Ah yes, free agency. Every front office’s dream. Every winter the entire league gets a chance to make big additions to the roster without having to go through the bothersome task of developing players over a few years in the farm system. How excellent! Free agency, however, is not without plenty of risk. Offer a 32-year-old a long-term deal, and you may be paying top dollar for years of significant decline. Last year, the Boston Red Sox bet the farm on Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. The Red Sox were seen as the victors of the offseason. How well did that work out for them? The New York Yankees have a roster dotted with aging players all signed as free agents, as do the Los Angeles Dodgers. Most big market teams play quite aggressively in the free-agent market every winter, and it often comes back to bite them in a few years.
Every free-agent acquisition comes with plenty of risk. This year’s class is no different. While many of the potential targets will bring considerable impact to their new franchise, there is plenty of reason to be wary.
Read on as I break down the biggest risks in this year’s free-agent class.