Free agents with hidden value

A look at lightly regarded players who could be good pickups this offseason

Updated: November 10, 2012, 11:13 PM ET
By Andrew Gibson | Baseball Info Solutions
Shane VictorinoCharles LeClaire/US PresswireShane Victorino's speed, fielding and hitting against lefties make him a valuable pickup.

This offseason, like every offseason, everybody is scouring the market looking for cheap production. While it's not nearly as exciting as dropping a lot of coin on free-agent superstars like Josh Hamilton or Zack Greinke, finding a productive player for pennies on the free-agent dollar is life or death for a lot of teams. Just ask Tampa Bay, which got an outstanding season from scrap-heap pickup Jeff Keppinger, or Baltimore, which saw Nate McLouth come out of nowhere to help get the Orioles into the ALDS.

What's fun about looking for undervalued free agents is that you have to be able to look past some warts. These guys aren't the top-shelf items of free agency for one reason or another, but several of them have something useful about them. When the Rays signed Keppinger, they remarked that they liked that he could hit lefties and play all around the infield. He had issues, but there was also a way he could be used effectively. In that vein, let's try and find some lesser-known or less-well-thought-of players who could be good values in 2013.

David Ross
Ross has been Atlanta's backup catcher for the past four years, where he's put up both good defensive numbers and good offensive numbers. With Atlanta, Ross has hit .269/.353/.463 in 663 plate appearances and has saved 11 runs on defense. He has thrown out 47 of 127 baserunners.