The following are five players who could be picked up for average money in deeper leagues who should improve next season.
1. Rich Harden (P—FA)—Harden struggled with injuries throughout his career and sign this off-season for a fraction of what people believed several seasons ago. Nevertheless, he always posted fantastic numbers when healthy (career era: 3.39) and possesses no long-term arm problems.
2. Trevor Cahill (P—A’s)—people forget Cahill is only 21 when calling this season a disappointment. Despite struggling early, Cahill bounced back and pitch throughout the season. With a little more experience, expect a winning record next season with an ERA below 4.00.
3. Milton Bradley (OF—FA)—Bradley will be on his eight major league team next season, but he is one outburst away from being a Long Island Duck. Despite this season’s numbers, Bradley is a great “buy low” candidate assuming he ends up in the right place (Pittsburgh, Kansas City).
4. David Price (P—Tampa Bay)—like Trevor Cahill, Price is a talented pitcher who struggled without imploding. Price is a solid candidate to have a breakout season next year.
5. Michael Brantley (OF—Indians)—he has been great filling in for Grady Sizemore in Cleveland, forcing the Indians to make a tough decision next season. Cleveland’s new manager should move Brantley to the corner outfield spot, and move LaPorta back to 1B (his position in college). If this happens, Brantley’s speed makes him extremely valuable.