2013 MLB Free Agency: Best Bargains Still Available on the Market
Thanksgiving is over and things are about to start to get interesting in the MLB offseason.
While players like Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn are likely going to get the big bucks, there are other free agents who are looking just to get a good deal.
With most free agents still unsigned, many of those great bargains are still out there.
Here's a look at 10 of the best bargains left in the free-agent pool.
10. Stephen Drew, SS
Stephen Drew may not make the $10 million he made last year, but he's going to make some team happy.
Once one of the best rising shortstops in the game, Drew has largely been a disappointment compared to the expectations placed on him. But, that doesn't mean he hasn't been a good big-league player.
Drew struggled at times last year as he batted .223/.309/.348, but he's proven he can hit consistently.
Some team is going to be lucky to sign Drew. In him, they'll get a good defensive player and someone who could see their bat come alive this year.
The only question is, at what price?
If Drew signs for $5 million a year or less, he'll be a great bargain for any team.
9. Reed Johnson, OF
While you rarely see a fourth outfielder as being a good bargain, Reed Johnson is one of those guys.
He'll never hit for power, but one thing Johnson can do is come off the bench and provide a hit at just the right time.
His strength is not in an everyday role, but in either a platoon or bench role. That is where he'll have most of his success.
And, for any team that can sign him, they'll get a player who rarely makes an error in the field.
Another one-year, $1 million dollar-type deal is likely what he'll sign wherever he goes.
8. Ty Wigginton, UTIL
Ty Wigginton is one of those super utility guys that you can put anywhere on the field and he'll be successful.
For that alone, he's a bargain, even at the $3 million-$4 million range.
However, he can give any team 15-20 home runs in a year.
Some team will sign him at 35 years old and some team will reap the benefits of doing so. It's not every day that you can get a guy who can successfully play multiple positions in the field and hit with a little pop at the plate.
7. Juan Carlos Oviedo, RP
From 2009-11, Juan Carlos Oviedo (or Leo Nunez) was a pretty good closer for the then-Florida Marlins.
During that time, Oviedo had 92 saves with a 3.86 ERA and 1.247 WHIP. While the numbers aren't great, they did the job when it came time to getting saves.
Then the controversy came up surrounding his name and using fake documents. All of a sudden, people have forgotten about him as part of this year's free-agent class.
Oviedo won't be a closer this year in baseball. However, with a good year as a setup man or situational reliever, Oviedo could find big bucks on the market next year.
His past success is worth taking a chance on. Who knows? Some team could strike gold.
6. Grady Sizemore, OF
From 2005-08, Grady Sizemore was one of the best young players in all of baseball.
He had a stat line of .281/.372/.496 with 107 home runs, 325 RBI and 115 stolen bases. Not to mention his defense was spectacular.
Then the injury bug hit Sizemore and he hasn't been the same.
But Sizemore's case is one where he just needs to get away from the Cleveland Indians. Sometimes all a player needs is a change of scenery and they'll have success.
While Sizemore will never likely reach the status he was before, he'll be worth making a small investment for some team.
If he pulls through, then that team will have gotten one of the biggest steals of this free-agent class.
5. Mike Napoli, C-1B
Mike Napoli is one of those players that could be a bad bargain depending on how much the market drives up his price.
But for now, Napoli is a good bargain and will provide a team with some veteran leadership behind the plate.
Napoli will easily hit 25 home runs in a season and can also play first base.
Had he been a free agent last year, Napoli would've gotten a richer deal. However, a .227 in 2012 hurt his chances of getting too rich of a deal.
Considering that, Napoli will come at a cheaper price this offseason.
4. Angel Pagan, OF
Angel Pagan has been consistently good throughout his career.
However, when he was in New York, he wasn't thought of having as much of an impact. But then he was traded to the San Francisco Giants and everything changed.
Pagan was great in his time in San Francisco, batting .288/.338/.440 with a league-leading 15 triples.
For a team looking for a leadoff hitter and a center fielder (ahem...Braves), Pagan would be a better deal monetarily. He's not going to command the $12 million-$15 million per year the other two are.
Plus, you'll get a great leadoff hitter and defender, and all at a cheaper price.
3. Brandon McCarthy, SP
The whole baseball world froze when Brandon McCarthy was lying on the ground after being struck in the head by a line drive this past season.
With surgery and recovery out of the way, McCarthy is now going to be looking for a new home.
While McCarthy has failed to reach double-digits in wins during his big-league career, he's still managed ERAs below 3.32 in his last two years.
He's getting the outs, but just not getting enough run support.
That all will change with another team.
By signing with a team like the Los Angeles Angels, or any good offensive team for that matter, McCarthy will finally get to double-digit wins.
And, for a likely $3 million-$5 million a year, the 29-year-old would be a great bargain.
2. Cody Ross, OF
Cody Ross had a lot of success in Boston last year as he batted .267/.326/.481 with 22 home runs and 81 RBI.
However, the only way Ross is a good bargain is if he goes to a team that's in a hitter's ballpark.
He took advantage of playing at Fenway, using the short left field on multiple occasions.
Ross will get a decent contract, probably in the $7 million-$8 million range per year.
If he can put up those same numbers he did last year, then any team that signs him will find it worth it.
1. Marco Scutaro, 2B
Marco Scutaro was one of the best players in the postseason in 2012.
Even though he's 37 years old, Scutaro still has a few good years left in him.
Last year, he batted .306./348/.405 with the Rockies and Giants.
For teams that have a young shortstop or second baseman that still needs a little minor-league seasoning, Scutaro would be the perfect bridge.
He's not going to command much, but his value as a clutch hitter is through the roof.