Carlos Correa and Justin Verlander are two of MLB's biggest superstars who are expected to test the free agent waters, as reported by MLB insider Jon Heyman. Correa is in the prime of his career at the age of 27. Verlander, on the other hand, is set to turn 40 this off-season but has had one of the best seasons of his career.
Carlos Correa signed a three-year, $105 million contract with the Minnesota Twins, but he has the opportunity to opt out after this season. Many are expecting the All-Star to opt out and let the free agent market run its course.
"Friday MLB notes: who the Yankees offered for Castillo, who may be the next Tigers GM (a guess there), Verlander and other star opt-outs plus more notes than made the paper (yep, I wrote long as per usual)" - Jon Heyman
Last off-season's free agent shortstop market was loaded with big names such as Trevor Story, Javier Baez, Corey Seager, and Correa himself. This off-season will be no different. Superstars Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson, and Xander Bogaerts are potentially set to headline the free agent class. Like Carlos Correa, Bogaerts has a player option he can exercise at the end of the season.
While last year's shortstop market was strong, this upcoming market is set to feature arguably an even stronger set of superstars. Many teams will certainly garner interest in each of these shortstops, and it could alter the landscape of the league.
Justin Verlander and other potential free agents in 2023
Back to Verlander. The Houston Astros ace is having a career year, posting a 15-3 record with a 1.85 ERA. Verlander is currently on a $25 million contract and has the opportunity to opt out. Given his incredible season, it is likely he will. Many teams are expected to bid for the future Hall of Famer as he appears to show no signs of aging.
Here are several other notable free agents who could hit the market.
The free agency market could make this off-season entertaining.
Carlos Correa and Minnesota Twins battle for three-team AL Central race
The MLB regular season is down to its final two months as teams across the league begin their pursuits for the playoffs. Perhaps the most exciting playoff race is coming out of the American League Central.
The division features three teams that are within 3.5 games of one another, the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Guardians, and Chicago White Sox. The White Sox, the team that many picked to breeze through and win the division, find themselves in third place. The White Sox have largely underachieved but are still in a position to swoop in and take control. They certainly have the talent to do so.
The Twins, on the other hand, were picked to finish a distant second as they added several big names in free agency, including Carlos Correa. Minnesota has been in first place for much of the season, though the Cleveland Guardians recently overtook the top spot.
None of the three teams enters play on August 12 10-games above .500, so while the race may feature mediocre play, it is nonetheless exciting. The surprise team in the division has surely been the Guardians. They have a 1.5 game lead in the division.
With just two months remaining, the three teams will likely keep fighting for that one playoff spot. Get your popcorn ready, pull up a chair, and watch it unfold!
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