FAs who are better than their stats
November, 15, 2013
By Jim Bowden | ESPN.com
Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesMike Napoli's bat and personality -- as well as his beard -- buoyed the Red Sox.The Boston Red Sox successfully attacked the free-agent market last winter, signing several players to contracts whose value extended beyond their statistics, including outfielder Shane Victorino, first baseman Mike Napoli and shortstop Stephen Drew.
The trio was instrumental in the Red Sox’s world championship season. The Sox valued the character and makeup of all three players, but also had the vision and foresight to know these players were much better than the numbers they had posted the previous season based on either career track records or improved health.
This year there are seven players in that classification. I think the following free agents are significantly better than their statistics indicate, and more importantly have the character and makeup to be leaders. That should make them undervalued free agents who will perform much better in 2014 than they did this past season.