3) Walker Buehler
Going a bit younger now, swiping Walker Buehler away from the Los Angeles Dodgers would sure feel nice. Defending champion Dodgers? We can only hope not.
Buehler is somehow already turning 30 in the summer of 2024. Just 12 starts in 2022 and the entire 2023 wiped out due to Tommy John Surgery, a lot of the interest we’ll have in Buehler will depend on what he’s able to accomplish on his super team in 2024.
In his career, Buehler is 46-16 with a 3.02 ERA. His best and most recent full season in 2021 included a 16-4 record and 2.47 ERA. This is the kind of performance Buehler will get paid to deliver.
Snatching him away from the Dodgers makes him an intriguing available free agent. Of course, he has to first become available. Will they really let him walk? The Dodgers haven’t been afraid to smack sentimentality in the face. For sure, if Walker does leave, they’ll reload somehow either with a trade, different free agent, or a prospect promotion.
Buehler has age on his side when it comes to free agency. He’ll have one year to prove he has completely recovered and should be on everyone’s wish list.