunter Dozier.||On the surface, the two year deal for Santana seems like a reach but he adds much needed plate discipline guidance to Kansas City. Think of the influence Nelson Cruz had in Minnesota. Beneath his slash line of 2020, Santana's xBA (.253) and xSLG (.450) suggest he's primed for positive regression. Use his career .248 average as a guide and 47 walks versus 43 strikeouts last year to plan on a bounce back in 2021.|
|1B||Mitch Moreland (L)||SD||Unsigned|
|1B||Daniel Murphy (L)||COL||Unsigned|
|2B||DJ LeMahieu (R)||NYY||NYY||50 G, 41 Runs, 10 HR, 27 RBI, 3 SB; .364/.421/.590||After a drawn out negotiation, LeMahieu agreed to a six-year deal to stay in New York. This enhances his fantasy stock due to his propensity to hit the ball to the opposite field making Yankee Stadium a perfect fit for his approach.||LeMahieu's logged 195 games with the Yankees slashing a robust .336/.386/.536 with 36 home runs in them. His blend of strong plate discipline and remaining in a strong lineup insulates his fantasy production moving forward.|
|2B||Tommy La Stella (L)||OAK||Unsigned|
|2B||César Hernández (B)||CLE||Unsigned|
|2B||Jonathan Schoop (R)||DET||Unsigned|
|SS||Marcus Semien (R)||OAK||Unsigned|
|SS||Andrelton Simmons (R)||LAA||Unsigned|
|SS||Didi Gregorius (L)||PHI||Unsigned|
|SS||Ha-seong Kim ()||SD||KBO: 138 games, 622 plate appearances, 30 HR, 109 RBI, 23 SB; .305/.397/.523||Trying to predict how a player from the KBO translates to the MLB comes with some trepidation. Kim's age, athleticism and ability to steal bases makes him an intriguing addition to a burgeoning Padres lineup.||Early ADP suggests Kim will not be a bargain in 2021. A middle infielder with stolen base upside in an insulated lineup makes Kim a player of note. However, limited exposure to offspeed and breaking pitches in the KBO may require an adjustment period.|
|3B||Justin Turner (R)||LA||Unsigned|
|3B||Brad Miller (L)||STL||Unsigned|
|3B||Maikel Franco (R)||KC||Unsigned|
|CF||George Springer (R)||HOU||TOR||51 Games, 37 Runs, 14 HR, 32 RBI, SB; .265/.359/.540||No longer a bridesmaid, Toronto landed a big fish signing Springer to a six-year deal to hit atop of an already stacked lineup. Springer's presence enhances Toronto's run totals but it's a crowded outfield now.||Over the last three years, Springer owns a .274/.362/.509 slash with 237 runs, 75 home runs, 199 RBI and 13 stolen bases. His presence in Toronto may cause the team to run less, so bake this into his teammates value. As for Springer, once he adjusts his career .883 OPS and 95 home runs in 398 in road games should adjust well to Rogers Centre.|
|LF||Michael Brantley (L)||HOU||HOU||46 Games, 24 Runs, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 2 SB; .300/.364/.476||Hot take, take two. Brantley either changed his mind or many beat writers jumped the gun. He's agreed to a two-year deal to stay in Houston, not migrate North for the season.||Brantley's an underappreciated and strong addition to any fantasy roster. Over the last three years he owns the fourth best batting average (.309) along with best Z-Contact (96.1) and contact rate (90.3 percent) in this time frame. His ability to produce across all five categories gets overlooked every year in fantasy. Any team with batting average risk early in drafts should target Brantley a round ahead of his ADP to provide insulation to their roster.|
|RF||Marcell Ozuna (R)||ATL||Unsigned|
|CF||Kevin Pillar (R)||COL||Unsigned|
|RF||Ryan Braun (R)||MIL||Unsigned|
|RF||Adam Eaton (L)||WSH||CWS||41 G, 22 Runs, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 3 SB; .226/.285/.384||Agreed to a contract with Chicago for one year with a team option for 2022. Eaton will man right-field for his former franchise prior to his trade to Washington.||Another player who struggled in a shortened sample during the 2020 regular season. Over the last four years, Eaton accrued 1300+ plate appearances with 204 runs, 26 home runs, 112 RBI, 30 stolen bases and a .279/.365/.419 slash. He's not the player the White Sox wanted but he could be a productive player for fantasy if he hits near the top of the batting order.|
|LF||Joc Pederson (L)||LA||Unsigned|
|CF||Jackie Bradley Jr. (L)||BOS||Unsigned|
|LF||Shin-Soo Choo (L)||TEX||Unsigned|
|LF||Adam Duvall (R)||ATL||Unsigned|
|LF||Eddie Rosario (L)||MIN||Unsigned|
|LF||Kyle Schwarber (L)||CHI||WSH||59 Games, 30 runs, 11 HR, 24 RBI, 1 Stolen base; .188/.308/.398||Looking to rebound after an abyssmal 2020 season, Schwarber agreed to a one-year contract with Washington to fill a void in LF (shifting Juan Soto to RF) and provide some power to the lineup.||This season may go a long way determining Schwarber's future value in fantasy baseball. Can he get anywhere near close to his 2H surge of 2019? It's apparent Schwarber can hit for power but if his on-base skills continue to erode while racking up strikeouts, it mitigates his outcomes. Plan on Schwarber hitting in the .230's but one cannot ignore his career 13.36 HR/AB versus RHP.|
|CF||David Dahl (L)||COL||TEX||24 Games, 9 Runs, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 1 Stolen Base; .183/.222/.247||An injury plagued start to his career in Colorado resulted in Dahl being non-tendered. Landing in Texas may prevent the Dahl breakout many want to occur, but if healthy there's a clear path to playing time.||Dahl may be a polarizing player in upcoming drafts. He carries name value but yet to appear in more than 100 games in a major league season. Weighing his career .286/.334/.494 gets tricky due to his splits: At Coors (25 of his 38 HR and a .318/.361/.556 slash) versus his Road (.248/.302/.420). Looking like a Jekyll and Hyde candidate with spotty health, let someone else incur the risk of chasing Dahl's upside.|
|DH||Nelson Cruz (R)||MIN||Unsigned|
|DH||Edwin Encarnación (R)||CWS||Unsigned|
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Player AlarmsView All
J. Happ - SP
Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that the Twins and J.A. Happ are in agreement on a one-year contract.
It's not clear how much the deal -- which is pending a physical -- is worth. Happ is 38, but he's worthy of a one-year pact after putting up a 3.47 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 42/15 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings over nine starts with the Yankees in 2020. The Twins could still use a high-end arm in their rotation, but the veteran left-hander is a solid addition.
Added 4:14 pm (EST)
Added 4:14 pm (EST)
According to FanSided's Robert Murray, the Angels "have emerged as a possibility" for free agent reliever Brad Hand.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Wednesday that the Blue Jays "have had an offer out" to Hand, and the 30-year-old right-hander has also been tied in recent weeks to the Dodgers, Astros, White Sox, and Mets. Cleveland declined Hand's $10 million option for 2021 back in October, but it sounds like he's going to easily top that figure anyway. He could potentially challenge Raisel Iglesias for the closer role in Anaheim.
Added 3:55 pm (EST)
Added 3:55 pm (EST)
M. Brantley - LF
Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston reports that the Astros have re-signed Michael Brantley to a two-year, $32 million contract.
Well then. Multiple reports surfaced Wednesday morning which said that Brantley had agreed to a three-year contract with the Blue Jays, but by the afternoon it was clear that the two sides still had some legwork to do. Now, it would appear Brantley is remaining in Houston. It's not clear whether something caused Brantley's deal with Toronto to fall apart or if it was just a case of reporters jumping the gun. Either way, it sounds like the veteran outfielder will stay with the Astros rather than join George Springer north of the border.
Added 3:52 pm (EST)
Added 3:52 pm (EST)
Jon Heyman of MLB Network hears that Justin Turner remains "the top target" for the Dodgers as they seek a right-handed-hitting infielder.
Reports have circulated that the Dodgers are showing serious interest in Marcus Semien, but that might be more of a fallback plan in the event that something can't be worked out with Turner. At last check, per Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, the 36-year-old third baseman was seeking a four-year free agent contract. He batted .307/.400/.460 over 175 plate appearances last season for the World Series champs.
Added 3:39 pm (EST)
Added 3:39 pm (EST)
J. Castro - C
MLB.com's Jon Morosi reports that the Tigers are showing interest in free agent catcher Jason Castro.
Castro has also been linked to the Cubs, Astros, and Rangers, so he may wind up doing pretty well for himself despite struggling to a .188/.293/.375 batting line over 92 plate appearances last season between the Angels and Padres. The 33-year-old has ties to new Tigers manager A.J. Hinch from their days together in Houston.
Added 3:25 pm (EST)
Added 3:25 pm (EST)
T. Bauer - SP
According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the Dodgers are "monitoring the market" for free agent starter Trevor Bauer.
Passan notes that the Dodgers are currently focused on a right-handed infield bat, but "could be a player" on Bauer "depending on the price." While there hasn't been much recent chatter about the 30-year-old right-hander, momentum does seem to be building this week for a number of big fish on the free agent market. George Springer signing with the Blue Jays on Tuesday might have been the push this sluggish offseason needed. Bauer dominated to the tune of a 1.73 ERA, 0.795 WHIP, and 100/17 K/BB ratio across 73 innings (11 starts) last summer with the Reds en route to claiming the 2020 National League Cy Young Award.
Added 2:57 pm (EST)
Added 2:57 pm (EST)
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Blue Jays "have had an offer out" to free agent reliever Brad Hand.
Toronto has ruled the baseball world over the last 24 hours, and why stop now? Hand, who's also been connected to the Astros, Mets, White Sox, and Dodgers, registered a stellar 2.05 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, and 29/4 K/BB ratio over 22 innings last season for the Indians while recording a league-high 16 saves. He could be a fallback option at closer for the Jays in the event that Kirby Yates does not bounce back health-wise.
Added 2:14 pm (EST)
Added 2:14 pm (EST)
N. Longhi - 1B
Rockies signed OF Nick Longhi to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Longhi, a 30th-round pick of the Red Sox in the 2013 MLB Draft, slashed .283/.336/.463 with 12 home runs and 51 RBI over 111 games at the Triple-A level in 2019. The 25-year-old outfielder has yet to reach the majors.
Added 2:06 pm (EST)
Added 2:06 pm (EST)