Eric Lauer: Chicago White Sox (2 years, $6 million)
Speaking of rough seasons, Eric Lauer's was a doozy too. After agreeing to a $5.075 million one year contract with the Brewers, Lauer gave up 34 earned runs in 46 2/3 innings, which made his ERA shoot up to 6.56, his worst since an injury-ridden 2019. Just a few days ago, on Oct. 20, the Brewers optioned him Triple-A, but Lauer refused and elected free agency instead. It's not exactly an attractive move from a front office perspective, but in a certain way it's admirable that Lauer decided to bet on himself.
The Chicago White Sox could use a lefty starter, and at this point, almost any addition to the White Sox is worth a go. Their starter, Dylan Cease, closed out the year with a 4.58 ERA, and Michael Kopech, their No. 3, gave up 29 home runs, which helped put the White Sox at fourth place in most home runs given up by a pitching staff.
Lauer would certainly be facing a pay cut if he accepted a deal with the thrifty White Sox, a team who has 60% of their payroll dedicated to five players, but he won't have much leverage in these negotiations either. If all he wanted was to stay in the major leagues, he should take whatever deal he can get.