The 2022-23 MLB free-agency class is uniquely loaded with veterans who have had stellar careers, but how many players from that group will one day find their way into the Hall of Fame?

AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander is a lock to have his bust added to the hallowed halls of Cooperstown, but a number of others have compelling cases among this year's free-agent crop.

Will Zack Greinke join him as one of the top pitchers from this era? Do closers Craig Kimbrel and Kenley Jansen have a shot? What about former superstars Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria?

Ahead we've taken a closer look at 10 players from this year's free-agent class and their respective Hall of Fame cases, as well as a glance ahead at some of the guys who still have work to do before they can enter that conversation but are on the right track.

 

The Case for...Justin Verlander

Only 11 pitchers in MLB history have won three or more Cy Young Awards, a prestigious club that Justin Verlander joined this season with his remarkable return from Tommy John surgery.

From that group, seven are enshrined in the Hall of Fame, two more are locks to join them once they retire in Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer, and the other is Roger Clemens, who would be a no-brainer Hall of Famer if not for performance-enhancing drug accusations.

Beyond that rather specific indicator, there are plenty of other reasons to believe Verlander has already punched his ticket to Cooperstown.

His 78.1 WAR is good for 27th all-time among pitchers, and the only hurlers ahead of him on that list who are not in the Hall of Fame are Clemens and Curt Schilling, whose candidacy was similarly marred by his off-field image.

It puts him ahead of legends such as Tom Glavine (73.9), Jim Palmer (67.6), John Smoltz (66.4), Bob Feller (65.2), Juan Marichal (61.8) and many others who rank among the greatest to ever take the mound.

Regardless of what he does over the life of his next contract, Verlander has already earned his spot.

Hall of Fame Chances: 100 percent

 

The Case for...Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke is not far behind Verlander on the all-time WAR list for pitchers, checking in with 71.5 in 19 seasons. That's good for No. 32 on the list, slotting him right between contemporaries Kershaw (73.1) and Scherzer (70.7).

The workhorse right-hander has topped 200 innings nine times, and his 2009 (33 GS, 16-8, 2.16 ERA, 205 ERA+, 229.1 IP) and 2015 (32 GS, 19-3, 1.66 ERA, 222 ERA+, 222.2 IP) seasons were among the best individual pitching performances of the last 25 years.

The only thing missing from his resume is a World Series ring, though he does have a 1.80 ERA over 15 innings in three World Series starts, and a respectable 4.14 ERA overall in 113 career postseason innings.

It seems likely that he'll play out his final seasons in Kansas City—which drafted him in 2002—after he rejoined the team in 2022 and is expected to re-sign this offseason, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

The best comparison for his career among recent inductees is Mike Mussina, who spent six years on the ballot before reaching the requisite number of votes for induction. With that in mind, it could take Greinke a few years to punch his ticket, but his career is worthy of recognition alongside the all-time greats.

Hall of Fame Chances: 95 percent