MLB Free Agency

Luke Hicks, Staff Writer

Major League Baseball is filled with tons of talent from all over the world. In the past, this talent has decided to stay loyal to one team and not move clubs. Recently, however, younger stars have made the decisions of not signing long-term deals, and instead get short but expensive deals from the hottest teams around the league. An avid baseball fan myself, I love to see what the next year will look like with old faces on new teams and how our hometown Braves will fare. The top five free agents on my list are Fernando Tatis Jr., JT Realmuto, Trevor Bauer, George Springer, Nolan Arenado, and our hometown slugger himself, Marcell Ozuna.

Trevor Bauer joins Mookie Betts on the Dodgers, a free agent last year who decided to take his talents to LA. (Credit: Luke Hicks)

Fernando Tatis Jr. leads the new wave of baseball stars, joining Ronald Acuna Jr. and Juan Soto. Milton baseball player Cameron Jaeggi (Grade 9) says Fernando Tatis Jr. i“The most electrifying player in the game, he’s making baseball fun again…” Tatis continuously shows that he is not just another kid following the unwritten rules that make the game slow and boring. The young star swung on 3-0 up 10-3 and went on to hit a grand slam putting the Padres uby 11. The grand slam deserved applause and recognition but was instead followed by Machado getting thrown at the very next pitch. Many were outraged at the Rangers, saying this is why baseball is declining in popularity. The unwritten rules were broken and Tatis has nothing other to say than that he wants to be the new face of baseball. San Diego hopes to have found their guy as they signed him for 14 years and $340 million, both insane numbers for an insane player. 

There aren’t enough catchers to go around in the big leagues. Bad knees, poor performance at the plate, and a small sliver of time before they are all used up contribute to the shortage. JT Realmuto goes against all of these and proves to be a big sign. A talent hitting at the plate and protecting it, Realmuto resigned with the Phillies for five years and $115.5 million.  

In my opinion, Trevor Bauer is the best in the game. Others believe he is top five. Very few starters compete with Bauer, and now that he is on an already stacked team, I think he has a chance to win the Cy Young and the World Series title. Adam McKevley (Grade 9), another varsity baseball player, says he is the “Biggest name on the market right now.”  Last year, Bauer was with the Reds. This year, his three-year deal cost the Dodgers $102 million. Money well spent? We’ll see.  

George Springer is coming off a very eventful season after being pinned in the cheating of the World Series title that the Astros won in 2017.  I am not a fan of his, not due to the cheating of his lone title, but due to his age and my expectation of a falloutMcKevley thinks he is a big name but he isn’t among the best.” The Blue Jays up in Toronto signed Springer for six years and $150 million, surpassing their largest contract ever, which was signed in 2006.  

Who doesn’t love when the Braves are good? Hotlanta is rocking during the summer and Truist Park is one of the places that fill this city up during the couple months after school ends. Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr.and Ozzie Albies are just a few leading the Braves to a title run this year. Now, Marcell Ozuna is back after a monster year on his one-year deal. He led the MLB in RBIs and HRs in his first year with the Braves and has now signed a four-year, $65 million deal that has an option for a fifth year totaling out to $80 million. A title run is in sight, but there are some things that need to happen. Mckelvey says, “Obviously, Ozuna needs to step up to the hype and continue his hitting. Our young pitchers and Riley at third base will really be what tells if we are at the World Series level. If we can win the NL we can win the whole thing.” I agree with McKevley because the National League is absolutely stacked with teams like the Dodgers, Padres, Mets, Cubs, and Cardinals. The competition is endless and this will be a fun year in the MLB.