Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Jacob deGrom now free agents

ByJoon Lee ESPN logo
Monday, November 7, 2022

There are nine more players on the MLB free agent market, including some superstars.

The Major League Baseball Players Association announced Friday that Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodón, Nelson Cruz,Zach Davies, Jurickson Profar, Robert Suarez and Taijuan Walker resolved option decisions in their contracts and are now free agents.

The opt-out decisions from Bogaerts, Correa, deGrom and Rodón were expected, as all four are likely to get substantial contracts on the open market.

Three seasons into his six-year, $132 million contract with the Boston Red Sox, Bogaerts opted out after hitting .307/.377/.456 with 15 homers and 5.7 bWAR in 2022, finishing as a finalist for the Gold Glove. Bogaerts previously signed an extension prior to the 2019 season and has become a fan favorite in Boston since rising through the farm system as one of the top prospects in baseball. He has helped lead the team to two World Series titles in 2013 and 2018 and has four All-Star appearances and Silver Sluggers.

The decision for Correa felt like a foregone conclusion after he signed a three-year, $105.3 million contract with the Minnesota Twins that included opt-outs after the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Correa has said he hopes to remain in Minnesota on a long-term contract after posting a strong 2022, hitting .291/.366/.467 with 22 homers and 24 doubles while earning a 5.4 bWAR.

Correa and Bogaerts will join a packed shortstop free agent market that also features Dansby Swanson and Trea Turner.

DeGrom opted out of the final year of his contract, a player option worth $30.5 million for the 2023 season. After missing the first half of the season, deGrom posted a 3.09 ERA in 11 starts for the Mets in 2022, striking out 102 batters in 64 innings while earning a victory for the Mets in Game 2 of their wild-card series against the San Diego Padres.

Rodón opts out of the second year of a two-year, $44 million contract he signed with the San Francisco Giants prior to the 2022 season. The lefty will be in line for one of the biggest contracts on the free agent market as a 29-year-old pitcher who posted a 2.88 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 237 strikeouts in 178 innings in 2022 while leading the league with a 2.25 FIP. Rodón made a career-high 31 starts, calming concerns over his left shoulder, which limited his free agent market last year.

DeGrom and Rodón join a free agent class of pitchers that includes Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and Nathan Eovaldi.

The Nationals declined a mutual option on the 42-year-old Cruz, who had a down season in 2022. In 507 plate appearances, Cruz hit .234/.313/.337 with 10 home runs as the oldest qualified hitter in baseball. He signed a one-year, $12 million contract prior to the season with a $16 million option or a $3 million buyout.

Both Profar and Suarez opted out of contracts with the Padres, taking $1 million buyouts. Profar opted for free agency, leaving $7.5 million on the table, while Suarez left behind $5 million. Profar -- a former No. 1 overall prospect in baseball -- had one of the best seasons of his career in 2022, hitting .243/.331/.391 with 15 homers and 36 doubles in 152 games with 3.1 bWAR. Suarez also had a strong year, with a 2.27 ERA in 45 games out of the bullpen, including 11 holds and a 1.05 WHIP. He signed a one-year deal with a player option for 2023 in December 2021 after spending 2016 through 2021 with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks and Hanshin Tigers of the Nippon Professional Baseball league.

Walker opts out after signing a two-year, $20 million contract with the Mets before the 2021 season. The 30-year-old had a solid season, posting a 3.49 ERA, 1.19 WHIP while striking out 132 batters in 157 innings, posting a 2.6 bWAR as one of the Mets' back-of-the-rotation starters.

The Diamondbacks also declined their end of a mutual option with Davies, making him a free agent. The righty will receive a $250,000 buyout. Davies signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract prior to the 2022 season and posted a 4.09 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 102 strikeouts in 134 innings in 27 starts.