The end of the World Series means that Major League Baseball’s offseason has arrived. Tomorrow, free agency will officially open, allowing players and teams to negotiate without restriction. Earlier this week, in preparation for what’s to come,.
Anyone who perused our rankings might’ve noticed that several notable names were excluded. We’re big believers in transparency around these parts, especially when it comes to these kinds of exercises. As such, below we’ve laid out our thinking behind leaving off 10 former All-Stars. (The players are presented in alphabetical order.)
Belt, who did not play after Aug. 20 because of knee woes, has conceded he may retire this winter if his ailment doesn’t improve. (Count Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper among those who believe he’s finished.) Even if Belt returns, it’s unclear how much he has left to offer. He had the worst season of his career by OPS+, and he’s a complete nonfactor against velocity. Indeed, Belt ranked in the second percentile in exit velocity against pitches 95 mph or greater, putting him in company with the likes of light-hitting (to be kind) infielders Nick Allen and Vidal Bruján. If this is the end — and it may be, one way or another — Belt deserves his flowers for a good career.
The author of one of the most fun stories in baseball this season, Carpenter failed to make the Rangers out of spring training, only to surface in-season for a Ruthian run with the Yankees. He homered 15 times in 47 games, thanks in part to a pull-happy approach, before breaking his foot on Aug. 8. Carpenter returned for the postseason, but struck out nine times in 12 plate appearances. Given his age (he’ll turn 37 this month) and his unchanged ball-tracking metrics (his average exit velocity dropped year-to-year), we’re inclined to bet against him sustaining his home-run barrage.
Gallo seemed like a stone-cold lock for the top 50 (heck, the top 10) as recently as the 2021 trade deadline. Since then, his performance has cratered — to the extent that the 83 OPS+ he posted in 44 games with the Dodgers counted as an improvement. Gallo, about to enter his age-29 season, will get another chance at course-correcting. The range of outcomes is simply too wide for us to justify ranking him in the top 50.
Greinke had a productive year in his return to Kansas City,…