MLB Free Agents 2014: Underrated Players Still Left on the Market

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MLB Free Agents 2014: Underrated Players Still Left on the Market
Elsa/Getty Images
Juan Uribe could be a tremendous signing when we look back on the 2014 season.

When free agency hits in any sport, the headlines belong to the superstars who command exorbitant contracts. While these players can be game changers, it is just as important to find bargains on the free-agent market.

Here are three players who are being overlooked but will give tremendous value to their next teams.

 

Juan Uribe, 3B, 34 years old

Harry How/Getty Images
Juan Uribe had an excellent 2013 for the Dodgers.
Juan Uribe's 2013 Stats
Batting Average HR RBI BB/K OBP OPS WAR
.278 12 50 30/81 .331 .769 4.1

ESPN.com

Most of the hoopla surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers revolved around rookie sensation Yasiel Puig, and Juan Uribe flew under the radar as a result. The third baseman bounced back from a disappointing two-year stretch in 2011 and 2012 and was a big part of the Dodgers’ success.

He was one of the best all-around third basemen in the MLB, and his hitting was significantly better than in the last two seasons.

Uribe had the ninth-best batting average of third basemen with at least 400 plate appearances, and he was quietly one of the best defensive players at his position.

He trailed only Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado in defensive runs saved and had the highest UZR/150 for his position, according to FanGraphs.com.

At 34 years old, the veteran probably won’t receive a huge contract, but he would be a great addition at a reasonable price.

 

Joaquin Benoit, P, 36 years old

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Joaquin Benoit excelled as the closer for the Tigers.
Joaquin Benoit's 2013 Stats
ERA WHIP BB/K Saves WAR
2.01 1.03 22/73 24-of-26 2.8

ESPN.com

Despite spending most of his career as a middle reliever, Joaquin Benoit excelled as a closer for the Detroit Tigers. According to FanGraphs.com, Benoit had the 15th-best ERA of middle relievers last season and blew only two saves.

He’s being overshadowed by closers like Joe Nathan and Brian Wilson, but he could be a great value signing for a team in need of some late-inning help.

Additionally, his versatility to pitch as either a setup man or a closer would be a big help to a team looking to build its bullpen.

 

Dioner Navarro, C, 29 years old

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport
Navarro could be a sneaky pickup.
Dioner Navarro's 2013 Stats
Batting Average HR RBI BB/K OBP OPS WAR
.300 13 34 23/36 .365 .857 2.0

ESPN.com

In an offseason with a number of highly rated catchers, the market should be slow for Dioner Navarro. For a prospective team, however, that means he can be had for a relatively low price, and he could end up being a bargain.

He was third among all catchers (minimum 200 plate appearances) in batting average last year and sixth in on-base percentage, according to FanGraphs.com.

Navarro was an average fielder behind the plate, but he would be a useful addition to a team that needs a catcher who can produce in the batting lineup.

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