There's a scarcity of available difference-makers at this stage of the MLB offseason. Acquiring them—rather than settling for a lower tier—will require generous contract offers and tempting trade packages.
Many of the players who began the offseason as free agents have either agreed to sign or been officially announced. The same is true of once-desirable trade candidates, the majority of whom were recently dealt or taken off the block.
But talented exceptions abound, and bidding for their services will undoubtedly get heated.
Projected payrolls were taken into consideration. Josh Hamilton and Anibal Sanchez, for example, won't wind up with the Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates, even if the fits make sense from a baseball perspective. So there's some realism involved with these individual-team pairings.
Still, motivated front offices can (and should) overpay for R.A. Dickey, Hamilton and Sanchez to deter them from remaining/re-signing with their 2012 clubs.