While Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury will likely get huge free agent dollars this offseason, 2013 showed spending big money isn’t necessary to putting together a winning team.
A look at some of 2013’s best bargains, excluding budding superstars like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Giancarlo Stanton, whose huge paydays are soon to come:
Carlos Santana, Indians 2013 salary: $550,000
Second in OBP, fourth in OPS, HRs among full-time catchers.
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks $500,000
His five-year, $32m extension still a bargain but hard to top 36 HRs, .551 slugging, .952 OPS for half a mil.
Daniel Murphy, Mets $2.9m
In fifth full season, showed some pop: 13 HRs, 78 RBIs.
Jed Lowrie, A’s $2.4m
Produced in first season playing more than 100 games: .290, 15 HRs, 75 RBIs.
Pedro Alvarez, Pirates $700,000
Still struck out a ton (186) but had career highs of 36 homers, 100 RBIs.
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates $4.5m
Signed six-year, $51.5m extension in 2012 but still a bargain. His .317/.404/.508 stat line in 2013 is MVP worthy.
Carlos Gomez, Brewers $4.3m
Career bests across the board: topped .500 slugging (.506), .800 OPS (.843) for first time.
Brandon Moss, A’s $1.6m
In seventh season, showed what he can deliver playing full-time: 30 HRs, 87 RBIs.
Max Scherzer, Tigers $6.7m
The likely Cy Young winner finished 21-3; free agent year means big raise.
Bartolo Colon, A’s $3m
18-6, 2.65 ERA -- numbers not seen from Colon since Cy Young season in 2005.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers $2.5m
Korean’s first year in the majors a success: 14-8, 3.00 ERA, 1.203 WHIP.
Chris Sale, White Sox $850,000
Went 11-14 for a bad White Sox team, but fourth in K’s with 226, 10th in WHIP at 1.073.
Madison Bumgarner, Giants $750,000
Finished 13-9 but had career bests in ERA (2.77), WHIP (1.033), K’s (199).
Craig Kimbrell, Braves $655,000
A 50-save season, his third straight of 40 or more, all for under $1 million.
Contract source: Cots baseball contracts