MLB Free Agency

MLB Free Agency
MLB Free Agency

Major League Baseball free agency is an important moment of a player’s movement within the league. It happens when a player's contract expires and they become eligible to negotiate and sign a new deal with any team in the league. The free agency period usually begins after the World Series and lasts for several months. This system gives free rein to the player to explore opportunities with different teams and negotiate contracts.

The concept of Free Agency in MLB started in 1972 and has since helped players guide their careers in a way that is both wanted by them and beneficial to them. With free agency, even teams are able to select free agents that would be a perfect fit for their organizations.

Major League Baseball Free Agency History

The start of free agency in Major League Baseball can be traced back to the landmark Flood v. Kuhn Supreme Court case in 1972. The case was the reason for the dismantling of the longstanding "reserve clause" that had restricted players' options that existed in the MLB before. This decision led to the signing of a new collective bargaining agreement on July 12, 1976. A new era for free agency began which provided players with increased flexibility and choice.

Before the 2012 season, the free agents were classified into three different categories. These were Type A, Type B, or unclassified. The Type A, Type B and Type C were determined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Type A were the top 20% of the players which was determined by the previous two seasons. Type B were those free agents who were the next 20% and unclassified were in the bottom 60% of players.

Since the 2012 season, any player with six or more years of major-league service automatically became a free agent. This allowed teams the option to offer arbitration salaries for draft pick compensation. But if a player gets traded in the last season of their contract, the team acquiring them won't be eligible for draft pick compensation. These changes were made to make free agency smoother and encourage more player movement in the league.

MLB Free Agents 2023

Here’s a list of Free Agents of 2023 from the Major Leagues:

TOTALS 107$1,926,800,000$18,007,477
AVERAGE 1.98$35,681,481$18,007,477
Shohei Ohtani QOSP29.4LRLAALAD10$700,000,000$70,000,000
Yoshinobu YamamotoSP25.3RR LAD12$325,000,000$27,083,333
Aaron Nola QOSP30.4RRPHIPHI7$172,000,000$24,571,429
Jung-hoo LeeOF25.2LR SF6$113,000,000$18,833,333
Eduardo RodriguezSP30.7LLDETARI4$80,000,000$20,000,000
Sonny Gray QOSP34RRMINSTL3$75,000,000$25,000,000
Seth LugoSP34RRSDKC3$45,000,000$15,000,000
Jeimer Candelario3B30 RCHCCIN3$45,000,000$15,000,000
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.OF30.2RRARIARI3$42,000,000$14,000,000
Michael WachaSP32.4RRSDKC2$32,000,000$16,000,000
Reynaldo LópezRP29.8RRCLEATL3$30,000,000$10,000,000
Nick MartinezRP33.2LRSDCIN2$26,000,000$13,000,000
Kenta MaedaSP35.6RRMINDET2$24,000,000$12,000,000
Tyler MahleSP29.2RRMINTEX2$22,000,000$11,000,000
Emilio PaganRP32.5LRMINCIN2$16,000,000$8,000,000
Jack FlahertySP28.1RRBALDET1$14,000,000$14,000,000
Hunter RenfroeRF31.8RRCINKC2$13,000,000$6,500,000
Luis SeverinoSP29.8RRNYYNYM1$13,000,000$13,000,000
Kyle GibsonSP36RRBALSTL1$13,000,000$13,000,000
Victor CaratiniC30.2 RMILHOU2$12,000,000$6,000,000
Lance LynnSP36.5 RLADSTL1$11,000,000$11,000,000
Jason HeywardRF34.2LLLADLAD1$9,000,000$9,000,000
Wade MileySP37LLMILMIL1$8,500,000$8,500,000
Tom MurphyC32.7RRSEASF2$8,250,000$4,125,000
Martin PerezSP32.7LLTEXPIT1$8,000,000$8,000,000
Chris StrattonRP33.2RRTEXKC2$8,000,000$4,000,000
Joe KellyRP35.4RRLADLAD1$8,000,000$8,000,000
Andrew McCutchenRF37.2RRPITPIT1$5,000,000$5,000,000
Will SmithRP34.4RLTEXKC1$5,000,000$5,000,000
Andrew ChafinRP33.4RLMILDET1$4,750,000$4,750,000
Kirby YatesRP36.7LRATLTEX1$4,500,000$4,500,000
Luis GarciaRP36.8RRSDLAA1$4,250,000$4,250,000
Austin HedgesC31.2RRTEXCLE1$4,000,000$4,000,000
Rowdy Tellez1B28.7LLMILPIT1$3,200,000$3,200,000
Dylan FloroRP32.9LRMINWSH1$2,250,000$2,250,000
Jorge LopezRP30.8RRBALNYM1$2,000,000$2,000,000
Nick SenzelCF28.4RRCINWSH1$2,000,000$2,000,000
Joey Wendle3B33.6LRMIANYM1$2,000,000$2,000,000
Garrett HampsonSS29.1RRMIAKC1$2,000,000$2,000,000
Joe RossSP30.5RRSFMIL1$1,750,000$1,750,000
Paul DeJongSS30.2RRSFCHW1$1,750,000$1,750,000
Adam CimberRP33.2RRTORLAA1$1,650,000$1,650,000
Trevor GottRP31.2RRNYMOAK1$1,500,000$1,500,000
Chris DevenskiRP33RRTBTB1$1,100,000$1,100,000
Cooper CriswellRP27.3RRTBBOS1$1,000,000$1,000,000
Michael TonkinRP34RRATLNYM1$1,000,000$1,000,000
Adam KolarekRP34.8LLATLLAA1$900,000$900,000
Ricky VanascoSP25.1RRLADLAD1$900,000$900,000
Austin AdamsRP32.5RRARINYM1$800,000$800,000
Ben LivelySP31.8RRCINCLE1$750,000$750,000
Eric HaaseC31RRCLEMIL1--
Angel PerdomoRP29.6LLATLATL1--
Jackson StephensRP29.5RRATLATL1--
Penn MurfeeRP29.5RRATLATL1--

FAQ's on MLB Free Agency

Q. What is a free agent in the MLB?

A. A free agent in MLB is a player whose contract has expired, allowing them the freedom to negotiate and sign with any team of their choosing.

Q. Who spent the most in free agency MLB?

A. The Dodgers made history with the most substantial free-agent deal in MLB, worth $700 million for 10 years ( for Shohei Ohtani).

Q. Who started free agency in MLB?

A. Free agency in MLB started in 1972 because of a Flood v. Kuhn Supreme Court case.

Q. Why do players become free agents?

A. Players become free agents in MLB when their contracts expire, allowing them to negotiate with any team in the league for a new deal.

Q. Can anyone be a free agent?

A. MLB players with expiring contracts and who have at least six years experience in the MLB can become free agents.