The MLB transaction freeze was lifted at 12:00 today, which now allows teams to sign free agents. A combination of starting-caliber players, veterans, and players looking to prove themselves are looking for a contract. Interested teams will want to get a deal done soon as players are set to report to training camp on July 1 with the season starting three weeks later.

Yasiel Puig

When Puig defected Cuba and signed with the Dodgers, he was expected to be a star player and showed flashes of that, but his performance has faded since his 2014 all-star season. One thing that hasn't faded is his strong defense in right field with his cannon of an arm, possibly the best arm among outfielders in the major leagues.

Last season split between the Reds and Indians, and he slashed .267/.327/.458 with 24 H.R., 84 R.B.I.s and 19 S.B.

Puig will only sign for a starting job and rightfully so. Before the Coronavirus put a stop to baseball, Puig received an offer from the Marlins which he expressed interest in playing for but declined it as it wasn't to his liking. The Marlins have since signed Matt Joyce and other outfielders and are no longer in need of his services. In recent days, he's been linked to the Giants and with the Giants in need of outfielders, San Francisco seems like the most logical fit for Puig. Puig has a connection with the Giants' front office as president Farhan Zaidi was apart of the Dodgers front office while Puig was with the team.

Scooter Gennett

Gennett struggled in 2019 to a .226/.245/.323 slash line between the Reds and Giants in just 42 games but had strong seasons in 2017 and 2018. He's a career .286/.327/.449 hitter and can play solid defense at the keystone. Gennett revealed that he received offers but declined all of them as he didn't feel he was getting what he feels like he's worth.

By looking at depth charts, not too many teams are in need of second basemen with the exceptions being the White Sox and Athletics. The White Sox would have Leury Garcia or prospect Nick Madrigal starting at second if the season started today but they lack solid options as depth and the front office may opt to hold Madrigal as a taxi squad player.

The Athletics have four-second basemen listed under their depth chart but two of them have yet to make their major league debut and the other two come with big question marks.

Aaron Sanchez

In 2016, Sanchez won the A.L. E.R.A. title with a 3.00 E.R.A. and a 15-2 record with a .224 opponent average. Since then, he's been hampered by injuries, specifically his finger, and had the worst season of his career last year with a 5-14 record, an E.R.A. of 5.89 and a .278 opponent average. There have been no rumors connecting Sanchez to any team throughout the offseason but a rebuilding team with nothing to lose should take a chance on him in hopes that he can go back to his old form and flip him for future assets.

That team is the Baltimore Orioles who could use another pitcher in their rotation.

Russell Martin

Last season with the Dodgers, Martin slashed .220/.337/.330 while playing strong defense with a fielding percentage of .996. One specific rule helps Martin's cause for a contract and that rule is if a team wants to utilize the three-man taxi squad on road trips, one of the three players must be a catcher.

Martin was contemplating retirement but clarified that he's willing to play in the right situation. We can rule out all rebuilding teams as it's highly unlikely Martin, who hasn't won a World Series, would be willing to play and lose. Based on teams in need of catching help and the state of teams, there are four teams that could sign Martin.

The Indians only have two catchers on their 40 man roster in which if one of them gets injured, it would be a huge blow to the team. The Astros are thin in talent behind the plate, and so are the Angels. The Athletics have Sean Murphy as their starting catcher who is a top prospect but could bring in Martin to back him up as well as mentor him.

Melky Cabrera

The 35-year-old slashed .280/.313/.399 last season with the Pirates in which he showed good contact hitting and some solid defense. Cabrera could start on a rebuilding team like he did last year, but he's probably better off serving as an outfield bench bat in which even a contender could use. Any of the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Tigers, Phillies, Rangers, or Giants could use him.

Other free agents

When he was healthy, Danny Salazar was a solid member of the Indians' rotation, but injuries have taken a toll on his career, which he missed all of 2018 and only pitched four innings in 2019. In his career, he's 38-34 with a 3.82 E.R.A. with 688 strikeouts over 536 hits in 591 1/3 innings. If he can prove he's healthy, he could be a great bargain for a rebuilding team that could flip him for future assets.

Matt Harvey was terrible for the Angels last season with a 7.09 E.R.A. and a .275 opponent average, but that hasn't kept him short of major league offers. Earlier in the offseason, Harvey was linked to the Blue Jays for a bullpen role, but the two sides couldn't come to an agreement.

Recently, it was reported that Harvey was in talks with a Korean team, but he's probably still holding out for a major league team to sign him. Harvey probably should have signed a contract with the Blue Jays when they offered him one, but a mediocre team filled with veterans like the Red Sox or Giants should maybe consider him for a spot on their roster, especially since both teams are in need of pitching.

Ervin Santana has combined to make just eight starts over the past two seasons, where he's posted an 8.53 E.R.A. in 38 innings, which is by no means good at all, but he could provide a team with pitching depth. As he has no value, rebuilding teams won't look his way, but a team like the Angels, Red Sox, or Cubs who are thin on pitching, could bring him on as depth.

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