Pitchers thriving in poor situations

Despite giving up 1.3 home runs per nine innings, Ryan Dempster has pitched well in Boston. AP Photo/Winslow Townson

Recent seasons have seen many teams come to quickly regret signing big-name free agents to long-term deals. Carl Crawford, Albert Pujols, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn and Ryan Howard have been recent major disappointments and have years left on their contracts. The risk for teams is even greater for free-agent pitchers, who have to contend with the unnatural task of throwing a baseball thousands of times per year. With the chances of injury high, teams rarely seem to get full return on their investment.