MLB FAs Who Won't Get as Much Interest as Their Agents Tell Them
With this offseason's free-agency market ramping up in advance of the upcoming winter meetings, fanbases all over the country are speculating on which top players might make their way into their team's lineup.
A number of top players are set to ink huge deals and will no doubt instantly change the face of any franchise they sign with.
Behind all of these lucrative deals lies an agent that's put in countless hours of work in determining their client's worth, and then seeking out the best situation to get it.
Their job will always entail bringing home the biggest payday, but in some cases, agents can also paint pictures of false hopes that inevitably force players to settle for less than they were led to expect.
Of all the acquisitions that took place during this past summer, the San Francisco Giants' trade to bring in Marco Scutaro was arguably the biggest.
After coming over from Colorado, Scutaro batted .362, driving in 44 runs in 61 games.
His performance in the postseason propelled the Giants to their second World Series title in three years, as he batted .500 during the NLCS, good enough to earn him series MVP honors.
He's older than most that would seek out a significant contract, however, and may not find a suitor willing to cough up the years he's looking for.
Despite getting off to a slow start this past season, the Detroit Tigers made a great push through the postseason before ultimately losing to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.
After a strong performance upon being moved from the Minnesota Twins halfway through last season, Delmon Young came back to earth a bit in 2012, though he still played some very clutch baseball down the stretch, and he -even earned ALCS MVP honors.
Young has age on his side and as a former No. 1 pick, it's obvious that he has a great deal of talent, but with the turmoil he's found himself surrounded by already in his career, any team would be wary of signing Young to a long-term deal.
Having been an important part of championship teams in the past, Cody Ross established himself as a moderately viable option for the Boston Red Sox in 2012.
He struggled a bit throughout the season, though he did manage to go deep 22 times and post an on-base percentage up around .330.
With the outfield market looking like a feast-or-famine situation in the free-agent market, Ross' agent will be out for blood, but he might end up waiting for quite a while if he gets too greedy.
As one of the most dominating outfielders during his best days, Andruw Jones was always a threat in the batter's box and became an invaluable asset on a number of contending teams.
He's had his share of struggles since then, and while he did serve a purpose as a bench bat for the Yankees over the past couple of seasons, it seems unlikely he'll be back in 2013.
A team looking for some offensive pop might seek out Jones, but if too much is expected of the rapidly aging slugger, a franchise could be setting themselves up for disappointment.
Speedy outfielder Michael Bourn has led the league in stolen bases a few times already during his young career, twice swiping more than 60 bags.
On top of that, he appears to be improving at the plate every year and will no doubt continue to have his chances to steal bases.
We've seen how hard of a bargain Scott Boras can drive, so there's no question that he's telling Bourn just how much he thinks he's worth.
Boras might even be willing to push him into Edwin Jackson territory, accepting a one-year deal if he doesn't see the number he wants.
After receiving such lofty expectations heading into this season, it's almost hard to call 2012 a success for the Detroit Tigers as many pegged them as World Series champs in light of their offseason maneuvering.
With big money handed out to Prince Fielder last January, Detroit's checkbook may not have much room to move, and the disappointing Jose Valverde may be a casualty as the Tigers look to remain competitive in 2013.
His postseason was far from spectacular, and as the Tigers have opted to let Valverde enter free agency, he had better hope his agent is able to find him a position that will give him the best chance to succeed.
Despite being sidelined after having Tommy John surgery this spring, Joakim Soria will still be an important part of the Kansas City Royals' plans for 2013 and beyond.
He's had a number of successful campaigns with the Royals in recent years and, when healthy, represents one of the best bullpen options in the league.
With Rafael Soriano out in New York, Soria's name has come up in conversations about an eighth-inning role behind Mariano Rivera.
The notion of playing in pinstripes is appealing enough as it is, but if he's really looking for a ninth-inning role, his agent will need to work hard to make it happen elsewhere.
Pitching played a huge role in their success in 2012, and though Stephen Strasburg was shelved early on, he'll be back at it in 2013, something that the team may hope from Edwin Jackson as well.
He spent much of last offseason seeking out a multi-year deal, and when the offers didn't come, his one-year deal would prove to be another long audition for a bigger payday.
Jackson could potentially make out huge in the free-agent market this offseason, as he went 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA in 2012 and played an important role in the Nationals' push towards the postseason.
Still, agent Scott Boras showed just a year ago what lengths he'll go to in an effort to secure a big contract, and in the process proved that Jackson just wasn't worth what he really thought.