Now that one of the wildest trade deadlines in history has come and gone, Major League Baseball's next major period of player movement won't be here until free agency opens up after the World Series.

Is it too early to tell where this winter's top free agents will end up? Well, of course. But we have a fresh round of predictions anyway.

For this, we focused on the top 10 players available this offseason and picked where they'll sign based on three considerations:

Alrighty then, let's count 'em down.

Who needs them?

Who can afford them?

Who might want them the most?


10. 2B/SS Marcus Semien: Seattle Mariners

2021 Stats: 102 G, 455 PA, 25 HR, 10 SB, .275 AVG, .341 OBP, .530 SLG, 134 OPS+, 5.2 rWAR

2022 Age: 31

After an MVP-caliber season for the Oakland Athletics in 2019, Marcus Semien tanked his free-agent value as he put up just 0.4 rWAR in 2020.

Rather than insist on a multiyear deal, Semien bet on himself with a one-year, $18 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays that, in something of a twist, also necessitated a move from shortstop to second base. 

Semien has more than just met the challenge, as he co-leads American League position players in rWAR alongside teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. So barring a total collapse in the season's final two months, he  could be in line for a deal approaching nine figures this winter.

The Bay Area native could return home to join the San Francisco Giants, as Brandon Crawford's and Donovan Solano's upcoming free agency will open up needs at shortstop and second base. But if they opt to focus on re-signing the newly acquired Kris Bryant and perhaps seek other big fish, Semien will have to look elsewhere.

To pick one team out of the hat, the Seattle Mariners should be ready to make moves this winter after what's been a rebuild-busting season. They could see Semien as a nice fit next to Gold Glove-winning shortstop J.P. Crawford, and they'll certainly have the flexibility to sign him.


9. SS Javier Baez: Toronto Blue Jays

2021 Stats: 93 G, 369 PA, 23 HR, 13 SB, .245 AVG, .288 OBP, .484 SLG, 107 OPS+, 2.9 rWAR

2022 Age: 29

Where players want to end up in free agency is typically not for public consumption, but Javier Baez went ahead and spilled the beans in a recent radio interview:

"If I go to the free agency, I would like to play with Francisco Lindor. I loved playing with him in the World Classic. It is the only option I would take to play second base if it is to play with him, otherwise I stay playing at shortstop."

The New York Mets granted Baez's wish ahead of time by acquiring him from the Chicago Cubs on deadline day. This winter, they could re-sign Baez so he can play alongside Lindor for years to come.

Given what's happened with Lindor in 2021, however, there is the nagging suspicion that the Mets will be reluctant to spend up to nine figures on another volatile middle infielder. They might not be alone there, as Baez hasn't exactly boosted his stock by hitting just .230/.270/.439 over his last 151 games.

Yet there might be a place for Baez in Toronto. He would fit in well with the team's free-swinging offense and, as a Gold Glover and four-time Fielding Bible award winner, he'd be a substantial defensive upgrade over Bo Bichette, who could move into Semien's vacated shoes at second base.