The 2019 MLB playoff schedule is just 72 hours away. That being said, fans still do not know which teams will be hosting the one-game Wild Card playoff games this Monday, October 1 and Tuesday, October 2.
We know the Tampa Bay Rays will face Oakland A’s in the AL Wild Card and the Milwaukee Brewers will take on the Washington Nationals in NL Wild Card. However, which teams will host the games is still up in the air.
While fans of each team heading into the postseason are just daydreaming of a World Series title, the ugly nightmare is that each of these teams may be losing a key piece of their franchise in 2020 during MLB free agency.
Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon led the way
Houston’s Gerrit Cole and Washington’s Anthony Rendon will most likely be the two most coveted players in the upcoming 2020 free-agent class – regardless of what happens during the postseason.
Cole is a great pitcher. However, in 2019, he took his game to a whole new level and he will most likely get the biggest deal of his career from it.
The 29-year-old is having his best season as a pro. With a 19-5 record, a 2.52 ERA and logging over 200 innings, Cole is going to be a hot item on the market this winter.
As for Anthony Rendon, he is a hitting machine. Rendon will hit the open market this winter and should draw some serious attention. The Nationals slugger has posted video game-like numbers in 2019.
Rondon has crushed 34 home runs, driven in 124 and is hitting .320. That is insane good! At the age of 30, Rendon will most likely be looking to sign at least a 4-5 year deal that may be worth $80-$100 million. He currently is making $18 million in the final year of his current contract with the Nationals.
Five other players who will either become free-agents or have the option to opt-out of their current deals are also heading into the postseason with World Series dreams and big contract deals.
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals — The one-time phenom has had injury issues, however, he is still worth taking a chance on. Strasburg can opt-out of his four years, $100 million remaining on his current contract. While that may sound like an odd move, he may get a bigger offer from another team.
Will Harris, Astros — Any team looking for bullpen help will be making Harris an offer. Harris has been as solid as they come for the Astros over the past five seasons. He has a 2.38 ERA over that span, including a career-best 1.55 this season. He is 35, but that should not stop teams from making an offer.
Jake Odorizzi, Twins — Odorizzi’s 2019 performance should get him a nice deal. With a 15-7 record, Odorizzi is an under the radar pitcher that would be a great addition looking for a solid No. 2 or No. 3 starter, and he won’t break the bank. He currently is making $9 million.
Marcell Ozuna, Cardinals — He has not lived up to the hype in St. Louis, however, Ozuna can still play the game at a high level. The fact that so many great corner outfielders are also hitting the open market this winter, including Yasiel Puig, Avisaíl García, Nicholas Castellanos and Hunter Pence, Ozuna may be a steal for a team if the Cardinals let him walk away.