Top 3 Veterans Who Could Opt-Out To Become Free Agents Next Week

For major league veterans currently on a minor league contract who haven't yet gotten the call, May 1st is an automatic opt-out date: per the latest CBA, players with six or more years' experience have certain opt-out dates built into their minor league deals.

With that in mind, a slew of veterans currently stuck at Triple-A could be entering free agency come Monday. Let's have a look at three of the most notable among this group.

Tyler Naquin, Milwaukee Brewers

The 7-year veteran has been a league-average hitter throughout his career (OPS+ 100), but he can certainly get hot at times and put up some decent numbers. His last good run was with the Cincinnati Reds in 2021, when he hit 19 homers to go with 70 RBIs in just 411 at-bats. He hit .270 with an .809 OPS. 

But last year saw a huge drop-off for the now 32-year-old, as he lost over 40 points off his average to .229, and 100 points off his OPS to .705. He managed just 11 dingers and 46 RBIs across 105 games split between the Reds and the New York Mets. 

Naquin has been decent but unremarkable in the early going at Triple-A, and if the Brewers don't call him up by this weekend, he could be out the door. 

Gary Sanchez, San Francisco Giants

For weeks now, ever since they signed him to a minor league deal, it's been expects that former New York Yankees All-Star Gary Sanchez would be getting the call to resume his major league career in The Bay. But even though Giants' catcher Roberto Perez was lost for the season to injury earlier this month, and their other backstop Joey Bart is currently hurting, Sanchez has still not gotten the call. 

It could be because he's hitting just .191 with nary a single home run in his 13 games at Sacramento. Or because this continues a troubling trend over the past few years that's seen Sanchez struggle to stay above the Mendoza Line, while his power also has gradually diminished. 

But if he opts-out, perhaps there's still a team out there that will look to recapture that two-time All-Star form of 2017 and 2019. 

Trevor Rosenthal, Detroit Tigers

After dealing away the entire back-end of their bullpen over the offseason, it seemed like a natural fit for the Tigers to take a chance on the one-time All-Star closer with 132 major league saves to his credit. 

But Rosenthal, after losing the last two full seasons to injury, has only managed to pitch two innings thus far this April at Triple-A, before going on the IL with a sprained elbow. 

As he's just about to undergo some physical therapy on the injury, it's probably doubtful that he'd opt-out, but stranger things have happened. 

 Photo: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports