MLB Free Agency 2011: 5 Players Who Won't Make Big Money This Winter
The upcoming MLB offseason has an abundance of big-name free agents as well as players that have massive contracts with small buyouts.
Some players will be laughing to the bank while others will be receiving the short end of the stick, but either way these players will keep us fixated on baseball through the winter months.
There will be extensive coverage on where these players land, but for now, here are five players that will not be making the big-time money this offseason.
Carlos Zambrano is currently suspended, without pay, for the remainder of the season, which means the Chicago Cubs have made it quite clear that he will never play for the franchise ever again.
There is no doubting that Zambrano still has some talent left in the tank, but what team is going to take a chance on the Terrell Owens of Major League Baseball?
Zambrano will mostly likely receive a one to two-year contract with his next club for no more than $5 million per season, which is extremely cheap for a potential Cy Young Award winner.
Chris Carpenter has a team option available for the 2012 season worth $15 million. The former ace also has a $1 million buyout, and that is the path that the Cardinals will probably take heading into 2012.
Carpenter will be 37 before the start of the 2012 season, which means no long-term deal and a ceiling of $7 million per season.
The Phillies and Roy Oswalt have a $16 million option for next season with a $2 million buyout if the Phillies want to let Oswalt go. Oswalt has a 7-8 record to go along with a 3.72 ERA which is extremely unimpressive considering he had an excellent 2010 season.
Oswalt posted a 2.76 ERA and finished sixth in Cy Young voting.
Roy's new contract would not command $16 million per season. It would be closer to the $7 million to $10 million range.
Grady Sizemore is another player whose club holds a team option on him for 2012. Sizemore's option is worth $8.5 million with a $500,000 buyout.
The Indians centerfielder has been plagued by injuries and has been limited to just 33 games in 2010 and 65 so far this season.
Sizemore will still be a top free agent if he is let go, but he will not be able to command the money that once may have been available.
Albert Pujols is still the best player in this free-agent class, but there is no way that he will make his originally proposed contract of 10 years and $300 million.
My proposed deal for Pujols puts him in the range of eight years and $220 million which is $27.5 million per season.
That deal is still substantial, but it still leaves Pujols $80 million short of what he originally wanted. Pujols may still be worth that $300 million to someone, but it is hard for me to see it come together.