It's that time of year when Major League Baseball teams overpay for players and pay for it (figuratively and literally) down the line.
Ah yes, baseball's free-agency period in the final months of the year. I can feel the cold glares that will be exchanged between high-priced players and franchises when everything goes wrong.
Here's a look at free agents who are currently being overvalued throughout the league.
Mike Napoli, C
For the power-hungry, a catcher hitting 24 home runs seems like a guy you would want on your team.
But Napoli also hit .227 last season with the Texas Rangers and he's a career .259 hitter.
In 2011, Napoli hit .320 with 30 home runs, 75 RBI and 72 runs, but given he's never hit above .273 in any other season, it's safe to say that was a fluke year.
On top of that, for the statistically inclined, Napoli had a WAR of 1.4 last season, tied for ninth among qualifying American League catchers with Toronto's J.P. Arencibia. Russell Martin of the New York Yankees had a better WAR than him.
B.J. Upton, OF
You hear it every year: If B.J. Upton just played consistent baseball, he would be a superstar.
Well, if there's one thing we've learned about the five-tool outfielder, it's that he's proven to be consistently inconsistent since emerging in the major leagues in 2004.
Last season, Upton showed his speed with 31 stolen bases, but he also had an on-base percentage of .298, fourth-worst among qualifying American League outfielders, per ESPN.
And, despite posting 78 RBI, Upton hit .217 and had an on-base percentage of .278 with runners in scoring position.
Shane Victorino, OF
Shane Victorino and the Los Angeles Dodgers will likely part ways this offseason after the Dodgers acquired Carl Crawford in a trade with the Boston Red Sox in August.
At least, that's what his words imply, per the Los Angeles Times:
I don’t know who came up with the mindset that all of a sudden that I’m not an everyday player. When that trade happened, people obviously put it that way. But anything can happen anyway.
Victorino is apparently living in the past when he was still with the Philadelphia Phillies and contributed in a variety of ways.
Last season, the 31-year-old hit .255. That included a .245 mark with the Dodgers. He had an on-base percentage of .321, fourth-worst among qualifying National League outfielders, per ESPN.
Victorino still has the speed to steal bags (39 stolen bases last season), but the rest leaves a lot to be desired.
Cody Ross, OF
We all know what Cody Ross did with the San Francisco Giants, but the reality is he has always been an inconsistent player. You never truly know what he's going to give you.
Case in point: This season, he hit .257 in April, .288 in May, .318 in June, .217 in July, .318 in August, .235 in September and .182 in 11 at-bats in October.
The Giants lucked out when Ross decided to get hot in the second half of the 2010 season, but he hit .240 for them in 2011 and was all over the place last season with the Boston Red Sox.
Especially considering Ross is also getting older (he turns 32 in December), teams would be best not to overpay for the veteran outfielder.
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