MLB’s Best Still Looking for a Team

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The Major League Baseball season has progressed to a full schedule of spring training games, and we are now just over three weeks away from the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres opening the regular season in Seoul, South Korea.

We’re so far into the new season, we’ve stopped talking about players and teams and new faces, and instead have had multiple complaints about pants. They’re too tight, too transparent, and in some cases, not yet in the possession of equipment managers. It’s turned into quite the distraction to the actual business of baseball.

One of those business items that has been lost in the new uniform hubbub is the fact that there are four very good baseball free agents still in search of a new team. It’s also probably not a coincidence that all four are clients of agent Scott Boras.

Blake Snell

It was just three months ago that Blake Snell won the National League Cy Young Award. He received 28 of the 30 first place votes, and it made him just the seventh pitcher in MLB history to win Cy Youngs in both leagues. He’s only 31, in the prime of his career, and yet he is still searching for a 2024 team.

On odds for this coming year’s Cy Young winners, he is noticeably absent, even though he should be one of the top favorites. And when it comes to which team is going to eventually sign him, baseball online sportsbooks have the New York Yankees as the +250 favorites. The Seattle Mariners are next at +450, with the Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants at +650.

The problem with the Yankees signing Snell is that no matter how much he signs for, it will trigger a 110% tax for the Yankees, meaning that they will pay more than double his salary. Snell turned down $20.25 million from the Padres after completing his dominant season, and based on the salaries of Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Gerrit Cole, Snell’s value is more than $35 million per season.

Jordan Montgomery

Like Snell, it was just a few months ago that Jordan Montgomery hit the zenith of his career. The 31-year-old lefthander helped lead the Texas Rangers to their first World Series title, and he won three of his five starts during the postseason run.

Montgomery has made at least 30 starts in each of the last three seasons, and in each of those seasons, his ERAs have been 3.83, 3.48, and 3.20. Montgomery is an experienced postseason starter that is getting better each year, and yet he, too, doesn’t have a team for 2024. 

The Boston Red Sox – ranked last (+1300) to win the American League East by Massachusetts online sportsbooks – held a zoom meeting with Montgomery this week. But so far, there were no serious contract talks. has the Rangers as the most likely team to sign him at +200. The Red Sox are next at +225.

Matt Chapman

Defense up the middle is of paramount importance in baseball. At catcher, shortstop, and center field, you want your best gloves. Yet one of the very best gloves in baseball is third baseman Matt Chapman, who just won his fourth Gold Glove in 2023.

His production dipped to 17 home runs last season, but he hit 27 homers in 2021 and 2022, and he has hit as many as 36 in his career. He’s only 30-years-old, and he doesn’t have a team for 2024.

Chapman played for the Toronto Blue Jays last season, but Washington retail sportsbooks have him eventually signing with the Seattle Mariners. They are paying +250, with a return to Toronto paying +350. The Giants are also in the mix at +450.

J.D. Martinez

With Cody Bellinger now a member of the Chicago Cubs (three years, $80 million), the biggest available bat belongs to J.D. Martinez. Last year for the Dodgers, he hit 33 home runs with 103 RBI, and even though he is now 36-years-old, he can still slug. Martinez is an experienced DH, he has more than 300 career home runs, and he’s hit 10 home runs in his postseason career.

L.A. no longer has room for another DH now that Shohei Ohtani is in town, and Martinez reportedly turned down an offer from the Giants because he doesn’t “want to play there.”

The New York Mets are also reported to have interest in Martinez, and they still need more help in the lineup. We’re just a  month away from the start of the season, and New York online sportsbooks have them at -195 to miss the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years.

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