MLB Free Agents Who Most Regret Rejecting Offers from Their Former Teams
Dozens of MLB free agents have already signed new lucrative contracts this offseason, and others will likely sign on the dotted line before the start of spring training as well.
Some free agents, however, are still sitting at home wondering what went wrong.
While overpaying for free agents has been in vogue this offseason, several players turned down lucrative offers from their original teams, thinking their decision would pay off for them in the end.
Here are four such players who may now be regretting that decision.
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Free-agent catcher Mike Napoli had the parameters of a deal in place with the Boston Red Sox back in early December, agreeing on a three-year, $39 million deal.
Just like with any new agreed-upon deal, a physical was necessary before actually putting pen to paper.
That physical revealed a problem with Napoli's hip. As a result, Napoli is not only still unsigned, but several reports have the Red Sox wanting to shorten the offer to just one year guaranteed.
Napoli's original team, the Texas Rangers, were reportedly willing to offer a two-year contract with an option.
The Rangers moved on by signing A.J. Pierzynski and Napoli is left to ponder his fate.
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When the MLB offseason started, center fielder Michael Bourn was considered one of the more attractive players available.
Bourn turned down a qualifying offer from the Atlanta Braves for one year and $13.3 million, thinking he would easily cash in on a lucrative multi-year deal.
He's still waiting.
Early suitors like the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals filled their need in center field with far less expensive options.
While other teams may be interested in Bourn, they're wary of having to give up next year's first-round draft pick as compensation.
That lucrative multi-year deal that Bourn was seeking could now be just a pipe dream.
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Free-agent starting pitcher Kyle Lohse is also still waiting for his phone to ring.
Lohse turned down a $13.3 million qualifying offer from the St. Louis Cardinals. He too thought the market would be clamoring for his services.
Lohse faces two problems. First, the team signing him not only loses a draft pick but also the projected draft bonus amount. Losing both a pick and money is a major deterrent.
In addition, Lohse is 34 years of age. While his 16-3 record and 2.86 ERA last season was outstanding, not many teams are going to line up with a multi-year offer and lose a draft pick and pool money at the same time.
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Free-agent closer Rafael Soriano was set to make a tidy sum of money in the 2013 season.
Soriano would have been in line to receive $14 million next season in the final year of his contract with the New York Yankees. However, he took advantage of a clause in his deal to opt out of his final year and go for the big bucks somewhere else.
Soriano took over for an injured Mariano Rivera and made the most of his opportunity, posting a 2.26 ERA with 42 saves.
The problem is, the big bucks haven't come yet. And very few teams have expressed any interest in ponying up.
Soriano's agent, Scott Boras, tried in vain to get the Detroit Tigers to bite. The Tigers didn't take the bait.
In addition to Soriano opting out of the final year of his deal, he also turned down a qualifying offer from the Yankees, meaning the team who signs him loses a draft pick.
There are still teams in need of a closer, and Soriano is just too good to be unemployed for too long.
It's entirely possible Soriano could end up with just a one-year deal at an annual value at or below what he originally turned down.
In any event, he's still sitting at home and likely scratching his head, wondering just what went wrong.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.