For the 22 teams that will be left watching the remainder of the 2012 Major League Baseball postseason on television, the preparation for the 2013 season starts now.
General managers across the league have already begun assembling their winter wish-lists, and, as usual, big-name pitchers will be a hot commodity.
As of now, there are a handful of talented flamethrowers who will be available on the free-agent market, and once the playoffs end, the bidding for their services will commence.
Here's an early look at some of the top pitchers who will be listening to contract offers once free agency opens this winter.
Kansas City Royals fans still remember when Zach Greinke inked a four-year, $38 million deal in January of 2009, only to request a trade less than two years later.
Since then, the 2009 AL Cy Young winner has put together two solid seasons with the Brewers and Angels, and is coming off a 15-5 performance in 2012.
At this point, he's almost certain to be a free agent, and he'll be the most highly sought-after pitcher on the market.
In January, the Nationals signed Edwin Jackson to a one-year deal worth $11 million, and though his 10-11 record isn't all that inspiring, he was a valued member of one of the best pitching staffs in baseball.
Last winter, the former All-Star turned down multi-year deals to sign with Washington, and one has to think there's a reasonable chance he'll remain with the Nats beyond 2012.
However, after taking a one-year deal last time around, Jackson might be looking for more long-term stability when making a decision on his future when the time comes.
It's also worth noting that Jackson dropped renowned super-agent Scott Boras in July (per NBC Sports), so maybe he's less concerned with money than he is winning.
At 35, Ryan Dempster could be getting ready to sign the last contract of his career, so it's a good thing he's coming off a 12-8 campaign, including a sparkling 7-3 record since being dealt to Texas by the Cubs midway through the season.
Though his ERA with the Rangers certainly wasn't what it was with the Cubs, Dempster has been durable, and the two-time All-Star will garner offers once free agency opens for business.
No, Kyle Lohse wasn't worth the value of his four-year, $41 million deal during his first couple of season with the Cardinals, but made up for it with solid performances in 2011 and 2012.
This season, Lohse went 16-3, and pitched the Cardinals passed the Braves in the NL Wild Card Game, but according to CBS Sports, the Cardinals may let him walk this winter.
If that's the case, Lohse picked a great time to have a career year, and the 34-year-old will have his pick of suitors on the open market.
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