"Just give me 25 guys on the last year of their contracts; I’ll win a pennant every year"
A contract year seems to always bring out the best in players. From being a good teammate inside the clubhouse to playing well on the field, nothing seems to motivate, and focus, players like a contract year.
Nowadays, with massive amounts of money on the line, and with teams willing to pay big bucks for a player with only a season or two of proven success, players on their contract year have a lot on the line.
The contract year season is often the difference between a big contract and a small contract. If a team is on the fence, perhaps because a player has had a few bad seasons (or even a few injury plagued seasons) in the past, a solid contract year performance will often net that player a very hefty contract.
Here are 25 players, each with their stat projections for the 2011 season, that are poised to have a big year and try to acquire a big contract after the 2011 season.