Spending sprees may be a few weeks away for Major League Baseball teams, but impending free agents are already appraising their worth on the open market.

When it comes to the likes of Rich Hill, Yoenis Cespedes and Wilson Ramos, there should be plenty of money tossed around when general managers descend on the winter meetings in National Harbor, Maryland.

As free agency approaches, here’s a rundown of the latest rumors regarding some of this year’s biggest names.


Rich Hill Looking to Capitalize on Surging Value

Hill split his 2016 season between the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers, but a change of scenery didn’t prevent him from posting gaudy numbers.

Over the course of 20 starts, Hill went 12-5 with a 2.12 ERA, a 0.997 WHIP and 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

Thanks to those stellar numbers, the 36-year-old is eyeing a major payday this winter. 

Could a three-year, $45 million deal be far-fetched for the 36-year-old lefty? It’s the figure major league sources often reference,” the Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo reported. “The Dodgers could also make Hill a $17.2 million qualifying offer, which he would likely reject given the limited pitching market.”

A deal that pays out $15 million annually would justify what Hill did throughout the 2016 season, but committing that much money to a pitcher who will be 37 when the 2017 season starts is a risky proposition.

With that said, pitchers of Hill’s caliber are never short on offers when free agency opens. 

A deal approaching $50 million would feel a tad rich, but Hill should be able to field a multiyear offer that exceeds $40 million.

Prediction: Hill signs a three-year deal worth just north of $40 million.


Giants Seeking to Steal Cespedes from Mets?

Cespedes will be one of the hottest names on the free-agent market this year, assuming he opts out of his deal with the New York Mets, and he will reportedly have no shortage of suitors if he chooses to do so. 

One team stands out as a primary competitor for his services.

That would be the San Francisco Giants, according to the New York Daily NewsKristie Ackert:

Long before they ended the Mets’ season in the National League wild-card game, industry sources were talking about the Giants as the natural landing spot for Cespedes. They were ranked 28th in the majors in home runs with just 130 and 25th in slugging percentage last year, something that signing Cespedes would quickly resolve. With Angel Pagan a free agent and not likely to be re-signed, they have a vacancy in left field, where Cespedes prefers to play. 

Ackert also noted the Giants have never been afraid to spend on free agents, with Johnny Cueto’s $130 million deal standing out as a primary example.

However, the Mets are still in a good spot even if the Giants pursue a lucrative, long-term deal with the Cuban power hitter.

According to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, “The Mets’ perception is that, all things being equal, Cespedes would prefer to play for them, something he demonstrated by taking their deal last winter, with less guaranteed money than what Washington offered.”

Considering the success Cespedes has experienced since arriving in New York (48 total home runs, 130 RBI, .554 slugging percentage), he should give the team that gambled on him in July 2015 some preferential treatment as the Mets seek another National League East title.

Prediction: Cespedes re-signs with Mets following intense pursuit by the Giants.


Wilson Ramos Eyeing Long-Term Pact

Ramos had a fantastic 2016 season, hitting .307/.354/.496 with a career-high 22 home runs and 80 RBI. 

However, things came to a screeching halt when he suffered a torn ACL at the tail end of the regular season. Now Ramos is expected to miss a good chunk of the 2017 season as he rehabilitates. 

Despite the setback, Ramos is still looking for a serious commitment from a team in free agency.

Although the Washington Post‘s Jorge Castillo reported the Washington Nationals not offering Ramos a qualifying offer worth $17.2 million “is unlikely but possible,” the catcher’s agent has been adamant that his client is seeking a long-term deal.

According to Castillo, agent Wil Polidor has indicated the catcher “is seeking a four- to five-year contract, which he could secure only if he were to reject the qualifying offer.”

It’s no surprise that Ramos’ camp wants to maximize his value on the open market, but it’s hard to envision a team offering him such a deal.

Rather, it’s more feasible that a team would offer Ramos a prove-it deal that has one guaranteed year and some club options on the back end as protection.

Plus, if Ramos is amenable to signing with an American League club, he could wind up easing a prospective employer’s concerns by serving as a designated hitter.

Prediction: Ramos signs a one-year deal including club option with American League team.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com