Major League Baseball's deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players has passed. Here, we take a look at the most surprising and intriguing players who are now free agents.
One thing's for sure, the outfield market just got a lot more crowded.
Eddie Rosario, OF, Twins
Reports surfaced Tuesday night that the Twins were aggressively shopping Rosario to no avail prior to placing him on outright waivers. No team was willing to claim him, possibly due to his 2021 salary which is projected to land between $8.6-$12.9 million.
The 29-year-old has spent his entire six-year career with the Twins, and while he's never been named to an All-Star team, he's been consistently reliable. He owns a career batting line of .277/.310/.478 with 119 home runs in 697 games. His biggest flaw is his inability to draw walks, which suppresses his on-base percentage. Rosario may be the top alternative for teams that miss out on George Springer, Marcell Ozuna, or Michael Brantley.
Kyle Schwarber, OF, Cubs
With the Cubs desperately looking to cut costs, Schwarber is one of the odd men out. Cutting him loose could mean the team holds on to the rest of the core of Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Anthony Rizzo a bit longer - or this could simply be the first shoe to drop. Schwarber has seemed destined to be a designated hitter ever since the Cubs moved him from catcher to the outfield. He hit 94 home runs over three seasons from 2017-19. The former fourth overall pick should land on his feet pretty quickly and his power should still play.
Jose Martinez, 1B/OF, Cubs
The 32-year-old slogged his way through a brutal 2020 campaign between the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs. He didn't even muster a hit in his 22 plate appearances after his trade to Chicago. But even if last season was an unmitigated disaster, it's tough to put too much stock into such a small sample size.
He's best suited for the American League where he can slot in as a designated hitter or, at worst, a platoon bat. Even when factoring in his 2020 line, Martinez has hit .307 with 16 home runs and a 145 wRC+ against lefties over 348 career plate appearances.