MLB Free Agents: 7 Players Who Will Be Overpaid This Offseason

Jeffrey BeckmannCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2011

MLB Free Agents: 7 Players Who Will Be Overpaid This Offseason

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    It happens every offseason.

    Whether it's due to a lack of available talent at a certain position or because a team desperately needs to fill a hole, team's are forced to shell out extra bucks to land the most coveted players on the market.

    On the flip side, being the best free agent available doesn't necessarily mean you'll be overpaid. Some of the games highest paid players earn their money with on-field performance. That's what makes a deal a good deal.

    Unlike most civilian jobs where the company themes seem to depict a "what have you done for me now" attitude, athletes are paid based on what they are expected to do now and during the duration of their contract.

    A deal may seem great at first, but anything from an injury to a case of the yips can turn a bargain into a bust.

    Here are seven players who will be overpaid this winter, whether it be realized immediately or at some point down the road.

Edwin Jackson

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    No player has been traded more times than Edwin Jackson over the last decade. He's played for six different team's during his nine-year career.

    Jackson is still only 27 years old, although he's never been able to find consistency on the mound.

    Regardless of all the red flags, Jackson will parlay a solid performance with the Cardinals down the stretch into a nice contract this winter. While it's true you have to pay for pitching, team's would be much better off spending their dollars elsewhere.

Manny Ramirez

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    Big surprise, Manny Ramirez wants back into baseball. Say it ain't so?

    The fact is, Ramirez will turn 40 years old early into next season and he'll have been out of baseball for an entire year.

    As much as I've enjoyed watching Manny play over the last 19 years, there are plenty of brighter and much younger stars in the league at this point. Unfortunately, there will be an owner that sees dollar signs who will choose to bring him out of his fake retirement.

    Even when that owner buckles, ManRam will still have to serve a 100-game suspension before joining the team.

    Any salary above the league-minimum is too much, but sadly he will probably receive much more than that.

Heath Bell

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    Heath Bell has been the lone bright spot on a dreadful San Diego Padres squad this season while setting himself up for what will be the first and only lucrative contract of his career.

    Bell will turn 34 years old at the end up September, so he's no spring chicken, but that's not what concerns me about the burly closer signing a big free agent deal.

    Petco Park is statistically one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball and Bell's career numbers tend to agree. His career splits include a 2.59 ERA at home paired with a 3.61 ERA on the road.

    While it is not unusual to have better stats at your home park, one run per game is a huge difference, especially for a closer.

Carlos Beltran

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    After somewhat of a career resurgence in 2011, Carlos Beltran looks to sign the last hefty free agent contract of his career. Beltran will turn 35 years old in April.

    Beltran has played about as many games this season as he did the last two seasons combined, yet he still won't hit 140 games played in 2011. That has to tell ya something.

    Without a doubt, Beltran has put his name back on the map and there is a chance he'll prove to be well worth his next contract. However, that chance is rather small.

    While he has reached the 20-home run, .300-batting average marks this season, Beltran is no longer a threat to steal bases and has gone from one of MLB's best defensive center-fielders to a below-average right-fielder.

C.J. Wilson

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    C.J. Wilson will be the most coveted pitcher available with a chance of moving to a new home, and that factor alone will monumentally drive up his price-tag.

    I'm not saying Wilson won't do great wherever he plays next season, but the fact is he will be overpaid simply because he is by far the best option available.

    The only way this proves false is if Wilson decides to take less money to stay with the Rangers, which is definitely a possibility.

    Another factor to consider is that Wilson spent his first five seasons in the bullpen before becoming a starter in 2010 at 29 years old. There is a reason teams have their minor league pitchers increase innings by around 20-percent each season. Wilson's workload increased nearly 300-percent.

Jose Reyes

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    Jose Reyes came out flying to start the season and looked to be an early favorite for the NL MVP Award.

    Per the usual with Reyes, he wasn't able to stay healthy and was forced to miss a good month of the season. He has played in only 289 games since the start of the 2009 season.

    While Reyes is regarded as one of the best all-around shortstops in baseball and was putting up dominant numbers during his walk-year, can he be trusted upon to stay healthy over the length of what appears will be a massive contract?

    Maybe, maybe not—but you can bet there is a team who will give it to him regardless.

CC Sabathia

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    There is no denying the fact that CC Sabathia is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. He has the stats and the huge contract to prove it.

    It seems fairly ridiculous that he's opting out of a contract scheduled to pay him $92 million over the next four years, but CC knows the Yankees' desperation for pitching will lead the team to bid against themselves until he is re-signed.

    The Yanks have paid CC the equivalent of nearly $88,000 for every inning he's been on the mound the last three seasons, but that figure will surely increase with his new deal.

    While CC should do fine earning his pay on the front end of the deal, he's already in his 30s and weighs nearly 300-pounds. One has to wonder how is body will hold up when he reaches 35 years old. Either way, Sabathia's new deal may have regret written all over it for the Yankees.

     

    Jeffrey Beckmann is a MLB Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow Jeffrey on his new  Twitter account for all of his latest work. You can also hear him each Friday at 1 p.m. EST on B/R Baseball Roundtable.