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Even without Arenado, the next free-agent class will be loaded

It appears there will be even more free agents next fall than there were this winter. And the upper echelon of stars -- including Xander Bogaerts -- is strong. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Nolan Arenado need not worry about the impact of the free-agent market on his financial future, nor should Aaron Hicks or any of the other players who have landed multiyear deals recently. You can debate whether they could've gotten more money by waiting until next fall, but the newly signed players at least have peace of mind, as well as the guaranteed dollars.

They will be in the minority, because as of today, it appears there will be even more free agents next fall -- perhaps in the range of 250 by the time teams complete their increasingly Draconian decisions on whether to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. Teams have seemingly been adjusting their offseason strategy because that pool of free agents continues to grow, increasing the likelihood they'll be able to fill a hole on their rosters with a more team-friendly deal.

But there will be an upper echelon of free agents next fall, as there are most years -- minus Arenado and Hicks, of course. And there likely will be a consistent theme among many of the top free agents. Among them: