By Cliff Corcoran

The fires of the Hot Stove have been lit. To honor the occasion and provide readers with a guide to this offseason's free-agent market, I've assembled below my list of this fall's top free-agent hitters.

In recognition of the fact that there is no perfect free agent on this year's market, I've listed the pros and cons for each player, along with his 2018 playing age (age as of June 30, 2018) and the team on which he might best fit. The best fits are not predictions but rather suggestions. Some players, like Yonder Alonso, you won't find below, because we are only going through hitters in my top 20 overall rankings, but every position is represented.

Who is included on my list? Read on ...

15. Jonathan Lucroy, C

Age: 32

Pros:

  • Best catcher among this year's free agents
  • Career .281/.343/.433 hitter, two-time All-Star, finished fourth in National League MVP Award voting in 2014
  • Elite pitch-framer for most of his career

Cons:

  • Inconsistent bat; below average at the plate in two of the past three seasons, below average even among catchers in 2017, has spent entire career in hitter-friendly ballparks
  • Drop in defensive performance in 2017
  • Slow baserunner despite relatively lean build
  • Catcher on the wrong side of 30

Best Fit: D-backs

14. Logan Morrison, 1B

Age: 30

Pros:

  • Coming off breakout age-29 season in which he hit 38 home runs, drew 81 walks and hit .246/.353/.516 (135 OPS+) including 27 home runs and a .272/.392/.628 line on the road
  • Average foot speed, above-average baserunner

Cons:

  • Career .245/.325/.416 hitter prior to 2017, well below average for a first baseman
  • Inconsistent fielder

Best Fit: Rockies

13. Curtis Granderson, OF

Age: 37

Pros:

  • Power and patience have kept him an above-average bat despite struggle to hit for average. Has 113 OPS+ over past four seasons while averaging 26 home runs and 79 walks per season.
  • Still a capable fielder in the outfield corners
  • Still an above-average baserunner despite below-average sprint speed
  • Hits for power against fellow lefties with 21 home runs in 531 plate appearances against southpaws over the past four seasons
  • Ample postseason experience; his teams have made the postseason in six of the past eight years
  • Tremendous human being

Cons:

  • .234 batting average over past six seasons drags down overall production
  • .219 hitter against lefties past six seasons
  • Struggled after mid-August trade to Dodgers; was left off World Series roster
  • 37 years old

Best Fit: Orioles

12. Carlos Gonzalez, OF

Age: 32

Pros:

  • Career .288/.346/.511 hitter, four-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glover, two-time Silver Slugger winner, finished third in NL MVP Award voting in 2010
  • Selling low; could be a bargain for a team able to convince itself that his 2017 season was a fluke
  • Strong finish to 2017, hit .377/.484/.766 in September
  • Relatively healthy over past three years, averaging 146 games played per year with three of his top four games-played totals coming in that span.
  • Despite loss of foot speed, still an above-average baserunner

Cons:

  • Coming off the worst of his nine seasons with the Rockies; hit .262/.339/.423 (87 OPS+) with just 14 home runs in 534 plate appearances
  • September surge came with the help of an unsustainable .489 batting average on balls in play
  • Career .252/.308/.427 hitter on the road; impressive overall career line comes with unexceptional 116 OPS+ after adjustment for Coors Field
  • He was never an elite fielder and is now below average
  • Long injury history, averaged 126 games per season over past seven years

Best Fit: Royals

11. Neil Walker, 2B

Age: 32

Pros:

  • Reliably above-average bat, has had an OPS+ of 106 or better in each of the past eight seasons; doesn't excel in any one area but has above-average power and walks more and strikes out less than the league-average hitter
  • Switch-hitter

Cons:

  • Below-average fielder at second base; might need to move off the position in a few years
  • Below-average speed/baserunner
  • Missed more than a month of each of the past two seasons due to a herniated disc (2016) and a torn hamstring (2017)

Best Fit: Angels

10. Eduardo Nuñez, UT

Age: 31

Pros:

  • Has more than 30 career starts at each of five positions: second, short, third and both outfield corners; likely viable as a short-term replacement at first and in center, as well
  • .296/.332/.443 (106 OPS+) hitter over past three seasons, 2016 All-Star
  • Foot speed is well above average; excellent baserunner who has stolen 64 bases at an 80 percent success rate over the past two seasons

Cons:

  • Poor fielder, is a utility man because he wasn't viable defensively as a full-time shortstop
  • Battled a sore right knee down the stretch in 2017 and was last seen being carried off the field after aggravating the injury in the Division Series; did not need surgery, but concerns linger

Best Fit: Brewers

9. Jarrod Dyson, CF

Age: 33

Pros:

  • Elite defensive center fielder; reliably saves a win and a half with his glove alone
  • Elite base runner; adds another half a win on the bases; has stolen bases at a rate of 50 per 162 games with an 85 percent success rate
  • League-average bat against right-handed pitching

Cons:

  • Platoon player; career .215/.291/.259 line against fellow left-handers
  • Sprint speed has declined each of past two seasons per Statcast™; if trend continues will only be of average speed for a center fielder in 2018
  • Will turn 34 in August

Best Fit: Mets

8. Jay Bruce, OF

Age: 31

Pros:

  • Left-handed power bat with 277 career home runs and five 30-home run seasons in the past seven years; slugged .507 over past two seasons while averaging 34 home runs and 100 RBI
  • Competent corner outfielder who can spot at first base
  • Slugged .538 across five postseasons

Cons:

  • Struggles to hit for average, bringing down overall production; career .249 hitter with .319 on-base percentage
  • Inconsistent fielder, had rough year in the field in 2016
  • Slow, below-average baserunner
  • Career .226/.291/.421 hitter against fellow lefties

Best Fit: Blue Jays

7. Zack Cozart, SS

Age: 32

Pros:

  • Above-average fielder at shortstop
  • Late-bloomer at the plate, has added power and patience over past three years without corresponding increase in strikeout rate (which is still better than league average)
  • Improvement at plate likely to offset age-related decline in the field, keeping Cozart an above-average shortstop into his mid-30s

Cons:

  • Selling high; career year at plate in 2017 (.297/.385/.548) unlikely to be repeated and could skew his value
  • At tail end of his prime and likely leaving a very hitter-friendly ballpark
  • No longer the elite fielder he was in his late 20s

Best Fit: Padres

6. Mike Moustakas, 3B

Age: 29

Pros:

  • An All-Star in each of his past two healthy seasons, Moustakas had a breakout season at the plate in 2015 after learning how to use all fields to beat the shift, then broke the Royals' franchise record with 38 home runs in 2017
  • Power could play up in a big way outside of Kauffman Stadium; slugged .582 with 24 homers on the road in 2017
  • Makes a lot of contact for a player with his power; has never struck out 100 times in a season; consistently better than average in terms of both strikeout rate and contact rate
  • Holds his own against fellow lefties, batting .277/.320/.480 against them over the past three seasons

Cons:

  • Doesn't walk much, either; career .305 on-base percentage
  • Had his worst season in the field in 2017 after missing most of 2016 with a torn ACL in his right knee; had lingering pain in the joint as late as September and might need to change positions in the coming seasons if his knee doesn't regain full strength
  • Among the slowest runners in the Majors with foot speed comparable to the average catcher

Best Fit: White Sox

5. Carlos Santana, 1B

Age: 32

Pros:

  • Outstanding plate approach; has drawn 408 walks against just 439 strikeouts over the past four seasons and never had an on-base percentage below .351 over a full season.
  • Strikeout rate has declined in each of past three seasons
  • Since moving out behind the plate in 2014, his fielding has improved every year to the point that he is now an above-average defensive first baseman
  • Despite below-average foot speed, is an above-average baserunner
  • Since having knee surgery as a rookie in 2010, has not spent a day on the 10- or 15-day disabled list; has played 152 or more games in each of the last five seasons
  • Switch-hitter

Cons:

  • Is not better than an average first baseman in terms of hitting for average or power
  • Walk rate has also declined in each of the past three seasons
  • History of concussions from his days as a catcher

Best Fit: Indians

4. Todd Frazier, 3B

Age: 32

Pros:

  • Power at the plate; averaged 33 home runs over past four seasons
  • Above-average fielder at the hot corner
  • Walk rate improved each of past two seasons to well-above-average 14.4 percent in 2017
  • Has never been on the disabled list
  • Veteran leader in the clubhouse

Cons:

  • Poor batting averages undermine plate production; hit .220 over past two seasons
  • Below-average baserunner
  • Has played entire career in hitting-friendly ballparks

Best Fit: Mets

3. Eric Hosmer, 1B

Age: 28

Pros:

  • Youngest hitter among this year's top 20 free agents
  • Played all 162 games in 2017 and 158 or more in three of previous four seasons
  • Athletic for a first baseman and an above-average baserunner
  • Three-time Gold Glove winner and a finalist again this year
  • Had his best year at the plate in 2017 at age 27 (.318/.385/.498) and could build on it going forward, especially if he signs with a team that plays in a more hitter-friendly ballpark  

Cons:

  • Inconsistent bat; has hit .256/.317/.398 in even-numbered years since reaching the Majors
  • No better than the average Major League first baseman at the plate over any multi-year sample
  • Per advanced metrics, was never an elite fielder and has dipped below average the past two years

Best Fit: Red Sox

2. J.D. Martinez, RF

Age: 30

Pros:

  • Monster, middle-of-the-order bat. Hit .300/.362/.574 (149 OPS+) over past four seasons while homering at a rate of 40 per 162 games. Led Majors with .690 slugging percentage in 2017.
  • Walk rate has improved each of past four years.

Cons:

  • Below average in the field and on the bases
  • Fragile; has played more than 123 games just once (in 2015).
  • Selling high; coming off an unrepeatable power burst with the D-backs (29 HR in 62 games, .741 SLG) that could spike his price

Best Fit: D-backs

1. Lorenzo Cain, CF

Age: 32

Pros:

  • Five-tool center fielder who was the best player on the 2015 world champion Royals team
  • Elite defender, high-percentage base stealer, perennial .300 hitter
  • Finished third for 2015 American League MVP Award
  • Modest power (career-high 16 homers in 2015) could play up if he's no longer playing in Kauffman Stadium

Cons:

  • Prone to nagging injuries; has played more than 140 games in a season just once (albeit in 2017)
  • At tail end of his prime
  • Secondary hitting skills (power, patience) are unexceptional, has to hit for high average to maintain value at the plate
  • If his legs go, they will take a great deal of his value with them

Best Fit: Rangers

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Cliff Corcoran is a Sports on Earth contributor and a regular guest analyst on MLB Network. An editor or contributor to 13 books about baseball, including seven Baseball Prospectus annuals, he spent the last 10 seasons covering baseball for SI.com and has also written for USA Today and SB Nation, among others.