From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
Major League Baseball free agency has been a bummer each of the past two offseasons, with drawn-out negotiations eventually turning into more-than-a-few late signings usually a month prior to the start of the season.
Well, at least this offseason’s crop features plenty of star players, perhaps more than in previous years, including high-end starting pitchers, a few power-hitting outfielders and definitely prominent figures in last month’s World Series between the champion Nationals and the Astros.
The cream of the free agents include Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg and Jose Abreu.
I have ranked the best available free agents in order of their position and followed by their age at the start of the 2020 season.
n 1B — Abreu, 33.
n 2B — Jonathan Schoop, 28; Howie Kendrick, 36; Ben Zobrist, 38.
n SS — Didi Gregorius, 30.
n 3B — Rendon, 29; Josh Donaldson, 34; Mike Moustakas, 31; Todd Frazier, 34.
n OF — Nick Castellanos, 28; Marcell Ozuna, 29; Brett Gardner, 36; Yasiel Puig, 29; Kole Calhoun, 32; Avisail Garcia, 28; Corey Dickerson, 30.
n C — Yasmani Grandal, 31; Robinson Chirinos, 35; Travis d’Arnaud, 31.
n DH — Edwin Encarnacion, 37.
n SP — Cole, 29; Strasburg, 30; Zack Wheeler, 29; Madison Bumgarner 30; Hyun-Jin Ryu, 33; Dallas Keuchel, 32; Rick Porcello, 31; Jake Odorizzi, 30; Cole Hamels, 36; Jordan Lyles, 29; Rich Hill, 40; Julio Teheran, 29; Tanner Roark, 33; Wade Miley, 33; Kyle Gibson, 30; Michael Pineda, 31.
n RP — Will Harris, 35; Daniel Hudson, 33; Drew Pomeranz, 31; Chris Martin, 33; Joe Smith 36; Brandon Kintzler, 35; Dellin Betances, 32; Steve Cishek, 33.
n Here’s a beauty of a comparison from Dwight Perry of The Seattle Times: The Warriors, in barely six months, have gone from being the Beatles of basketball to ... The Who? Last April, Warriors coach Steve Kerr rolled out a playoff lineup of Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins. About 12 days ago — after a staggering series of injuries and/or defections that left the team with a now 2-12 record — the starters consisted of Eric Paschall, Glenn Robinson III, Willie Cauley-Stein, Ky Bowman and Jordan Poole.
n Richie Rich’s Top 10 rankings in the NFL: 1. Patriots; 2. 49ers; 3. Seahawks; 4. Saints; 5. Ravens; 6. Packers; 7. Vikings; 8. Bills; 9. Chiefs; 10. Cowboys.
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org