10 available free-agent bargains

They won't make headlines but they could make a difference

Updated: January 12, 2013, 11:30 AM ET
By Ben Lindbergh | Baseball Prospectus
Travis HafnerAP Photo/Mark DuncanWhen healthy, Travis Hafner is still a productive hitter and he won't cost much.

At this point in the offseason, few impact free agents remain on the market, save for Scott Boras' clients who have been hurt by the new CBA's draft-pick compensation system. Assuming Mike Napoli and Francisco Liriano eventually ink with the Red Sox and Pirates, respectively, only nine of Keith Law's top 50 free agents have yet to find a home.

However, there are still some decent values waiting to be dug up by teams willing to look in the bargain bin. Last year, injury reclamation projects like Bartolo Colon, Oliver Perez and Pat Neshek; bench bats like Jonny Gomes, Jeff Keppinger, Wilson Betemit and Gregor Blanco; and unremarkable relievers like Fernando Rodney all went on to have strong seasons after signing in January, most of them with contending teams. (Rodney, who entered the year with a 4.42 ERA in his previous five seasons, became one of 2012's best stories, posting an ERA of 0.60 and finishing fifth in AL Cy Young voting.)

None of those players made many headlines by signing, but several of them proved pivotal in their teams' playoff runs. Here's a look at 10 low-profile free agents who are still unsigned but could have a similar impact this season.


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Ben Lindbergh

Baseball Prospectus
Ben Lindbergh is the editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus. He has interned for multiple MLB teams and is a member of the BBWAA.