Free agency once was a yellow brick road to riches. Free agents could count on being wined and dined and enriched. Does anyone remember a recruiting tour of the country by
Now, because of the economic climate in the game and the trend of contract extensions that forestall free agency for the stars until their post-prime years, free agency is only rarely about bidding wars for impact players. You won't find a single impact free agent this winter who will be in his 20's next season. Among the current crop of free agents, the only 20-something big league regulars as of Opening Day 2010 are
Worse, free agency can become a euphemism for forced retirement. Free agency last year meant the end for players such as
The irony might seem to be that free agency last year helped the Yankees win a world championship. Free-agent pitchers
So what you have this year is a market in which
Free agency is more about value shopping than collecting star players. Here is a position-by-position look at where to find those values, and the many potential busts.
Bay is virtually the same hitter that
Otherwise, this is a landmine of potential problems. There is grab bag of injury risks (Rich Harden,