On Wednesday, the Red Sox and Rafael Devers agreed to an 11-year agreement, making Devers the latest outstanding player to stay with the team after the departures of Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. As Devers was already on the team, the Red Sox didn’t have to make any moves to accommodate his new contract, but it does have an immediate impact on the following winter free-agency market.
Devers might have finished the season with the Red Sox and then been one of the top two or three players available next winter if he had stayed with them. Instead, the independent workforce will have fewer resources available to them. But it doesn’t imply just minor players will be available in the 2023-24 season.
To that end, CBS Sports have make an early attempt at rating the top players who are anticipated to be free in around nine months. Take a look at the four possible players that could be available to get for free in 2023-24.
4. Aaron Nola
Due to a lackluster 2021 season, Nola’s numbers aren’t very impressive. In spite of this, he is a proven workhorse with three Cy Young Award top-five finishes to his name. Whether it’s with the Phillies or another team, Nola will likely be offered a lucrative long-term contract.
3. Julio Urias
After pitching at least 300 innings throughout the Pandemic Era, Urias will approach his walk year with the fourth-best ERA+ in that group. The fact that he will still be relatively young at 27, the fact that he throws with his left hand, and the fact that the Dodgers have lots of financial freedom moving into the new year all appear to point toward his getting a lucrative contract.
2. Manny Machado
After the current season, Machado can exercise his contract’s opt-out and walk away from $160 million over the remaining five years. By then, he will be 31 years old and likely fresh off a stretch that had him nominated for the Most Valuable Player Award four times in a row.
Although unusual outcomes with opt-out calls are possible, it is believed Machado would be able to enhance his total payout or surpass his average yearly value by signing one of the recently popular super long-term agreements. If he finds that he like life in San Diego too much to leave, then that’s OK.
1. Shohei Ohtani
Ohtani is a once-in-a-generation talent who will earn a once-in-a-generation salary. Hehas made it clear that he wants to help the Angels win a World Series, but that seems unlikely. If and when he becomes available, other teams, including the Dodgers and Mets, are likely to aggressively pursue him. That means Ohtani won’t have to choose winning above financial success.