MLB Free Agency 2014: Teams Ready to Break the Bank

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MLB Free Agency 2014: Teams Ready to Break the Bank
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Is Ben Cherington done spending after maneuvering the Boston Red Sox to a World Series title?

The MLB postseason has taught teams a valuable lesson about spending wisely, but that does not mean every franchise will listen.

After expunging a heap of debilitating contracts last year, the Boston Red Sox soared from cellar-dwellers to World Series champions with the support of savvy signings.

They didn't shell out nine-figure contracts for Josh Hamilton or Zack Greinke, but they made every dollar count by inking Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew and Koji Uehara to deals that quickly shifted from massive overpays to stupendous bargains.

As for the St. Louis Cardinals, they only made the toughest decision a franchise can make following their 2011 world title by saying goodbye to superstar Albert Pujols, a no-doubt Hall of Famer who will go down as one of the best players in the team and sport's history. While letting baseball's then-premier slugger walk, they used the savings to purchase Carlos Beltran for a significantly cheaper rate while drafting Michael Wacha with the compensatory pick.

But let's not forget Hamilton making $125 million, B.J. Upton landing a $75 million deal, and even Kevin Correia pocketing $10 million last offseason. Teams have money to spend, so expect more players to get paid handsomely during this free-agent period

Which general managers will be the ones to shell out the big bucks?

Through a combination of rough patches and salary coming off the books, these teams will likely be busy persuading the top free agents to take their talents to their city in 2014.

 

Note: Payroll and contract information courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

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