Early MLB free agency tiers: Passan breaks down which stars are going to get paid this winter

    ESPN MLB insider
    Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”

Less than a month remains in baseball’s regular season, and with October bound to breeze by as it always does, free agency is nearly upon Major League Baseball.

The 2022-23 class is solid, headlined by a mix of MVP-caliber hitters and elite, wizened pitchers. If you need a difference-making shortstop, there are four. Bullpen help abounds. There are on-base savants, innings-chewing starters, a few catchers and a starter from Japan whose fastball kissed 102 mph this year.

Perhaps this won’t match the $3 billion winter of 2021-22, especially because historically the first offseason after a new collective-bargaining agreement sees a pullback in spending, but there are plenty of familiar names who will likely be on the move. To help everyone wrap their heads around the upcoming class, ESPN.com asked five writers to assign every player to a tier. The following are the results of that: four players in Tier 1, eight in Tier 2, 12 in Tier 3, 45 in Tier 4 and 43 in Tier 5.

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