MLB free agency officially opens up on Monday. Free agent players will be free to sign wherever they want. While not all of the big-name free agents will find new homes on the first day of MLB free agency, there will be plenty of action over the coming weeks, so it's time to make some contract predictions.

This year's free agent class isn't as deep as last year, but it is a rather good one, especially when it comes to pitching, and every ball club is always looking for pitching help. Shohei Ohtani — perhaps the biggest name to hit the open market in recent memory — is a free agent as well.

Let's look at some of the top available MLB free agents, and predict where they will land and the contracts they will receive.

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angeles

Shohei Ohtani in a Dodgers uniform

Shohei Ohtani was set to demand the biggest contract in MLB free agent history. The two-way superstar has lit the baseball world on fire in recent years, being one of the best pitchers and hitters in baseball. He was expected to blow Aaron Judge's record-setting deal out of the water.

Unfortunately, Ohtani hurt the elbow on his throwing arm again, making the future of his pitching status a little murky. It might not matter, though, as Ohtani is that good as a hitter. He is also expected to return to pitching in 2025.

Some teams might be scared off by the injury, but someone is going to risk it and pay Ohtani what he was expected to get even before the injury. The Los Angeles Dodgers seem like that team. They are always willing to splurge in free agency, and the Dodgers would allow Ohtani to stay in Los Angeles.

Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers, 10 years, $550 million

Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs

Cody Bellinger went from one of the fastest-rising young stars in MLB to someone whose production fell off a cliff. However, in 2023, Bellinger bounced back in a big way. The outfielder was forced to take a one-year (with a mutual option) prove-it deal. Bellinger proved he deserves to be one of the highest-paid outfielders in the league, but it likely won't be with the Cubs.

Bellinger went from one of the worst contact hitters in baseball to one of the best. He still has power, too, so he will likely get a big payday. The New York Yankees had their worst season in a long time, and outfield is their biggest need. The team needs a center fielder more than corner outfield help, and they will be willing to pay someone like Bellinger.

Prediction: New York Yankees, 6 years, $150 million

Josh Hader, San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres have to cut back on costs, especially after a disappointing season where their loaded roster wasn't enough to secure themselves a playoff spot. Their elite pitchers set to hit the open market — Josh Hader and Blake Snell — are unlikely to re-sign with the team. Hader enters the open market as the top relief option available.

The White Sox had a bad year last year, and they are not returning Liam Hendriks to close out games next season. They haven't historically been a team willing to spend big in free agency, but that changed last year. They gave Andrew Benintendi the biggest contract for an external MLB free agent in the team's history.

It shows that they might be willing to spend in free agency, and Hader would be a perfect big-money free agent who could shut down games for the team that needs an influx of talent.

Prediction: Chicago White Sox, 4 years, $86 million

Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

Joey Votto

Joey Votto had a legendary career with the Reds, but his career seems to be coming to a close. His production regressed significantly last year, and Cincinnati was forced to move off him.

Retirement definitely seems like a possibility, but we think Votto will give it one last go. He has enough of a track record to warrant a low-risk deal, and the Pittsburgh Pirates seem like the perfect fit. The Pirates were the youngest team in baseball last year, and they just so happen to need a first baseman. Votto could come in on a one-year deal and serve as a veteran leader for the younger players.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Pirates, 1 year, $4 million

Matt Chapman, Toronto Blue Jays

In an MLB free agent class with much more pitching depth than position player depth, it seems inevitable that Matt Chapman will get the bag. Chapman is one of the best fielders in baseball at the hot corner. His bat seemed to catch up to his glove to start last season, but his hitting production fell back to earth during the second half of the year.

The Washington Nationals need an answer at third base. They were at their best when they had a proven and productive player in Anthony Rendon manning third base, and Chapman could be the next long-term player at the position.

Prediction: Washington Nationals, 5 years, $90 million

Blake Snell, San Diego Padres

Blake Snell has some of the best stuff in baseball. He walks a lot of hitters, but he also racks up a lot of strikeouts. While he may be a little streaky, he performed at his best at the right time. He had a Cy Young-caliber season right before hitting free agency.

Like his teammate Josh Hader, it seems unlikely that Blake Snell will be playing for the Padres next season. There will be plenty of suitors, though, and one top team should be all over him.

The Baltimore Orioles have officially arrived. Much to fans' dismay, they haven't spent big in free agency in recent years. Instead, they have chosen to develop internally and not skip steps.

The Orioles will need some pitching help to take the next step, though, especially after they were swept in their only playoff series. The team's pitching depth is solid and they have a good bullpen, but they lack a true top-end starter. Snell would be the team's clear-cut ace, and he'd give them a great option to win the biggest games at the biggest stages.

Prediction: Baltimore Orioles, 6 years, $175 million

Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers

Julio Urias had a disappointing 2023 season, but he was the NL wins leader in 2021 and the NL ERA leader in 2022. He is still only 27 years old, so on the field, Urias would be one of the most intriguing MLB free agents. However, he was arrested for domestic violence charges for a second time this past season, and that is sure to hurt his value.

Urias' off-the-field issues mean he shouldn't get a long-term deal. In fact, it's possible he doesn't get a deal at all. The details of his case are still a bit murky, and teams should wait to learn more before making any move on the talented pitcher.

Prediction: remains a free agent during 2024

Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies

Aaron Nola has been one of the most consistent pitchers in recent seasons, and he has done it on a team that always seems to find postseason success.

A team with aspirations of making noise in the playoffs should look to sign the ace, but the Phillies should also do whatever they can to retain the pitcher. There are reports that the team will move on and target Blake Snell instead, but Nola is a known commodity for the Phillies, and I think they do what it takes to get him to come back.

The Phillies' title window is now, so losing Nola wouldn't be a good idea.

Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies, 5 years, $130 million

Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox

Tim Anderson

For years, Tim Anderson was one of the best shortstops in baseball. Things became messy in all aspects of the game for the Chicago White Sox in the last few seasons, and Anderson's production dropped during this time.

Still, shortstop is the premier position in baseball, and there aren't many good ones available in free agency. The White Sox declined the contract option on Anderson, so the long-time Chicago shortstop will be one of the best position players on the open market. He did have a great run after the All-Star break last year, too, so there is clearly still something left in the tank.

The Miami Marlins want to contend, but they need more offense. Shortstop is also a position of need, so Anderson seems like a good fit. He also likely won't cost an arm and a leg, an added benefit for the Marlins.

Prediction: Miami Marlins, 2 years, $18 million

Marcus Stroman, Chicago Cubs

The New York Mets had two veteran starting pitchers last year in Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, but neither worked out. If the team wants to bring in another veteran this offseason, Marcus Stroman seems like an ideal fit, especially considering he is only 32 years old and not pushing 40 years old like Scherzer and Verlander were last season.

The Mets have shown a willingness to spend in recent years, so don't be surprised if they do so again. The club and player also have familiarity with each other. Stroman played in New York in 2019 and 2021.

Prediction: New York Mets, 3 years, $45 million

Whit Merrifield, Toronto Blue Jays

Whit Merrifield will be coveted in free agency because he can play multiple positions and still bat at a high level. He was an All-Star last season, and he can provide value as a platoon player or as an everyday player.

We predict Merrifield to sign with the Colorado Rockies. He could play a variety of positions for the team, and the mile high altitude would be sure to inflate his numbers for one final contract.

Prediction: Colorado Rockies, 2 years, $20 million

Yoshinobu Yamamoto, NPB

After making a surprise run to the World Series, the Arizona Diamondbacks are ready to make the moves to take the next step. Yoshinobu Yamamoto is one of the biggest international free agents ever. It is becoming more and more common to spend big on players from Japan, and Yamamoto is next in line.

Prediction: Arizona Diamondbacks, 5 years, $125 million