2022 Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: With the lockout over, here are best landing spots for top 10 free agents


The MLB lockout has mercifully come to an end after several months of tense negotiations and missed deadlines, with Opening Day set for April 7 — just four short weeks from today. That means everything that needs to happen between now and Opening Day is going to happen on a very compressed schedule — and that includes the remainder of free agency.

The free agency paused that the lockout led to left a bunch of the biggest names in the sport without a team. The new CBA leaves us with an altered landscape, with the designated hitter coming to the NL being the most meaningful on-field change you need to know about. That frees up 15 new starting lineup spots for hitters, and hopefully increases the market for at least some of the remaining free agents, many of whom can make a significant impact for Fantasy this season no matter where they sign.

So, with a frenzy about to kick off, I’m looking at where I want the top players to sign. I went to the CBS Sports MLB Free Agent Tracker, took the top 10 unsigned players, and put them on the team that makes the most sense for them – and their Fantasy value. I tried to stick with realistic options – not everyone can or would sign with the Rockies, after all – and specifically teams that have been rumored to be interested in the players.

We’ll find out where these guys are signing potentially within the next few hours, but here’s where I’d like to see the top free agents sign after the lockout ends, starting with big-time international free agent Seiya Suzuki, who is expected to make the leap to the majors this offseason.

OF Seiya Suzuki

Best landing spot: Blue Jays

Nothing is guaranteed with any player making the leap from Japan to MLB, but there’s a lot to like in Suzuki’s profile. He’s posted an OPS better than 1,000 in three of the past four seasons, with 351 walks to 359 strikeouts (at 16.4% rate). You wouldn’t expect him to sustain those numbers in the majors, but a face-plant would be surprising – he’s been a better hitter than the likes of Yoshi Tsutsugo or Shogo Akiyama were before they made the leap. The Blue Jays would let Suzuki use his speed from him on the basepaths, and while Rogers Center is a pretty neutral offensive environment overall, it remains one of the best parks for homers in the majors. And the Blue Jays offense creates a lot of opportunities for counting stats. He could be what we’ve hoped Cavan Biggio would turn into.

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