Baseball's best bargains of 2013
August, 23, 2013
By Jim Bowden | ESPN.com
Justin K. Aller/Getty ImagesPittsburgh lefty Francisco Liriano has been one of baseball's best free-agent bargains in 2013.Let's be honest, the top two position players in last year’s free-agent class were complete disasters.
Outfielder B.J. Upton has reciprocated his five-year, $72.5 million deal with the Atlanta Braves by posting a .183 AVG/.265 OBP/.294 OPS slash line (through Aug. 22). The meager production at least makes him a candidate for NL Comeback Player of the Year in 2014. The Braves certainly hope he will step it up over the next six weeks as they approach the postseason, particularly in the wake of Jason Heyward’s injury (fractured jaw) Wednesday.
Then there's Josh Hamilton, who signed a five-year, $133 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. He, too, fell flat on his face this season, posting a .229/.286/.418 slash line. Unlike Upton’s Braves, the Angels won’t sniff the postseason, but their season -- and Hamilton’s -- will come to a merciful end.