Nobody enjoys saying goodbye, a conversation MLB teams should avoid at all costs when negotiating with these free agents.

‘Tis the season of free-agent shopping, which means several stars will shift their allegiances to the highest bidder. As a result, plenty of those available sluggers and hurlers will get handed many more dollars than their stat sheets merit.

If the St. Louis Cardinals can look back at not retaining Albert Pujols and marvel at the deadly bullet they dodged, it’s hard to critique any general managers with the patience to play it safe. Some future deals (I’m looking at you, Ervin Santana) are simply a disaster waiting to happen for a squad desperate to prove its dedication to assembling a winner.

But I’ve been told this pessimism thing is an unhealthy habit. (Do they really know what they’re talking about though?) A few hidden gems exist in the open market, waiting to be discovered at a potential discount.

Those are the guys teams can’t let go. Now’s the time to remind those valuable players that they have etched out a life in that town, enrolled the kiddies in school and formed flourishing friendships with teammates.

Anything to keep them around.


Note: All advanced stats, unless otherwise noted, were obtained from Contract information is courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

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