Pitching wins championships.
Coincidentally enough, hitting also helps win championships, but as always evidenced by the playoffs, an elite pitching staff can take you places.
See the San Francisco Giants of 2010 for proof.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the best available pitchers from the 2013 free agent class.
4. Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers
Sanchez has quietly been one of the more consistent pitchers in the majors for the last four years. In 2009, he had an ERA of 3.87. In 2010, it was 3.55. In 2011, 3.67. This year, he posted a 3.86 mark.
What makes the 28-year-old even more intriguing is the fact that he's improved his control in each of those years. His WHIP, BB/9 and BB percentage were all career-lows this season while his SO/BB ratio was a career-high.
Moreover, after Sanchez put together a similar half-season with the Detroit Tigers, AL teams won't shy away from him, either.
3. Edwin Jackson, Washington Nationals
If it weren't for his horrendous September, Jackson would likely find himself at No. 2 on this list.
Still, despite the ERA that now sits just above four, the 29-year-old turned his best ever season in terms of WHIP (by far) and an impressive K/BB ratio of 2.90. It wouldn't be surprising to see the righty get a very large payday this winter.
2. Jake Peavy, Chicago White Sox
After Peavy's huge comeback year, you would think the White Sox would do everything in their power to keep him. However, an option of $22 million is not cheap.
If the 31-year-old—yes, Peavy is still only 31—does in fact make it to free agency, he's going to be a hot commodity.
Peavy posted a sparkling 3.37 ERA and 1.096 WHIP, along with terrific walk and strikeout rates. His injury history will undoubtedly scare teams away, but when he's healthy, he's one of the most reliable, dominant pitchers in the league.
Best pitcher of this free-agent class?
1. Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Angels
Greinke's numbers aren't that different from everyone else on this list (3.48 ERA, 1.196 WHIP, 8.5 SO/K ratio), but no one has the history and potential that this 28-year-old has.
Greinke, a former Cy Young winner, hasn't quite returned to "ace" status since winning that award, but teams won't care. He's the only one in this class who has the arsenal to be absolutely unhittable at times.
It wouldn't be surprising to see a team cough up $100 million for the talented right-hander.