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Some teams will get their money's worth

You know about the winner's curse, right? Essentially the idea is that when the bidders in an auction have less than perfect knowledge of the item's value, the winning bidder will pay more than the item is actually worth. The winner's curse is not perfectly analogous to the free-agent market in baseball, because (among other reasons) a player might have wildly different values to different teams, depending on team needs and finances. That said, I think it's generally true that most of the free agents each offseason, and particularly in this offseason, sign contracts paying them more than they're worth, objectively. This offseason, we might call it the "winter's curse."

But you already know about Gil Meche and Alfonso Soriano. Today, I'd like to identify some possible bargains among this year's free-agent crop. Yes, they're out there. We know that. We can't identify them perfectly, of course. Maybe Meche will surprise. Well, not Meche. But maybe Jason Marquis! Well, not Marquis. But maybe Ted Lilly! Yeah. Maybe Lilly.

Probably not, though. Here are some better candidates, I think.