2012 MLB Free Agency: 10 Cheaper Options Who Could Have All-Star Seasons

Jared FeldmanContributor IIISeptember 1, 2011

2012 MLB Free Agency: 10 Cheaper Options Who Could Have All-Star Seasons

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    This season is far from over for some teams. For others, the prospect of a better 2012 is the only thing keeping teams going.

    There will be some high-profile free agents available in the offseason, but with great players come high prices.

    The diamond in the rough, the scrapheap and the fading veteran are always available for a reasonable price. Some fail, but others can be potential All-Stars.

    Here are 10 affordable players hitting free agency that could be All-Stars.

Brandon Webb

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    Brandon Webb is a Cy Young winner who's run into some injury trouble in recent times.

    He hasn't pitched in earnest since 2008, but any team who is willing to take a million dollar flier on him could have an ace in the hole with legitimate pitching credentials.

Derrek Lee

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    Chris Carpenter

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      Chris Carpenter is a veteran with a good career who is having a down year.

      A .500 record and a sub-four ERA is still pretty good for a 37-year-old.

      Carpenter is coming off of $15 million this year and has a $1 million buyout that I would expect the Cardinals to pay.

      A one-year contract around $6-7 million would be enough to see if there is still magic left in Chris Carpenter.

    Ramon Hernandez

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      Ramon Hernandez would have been an All-Star if he was a full-time catcher.

      Stuck in an awkward platoon, Hernandez has been bandied about as a trade option from June till today. He will move on from the Reds this year and a number of teams could get this potential All-Star for around less than $5 million.

    Kelly Johnson

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      Kelly Johnson is a very good hitter for the second base position.

      If it wasn't for a paltry batting average this year, he could have made the All-Star team. He's trying to regroup in Toronto after his recent trade from Arizona.

      Johnson makes a little under $6 million this year and with his poor average, probably will sign for around the same price.

      He is a powerful second baseman—a rarity in the league—and could be a real bargain next year.

    Grady Sizemore

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      The highly-touted Sizemore has been riddled by injuries over the past few years.

      He's said to be a potential 30/30 guy but hasn't had a full season since 2008.

      If the Indians exercise his buyout, he should see free agency with a reasonable price tag.

      Health and wellness could make Sizemore a bargain gem in 2012.

    Ryan Vogelsong

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      He's already been an All-Star this year, so next year should be no problem, right?

      Vogelsong made a big splash with the Giants this season, and since he is on a one-year contract, his price is due to jump.

      10 times the minimum is just over $4 million. If Vogelsong can repeat his success of 2011, one team is going to a get a good bargain.As Vogelsong actually has a year of arbitration the Giants will likely be the ones to reap the benefits of his baseball rebirth.

    James Loney

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      I've always been a big Loney fan.

      Although he doesn't hit a for a lot of power, he drives in runs, and when he keeps his head down, can be a borderline .300 hitter. 

      I think he's worth $4 million to see if he can boost his power.

    Joe Nathan

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      Joe Nathan is an electric closer when healthy.

      The last two years have been less than stellar for Nathan's career.

      He's in the final year of a contract that pays him more than $12 million this season. The rebuilding Twins are likely to buyout Nathan after the season, leaving him free to test the waters.

      Teams will be cautious, but he will garner a few looks and still has All-Star potential.

    Jimmy Rollins

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      Probably the gem of this group.

      Jimmy Rollins is still an immensely talented player. Although he is aging, he is still a very good player. I see him moving to an AL team where he can play short, third or DH on occasion.

      A team would probably need to pay around $8 million for Rollins' services, and that value could be quickly recouped.