Best Fit for Remaining Free Agents

Where will the big free agents sign before the 2024 season?

We’re almost there, baseball fans — just under a week until pitchers and catchers report. Though it’s been a long offseason, there have been plenty of storylines to follow, such as the Shohei Ohtani saga and the Juan Soto trade to the Yankees. Despite all the noise over the past couple of months, there are still plenty of pieces that need to fall before the season begins in terms of this year’s free agent class. Several of the top arms and bats are still up for grabs, and while contract negotiations are no doubt occurring daily, it’s still a mystery as to where some of these big names will land.

So, why don’t we offer some suggestions and help speed things up a bit? In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at five of the biggest free agent names still out there and discuss what teams make the most sense for them to join. Let’s dive right in:


OF/1B Cody Bellinger

Best fit: Chicago Cubs

Why this team?: Sometimes, staying put is what makes the most sense for these free agents, and Cody Bellinger is a prime example of this. As things stand right now, the Cubs are sorely missing a middle-of-the-lineup power bat, something Bellinger provided for this team in 2023 with a .307/.356/.525 slash line and 26 home runs in 130 games. Defensively, the Cubs still have problems to address at the corner infield spots, despite the acquisition of Michael Busch from the Dodgers earlier in the offseason. While primarily an outfielder, Bellinger provided plus defense at first base in 59 appearances in 2023 and would greatly improve the Cubs’ defensive flexibility if he makes a return to Chicago. If the Cubs can navigate the minefield that is a negotiation with Scott Boras, it makes all the sense in the world for Bellinger to play this season (and beyond) in Cubbie blue.

Other potential fits: They already went out and re-signed Kevin Kiermaier, but the Toronto Blue Jays could use another lefty in the lineup and may be feeling a need to spend after missing out on Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. A return to the West Coast could also make sense for Bellinger, as the Angels and Giants both make sense fit-wise as well–but more on them in a moment. The Mariners could also use some power and outfield depth after the departure of Jarred Kelenic, but it’s unlikely that Julio Rodríguez will move from center field.


SP Blake Snell

Best fit: Los Angeles Angels

Why this team?: In a post-Ohtani world, the Angels are putting forth a Frankenstein rotation headlined by the likes of Reid Detmers and Tyler Anderson, neither of which profile as a bona fide ace. What better way to right the ship than to sign the reigning NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell? The Angels have plenty of extra money to play with this offseason, thanks in part to last-minute roster cutdowns in 2023, and may have a chance to land Snell given chatter around his landing spot has dwindled after the Yankees turned down his titanic asking price. It’s unlikely the Angels would be willing to meet the 9-year, $270 million contract that Snell is seeking, but it makes sense for them to throw some money at the lefty to try and fill the Shohei-sized hole left in the hearts of Angels fans. Let’s see if Arte Moreno is willing to make it happen.

Other potential fits: It’s quite possible Snell comes down from his asking price and meets the 6/$150 million offer from the Yankees he was initially given, but New York may be less interested after adding Marcus Stroman to their staff. The recently Corbin Burnes-less Brewers aren’t usually ones to break the bank, but they could be persuaded to add to their rotation in a wide-open NL Central. The Phillies haven’t made a big splash in the offseason aside from re-signing Aaron Nola to a long-term deal. At the height of their competitive window, a 1-2-3 of Nola-Wheeler-Snell sure sounds intimidating.


3B Matt Chapman

Best fit: San Francisco Giants

Why this team?: Now that the Blue Jays have inked Justin Turner to mix in with Isiah Kiner-Falefa at third base, it’s all but guaranteed that Matt Chapman won’t be returning to Toronto in 2024. The prediction of Chapman landing in San Francisco is hardly a hot take, as the veteran has been linked with the Giants all offseason and has been rumored to be in talks with them as recently as yesterday. While it seems likely that Chapman will be calling the Bay Area his new home, why does this move make so much sense? In a word, it’s defense. The Giants have a decent offensive third baseman in J.D. Davis, but Chapman presents a huge defensive upgrade at the hot corner as the reigning Gold Glove recipient, his fourth such award in his career. After making a splash in the international market with Jung Hoo Lee, it seems likely the Giants will add Chapman to be their everyday third baseman to keep pace with their division rivals in LA and Arizona.

Other potential fits: If he doesn’t land in San Fran, the Cubs figure to be the best fit from a positional standpoint as a team needing to figure out their corner infielders after missing out on Rhys Hoskins. The Mariners were also a potential suitor as a team needing a new third baseman after trading Eugenio Suárez, but Luis Urías figures to be their primary third baseman after acquiring Jorge Polanco from the Twins to play second.


SP Jordan Montgomery

Best fit: Texas Rangers

Why this team?: The reigning World Series champs have their hands full putting a rotation together while their stars look to get healthy. Max Scherzer is recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back, while Jacob deGrom and Tyler Mahle are both on the long road back from Tommy John surgery. All three of these players should act as reinforcements in the second half of the season, but for the time being, it’s Nathan Eovaldi leading the charge with Jon Gray and Andrew Heaney behind him. If the Rangers want any chance at defending their title, they desperately need to address the rotation, and retaining Jordan Montgomery feels like the most logical choice. Montgomery also seems to prefer a reunion in 2024, making a return to the Rangers feel like the inevitable conclusion to this story.

Other potential fits: If the Angels don’t want to make a huge splash signing the reigning NL Cy Young, Montgomery could be a lower-cost option to bolster the rotation. The same goes for the Phillies, who could bring in a free agent like Montgomery as they look to return to the World Series. It’s believed Montgomery wouldn’t mind a reunion with the Cardinals either, but St. Louis has already added a slew of arms this offseason.


DH Jorge Soler

Best fit: Boston Red Sox

Why this team?: We end our in-depth looks with the best pure power bat remaining in Jorge Soler. Soler opted out of the final year of his contract with the Marlins, and at this point, a reunion seems unlikely. The Red Sox have been exceptionally underwhelming in the offseason thus far, trading away Alex Verdugo to the Yankees and watching from the sidelines as Justin Turner signed with the Blue Jays. Turner’s departure opens up a hole at DH, one that Soler could fill quite nicely in addition to mixing in as an outfielder in the wake of Verdugo’s departure. After missing out on Teoscar Hernández, adding Soler as a power-hitting righty feels like the perfect way to put a bandage on what’s been a mediocre offseason. Hang in there, Sox fans.

Other potential fits: The Giants have been in talks with Soler and could use a boost of power to their lineup after Joc Pederson signed with the Diamondbacks. The Blue Jays already signed Justin Turner, making a match with Soler far less likely, but there’s still a chance. After shipping off Jorge Polanco, maybe the Twins will finally make a run at a free agent in the lowly AL Central.


Aside from these big names, there are still a handful of players out there that can make an impact. J.D. Martinez will surely sign as a DH somewhere,  Tim Anderson will be looking to make a career resurgence after a brutal 2023, and Tommy Pham and Gio Urshela will get picked up as depth pieces somewhere, to name a few. With pitchers and catchers reporting soon, hopefully, we’ll see some of these names finding their homes for 2024 (and beyond) shortly. For those of you still waiting for your team to make a big splash, good luck–there are only so many players to go around.


Graphic credit: Justin Redler

Christian Otteman

Christian Otteman is a hopelessly optimistic Cubs fan living in Milwaukee just looking to share his love of this beautiful game with others. He is especially a fan of the wild and weird things that only a game like baseball can produce. While he's not watching baseball, Christian is playing golf, hosting trivia, and working on his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Marquette University.

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