2013 MLB Free Agents: Top Players Who Should Return to Their Old Teams

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 21:   David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox enjoys a laugh  before a game with Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park on August 21, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Free agency is a great way for players to earn a massive paycheck, but many major league baseball players will be better off staying where they are.

In addition, the grass is not always greener for the teams either. Those looking for more production should be satisfied with what they have and be willing to pay top dollar to keep things the way they were.

These players are a perfect match with their teams and should stay put for the near future at least. 


Adam LaRoche, Washington Nationals

Washington had its best year since coming to the city, winning 98 games to earn the best record in the National League.

Adam LaRoche was a big part of that, leading the team with 33 home runs and 100 RBI. He also recently won his first career Gold Glove Award.

If the Nationals think they can replace this type of production, they are sorely mistaken. 

LaRoche led the majors in home runs as a first baseman (Edwin Encarnacion had the majority of his home runs as a designated hitter), and was among the leaders in WAR at the position.

He will likely request a lot of money on the open market, especially after declining a mutual option, according to CBS Sports

However, both sides need each other and LaRoche should return to the Nationals by the end of the offseason. 


Michael Bourn, Atlanta Braves

Even in a down year, Michael Bourn proved that he is one of the best lead-off hitters in the game.

His ability to hit for average, steal bases and playing centerfield made him No. 11 in the majors with a WAR of 6.0. This means only 10 other players helped their team win more games than the speedster.

In his career, Bourn has stolen 276 bases and has hit 45 triples to go along with two gold gloves. If the Braves want to return as contenders next season, they should make sure they hold onto the elite outfielder.


David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox

Although a July injury shortened his season, David Ortiz had a very good year. He had the highest batting average of his career at .318 and hit 23 home runs in only 90 games.

On a miserable season for the Red Sox, Ortiz was one of the few bright spots.

The fans in Boston do not accept poor play, especially after winning two World Series in the last decade. After a 69-93 season, the team's supporters are not happy.

David Ortiz is a fan favorite and should not be able to leave town, regardless of the asking price. Otherwise, the front office will have a lot of questions to answer heading into next season.