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Up this week are my just-for-fun 2022 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams if those options have a legitimate chance of being exercised. Those players are noted with asterisks.
Click to see other other preliminary 2022 rankings:
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|11||Yasmani Grandal||White Sox||11||8|
|15||Alejandro Kirk||Blue Jays||19||41|
|16||Christian Vazquez||Red Sox*||14||11|
|37||Zack Collins||White Sox||n/a||37|
|42||Danny Jansen||Blue Jays||23||32|
|49||Connor Wong||Red Sox||63||NR|
|50||Gabriel Moreno||Blue Jays||NR||NR|
- No one would have guessed a few months ago that Buster Posey’s $22 million option for 2022 would be in play this winter, but his stunning .328/.421/.547 line this year could make him worth keeping around at this price. The Giants would probably prefer to do a new two- or three-year deal instead, but one would think they’ll keep him around. Christian Vazquez’s option also figures to be picked up, so it’s possible no catchers will get multiyear deals this winter. Tucker Barnhart would probably be the best bet if the Reds decided to decline his $7.5 million option, though the team could pick it up and trade him. I’m assuming the Reds want to move on to Tyler Stephenson, who seems poised to become a fine starter and will cost a whole lot less.
- There’s a pretty great wave of young catching on the way, but not much of that wave is assured of starting on Opening Day next year. Cal Raleigh has the best chance to lock up the job in the second half of this year. I figure that Adley Rutschman will get some additional minor league time that he probably won’t need, which is why he’s seventh here instead of fifth. The Giants could turn Joey Bart loose at catcher if Posey leaves in free agency, but that seems unlikely. He and Keibert Ruiz both might need trades to emerge as real factors next year. Sam Huff’s chances were set back by a knee injury. He returned at the beginning of the month, but he’s limited to first base right now.
- Toronto’s situation will be interesting, what with Alejandro Kirk still possessing top-10 catcher potential and Gabriel Moreno on the way. The 21-year-old Moreno is hitting .373/.441/.651 in 32 games in Double-A this year.
- I’m also curious what the Braves will do. William Contreras isn’t far off offensively, but he’s has a ways to go defensively. Fellow prospect Shea Langeliers is hitting .243/.335/.514 with 14 homers in 50 games in Double-A. Still, I imagine the Braves will want to have a veteran around to start the year, and re-signing Travis d’Arnaud to a one-year deal has to be an option. Contreras would be in the top 20 here if I felt better about playing time.