Buy-low free agent options

They won't cost much and could bring back surprisingly good production

Updated: November 5, 2013, 8:43 AM ET
By Paul Swydan | ESPN Insider

Carlos RuizDrew Hallowell/Getty ImagesEven if he can't repeat his 2012 success, Carlos Ruiz can still be an impact player.
As free agency opens to every team, focus will center on stars such as Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury, and rightfully so. The possibility of them leaving the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees is exciting to think about, especially if your favorite team needs help up the middle.

But there are players hanging out in the weeds who can be just as influential, and will be signed early in the process. Many focused on Boston's signing of Shane Victorino last year, but the Sox also signed David Ross, Jonny Gomes and Koji Uehara, and all before Christmas. The Pirates signed Russell Martin, whom the Yankees didn't even consider re-signing, before December. And the Rays snapped up James Loney, who went from having the worst season of his career in 2012 to the best season of his career in 2013, in December's first week.

Bargains will abound this winter as well, and these five players have a chance to be five great buy-low candidates.