8 Upcoming Free Agents Who Have Made Themselves Irreplaceable in 2013

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8 Upcoming Free Agents Who Have Made Themselves Irreplaceable in 2013
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Brian McCann has returned to form after an injury-plagued 2012 season.

The 2013 free-agent class is starting to take shape and there are some big names expected to be available at the conclusion of the World Series.

Some will bolt for new clubs while their former team is left to figure out how to replace their production. However, replacing an impact player with someone who can provide equivalent value at the same position is not always possible. It's sometimes more realistic and cost-effective to make minor upgrades at several positions.

For example, the Texas Rangers lost one of the best hitters in baseball when Josh Hamilton signed a free-agent deal with the Angels this past offseason. To help supplement the loss, the Rangers signed catcher A.J. Pierzynski, designated hitter Lance Berkman and utility man Jeff Baker, and expected to see immediate production out of rookies Leonys Martin and Jurickson Profar.

While the offense hasn't been great overall and the pitching staff is the biggest reason why they're still one of the best teams in baseball, the decision to not put all their eggs in one basket by re-signing Hamilton or some other high-priced superstar has allowed Texas to better spread their talent throughout the roster.

It has also afforded the Rangers the luxury of making key midseason additions through the acquisitions of Matt Garza and Alex Rios. 

Here are eight soon-to-be free agents whose current team will have a very hard time replacing them if they sign elsewhere. These clubs might need to follow the Rangers' plan of retooling so as to not suffer a dropoff in performance in 2014.

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