2013 MLB Free Agents: 6 Playoff Stars Who Haven't Helped Their Cases
The 2012 postseason is just underway, but there are a handful of 2013 free agents who are not helping their cause of landing a big contract in free agency.
It's too early to say that any of them (save the two that have already completed their postseason) have decimated their value after a couple of games, but without improvement along the way, their chances of landing a hefty contract will be impaired.
Let's take a look at six of the major stars who have failed to step up and produce thus far.
Center fielder Angel Pagan played well in the second half of the season and led the NL in triples with 15. He's speedy and a great contact hitter.
He hasn't performed well this postseason.
Pagan is just 1-for-9 so far in the Giants' two losses. There's a good chance Pagan re-signs with the Giants, but they do have Gary Brown to fill his spot if they decide to go with the younger (and cheaper) prospect.
Nick Swisher is in need of a big postseason after another decent year hitting .272 from the plate with 93 RBI and 24 homers. He closed out the season in poor fashion, hitting just 2-of-11 from the plate and driving home only one run in game three of the Yankees' sweep of the Boston Red Sox to close out the regular season.
Swisher went just 1-for-5 in the series opening win Sunday night against Baltimore, though his one hit was a double.
While it's premature to say Swisher has hurt his cause in any way whatsoever, he's going to have to step up his production in this series.
Delmon Young is still only 27 years old, but the once highly touted prospect has failed to fulfill the lofty expectations that accompanied him when he entered the MLB.
Young still has room for growth, but has failed to exhibit any of that potential in this year's postseason. He is just 1-for-6 from the plate, though the Tigers have won both games.
Young hit .270 with 18 homers in the regular season, but his on-base percentage was just .300. It's highly unlikely he remains in Detroit.
Anibal Sanchez had another solid year, posting a 9-13 record with a 3.74 ERA in his split-season with the Marlins and Tigers.
Sanchez's postseason debut was a little more sketchy, as he pitched 5.2 innings and gave up five earned runs. He did strike out eight, but he also gave up a homer and picked up the loss.
The postseason is a chance to improve stock, and Sanchez could use a boost. He'll look to rebound next series, as it looks good for the Tigers advancing with a 2-0 lead over Oakland thus far in the series.
Josh Hamilton is the main attraction in this year's free agent crop, but his substance-abuse issues may hurt his cause. It doesn't seem likely that it will steer GMs away from him, but it could play a role in what kind of contract he receives. The issue likely won't overshadow his 43 homers and 128 RBI this season, though.
It's unlikely the loss to the Orioles in the Wild Card Game will hurt his cause very much, though he did go 0-for-4. Hamilton's regular season should trump his poor performance in the Orioles game, but it didn't help his cause, needless to say.
Mike Napoli had a pretty sub-par season this year, with his batting average dipping from .320 last season to .227 this year, while his RBI production also dropped from 75 RBI in 2011 to just 56 this year. He was only 1-for-10 at the plate and struck out in two of his four at-bats in the final game of the sweep to the Oakland A's to close out the regular season.
Napoli was the DH in the loss to the Orioles and went 0-of-3 from the plate, while striking out twice. He spent a month on the DL with a strained left thigh muscle, so he had some rust to work out, and he didn't. That kind of horrible end to an already poor season will not help his cause at all. Expect Napoli to come at a discount this offseason, due to his enigmatic decline this year and his high strikeout rate (1 strikeout per 2.8 at-bats).
His value is minimal when not producing offensively, since his defense is below average.
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