MLB Free Agency provides a number of players with the chance to cash in big time.There are some players that look to take advantage of this and make insane contract demands.
It happens every since winter and that trend has not changed this year. Top players on the market have already come out and made it known that they want both big money and long-term deals.
The real question is if teams will cave and meet their demands or if they will be able to negotiate to a much more reasonable price.
When a team is spending big money on a player, they want to know that they will get consistent production out of him. That is one thing that could hold down Mike Napoli's value this winter.
He has shown that he can hit for power, but based on his .227 batting average this past season, it appears that his .320 average in 2011 was a fluke. This does make some sense considering the fact that he had a .344 BABIP in 2011.
According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, Napoli could be looking for a multi-year deal with an average annual value of $12 million. This is seemingly at the top of the market for catchers.
Considering his contact issues, this seems like a bit much to pay Napoli. There might be a team that is willing to give him that much on a one-year contract, or give him the years that he wants and not the money, but it is hard to envision him getting both.
Rafael Soriano opted out of his deal with the New York Yankees in the hopes that he could get a long-term contract this winter. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has reported that New York Yankees President Randy Levine noted that Scott Boras brought up four years and $60 million in their talks.
Even with as good as Soriano has been in the closer's role over the past three seasons, that seems like a high price to pay.
At $15 million a year, Soriano would be getting paid Mariano Rivera money. There is no denying that Soriano will get a big deal this winter, but he needs to temper his expectations a bit.
Anibal Sanchez has been asking teams for six years and $90 million this offseason according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. While Sanchez is a good pitcher, he is not worth $15 million a year.
Sanchez has a career ERA of 3.75 and a 48-51 record during his time with the Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers. With those numbers, it is hard to justify such a large deal.
One thing that Sanchez does have going for him is his age. At just 28 years old, Sanchez has the ability to be a solid starter for years to come.
The problem is that Sanchez is looking for ace money this winter and he is not an ace.
Josh Hamilton knows that he is the best position player on the market and he is certainly hoping to be paid like it. According to John Perrotto of Baseball America, Hamilton is looking to get $175 million over seven years.
Even though Hamilton has put up MVP-caliber numbers when he has been healthy, a seven-year deal seems like a big stretch. There are just too many questions concerning Hamilton for a team to invest that much in him over such a long period of time.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today has reported that the Texas Rangers are reluctant to offer Hamilton more than a three-year deal. The fact that his former team, that he helped lead to two World Series does not want to sign him long-term should be a red flag.
While Hamilton may end up getting $25 million a year, it will be over a much shorter time frame.
With a number of top outfielders on the free agent market this winter, teams do not have as much of a need to get involved in a bidding war in order to get a solid player.
Werth received $126 million over seven years from the Washington Nationals and he has certainly not proven to be worth that amount.
While Werth and Swisher are similar players, it is crazy to think that Swisher could get as much as Werth did because it has already been demonstrated that Washington overpaid for Werth. The market conditions were different when the Nationals made the signing and there is no team that needs an outfielder that desperately this winter.