We are now officially in the year 2018, and yet just about all of the top free agent targets are still without a home. Now that we've hit the month of January, the market should start to heat up and these free agents should begin to sign quickly.
With a swift deadline in mind, here's a look at our proposed landing spots for the top 10 remaining free agents.
10. Alex Cobb: Milwaukee Brewers
Alex Cobb had initial interest from the Chicago Cubs (once the perceived favorites) at the start of the offseason, but those rumors have dwindled quickly.
However, there's one NL Central club that is in need of a starter and is ramping up their pursuit of the former Tampa Bay Ray. The Milwaukee Brewers would be a perfect fit for Cobb, and it wouldn't cost the Crew an arm and a leg like it would to sign someone like Jake Arrieta.
Cobb may not be the ace Milwaukee desperately seeks, but before undergoing Tommy John surgery he was one of the more underrated pitchers in the sport.
9. Lance Lynn: Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers have made several moves to address their pitching staff, but none of them involve reliable starters who can, at the very least, give them innings and provide the club a chance to win start after start. Lance Lynn was as consistent of a starter as you can find this past season, and his ability to keep the ball down would play in Arlington, where the ball carries with ease.
Basically a straight up Lynn-for-Miles Mikolas trade.
8. Greg Holland: Washington Nationals
With the signing of Wade Davis, it seems pretty clear that the Colorado Rockies aren't going to re-sign Greg Holland.
There aren't that many teams that are in desperate need of a closer, but the Washington Nationals, who had bullpen woes prior to the deadline in 2017, had interest in Holland last year and could use another stud in the back end of the pen. Plus, they'd be directly stealing a Cubbies target.
7. Jay Bruce: Toronto Blue Jays
Whether they should or not, the Toronto Blue Jays aren't yet poised to tear things down and begin rebuilding. Josh Donaldson is a free agent after the season, and because they aren't looking to trade him now, it seems the Jays instead plan to contend once again.
Well, if that's the plan, then they need to add some offense, preferably a left-handed bat. Jay Bruce fills a need in the outfield and would give Donaldson some much-needed protection in the middle of the order.
Bruce won't be cheap, but we won't see a massive price tag like JD Martinez or Eric Hosmer, either.
6. Lorenzo Cain: San Francisco Giants
This makes too much sense. The San Francisco Giants had one of the worst outfield defenses in baseball last year, and it simply needs to be fixed if they want to quickly turn their fortunes around.
They have the ability to sign just about any free agent on the market, but fixing center field with a Gold Glover like Lorenzo Cain is too obvious not to happen.
5. Mike Moustakas: St. Louis Cardinals
Their pursuit of Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado on the trade market to fill their hole at third base haven't necessarily gone anywhere, so it might be time for the Cardinals to spend some money.
Mike Moustakas hasn't received much interest this winter (and, again, we ask: why?), but his career-high 38 home runs last year can't be ignored and it'll certainly play in St. Louis.
4. Jake Arrieta: Minnesota Twins
Minnesota broke out last year and hit the Wild Card Game, with a bevy of young position players at their disposal. However, they are devoid of a frontline starter, and while it'll cost a pretty penny, the Twins need to go out and spend big on a dominant and durable arm who can sit at the top of the rotation and lead them to the playoffs.
Enter Jake Arrieta. He may not be the same guy who was all-worldly several years ago, but he'd immediately change the landscape of their pitching staff and bring them closer to competing with the Indians in the AL Central.
3. Yu Darvish: Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs need to replace Arrieta in the rotation, so why not sign Yu Darvish as his price drops?
Yes, he struggled in the World Series. But that's more of a blip on the radar than anything else. The Cubs have already met with Darvish, so there's some kind of relationship that can help make a deal happen as we inch closer to Spring Training. Unless the Yankees stick their head into the Darvish sweepstakes, the Cubs have to be the favorites to sign the 31-year-old.
2. J.D. Martinez: Boston Red Sox
Alright, Boston. Now's the time.
You need to augment your offense with a legit power hitter, and the best one on the market is J.D. Martinez. There is genuine interest and they seem to be the clear front-runner, as most teams don't have the funds to sign a guy like Martinez. In fact, we're not even hearing about other teams joining the fray.
I'm not saying the two-time defending AL East champs need to respond to the Yankees' big moves this winter, but even last year's banner-winning season proves they need to add a bat and improve their offense to become true World Series contenders. With Mitch Moreland re-signed to play first, Eric Hosmer doesn't seem to be an option, leaving Martinez as the logical choice to help fix things.
1. Eric Hosmer: Kansas City Royals
At this point, the two teams that seem to be zeroed in on Eric Hosmer are the San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals. Unless the money is way far apart, why would he choose San Diego over Kansas City? He's a beloved figure in KC and is the face of the franchise. The longer he's on the market, the better the Royals' chances are of keeping him. While this franchise is set to take a couple steps back, Hosmer can keep the Royals competitive and make the turnaround to prominence quicker.
Plus, who's allergic to being the face of the franchise?