2014 MLB Free Agency: 20 Overrated Players Your Favorite Team Should Avoid
2014 MLB Free Agency: 20 Overrated Players Your Favorite Team Should Avoid
Congratulations are in order. The Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series in six games. Now that the postseason drama is over the focus of all baseball eyes turn to the free agents and the MLB offseason. Which teams will sign which players and which players will get huge contracts? All of those subjects have been covered and will be covered over and again. This time around we are looking at the high-dollar players that your team should consider overrated.
To be clear, this does not intend that the players on this list are not quality players. Some of them are considered in the top few at their position in MLB. I do not mean to suggest they are not, just that they might not be worth quite the rating and the price tag that they will come with if your favorite team takes an interest. For example, Robinson Cano will not be on this list. I would hate to know the $25M was coming from my pocket but he is certainly far from overrated.
We’ll look at the 20 most overrated players in MLB free agency. These are players that you want your team to avoid. They might bring a high return now but the cost could be too great in the future. The trade version of this would be when Mark Texiera was traded to the Atlanta Braves years ago. The Braves basically sent a group of players that make up the core of the Texas Rangers team today. See, they had Texiera overrated. No matter how good he was at the time, he wasn’t worth that.
The effect from signing an overrated free agent would be felt in the inability to sign other free agents both during the offseason and at the trade deadline at mid-season. No one wants to see their team hang too much on one player and leave little wiggle room for moves later. Leave a comment below with your subtractions, additions or just to say hi. Here we go.
Ervin Santana - P
In Santana a team is likely to get 8 to 12 wins per season with an ERA just under or around 4.00. That is fairly good but why does he get to ask for and look for top rotation money when he hasn't produced top rotation numbers?
Stephen Drew - SS
Drew is a solid all around shortstop but if it were up to me I wouldn't want to sign him to a sizable free agent deal. Take a long look at the top prospect in the system because chances are they are just as good as Drew and could be had for more years and less money.
Suk-Min Yoon - P
I have nothing against pitchers from other nations but just because one pitcher from Alabama pitches well doesn't mean the next one will does it? The same is true of pitchers out of Korea. I haven't seen enough of Yoon to think he is more valuable in any situation than another states-side free agent pitcher.
Jason Hammel - P
Hammel is good at what he does but he isn't that highly of a performing pitcher. He is a good middle to end of rotation starter for most teams and maybe higher for a low performing team. He did have a good year in 2012 but all others including 2013 were much different than that one.
Shin-Soo Choo - OF
Don't get me wrong, Choo is valuable as a player in many ways. The name of the slideshow is those players who are overrated however and I think Choo is certainly one of those. After all, no matter how good he is, I wouldn't want my favorite team throwing $20M or more per season at him for the next 7 to 10 seasons. That's just too much and he isn't worth that high of a price tag.
Justin Morneau – 1B
There is a chance that Morneau could regain the form he called normal just a few seasons ago. It even looked likely after he improved his performance during his final days with the Minnesota Twins. However, his performance for the Pittsburgh Pirates offensively wasn’t promising at all. Because of his ability on both sides of the ball someone is going to pay for his services but it is very likely they’ll pay too much.
Mike Morse – DH
Morse has plenty of power potential still within his game but his MVP caliber reputation is a few years old. His performance this season should prove that his past is a little behind him and he isn’t likely to pull down 70 to 90 RBI again anytime soon.
Ricky Nolasco – P
The Los Angeles Dodgers paid a little to get the services of Nolasco but I think he really seems overrated. His numbers do not match the reputation that comes with him. He is worth a shot for sure but he will very likely ask way more than his performance will suggest he should.
Brian Wilson – P
In the interest of full disclosure, I hate Wilson’s beard but that has nothing to do with why he is overrated. I like his passion and I like his numbers but it is just way too big of a risk right now to give him what he and his agent will ask for considering he is still unproven to be able to pitch over the course of a season and in back to back to back games.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – C
He has a World Series championship hat and a ring on the way but Saltalamacchia is not quite as good as it appears he is right now. If his agent and himself want the best thing for him, they’ll re-sign with Boston because that is a big part of his success. Mark my words, he will not have that good of a season if he goes elsewhere next season.
Carlos Beltran – OF
Beltran is a historically great player in the postseason but that becomes just average when it comes to the regular season. Considering most teams are not going to make the postseason, there is no reason to pay him like a World Series MVP when he really doesn’t warrant quite that large of a price tag for most of the season. He is a great player to have on any team but not for the price he’ll go for.
Grant Balfour – P
Balfour has emerged as one of the better available closers in the game and I agree that he is that good most of the time. I can’t get passed the risk that his explosive attitude poses however. He was with a good team all season long this time around. If a half-way good team signs him, don’t be surprised if they pay a lot of money for more problems than they expected.
Jesse Crain – P
All I hear about Crain suggests that he will return from his injury and continue to be one of the better relievers in the game but there is certainly no guarantee of that. We can all assume he will return to a great form but he shouldn’t be rated as high as he is on that assumption. Here is hoping all goes well though.
Bronson Arroyo – P
Arroyo is a solid option at starter but he won’t be quite what a team is expecting if they sign him looking for a veteran with ace or near-ace caliber stuff. He is good for sure but doesn’t quite warrant the price he will likely go for. He is a strange player in that some probably would underrate him as well as others overrating him. You can bet which side his agent falls on is pretty simple to guess.
Matt Garza – P
The Chicago Cubs’ GM is a genius. He got a great package in return for Garza knowing the sketchy history the starter had. Sure enough the Rangers saw down the stretch that Garza has just as many downs and he has ups over the course of a season. If the good outweighs the down time then all is well. A lot of times it doesn’t however.
Paul Maholm – P
Maholm will come as an attractive addition to anyone’s pitching staff but what will not likely be noticed by many is how close he was to a move out of the starting rotation before the Braves’ ace Tim Hudson went down to injury. Still he was left off of the postseason roster and that should tell you all you need to know. He’s a decent four or five starter but not much else.
Ted Lilly – P
A lot of times starting pitchers get signed on reputation as much as recent performance I think. Lilly still has some good left in his arm I think but paying Lilly now for the way he pitched several years ago is not a great idea.
Ryan Vogelsong – P
Vogelsong was one of many Giants players that looked like they all overachieved in 2012 by the way they performed in 2013. Some of them might bounce back and some will not. I don’t know which side Vogelsong will come down on in 2014 and neither does anyone else. That would be where the easily overrated part comes in.
Jason Vargas – P
Something about the name Vargas makes me forget about his high ERA for this past season and the fact that while he could have been an ace quality starter that helped drag the Angels out of the muck of despair he kind of didn’t. So, I wouldn’t want my team treating him like he was a special hand when he likely has seen better days.
Edinson Volquez – P
When I saw the line on Volquez it instantly made me wonder why in the world anyone would think he was capable of a ton of quality starts. He very well might be but honestly I doubt it. I have been wrong before but I wouldn’t want my favorite team taking that chance at all.