MLB Free Agency 2012: CJ Wilson and 5 Free Agents Who Will Be Overpaid
The World Series hasn't even started, but I can assure you that the 26 teams that aren't playing are already looking ahead to next year, and that means looking at the free-agent market.
There will be smart signings, appropriate signings, and then there will be signings that should have never happened and/or will make us say, "Really? They gave him how much for how long?"
While nobody will approach A-Rod's status as "What were they thinking with that contract?" GMs and owners will attempt to get pretty close to it.
So here are the five free agents who stand a pretty good chance at getting overpaid, sans Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder since, well, it's a given they'll make outrageous but probably deserved money.
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2011 Regular Season stats: 16-7, 2.94 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 206 SO
He's the best pitcher not named CC Sabathia (if he opts out) that'll be on the free-agent market.
Wilson's recent postseason struggles should give teams reason to worry. Not to mention that he's only been a true starter in the majors for two years. The workload could easily catch up to him as it does with other starters.
Then there's the fact that his stats are probably like that because he's playing for a contract. We've all seen players who were stellar their contract year and turned out to be less than so the next.
Regardless of that, he's still the best readily available starter, and teams will bid on him likely driving the price up. So he'll probably end up with a contract that shouldn't have been offered in the first place.
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2011 Regular Season Stats: 2.94 ERA, 31 SV, 87 SO, .93 WHIP
Something tells me Boston isn't going to want Jonathan Papelbon back despite those numbers.
The Red Sox appear to be cleaning house trying to erase that September collapse which ended with Papelbon giving up the season-ending run.
He's still one of the better closers on the market. Red Sox fans will attribute that he'll make you sweat in the ninth, but he'll get the save.
Teams are always on the lookout for quality relief pitching, especially closers. Just look at the contract Rafael Soriano signed last winter only to end up being the seventh inning guy.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
2011 Regular Season Stats: 2.24 ERA, 49 SV, 69 SO, 1.19 WHIP
Everybody loves a prophet. Everybody also loves a guy with a 49-save streak in the regular season.
If the Red Sox let Jonathan Papelbon walk, they'll be looking for a closer. They could promote Daniel Bard, but the Red Sox might make him a starter. Now if that happens, they'll likely look at Jose Valverde to fill in the closer role.
The Red Sox have shown that they're willing to pay whatever it takes to get their man. Valverde could very well live up to his contract, but he'll be a hot commodity this offseason driving up his price.
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2011 Regular Season Stats: .285 AVG, 26 HR, 63 RBI, .356 OBP
Corey Hart is quite possibly the only reliable corner outfielder who has power.
He'll give you at least 20 home runs and 80 RBI if he's on the right team. The only problem is he'll probably get hurt at some point during his contract. If he's healthy, he'll be a solid player for any team.
Everyone remembers Jayson Werth's absurd contract, and there may be a team that'll give Hart similar numbers.
Good corner outfielders with power are hard to come by, so Hart stands a good chance of getting more than what he's worth.
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2011 Regular Season Stats: .337 AVG, 39 SB, 101 R, .384 OBP
He's been injured for the past couple of years, but last year he should flashes of his old self. Reyes is a dynamic hitter that can help any lineup and any clubhouse.
Expect the bidding war to be wild with him. He'll get a big contract, no doubt about that, but the question remains whether he'll be healthy enough for that contract to be justified.