MLB wants everyone to focus on the World Series right now. The organization wants the baseball world’s focus on the matchup between Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander and Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper; the Aaron Nola vs. Yordan Alvarez showdown; and the fact that it’s a 1-seed going against a 6-seed, showcasing the benefits of an expanded playoff format. However, with names like Aaron Judge, Jacob deGrom, Nolan Arenado, Trea Turner, and Edwin Díaz on the market next year, it’s hard not to start thinking about where each will land.
I mean, let’s face it. If you’re not a Phillies or Astros fan, your rooting interest in the Fall Classic comes down to who you despise less. Sure, you might not want the Astros to win because of their 2017 cheating scandal, or you might not want the Phillies to win because Bryce Harper is your least favorite baseball player on planet Earth. But above all else, you’d want your team to sign one of the big-name free agents coming up in 2023. Here’s where we believe each free agent will be at the start of next season.
[Note: I understand that certain players like Chris Sale could be attractive options for teams looking to take a swing for the fences, but given his recent injury woes, I find it likely that Sale will opt into the final three years of his contract, worth $75 million. He likely won’t find a better option on the open market so this move would make too much sense to not happen.]