Only a handful of the top-tier MLB free agents of this upcoming class played in the postseason this year, but a few of them stepped up at the right time and earned themselves millions of dollars on their next contract.
This isn't the strongest free-agent class in recent memory, as the crown jewel of them all, Josh Hamilton, will come with his fair share of risks. Therefore, mid-level players like Nick Swisher, B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan will likely get overpaid for their services.
Here are five players that will make the most money in free agency because of their success in the postseason.
Kyle Lohse wasn't as good in the postseason as he was during the regular season, as he faltered in the two games he faced the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS.
He walked five batters in Game 3 of the series, then gave up five runs in two innings in the clinching Game 7.
Altogether, he posted a respectable 3.98 ERA in the playoffs and still came away with two wins in four starts.
Most of the money that Lohse will earn this offseason will be because of the Cy Young-worthy numbers he put up during the regular season. He finished with a 16-3 record and an ERA of just 2.86.
Lohse is a command pitcher that relies on accuracy and movement rather than velocity, so at 34 years old, general managers shouldn't be too hesitant to dish out a decently sized contract to a pitcher coming off a year like he is.
Anibal Sanchez only made three appearances in the postseason this year, but he made the most of his limited opportunities to shine.
Despite his two losses, he allowed only 20 baserunners in 20.1 innings pitched while striking out 18 batters. He also posted an ERA of 1.77 and was truly one of the more dominant pitchers during the playoffs this time around.
Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski wants to bring back Sanchez, as he is a proven starting pitcher who is only 28 years old.
In fact, Dombrowski announced that Sanchez is the only pending free agent that the team wants to re-sign, as Jose Valverde, Delmon Young and Gerald Laird will likely be seeking greener pastures during the offseason.
This could make Sanchez easier to re-sign, and the Tigers will need him if they hope to repeat as champions in the AL.
It is likely the San Francisco Giants will do everything in their power to retain Jeremy Affeldt, but he certainly gave himself and his agent some bargaining power with his stellar performance this postseason.
Affeldt made 10 appearances out of the pen and didn't let in a single run. To be exact, he pitched 10.1 innings and only surrendered five hits and three walks while racking up 10 strikeouts.
In fact, he also cut right through the meat of the Detroit Tigers' lineup in the clinching fourth game of the World Series, when he struck out Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Delmon Young consecutively in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Affeldt will get paid like one of the top middle relievers in the game this offseason.
Delmon Young was tearing the cover off the ball throughout the postseason, including in the ALCS against the New York Yankees, for which he won MVP honors.
Altogether, he batted .313 with three home runs and nine RBI.
In 2012, Young had one of the better offensive seasons of his career, as he batted .267 with 18 home runs and 74 runs batted in.
Also, the Detroit Tigers' general manager stated that the team is not interested in re-signing Young during the offseason, so he will be playing on another team in 2013.
Young likely will remain in the AL, however, because fielding is not his forte. But since he's only 27 years old and a former No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 MLB draft, Young will get paid wherever he goes.
Marco Scutaro earned a sizable paycheck with his numerous clutch hits for the San Francisco Giants during the regular season, and he somehow found a way to help himself out even more with his remarkable performance in the postseason.
His 21 hits during the playoffs were the second-most in baseball next to Pablo Sandoval (24), and he was even named the MVP of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals.
If you don't recall, the Giants failed to reward the last middle infielder that gave them the game-winning hit in a World Series game (Edgar Renteria did not re-sign with the Giants after the 2010 season), but I do not believe the Giants will make that decision again.
Scutaro will re-sign with the Giants and be repaid for his efforts.