The beauty of the Hot Stove is that for a couple months we all get to play armchair general manager without, you know, actually having take on any of the risks involved.
But in real life, those risks can have significant consequences. One or two contracts can have a major impact on a team's fortunes for years to come, depending on the terms of the deal and the team's financial situation.
Think the Yankees are regretting Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $275M contract right about now? Even with New York's seemingly inexhaustible financial resources, it's onerous, especially now that there are luxury tax ramifications under the new collective bargaining agreement. Or, conversely, I bet the Cardinals are feeling pretty good about allowing Albert Pujols and his 10-year, $240M deal to walk two offseasons ago.
As the saying goes, sometimes the deal you make is as important as the one you don't make.
These are the free agents who could go boom or bust.