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2021 MLB Free Agent Odds and Predictions

Trevor Bauer, seen pitching in the NL Wild-Card Series, is still the top target in MLB free agent odds.

The MLB offseason has been quite exciting so far with some key players signing big free-agent deals and some big names still yet to be signed. George Springer has inked the richest contract this winter, a six-year, $150-million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. Sportsbooks have now updated their odds for four of the biggest names remaining on the free-agent market.

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The four players on the Bovada oddsboard feature three pitchers, including NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer and Masahiro Tanaka, as well as power-hitting outfielder Marcell Ozuna.

2021 MLB Free Agency Odds

What team will Trevor Bauer play For next season?
Los Angeles Dodgers+185
Los Angeles Angels+190
New York Yankees+350
New York Mets+400
Toronto Blue Jays+600
Philadelphia Phillies+1500
Atlanta Braves+2000
Chicago White Sox+2500

Odds as of January 25 at Bovada

Who Will Reel in Bauer?

Let’s start with the biggest remaining fish on the market. Trevor Bauer is coming off his first NL Cy Young Award after finishing with a 5-4 record and a dazzling 1.73 ERA that led the National League in a shortened season.

Bauer has said he wants to play for a competitive team and that contract length is not a huge factor. The 2011 third overall pick is coveted by many teams to help bolster their rotation, with some big markets listed on his MLB free agent oddsboard. He will be pegged as an ace on any team he joins and the money will reflect that.

New York State of Mind

One option is the New York Mets at +400. New owner Steve Cohen has said he is willing to spend big dollars so they can be a competitive team. Bauer would give the Mets the most fearsome rotation in MLB, teaming up with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman. The Mets have already made a splash by acquiring Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco via trade, and adding Bauer would make them an NL favorite.

Another option is the big-spending New York Yankees, though it will be interesting to see if they are willing to throw around big money for another starter. With so much cash already committed to Gerrit Cole, DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton, and with Aaron Judge set to become a free agent next year, that might be one reason they have been relatively quiet.

General manager Brian Cashman re-signed LeMahieu to a six-year, $90-million deal and landed former AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber on a one-year deal worth $11 million. With Masahiro Tanaka hitting free agency as well, the Yankees are now thin in the rotation, and the addition of Bauer would give them the best 1-2 punch in baseball with Cole.

Are The Blue Jays A Viable Option?

The Toronto Blue Jays have made the biggest splash of any team this offseason, signing George Springer to a massive six-year deal that’s the largest in the team’s history. Springer’s signing shows that the Blue Jays are ready to take the next step.

The Blue Jays are +600 to sign Bauer and are coming off their first playoff berth since 2016. The young roster will benefit greatly from Springer’s presence, but they still need some help in the rotation.

If Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro can persuade Bauer to sign north of the border, the Jays would go from a playoff team to a World Series contender.

what team will Marcell Ozuna play For next season?
Atlanta Braves+125
Cleveland Indians+150
Houston Astros+350
Cincinnati Reds+550
Seattle Mariners+1100

Odds as of January 25 at Bovada

Where Art Thou Ozuna?

Marcell Ozuna is a very underrated player. His 2.6 WAR (wins above replacement) might not say that, but he can hit for both power and average. Last year with the Atlanta Braves, he finished fourth in all of baseball with a .338 batting average and his 18 home runs led the National League.

Returning to the Braves at +125 odds seems like the most logical move for Ozuna. He had arguably his best season statistically and also fits in very well in an already stacked lineup featuring reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna Jr.

Best Option: Cleveland Indians

The Indians have lost a number of key players over the last few years in Mike Clevinger, Corey Kluber, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana and Carlos Carrasco. The team is now a shell of the 2016 squad that went to Game 7 of the World Series and lost. Their only remaining stars are Jose Ramirez and pitcher Shane Bieber.

If they were to sign Ozuna, it wouldn’t necessarily make them a playoff team like they were last season, but it would give the fan base some positive news. Ozuna would bat behind Ramirez and give them a solid hitter in the lineup, something that they are desperately lacking after trading Lindor.

what team will Masahiro Tanaka play for next season?
New York Yankees-115
Japan NPB League-115
Toronto Blue Jays+550
San Diego Padres+1000

Odds as of January 25 at Bovada

Tanaka On The Move?

As mentioned earlier, the New York Yankees have been relatively quiet for a team that has World Series aspirations. The signing of DJ LeMahieu was critical to the lineup, and the bullpen is stacked with Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman, but the rotation is thin. Outside of Gerrit Cole, there isn’t much certainty about what the starting five would look like.

Kluber missed pretty much the entire 2020 season due to a Grade 2 teres major strain. He is four years removed from winning the Cy Young Award, so it’s tough to judge if he’ll ever regain that form. The Yanks are the current betting favorites at -115 odds to re-sign Tanaka.

They did just acquire Jameson Taillon from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a trade, and Luis Severino is still recovering from Tommy John surgery that he had to repair a partially torn UCL in his right elbow. Tanaka has spent the last seven seasons with the Yankees but will he be willing to take a pay cut to stay in New York?

Blue Jays Waiting In The Wing

I don’t think that Tanaka will head to Japan at this point in his career, so the Blue Jays at +550 odds are a good pick for Tanaka. The Blue Jays are in talks with a bunch of starting pitchers to help bolster their rotation. They are still very much involved with Bauer, but if they were to move on from him, Tanaka would be a good Plan B.

Tanaka has proven experience and his familiarity with the AL East is something that is appealing to the Blue Jays. If Toronto doesn’t end up getting Bauer, the team could offer Tanaka a one- or two-year deal to provide some much-needed innings, as well as playoff experience.

what team will jake Odorizzi play For next season?
Boston Red Sox+125
Minnesota Twins+150
Toronto Blue Jays+400
San Francisco Giants+800
New York Mets+2000

Odds as of January 25 at Bovada

Odorizzi Has A Ton Of Value

In 2019, Odorizzi had his best season, notching 15 wins and posting a 3.51 ERA with the Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately, he left his fourth start of the 2020 season with a right abdomen contusion after being struck by a 103.2-mph comebacker off the bat of Alex Gordon and never returned to action.

The Boston Red Sox at +125 betting odds to land him seem like a strong option. All-star Chris Sale is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, so they will have to be cautious with his return. Currently, their pitching depth consists of Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez (who opted out of the 2020 season) and Martin Perez.

The Red Sox are in desperate need of pitching, and even if Odorizzi isnt the best pitcher remaining on the market, he provides a ton of value and will give a team innings, something that Boston desperately needs.

Heading To The Bay

Another strong option for Odorizzi is the San Francisco Giants, whose starters under contract include Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani and Johnny Cueto. San Francisco has always been an appealing destination for pitchers  just ask Drew Smyly and Drew Pomeranz, who turned short-term deals into something more lucrative.

All-star catcher Buster Posey is expected to return this season after opting out last year. He has always had a great connection with his starting pitchers and that could be another attraction for Odorizzi. The NL West is scary for any pitcher with the powerhouse lineups of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, but with pitching being such a hot commodity, Odorizzi would be a great value sign for the Giants.