Skip to main content

The Reiter 50: J.D. Martinez, Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta Among MLB's Best Free Agents

For the 10th consecutive year, Ben Reiter offers his top 50 free agents and predicted landing spots.

This year’s World Series was one of a kind in many ways, but here’s another: it featured no fewer than five of the top 21 members of last November’s Reiter 50, SI.com’s annual ranking of the Top 50 free agents available on the market.  Championships these days, of course, are largely won from within, not bought.

Take a look at the identities of the players in question, and it makes more sense.  For the Dodgers, they were Kenley Jansen (No. 4), Justin Turner (No. 5) and Rich Hill (No. 12)—all players whom LA re-signed, to allow for the continuation of what they’d already been building.  The Astros’ free agents were both new, but both were finishing touches as opposed to transplanted centerpieces: Josh Reddick (No .10) and Carlos Beltran (No. 21). 

Clubs will have every opportunity to calculate the risk and reward of bringing in a new superstar next winter, which promises to be the free agent class to end free agent classes, starting with Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Craig Kimbrel, Charlie Blackmon and, pending the declining of his player option, Clayton Kershaw.

Purchase Sports Illustrated's Commemorative Astros Covers, Issues

SI Recommends

By our lights, there’s only one member of this year’s tenth annual Reiter 50—the first one—who belongs in that company, but there are many who might provide the final lift to contention.  Clubs, though, will be unusually loath to overspend, given what’s coming next winter.  Here are those who will tempt them: