MLB teams look to free agency to improve their rosters, but the winners of the 2012-13 offseason won't be those who overpay for the biggest names.
Successful spending in baseball is finding productive, underrated gems.
Pursuing the headliners is tempting.
Is it a wise practice? Rarely.
Currently, Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels and Josh Hamilton are among the most desirable impending free agents. Each will be wooed with nine-figure guaranteed contracts. With time, the clubs that win those bidding wars will regret it.
The following players—though slightly less recognizable—will be very valuable in the coming years. Plus, signing them can be accomplished inexpensively.