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5 MLB Free Agents Who Will Be Ridiculously Overpaid This Offseason

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5 Free Agents Who Will be Overpaid

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As the free flow of champagne begins to flow in Boston, it is time to look forward to the most anticipated point of the year for fans of the 29 other Major League Baseball teams: the start of free agency.

The track record of the mega-deal has been a sketchy one. Alex Rodriguez has been a huge disaster, and Albert Pujols looks like he may follow the same path in Los Angeles, minus the off-the-field drama. Even Prince Fielder and Joey Votto, the other 200-million-dollar men, though far from busts, have not produced at the same level as before they signed their monster deals. However, these cautionary tales will not stop some teams from diving headlong into ill-advised, nine-digit investments, and even one superstar could be the fifth head on the 200-million-dollar Mt. Rushmore.

This could be one of the most pitching-rich free-agent crops in years. There are a handful of All-Stars available, as well as the next Yu Darvish. Or was that the next Daisuke Matsuzaka? Yes, some of the league's best and brightest will strut their stuff for general mangers and owners this offseason, in an effort to ensure that they will never worry about money again. Will they make the right decisions? More importantly, will your favorite team?

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5. Ervin Santana

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Team: Texas Rangers

Projected Salary: Five Years, $50 million

After a one-year stint with the Kansas City Royals, the player rivalry between the Texas Rangers and Anaheim Angels continues. The former Angels’ phenom had a comeback year with the Royals. For all his arm talent, he will be rewarded handsomely for it.

Whoever signs Santana, it will be years before we can decide if it was worth it. The talented pitcher has as many seasons with an ERA over 5.00 (three) as he does years under 3.50.

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4. Brian McCann

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Team: New York Yankees

Projected Salary: Four years, $44 million

Notice a trend? Did you also notice what happened the last time the Yankees missed the playoffs? In case you needed a reminder, that was the offseason they brought in C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixiera and A.J. Burnett, and promptly won the next World Series. Catcher has been a hole for the Yankees since Jorge Posada’s decline into retirement. They will pay big bucks to bring in the best catcher in the game, and plug a hole that had been a strength for them for so many years.

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3. Masahiro Tanaka

Photo Courtesy of The Japan Times' Official Facebook Page

Projected Team: New York Yankees

Projected Salary: six Years, $80 million

With the retirement of Andy Pettitte and ineffectiveness of Phil Hughes (also a free agent) the Yankees desperately need more starting pitching, and will hope they get the next Yu Darvish, not Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Yanks will pay big money for the foreign import. But after a season out of the playoffs, Hank Steinbrenner won’t even blink as he signs the check. Japanese pitchers seem to be a 50/50 roll of the dice. After being burned by Kei Igawa, the Yanks will hope they have better luck this time.

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2. Jacoby Ellsbury

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Team: Seattle Mariners

Projected Salary: Eight years, $120 million

Jacoby Ellsbury is fresh off a World Series championship, and has a season of serious MVP candidacy under his belt. What's not to like? Well, he is 30 years old, has just that one elite season of production and has not been able to play in more than 74 games in two of the last four seasons.

It is tough to see big-spending Boston let a home grown World Series hero walk, but I believe the fresh history of Carl Crawford will leave too poor a taste in their mouth and keep Ellsbury in town, and rightfully so. There are a number of similarities between the two players, the most glaring being the threat of paying an injury-plagued player on the wrong side of 30 whose game is based on speed and absurd amounts of money for a long time.

The Mariners might be desperate enough to pay Ellsbury, as they have seen every team in the West pass them by, with the exception the Houston Astros who will begin their second season in the division in 2014. They need to make a splash, but this will prove to be the wrong one.

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1. Robinson Cano

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Team: New York Yankees

Projected Salary: 10 years, $230 million

Back in September, the talk was that Robinson Cano would seek a deal worth $300 million in the offseason. I don’t think any team, even the Yankees, is crazy enough to bid that, especially with the Yanks’ last mega-deal (A-Rod) currently blowing up in their face.

With that being said, I cannot fathom a scenario where the Yankees’ homegrown perennial MVP candidate suits up anywhere else. New York will pay enough to keep him in town. The track record for the mega-deal is not a good one, and the Yanks could regret this one toward the back end of the deal, but for now they will overpay to keep Cano right were he is.