Navigating free agency in the 2017 MLB offseason

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Navigating free agency in the 2017 MLB offseason

Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish reacts after striking out Diamondbacks batter J.D. Martinez to end the fourth inning in Game 3 of the NLDS at Chase Field Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Ariz. The Dodgers won 3-1.

Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish reacts after striking out Diamondbacks batter J.D. Martinez to end the fourth inning in Game 3 of the NLDS at Chase Field Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Ariz. The Dodgers won 3-1.

(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish reacts after striking out Diamondbacks batter J.D. Martinez to end the fourth inning in Game 3 of the NLDS at Chase Field Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Ariz. The Dodgers won 3-1.

(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish reacts after striking out Diamondbacks batter J.D. Martinez to end the fourth inning in Game 3 of the NLDS at Chase Field Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Ariz. The Dodgers won 3-1.

Brian Carpenter, Staff Writer

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The 2017 baseball offseason is here. After one of the greatest World Series of all time, teams are now able to negotiate with the next collection of talent in free agency. But where will some of these top free agents end up? Let’s take a look at some of the biggest names available:

J.D. Martinez

After being traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Arizona Diamondbacks at the 2017 trade deadline, J.D. Martinez became one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball during the second half of the season. Martinez hit 31 of his 45 home runs after the trade and drove in 72 of his 104 RBI.

Martinez has a strong market, with teams like the San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks all interested. The negotiation process will be complicated with Scott Boras as his agent and his asking price of a seven-year, $210 million contract, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

With the success the Diamondbacks had last season and Martinez being a key piece to them making it to October, I think Arizona gives Martinez the money and he stays put in the desert.

Prediction: Arizona Diamondbacks

Eric Hosmer

A 2015 World Series champion and four-time gold glove winner will test the free agent market for the first time in his career. Hosmer received a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Kansas City Royals to re-sign, which he declined.

Hosmer has turned himself into a consistent hitter, with at least 90 runs batted in each of the last three seasons. The St Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, and San Diego Padres among many others have shown interest in Hosmer.

Being a Boras client as well, this, in turn, means a hefty price tag. I think Hosmer stays in Missouri, but signs with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are looking to bulk up their lineup and with the uncertainty of a Giancarlo Stanton trade happening, the Cardinals would be a good fit for Hosmer.

Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals

Wade Davis

After becoming a full-time reliever in 2014, Davis has posted a 1.45 ERA, the lowest in baseball among pitchers that have thrown at least 100 innings, according to an article from MLB.com.

Davis finished with 32 saves last season with the Chicago Cubs and appeared in 59 games, posting a 2.30 ERA. The Cubs, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels have all shown interest in the closer.

Houston had a memorable postseason run and was able to do it without a dynamic arm in their bullpen. Davis would be a huge addition to the World Series champions and would solidify themselves as a favorite to repeat.

Prediction: Houston Astros

Jake Arrieta

The 2015 Cy Young Award winner and 2016 World Series Champion will be one of the most sought-after starting pitchers in the 2017 free agent class. Arrieta finished 2017 with a 3.53 ERA and a 14-10 record over 168 innings.

The Texas Rangers seem to be the best fit for Arrieta. Arrieta attended Texas Christian University and went to high school in Texas as well. Although the Cubs are Arrieta’s home and will need another starter to fill out their 2018 rotation, I think the Rangers sign the starter, who as a team combined to have a 4.66 ERA during the 2017 season.

Prediction: Texas Rangers

Yu Darvish

The Japanese ace will be a free agent for the first time after coming over to the United States and signing a six-year, $60 million contract with the Rangers in 2012.

Darvish was traded to the Dodgers from the Rangers at this year’s trade deadline. With the Rangers, Cubs and Dodgers all showing interest in the right-hander, he’s likely to land with the team that Arrieta doesn’t end up signing with.

A forgettable 2017 World Series with the Dodgers might hurt his price tag. I think Darvish heads to the north side of Chicago and replaces Arrieta in the Cubs’ rotation.

Prediction: Chicago Cubs

Contributing Writer Brian Carpenter can be found on Twitter @bostonfan17856. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to uncwseahawksports@gmail.comFor video updates from The Seahawk, subscribe to our YouTube channel.