The MLB offseason is here for the majority of teams around the league, and all of those squads are looking to see how to improve toward next season.

Although there aren’t many impact free agents available in the 2017 class, a team can add a game-changing talent if it is willing to pay the price.

Here are some of the latest rumors surrounding the top players on the market.


Yoenis Cespedes, OF

In a weak year for free agents, all eyes are going to be on Yoenis Cespedes.

The outfielder signed a three-year contract before the start of the 2016 season with the ability to opt out after the first year. It gave him protection against an injury or poor performance, but the smart financial decision is to become a free agent and see what he can get on the open market.

According to’s Adam Rubin, the Mets “fully expect” Cespedes to become a free agent.

This goes against what he said about honoring his three-year contract back in August, per Bob Klapisch of, although he wouldn’t be the first player to say one thing and change his mind later in the year.

Cespedes was also thinking about returning after the wild-card loss to the San Francisco Giants, per Mike Puma of the New York Post:

However, the Mets front office might not be willing to give the talented player what he can get in other places. Rubin explained the team’s thought process:

The belief is that the Mets will offer a similar arrangement to Cespedes‘ current contract — a front-loaded, short-term deal with an opt-out after 2017, which would give Cespedes extra incentive to perform. General manager Sandy Alderson generally is averse to longer-term deals, and there is particular concern that Cespedes might not provide maximum effort for the duration of a lengthy contract without the carrot of an opt-out clause.

After Cespedes hit 48 home runs with 130 RBI in 189 games over the last year and a half with the Mets, he deserves a long-term deal. Plenty of other teams will likely offer him that type of contract.

While the 30-year-old might want to return to New York, another team that is willing to pay will be able to get him signed.

Predicted destination: Houston Astros


Edwin Encarnacion, DH

Few sluggers have been as underappreciated over the past few years as Edwin Encarnacion.

The Toronto Blue Jays star has 193 home runs over the last five seasons with at least 34 each year. This season, he led the American League with 127 RBI.

Although he might not be the most well-rounded player, Encarnacion is clearly a big-time middle-of-the-order hitter.

This is going to lead to a hefty contract for the 33-year-old veteran. Jon Morosi of believed he could end up with $25 million per year for four or five seasons. Jeff Blair of Sportsnet also explained Encarnacion will have a bigger list of suitors because teams believe he can play first base every day.

It doesn’t seem likely the Blue Jays will be able to afford him, but there will be no shortage of teams interested in a player of his ability.

One is the Kansas City Royals, who had a disappointing follow-up season to their World Series title in 2015. As Jim Bowden of wrote, “The Royals’ top priority this offseason is to add a bat, preferably a right-handed slugger.”

Encarnacion appears to be the perfect fit for a team that should be back in contention next season.

Predicted destination: Kansas City Royals


Lourdes Gurriel, INF

Every team is looking for the next great young international player, and Lourdes Gurriel could be that target.

The brother of Houston Astros infielder Yulieski Gurriel, Lourdes is just 22 years old and possesses plenty of talent, leading to a lot of interest around the league.

According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, the Cuban is “in the process of setting up private workouts for a half-dozen or so teams.”

He lists the Boston Red Sox, Astros, Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals as interested teams. 

Nick Krueger of SEC Country noted the player had a slash line of .344/.407/.560 against the best competition Cuba had to offer last year. While it is obviously a step up to the major leagues, there is a lot of potential in this young hitter.

Considering he can also play a premium position at either shortstop or second base, Gurriel could end up landing a big deal right out of the gate.

Predicted destination: Miami Marlins


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