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Shohei Ohtani and the Top MLB Free Agents to Watch in 2023-24

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
It’s gonna be ShoTime like never before come Hot Stove season — find out who’s set to cash in big-time alongside the Angels superstar this offseason on the open market.

Major League Baseball‘s 2023 season is finally here, one sure to be different than we’ve ever seen thanks to new rules intended to speed up games and boost on-field action.

While we talk about pitch clocks, shift bans, pickoff limits, and larger bases, all 30 teams will have dreams of giving a long-term, record-breaking contract to perhaps the greatest talent in the sport’s history. Shohei Ohtani leads a strong list of unrestricted free agents poised to turn the Hot Stove into molten lava come November and December.

As of January, nearly $3.5 billion was spent on MLB free agents during the offseason, led by a trio of $300+ million contracts signed by Aaron Judge, Rafael Devers, and Trea Turner — with that in mind, take a closer look at Boardroom’s curated list of top MLB free agents ready to break the bank in the upcoming offseason.

Top MLB Free Agents 2024

All salary figures are courtesy of Spotrac. This list exclusively includes unrestricted free agents and ignores players with contract options for 2024.

Los Angeles Angels SP/DH Shohei Ohtani

  • Age: 28
  • Agent: Nez Balelo, CAA
  • 2022 salary: $30,000,000

No list of top MLB free agents for the upcoming offseason is complete without the 2021 AL MVP, who won a record $30 million in his final arbitration-eligible offseason and could very well earn the first $500 million contract in MLB history next time around. If you thought the Aaron Judge sweepstakes dominated the baseball discourse last year, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Click here for the full details of Ohtani’s 2023 contract with the Angels.

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Los Angeles Dodgers SP Julio Urías

  • Age: 28
  • Agent: Boras Corporation
  • 2022 salary: $14,250,000

After leading the NL in win percentage in 2021 by going 20-3, the Mexican lefty followed that up with a league-leading 2.13 ERA. Could Urias be MLB’s next $200 million pitcher?

Philadelphia Phillies SP Aaron Nola

  • Age: 29
  • Agent: Paragon Sports International
  • 2022 salary: $11,250,000

The Phils’ ace is on the final season of a five-year, $56.75 million contract that’s proven to be a steal for the defending NL champs. A workhorse who’s topped 180 innings in each of the last four full MLB seasons, finishing 4th in Cy Young voting in 2022, will be looking for one massive payday after he turns 30 on June 4.

Los Angeles Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw

  • Age: 35
  • Agent: J.D. Smart, Excel Sports Management
  • 2022 salary: $20,000,000

The future Hall of Famer and three-time Cy Young Award winner made his first All-Star game since 2019, his 9th overall, on his way to his best Baseball-Reference WAR season since 2018 and a 2.28 ERA. He’s been signing strictly one-year deals lately and his innings volume has decreased into his mid-30s, but as long as Kershaw still wants to pitch and performs at a solid level when the games matter most, he’s going to be one of the more intriguing starters on the market.

Texas Rangers SP Martín Pérez

  • Age: 31
  • Agent: OL Baseball Group
  • 2022 salary: $19,650,000

During his age 31 season, the Venezuelan posted a 2.89 ERA, his first season since 2013 with an ERA under 4, and made his first All-Star game. He was one of two players to take the qualifying offer— we’re about to meet the 2nd— and Pérez now has this season to prove 2022 wasn’t a fluke and is a sign of things to come.

San Francisco Giants OF Joc Pederson

  • Age: 30
  • Agent: Excel Sports Management
  • 2022 salary: $19,650,000

Joc put up his best bWAR season since 2015 and his first All-Star nod since 2015 with a career-best OPS+ as a member of the Giants last year. Now Pederson will try doing it again and cash in on an unexpectedly extended prime.

Seattle Mariners OF Teoscar Hernández

  • Age: 30
  • Agent: Rafa Nieves (Republik Sports)
  • 2022 salary: $14,000,000

The Dominican slugger’s power numbers decreased in Toronto last season before an offseason trade to Seattle. Will Hernández team up with Julio Rodriguez and become a dynamic outfield duo that earns the 2021 All-Star and Silver Slugger a $100 million deal?

Philadelphia Phillies 1B Rhys Hoskins

  • Age: 30
  • Agent: Boras Corporation
  • 2022 salary: $12,000,000

The powerful righty slugger was in line for a big payday after a 30-homer 2022 season culminated with a World Series appearance. But an ACL tear during a Spring Training game last week put Hoskins’ future in question, leaving it to Scott Boras to work his magic for his next contract after missing the entire 2023 season.

Chicago White Sox SP Lucas Giolito

  • Age: 28
  • Agent: CAA
  • 2022 salary: $10,400,000

It was a 2022 to forget for the White Sox righty after his ERA ballooned from 3.53 in 2021 to 4.90, likely contributing to an arbitration salary number lower than he would have liked. His 4.06 WHIP suggests bad luck contributed to his slump last year, however, and even a modest turnaround in 2023 should earn Giolito a big contract as he approached his 30s.

San Diego Padres SP Blake Snell

  • Age: 30
  • Agent: Boras Corporation
  • 2022 salary: $10,000,000

The lefty is finally on the last year of a five-year, $50 million contract he signed when he was with Tampa Bay, better known as. Rays Special. Snell’s 3.38 ERA in 2022 only resulted in eight wins in large part due to getting the fifth-lowest run support of any NL pitcher with at least 25 starts. If the Padres offense helps him out and Snell has another strong campaign, he could command $25-30 million per season on the open market.

New York Yankees OF Harrison Bader

  • Age: 28
  • Agent: Vayner Sports
  • 2022 salary: $5,200,000

Injuries limited the former NL Gold Glove-winning center fielder to just 86 games in a season that saw him swapped in surprising deadline day trade from St. Louis to the Bronx for fellow upcoming free agent Jordan Montgomery. Bader was absolutely electric during the Yankees’ ALCS run, leading the AL with five postseason homers. If he can put together a healthy season with a combination of speed, defense, and a bit of pop from his bat, he’ll garner the interest of plenty of opposing clubs.

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