2013 MLB Free Agents: Underrated Players That Will Provide the Most Value

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 05:  Joe Saunders #48 of the Baltimore Orioles throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers during the American League Wild Card playoff game  at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 5, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn will earn plenty of money this offseason. However, there are a number of free agents that will provide a lot of value for a much cheaper price.

These players will not only help their new teams with their production, but freeing up money that would otherwise be spent on high-profile free agents will allow the front office to get even more talent during the Hot Stove period.

While the Atlanta Braves are spending $75 million on B.J. Upton, grabbing a player out of this group will end up being a smarter decision.


Scott Hairston, OF

Few hitters in the majors can crush left-handed pitching as well as Scott Hairston.

The outfielder received only limited playing time with the New York Mets last season, but he still finished fourth in the National League with 11 home runs against southpaws.

Overall, he hit 20 home runs in under 400 at-bats.

He also has the ability to play all three outfield positions, which should increase his value even more.

Hairston can be a starting player for a solid team. However, a contender with room to spare could utilize him as one of the top bench players in the majors. 


Delmon Young, OF

When healthy, Delmon Young is one of the better hitters in baseball.

He hit 18 home runs last season while knocking in 74 RBI for the potent Detroit Tigers offense.

Young also showed his ability to come through when it matters most, hitting over .350 in both the ALCS and World Series with a total of three home runs in eight games.

He loses some value on the defensive side, but an AL team that can play him as a designated hitter would not regret adding this middle-of-the-order hitter.


Joe Saunders, SP

Pitching is never easy to find. A solid innings eater like Joe Saunders is not someone to ignore.

The veteran pitcher was a big reason that the Baltimore Orioles were able to reach the playoffs after coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He had a 3.63 ERA in seven starts with his new team, plus a win in the one-game playoff against the Texas Rangers.

In the last five years, Saunders has averaged about 195 innings per season. Any team can use this type of production for a low price on the open market.


Mike Adams, RP

Due to the limited number of innings thrown each year by relief pitchers, statistics tend to fluctuate.

That is why there should be no cause for concern about Mike Adams and his increased ERA and WHIP. Last season's 3.27 ERA was the highest of his career since his rookie year.

Over his eight-year career, Adams has a 2.28 ERA with an average of over a strikeout per inning. 

His disappointing 2012 will bring his price down, but teams should look forward to a bounce-back year in 2013.