Even though the 2023 MLB free agent class isn’t yet over, it is always good to look ahead to see what is coming.
In the 2023-2024 offseason, there are a number of big names hitting free agency.
That means that this season is a big year for these players, as they have the opportunity to play their way into a big contract.
Here is a look at the two players that could benefit most from a strong season.
1. Rafael Devers
Rafael Devers has steadily become one of the best offensive third baseman in baseball.
He has a powerful swing and is unafraid to be aggressive on pitches.
This has paid off for him, as he has posted stellar years since 2019.
Red Sox CBO Chaim Bloom on @BBisntBoring Podcast on extending Rafael Devers:
“The way I look at this is, if there’s something within reason, or even a little outside of reason, it’s something we’re gonna pursue. And we’re serious about that.”
— SoxDingrs (@SoxDingrs) December 12, 2022
Now, he is entering the final year of arbitration and is likely to earn a big contract.
However, that could get pushed even higher if he has an MVP-caliber season this year.
If Devers is able to perform at that level, there is no doubt that he could receive a $300 million-plus deal.
On the other hand, if he takes a big step back he will still get a large deal, but it will likely be at a lower value.
Either way, he stands to make money, but a strong season could pay off greatly for Devers next offseason.
2. Julio Urias
The numbers do not lie: he has an ERA below three in three of his last four seasons.
Julio Urías, 94mph Fastball and 83mph Curveball, Overlay. pic.twitter.com/y752CPpCSk
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 12, 2022
This includes last year where he led the National League in ERA, posting a strong 2.18 mark and finishing third in Cy Young voting.
However, it depends on this season.
If he is able to capture his first Cy Young Award, there is no reason why he can’t ink a contract well into the $300 million range.