At the end of the 2012 regular season, San Francisco Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro had obviously boosted his value by hitting .362 in 61 games after being acquired from the Colorado Rockies.
But Scutaro was closing in on his 37th birthday and, based on his track record, was probably in line for a very modest one- or two-year deal in the $5-6 million per season range.
One of Scutaro's soon-to-be World Series opponents, Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez, finished the 2012 season with a 9-13 record, 3.86 ERA and having allowed more hits than innings pitched in 31 starts. Those numbers were hardly worthy of the same mega-deal that many No. 1 starters would expect.
But with all eyes on them during the playoffs, both players shined. Scutaro was the NLCS MVP with 14 hits in 28 at-bats and an overall .328 batting average in 16 playoff games. Regardless of Scutaro's age, the world champion Giants didn't want to lose their second baseman and re-signed him to a three-year, $20 million deal last offseason.
While the Tigers lost to the Giants in the World Series and Sanchez did lose two of his three playoff starts, he was impressive nonetheless (1.77 ERA, 20.1 IP, 14 H, 6 BB, 18 K). The Tigers thought enough of Sanchez to re-sign the 29-year-old to a five-year, $80 million deal with a $16 million club option for 2016.
Here are five playoff-bound, or potentially playoff-bound, players with a chance to boost their free-agent value significantly with a strong postseason.