The 2021 MLB free-agent class is loaded, and there are teams that badly need some of the players on the market. 

For the next week, until the anticipated work stoppage on Dec. 2 following the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, baseball fans should be on the edge of their seats to see how the market plays out. 

It would be wise, from both a player and team perspective, to take the bird in hand before the uncertainty of baseball's labor dispute becomes a factor in decision-making. 

Either way, let's take a look at the perfect fits for 10 of the biggest free agents available.

We are looking for ideal matches between the players, their priorities (or what they should be) and what the teams' needs are this offseason and in the bigger picture.    


Starling Marte: Philadelphia Phillies

Starling Marte split his time between the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics in 2021, hitting .310 with 12 home runs, 55 RBI, 27 doubles, an .841 OPS and an MLB-leading 47 stolen bases. 

The 33-year-old appears to be the most coveted center fielder in this free-agent class. He would make any team better, but the Philadelphia Phillies need help at that position. 

Signing Marte would be substantially better than internal options either Roman Quinn (.173/.306/.288) or Adam Haseley (.190/.190/.238). 

National League MVP Bryce Harper carried the Phillies last season, and it's clear he needs help in the outfield, especially with the possible departure of free agents Andrew McCutchen and Odubel Herrera, the latter of whom played the majority of games in center for the Phillies. 

Pair Harper with Marte, who had his best season in 2021, and it shows they're trying to avoid wasting prime years of one of the game's best players. 

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Phillies, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Texas Rangers and Miami Marlins are all interested in Marte. 

The Astros make sense, as they have been trying to figure out center field since they lost George Springer in the last round of free agency. 

Next-best fit: Houston Astros


Marcus Stroman: Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners are close to being contenders but are at least one starting pitcher away from being serious. 

Seattle's starters gave up the fifth-most home runs and seventh-most hits in the American League last season. The Mariners' 1.32 WHIP among starters was middle-of-the-pack in baseball and seventh-highest in the American League. 

The group was mostly solid but could use a boost, as injuries tested its depth toward the end of the season.

Marcus Stroman's reliability and durability stand out. He shoulders a heavy workload consistently, having posted the 15th-most innings pitched since 2016. 

The 30-year-old is coming off a career high in strikeouts per nine innings (7.94).

If it takes five years and roughly $110 million to get Stroman in their rotation, that's a reasonable spend for someone with ace potential. 

Next-best fit: San Francisco Giants