2013 MLB Free Agents: Bargain Bin Players Who Could Blow Up for New Teams

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Grady Sizemore #24 of the Cleveland Indians reacts after striking out during the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on September 20, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

I'm going to start this article with a disclaimer—the players you will find on this list are going to surprise you. If you came here looking for middle-of-the-road players who might see a slight bump in production, think again. 

The three players listed below have been total busts in recent years. Maybe they suddenly lost their stroke. Maybe their stuff went flat. Perhaps they can't stay healthy. Whatever the case may be, they've all been huge disappointments.

However, they've all also proven to have major talent in the past, and on the right team, with the right supporting cast, might just be able to rediscover the magic and be major bargains. They represent huge risks, but they'll be cheap risks, at least.

Let's dig through the free-agent bargain bin.


Jason Bay, Outfielder

I know, I know—there are probably New York Mets fans out there that are laughing hysterically right now at the prospect of Jason "Bust" Bay potentially being a good signing for a team.

The skepticism is totally justified. 

However, before going to New York, Bay was an excellent player who had at least 21 home runs and 82 RBI in six straight seasons and was a three-time All-Star. If you don't think talented players can rediscover their groove, I ask you only consider Ryan Ludwick or Lance Berkman.

I'm not saying it will happen, I'm just saying he could come cheap and could be one of the best bargains of the winter if he remembers how to hit the ball.


Francisco Liriano, Starting Pitcher

You don't know how many times Liriano has let me down in fantasy baseball. Well, I'll tell you—twice. 

After his glorious 2010 season in which I took a chance on him and eventually traded him for Ian Kinsler, I decided he was worth the risk two more times. He very obviously wasn't. 

However, here's the thing—in 2006, he was fantastic. When he finally returned from injury in 2008, he was pretty good again. In 2010, he regained the magic.

I was hoping in 2012 he would keep his "every two years" streak alive. Take a look at his stats—it was uncanny.

Alas, he let me down. With that being said, with Liriano, you just never know. Some team could end up getting a sneaky value if they sign him. When he's on, his stuff is nasty. When he's not, well, enjoy that skyrocketing ERA.


Grady Sizemore, Outfielder

Could Grady Sizemore be the new Carlos Beltran?

In 2009 and 2010, Beltran struggled with injuries. He finally managed close to a full season in 2011, but his numbers weren't up to his prior expectations. 

In 2012, fully healthy and hungry to prove he still had game, Beltran blew up, hitting .269 with 32 home runs and 97 RBI. 

Sizemore hasn't been healthy since 2008, but he had a fantastic 2008 season, hitting .268 with 33 home runs, 90 RBI and 38 RBI. While I wouldn't expect his speed game to return, his pop most certainly could. 

Sizemore is a player with a lot of unrealized potential due to his injury history. If he could actually stay healthy, a team could be getting a steal.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets predict crazy things like Baylor upsets. Seriously.

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