Remember that year LeBron James was a free agent? No, not that time. The other time. When he first “Took his talents to South Beach,” causing everyone in Cleveland to burn his jersey.
That year, James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer were all free agents, and it was billed as one of the greatest free agent classes of all time.
But that class is small potatoes in comparison to the 2018-19 MLB free agent class. Literally half the big names in the big leagues are going to be free agents that year. The class is headlined by future Yankees star Bryce Harper, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It could also include (Prepare for a run-on sentence) Andrew McCutchen, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, Nelson Cruz, Adrian Gonzalez, Daniel Murphy, A.J. Pollock, Charlie Blackmon, Hunter Pence, Jean Segura, Victor Martinez, Brian Dozier, D.J. LeMahieu, Adeiny Hechavarria, Joe Mauer, Devin Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal. And that’s just position players.
Starting pitchers eligible for free agency include Dallas Keuchel, Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey, Adam Wainwright, Garrett Richards, Drew Pomeranz, Patrick Corbin, Drew Smyly and Shelby Miller. In the bullpen, you can choose from Craig Kimbrel Trevor Rosenthal, Jeurys Familia, Zach Britton Andrew Miller, Glenn Perkins, Kelvin Herrera and David Robertson.
But wait! There’s more:
David Price, Jason Heyward and Clayton Kershaw can opt out of their contracts to become free agents that winter. Yovani Gallardo, Michael Brantley, J.J. Hardy, Ian Kinsler and Yaldier Molina each have options for 2018 and will be in their walk year should they be exercised. Gio Gonzalez could also be a free agent this season if the Nationals pick up his 2017 option and he has over 180 innings that year.
Obviously, some of these players will sign extensions between now and 2018, so this list will be much smaller come 2018. But if even half of these players hit the market, it’s going to be one crazy winter.