Sometimes free agents telegraph their intent. The teams pursuing them are transparent. The player's desire to sign with that team is somewhat overt as well. Was anyone really that shocked when former Met shortstop Jose Reyes inked a big money free-agent deal with the Miami Marlins?
If there were surprised parties then that's a result of their own willful lack of attention. Reyes had been courted by the Marlins for weeks in advance of his eventual signing.
There are plenty of times when a free agent appears headed to one destination only to at the last minute make a dramatic shift in plans. This is of course more dramatic for those who follow baseball with an obsessive intensity.
No surprise of course that the past offseason featured numerous free-agent signings. Some such as the above-mentioned Reyes signing were fairly predictable. Others fell into the other more "out of nowhere" category.
Some of the past offseason's more memorable shockers...