At the end of every season, fans lament the amount of time that must pass before the return of baseball. Luckily for MLB faithful, there is free agency to keep them involved with their teams.
In 2013, there will be no shortage of talent on the free agent market. So, who will get the big contracts?
It barely has to be explained why Josh Hamilton is going to get paid. Hamilton leads the league in home runs with 42, is second in RBI with 123 and is fourth in runs with 98. He has a career batting average of .304 and an OPS of .914.
He does, however, have his drawbacks. He can be inconsistent throughout a season and certainly comes with a lot of baggage. That won't scare everyone away though, and whoever is interested will need to shell out some dollars.
Greinke has struggled a bit with the Angels, but he will still be the best pitcher on the market, and that means big money. There are always teams in need of pitchers, including the Orioles, and the money is out there.
As much as he's bounced around, Greinke has been able to produce relative consistency. He has only finished with an ERA under four once in the past six seasons and has finished with a WHIP under 1.3 in each of those seasons.
Pitching is a valued commodity, and Greinke will reap the benefits.
It's easy to forget about Nick Swisher in a Yankees lineup filled with future Hall of Famers, but Swisher is still a very appealing free agent.
Swisher has played with astounding consistency throughout his career, can play first base or the outfield and is simply an amazing presence in the locker room. Fans love him, and teammates love him.
The Yankees have made it clear they want to remain south of the 2014 luxury tax and Swisher will likely receive offers too high for the Yankees to match, which means he will have a new home.
There has been much speculation surrounding the potential destination of Michael Bourn, and the reason for that is speed. Bourn has stolen 39 bases this year and has hit the 50 mark thrice. He is also incredibly fast in center field and is very valuable as a leadoff hitter.
Bourn isn't a household name, but he certainly will garner the attention of many.