Playoff baseball is upon us, and a handful of elite players can secure huge free agent paydays if they get hot at the right time.
The MLB postseason is always sure to spark some fireworks, but woven into the narrative of this year’s MLB playoffs are the stories of several ballplayers who stand to make a pile of money with spirited performances.
For some of these players, the difference between a great contract and a truly massive one could come down to one bad swing or loss of command in a high-leverage moment. Others, however, have a chance to catch fire in the most important stretch of the year and become the next 2019 Manny Machado or 2004 Carlos Beltran.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at four standout players on track to secure serious bags in MLB free agency this offseason.
SS Carlos Correa
The Houston free-agent-to-be shortstop is capping off arguably the finest season of his career.
Not only has he been stellar at the plate, but he also has a good shot of winning his first Gold Glove.
The Astros attempted to lock down Carlos Correa prior to the season, offering him a five-year, $125 million deal. The shortstop declined, making it clear he’s looking for a “big, long contract.”
Correa’s first shot to prove himself will be in the American League Division Series against the White Sox, which begins Thursday at Minute Maid Park.
- Age: 27
- Expiring contract: One year, $11.5 million
- Notable stats : A .279 average to go along with career-highs in home runs (26) and runs (104), plus 92 RBIs, which is just four shy of his career-best, and a 7.2 wins above replacement (WAR) is the best for a position player in all of baseball.
1B Freddie Freeman
The five-time NL All-Star is coming off an MVP season a year ago and led the NL in runs scored this time around (among his other typically stellar stats in both phases of the game).
Freddie Freeman could be the single most coveted free agent this off-season, but it’s most likely that Braves fans can probably rest easy. Having never known another team other than Atlanta, there’s no real reason to believe (yet!) that Freeman would depart the team that drafted him straight out of high school. He may end up taking a hometown discount to stick around and spend the rest of his career at Truist Park.
But despite making it clear — “I am an Atlanta Brave,” he said — we all know that when money is involved, anything is possible right up until a contract is actually signed.
Freeman will look to continue his dominance in the post-season during a trip to Milwaukee to face the Brewers in the NL Division Series starting Friday.
- Age: 32
- Expiring contract: Eight years, $135 million
- Notable stats : .300, 31 HR, 83 RBI, 120 runs scored
C/1B Buster Posey
San Francisco Giants
A legit power-hitting catcher is hard to find, and Buster Posey has jolted the MLB-best Giants with the second-best OPS and slugging figures of his decorated career.
Posey, who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, has experienced quite the resurgence this year — putting together perhaps his best season in the bigs.
That’s saying a lot seeing as Posey’s resume includes 2010 Rookie of the Year honors, the 2012 NL MVP, seven All-Star nods, and three World Series championships.
While Posey could become a free agent after this season, Giants brass has already said it intends on bringing him back by picking up his $22 million option in the process.
Posey, who reached a milestone on the final day of the season by notching his 1,500th career hit, will get a chance to show what he’s worth when the Giants take on the winner of the NL Wild Card at home starting Friday.
- Age: 34
- Expiring contract: Eight years, $159 million
- Notable stats: .305, 18 HR, 56 RBI, 68 runs
SS Corey Seager
Los Angeles Dodgers
A fractured hand in mid-May forced Seager to miss six weeks, but that hasn’t stopped him from making a big impact heading into the postseason.
As the reigning MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series last season, Seager put together one of his most dominant performances of a hitter, and judging by how he finished off the current season it’s possible he goes on another tear.
Seager will get the chance to show up last season’s run starting Wednesday in the NL Wild Card game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
- Age: 27
- Expiring contract: One year, $13.75 million
- Notable stats: .306, 16 HR, 57 RBI, 108 hits, 54 runs scored