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Elephant Rumblings: Who is MLB’s top free agent this winter?

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J.T. Realmuto
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Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The MLB offseason is here, and free agency began on Monday. That morning, we took a look at the MLB Trade Rumors list of Top 50 free agents on the market this winter. However, they aren’t the only source out there who makes a list, so let’s take a peek at a few others. In particular, who ranks as the top name available in each version?

Realmuto shows up twice, and he also leads this front office poll by insider Mark Feinsand, but there’s not quite a consensus like there is some years. Instead it’s more like a Top 5, with Realmuto, Bauer, and Springer joined by infielder D.J. LeMahieu and outfielder Marcell Ozuna. The next tier includes pitcher Marcus Stroman and Oakland A’s shortstop Marcus Semien, who each cracked the top five on one list apiece.

Of course, the A’s won’t be in the running for any of these five premium stars, and even re-signing Semien is likely to be too tall an order during a winter of potential budget cuts. But it will nevertheless be interesting to see what kind of money this group is able to command, as that will help set the market for everybody else.

That won’t stop Athletics Nation from dreaming, though. Bauer in particular is interesting because of his vocal openness to a short-term deal if it gives him a chance at a ring — and this Oakland roster with that kind of ace atop the rotation (but without a burdensome long-term commitment) would look quite appealing. I’m not saying the A’s should do that, and we all know such a move has a negative-five percent chance of actually happening in this specific offseason, but it sure wouldn’t be boring.

Which of the available free agents do you think is the best overall? Who will get the biggest contract? To the comments!

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