At this point in the offseason, teams are generally doing housekeeping work, and adding bench type players to help compliment their 25-man rosters; and while some are certainly doing that, there are far more available free agents on the open market than we're accustomed to seeing in January.
Premier talent like Chris Davis, who's led MLB in home runs since 2012 is still available; Justin Upton, the 28 year old outfielder who's averaged an fWAR of 3.78 since 2009 is still available; and Yovani Gallardo, the 29 year old pitcher who's thrown at least 180.2 innings since 2009, all while posting an FIP at or below 4.00 over that time span, is still available.
With so many great players unsigned, here's a rundown of who's left in free agency.
Zero. That's the number of free agent catchers left in free agency. Matt Wieters was expected to be the jewel of this group, but he surprised nearly everyone by accepting Baltimore's qualifying offer. As a result, the market for catchers seemed to move more quickly than expected, and all 14 players have already signed.
For teams still interested in upgrading their catching depth, they'll have to enter the trade market. Jonathan Lucroy is reportedly on the block, and according to Jon Heyman, the Nationals are "involved on a number of fronts" to address their catching need.
Another player that could potentially be acquired is Andrew Susac. He's under team control through 2020, and with Buster Posey entrenched behind the plate for San Francisco, Susac doesn't figure to get a ton of playing time for the Giants. It's unclear how receptive Bobby Evans and his front office would be to moving their backup catcher, but as we've seen time and time again, anyone is available for the right package.
Unlike the catching market, there are still a number of first basemen left in free agency. Chris Carter signed with the Brewers just yesterday, leaving Pedro Alvarez, Chris Davis, Justin Morneau, and Steve Pearce as the best players left.
Davis is undoubtedly the premier talent among the remaining first basemen, but his expected salary has limited his market to a handful of teams. To this point, the Orioles have seemingly been the only team to express a real interest in the slugger, although the Cardinals were linked to Davis at one point this offseason.
Alvarez would make sense for a team in need of a DH, as he's been atrocious defensively for his entire career. The Tampa Bay Rays might be the best fit, as Logan Morrison is currently listed as the number one depth starter. Alvarez is the better hitter of the two, and would provide an immediate power boost to a team that's on the periphery of contending in 2016.
With Ben Zobrist and Daniel Murphy gone, Howie Kendrick is the only everyday second baseman left on the market. He was recently linked to the Diamondbacks, but Dave Stewart told reporters that he's unwilling to part with another draft pick, which seems odd for a team that's already parted ways with their first pick, and traded three of their last four first round draftees.
If we take Stewart's comments at face value (which we generally shouldn't do with GM's), then Kendrick's market could be limited to just the Angels and Padres. Anaheim was Kendrick's former club for nine years, and according to their depth chart, they're currently set to trot out a combination of Johnny Giavotella, and Cliff Pennington. As for San Diego, their situation is slightly better, as they have Cory Spangenberg, set for starting duties.
The class of remaining shortstops isn't particularly deep. Ian Desmond is the best option, and while he had an underwhelming 2015 season overall, he performed much better after the All-Star break. In 293 plate appearances from July 17th to October 4th, Desmond hit .262/.331/.446 with a wOBA of .337, and a wRC+ of 113.
After Desmond, Alexei Ramirez and Jimmy Rollins are the only everyday, or potential everyday shortstops left. Neither one provided any real offensive value in 2015, and both are showing signs of defensive decline.
Just like the group of shortstops, there isn't much depth in the third base market this offseason. David Freese is the best player left, and the only true everyday player, however there hasn't been much reported interest in him. The Indians would make sense, as their options for third are currently Giovanny Urshela, Jose Ramirez, and Lonnie Chisenhall.
Other than Freese, Pedro Ciriaco, Chris Johnson, Don Kelly, Casey McGehee, and Juan Uribe are the only other solutions.
This is undoubtedly the position with the best overall talent left in free agency. While players like Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes, Dexter Fowler, and Gerardo Parra are all still available, the market for them isn't clear. Teams like the Red Sox, Yankees, and Tigers, who are normally the biggest spenders during the offseason, have stayed away, which has likely slowed the process.
However even without that "big three" there are multiple teams that are in need of an outfielder. The Giants, Angels, White Sox, Orioles, Rangers, and Indians could all upgrade various spots in their outfield. San Francisco has already spent a considerable amount of money this offseason, but according to a recent report, they're still interested in adding a left fielder, as well as getting insurance for the oft-injured Angel Pagan.
Going into the offseason, the class of starting pitching was extraordinarily deep. Zack Greinke, David Price, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Scott Kazmir, Kenta Maeda, J.A. Happ, Mike Leake, Jordan Zimmermann, Marco Estrada, and Hisashi Iwakuma were all free agents, and even though they've all been signed, there are still a handful of attractive options left.
Wei-Yin Chen, Doug Fister, Yovani Gallardo, and Ian Kennedy are still free agents, and while their respective markets have been slow to develop, they should find homes relatively soon. Gallardo was linked to the Orioles, Astros, and Royals, but that was nearly a month ago, and there haven't been many developments since.
While most of the big name relievers have already signed (Ryan Madson, Joakim Soria, and Darren O'Day) there are still some plus-value options available. Tyler Clippard is likely the best pitcher left, but there haven't been any rumors recently about where he could land. Joe Blanton, Franklin Morales, and Fernando Rodney are all still waiting to sign, and could help a number of teams.
With just 41 days left until spring training, we should see an unprecedented number of singings over the next month.