2017 MLB walk year All-Stars

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David Lennon put together an early-season All-Star team of players making a strong impression in the final year of their contracts.

1B: Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals

A three-time Gold Glove winner, the last in
(Credit: AP / Charlie Riedel)

A three-time Gold Glove winner, the last in 2015, and the owner of a World Series ring, Hosmer is part of the Royals' popular young core that certainly will break up after this season. He's a career .278 hitter but is flirting with .300 this season, and probably going to pick up the pace after only four home runs and 16 RBIs through 46 games.

Runner-Up: Carlos Santana, Indians

2B: Neil Walker, Mets

Walker had a career season (23 HRs, .823
(Credit: Getty Images / Justin K. Aller)

Walker had a career season (23 HRs, .823 OPS) interrupted by back surgery a year ago but has enjoyed a resurgent May, hitting .329 with a .913 OPS in his first 21 games this month. The Mets broke off contract talks earlier this year and probably won't resume them midseason.

Runner-Up: Brandon Phillips, Braves

SS: Jose Reyes, Mets

Reyes, at 33, isn't really a full-time shortstop
(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Reyes, at 33, isn't really a full-time shortstop anymore, despite getting an extended opportunity there this season. But he's a switch hitter who still possesses some speed, and it's a very thin shortstop market this winter, with some of the top names bound by club options.

Runner-Up: Eduardo Nunez, Giants.

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3B: Mike Moustakas, Kansas CIty Royals

Like teammate Eric Hosmer (see 1B), Moustakas is
(Credit: AP / Charlie Riedel)

Like teammate Eric Hosmer (see 1B), Moustakas is a Scott Boras client, so that will bring a premium price for the 28-year-old Moustakas, who has made only one All-Star team (2015) and never finished higher than 21st on the MVP ballot. He's on a 30-plus homer pace this season, however, and that would be a career high, so good timing.

Runner-Up: Todd Frazier, White Sox

C: Jonathan Lucroy, Texas Rangers

Lucroy was highly coveted at last season's July
(Credit: Getty Images / Sean M. Haffey)

Lucroy was highly coveted at last season's July 31 non-waver deadline, and after going to hitter-friendly Texas, his power numbers jumped considerably from the time spent with the Brewers. He's off to a slower start this year, but a catcher with a career .283 average and .780 OPS is going to do well in free agency.

Runner-Up: Carlos Ruiz

LF: Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals

Werth just turned 38, but he still provides
(Credit: Getty Images / Patrick Smith)

Werth just turned 38, but he still provides considerable pop, and is again on a 25-homer pace with an .847 OPS this season. He's finished top 20 in the MVP voting four times, but never higher than eighth, in 2010. Coming off a $126-million deal that was a landmark contract back in 2011.

Runner-Up: Andrew McCutchen

CF: Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals

After finishing third on the AL MVP ballot
(Credit: TNS / John Sleezer)

After finishing third on the AL MVP ballot in 2015 and sparking the Royals' title drive, Cain was limited to 103 games the following season due to hamstring and wrist issues. An excellent defender, Cain is on target this year to break his career-high mark in stolen bases (28) if he stays healthy.

Runner-Up: Carlos Gomez, Rangers

RF: Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies

CarGo has won two Gold Gloves and three
(Credit: Getty Images / Rich Schultz)

CarGo has won two Gold Gloves and three Silver Slugger awards, but no hardware since 2015, when he hit 4o home runs. Gonzalez's numbers will always be shaded by playing in the thin air of hitter-friendly Coors Field. And despite the Rockies' great start this year, he's off to a slow start (4 HRs, .716 OPS in 44 games).

Runner-Up: J.D. Martinez

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RHP: Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

Darvish appears back to form after his 2015
(Credit: AP / Carlos Osorio)

Darvish appears back to form after his 2015 Tommy John surgery, with a 12-7 record, 3.18 ERA, 1.128 WHIP and 11.0 K/9 in his 27 starts since then. There's been talk of the Rangers trying to re-sign him midseason. But if not, at age 30, Darvish should command huge money this winter.

Runner-Up: Jake Arrieta

LHP: Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals

Vargas, a 12-year vet, is enjoying his best
(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Vargas, a 12-year vet, is enjoying his best season at age 34, with a 2.30 ERA that's fifth-best in the majors (his career ERA is 4.09). At age 34, and with Vargas' history, it seems more likely that he'll revert to form this season. But if not, Vargas will do much better in free agency than the $8 million he's making this year.

Runner-Up: Francisco Liriano, Blue Jays

Closer: Wade Davis, Chicago Cubs

Davis was limited to 45 games by a
(Credit: Getty Images / Jonathan Daniel)

Davis was limited to 45 games by a nagging forearm strain in 2016, but still had a 1.87 ERA and went 27-for-30 in save chances. This year, after being traded to the Cubs, Davis has been lights-out for the world champs, with a 0.98 ERA, and 11.9 K/9 ratio. He's a perfect 10-for-10 in save opportunities.

Runner-Up: Jordan Walden, Cardinals

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