MLB free agents far outnumber available jobs – which may behoove many to sign soon – USA TODAY

Carlos Gonzalez is a career .288 hitter over 10 seasons.(Photo: Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports)

The languid pace of this offseason’s free agent market – which still contains about 130 available players with one month before the opening of training camps – raises a question for those still seeking work: How many job openings exist?

USA TODAY Sports took a team-by-team look at what spots still need to be filled, with a focus on position players, starters and closers. Should jobless players start to panic?

Maybe so.


As of Thursday afternoon, major league teams had 77 easily identifiable job openings, not counting non-closer bullpen jobs. There are 19 outfield openings, for instance, yet 34 outfielders remain unsigned, meaning it’s likely a majority of those on the market will have to settle for non-guaranteed jobs.

These numbers are moving targets, of course: Teams may decide to splurge on a luxury item where an obvious need does not exist, affecting markets from top to bottom.

More likely, however, they will fill those spots via trade, minor league promotion or by signing multiple players to non-guaranteed deals and seeing which one sticks.

For dozens of players outside the strata of Jake Arrieta, J.D. Martinez and Yu Darvish, the notion of grabbing guaranteed dollars when offered may soon look like a wise move.

Here’s a division-by-division look at possible openings for players seeking major league deals:

AL East

Baltimore Orioles: Four (RF, 3 SP). Preferring to keep slugger Mark Trumbo in the DH spot rather than put him in the outfield, the Orioles need a full-time right fielder. Top prospect Austin Hays, 22, is currently the best option, but he would benefit from more time in the minors. The O’s greatest need is in the rotation after

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