What happens if your team does not land Albert Pujols this offseason? What if, despite a desperate pursuit of Prince Fielder or Jose Reyes or CC Sabathia or C.J. Wilson or Jonathan Papelbon or Carlos Beltran, your team misses out? Who is left?
This is perhaps the question most under-examined by the modern baseball fan during the offseason. Too often, fans assume that if their team simply wants a player badly enough and opens the wallet wide enough, that player will come.
Therefore, they refuse to create contingent expectations in case of failure or rejection. Realistically, good general managers know as well as any fan who the best players available are, and they know much better than anyone else what that player is truly worth to their organization.
That's why player salaries do not leap 200 percent every winter—GM restraint.
Once this hypothetical leader is outbid, though, and decides not to offer more for a top talent, the alternative options become the important ones.
Baseball is a game won and lost at the margins, and getting the best value on the free-agent market is often more important than getting the best player.
With that in mind, here are three players at every position on the diamond who will be underrated and underpaid in 2012, and to whom your team could turn if the big boys turn elsewhere.