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MLB’s top free agent players in 2021

Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Major League Baseball’s biggest potential free agent for 2021, Mookie Betts, took himself off of market in July. His incredible 12-year, $365 million extension will see Betts possibly remain in Los Angeles Dodger Blue for the rest of his career.

Although Betts is off the market, a host of top MLB stars are about to hit it this winter. MLB free agency will dominate the baseball headlines as spring training looms in early 2021. Before the free agency market opens, this year’s champions must be crowned. Baseball fans are debating which team will win the World Series and can visit to get the latest news before wagering on the games.

This winter’s free agent market could have a number of outside forces affecting player movement. From MLB taking over Minor League Baseball to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot of issues that could alter the market ahead of the 2021 season.

1. J.T. Realmuto, catcher

Catcher J.T. Realmuto hit .266 for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2020. While his batting average was nothing exciting, Realmuto registered an .840 OPS, 11 home runs, and 32 RBI. The Phillies are working to keep Realmuto, but have competition from National League East rivals, the New York Mets. Realmuto, who joined Philly in 2019 from the Miami Marlins, wants a contract in the region of $200m.

2. George Springer, Outfield

Houston Astros outfielder George Springer signed a one-year contract ahead of 2020 to avoid arbitration. Now, he is set to test the waters of free agency. The 31-year-old, former No. 1 draft pick, earned $7.8m in 2020. Springer spent all seven of his MLB seasons with the Astros and could leave for pastures new. Although it was claimed he didn’t have a good regular season, Springer still put up excellent numbers. He hit .265, registered an .899 OPS, knocked in 32 RBI, and cracked 14 round-trippers.

3. Marcus Semien, Shortstop

There was a time when the Oakland A’s never expected to re-sign a free-agent-to-be. Should 2021 be any different than years past? Shortstop Marcus Semien is the latest player likely to leave Oakland via free agency. Semien has improved in all areas of the game over the last few seasons. He showed some pop this campaign with seven home runs and 23 RBI. He also posted a .679 OPS and a .967 fielding percentage.

4. Marcell Ozuna, Outfielder

The Atlanta Braves signed outfielder Marcell Ozuna on a one-year contract last offseason. For the most part, they signed a good hitter and not much else. Ozuna hit .338 and registered an OPS of 1.067. He tallied 18 home runs and 56 RBI for one of the best offenses in the big leagues. If the National League adopts the DH this offseason, Ozuna will be one of the most highly sought-after players on the market.

5. D.J. LeMahieu, Infielder

D.J. LeMahieu is valuable player to have around a big-league club. He can play all four positions across the infield and is handy with a bat. LeMahieu hit .364 with 10 home runs, 27 RBI, 41 runs scored, and an OPS of 1.011 for the New York Yankees in 2020. He should get more than the $24m over two years the Yankees paid him in 2019 and 2020.