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Here's one way of proving Major League Baseball has had an unevenly paced offseason: pitchers and catchers are less than a month away from reporting for duty across Florida and Arizona, yet you can still build a solid roster from the remaining free-agent pool. 

Blame it on Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto's extended stays on the market, the financial uncertainty wrought by the Bally Sports local television broadcast situations, and/or simply the indecisiveness of the modern well-compensated baseball executive. Whatever the exact cause, there's a slew of talented players who remain available for hire.

To hammer the point home, we here at CBS Sports decided today would be a fine opportunity to construct most of a full roster from free agents. That includes a full starting nine and five-man rotation, as well as the back-end of a bullpen. The final result is a roster that boasts two multi-time Cy Young Award winners, a former MVP, and several multi-time All Stars. What's more is every player included on our roster was ranked inside our free-agent top 50.

Without further adieu, here's your Camp Jobless starting nine:

  1. Cody Bellinger, RF
  2. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
  3. Joc Pederson, LF
  4. Jorge Soler, DH
  5. Matt Chapman, 3B
  6. Tim Anderson, SS
  7. Amed Rosario, 2B
  8. Michael A. Taylor, CF
  9. Gary Sanchez, C

Bellinger and Chapman are the prizes here. We considered each to be a top-five free agent entering the winter despite persisting questions about their long-term value. Bellinger had an impressive rebound season after a few down seasons, but he did it in an unconventional manner by making more and weaker contact than usual. Chapman, meanwhile, is undeniably a great third baseman with good power. We do have concerns about how his swing-and-miss-happy profile will age, particularly since he has a hole up in the zone that could become more exploitable as he loses bat speed.

Elsewhere, we'd be banking on our double-play combination of Tim Anderson and Amed Rosario to bounce back offensively. We recently detailed why we think better seasons could be in the cards for both. (You can throw Hoskins in there, too, given that he missed all of the 2023 campaign with a torn ACL.) 

We took some liberties in the outfield, slotting Bellinger into right field to get Taylor's glove in center. Otherwise, we would've had Bellinger in center flanked by Pederson and either Soler or J.D. Martinez in the corners. (Our pitchers, who you'll meet in just a few paragraphs, would thank us for that.) 

Behind the dish, we'll be honest: there was no alternative to Sanchez. Even if his career resurgence last season proves to be a mirage, he should provide some slugging and above-average framing. That's enough, when viewed in the context of the free-agent market, to overlook his other deficiencies. 

We didn't include a bench, but you could imagine this team adding the likes of Ji-Man Choi to serve as Hoskins insurance. Tommy Pham and/or Donovan Solano would make sense to spare Pederson or Bellinger from particularly tough lefties. We'd love to have Gio Urshela to serve as an insurance policy in case Anderson or Rosario produce sequels to their down years, too. 

Overall, it's a group that you could envision putting up some solid offensive numbers. Just don't think too long about their defensive contributions. 

Now, onto the Camp Jobless starting rotation:

Yes, an all-lefty starting rotation. Eat your heart out, '81 New York Yankees.

Snell and Montgomery are the top talents here, even if they go about their business in contrasting ways. Snell misses bats and the zone with regularity thanks to high-grade stuff. Montgomery doesn't stand out in any particular way, but he gets outs and logs innings and that's the most important thing. We'd keep them paired together in the rotation so that Montgomery's length could cover for some of Snell's shorter innings without wrecking our 'pen.

And then there's the rest of the rotation, which qualifies as a nightmare from a reliability perspective. Kershaw won't pitch to begin the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, and both Paxton and Ryu have missed significant time due to injury. Let's be realistic: this group would be doing well to give us 50 combined starts between the three. That's far from ideal.

Last, but not least given how much slack they'd have to pick up from the rotation, let's introduce our high-leverage relievers:

This is a quality group. Hader is one of the best relievers in baseball, and we're believers in Stephenson after he introduced a new pitch upon joining the Rays. Chapman and Neris' overall track records are impressive, too, even if they've experienced their share of hiccups throughout their decade-plus in the Show. 

Would our Camp Jobless roster be good enough to compete? We don't think so based on how unreliable or weak the rotation and defense appear to our eyes. But that doesn't mean MLB teams should continue to sit on their hands with respect to employing these players. There's a lot of talent left on the board, and it should be just a matter of time before they start finding new homes.