The potential free agent class after the 2014 season is exciting. None of these players are likely to hit free agency, but Jim Bowden of ESPN predicts the Yankees will be interested if they do.
If three former Cy Young award winners hit the free agent market in any given year, the rumor mill may need an extra gear. The interest level will be enormous if Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez all hit free agency after 2014. Of course, their respective teams have plenty of time to make sure that doesn't happen, but imagine if it does. Some in the industry already are.
Jim Bowden of ESPN ($Insider piece$), says a team like the New York Yankees could be sitting and waiting to pounce on a class like we may see after 2014. The Yankees, who are cutting payroll, may have their salary commitments reduced enough to afford one or more of the three big pitchers who can become free agents after the 2014 season. However, it's unlikely that any actually hit the market.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are already working towards a contract extension for Kershaw. The Seattle Mariners and King Felix have talked about a long-term deal. And Verlander wants to retire as a Tiger. None will be available by the time the 2014 season comes to a close, but it's fun to dream.
Unlike past years, the Yankees will not be able to pry these players from their respective teams by throwing gobs of money at them. Teams are more prepared for keeping their top talent now than they were five or ten years ago. Even small-market clubs have built plans to keep some of their best players. The Mariners are the perfect example.
Related: Why does King Felix love Seattle?
But for those who love to dream, let's take a look at what each player brings to the table and what they will make in 2013.
Justin Verlander: 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP winner, and five-time All-Star. He is making $20 million in 2013.
Clayton Kershaw: 2011 NL Cy Young winner and two-time All-Star. He is making $11 million in 2013.
Felix Hernandez: 2010 AL Cy Young winner and three-time All-Star. He is making $19.5 million in 2013.
Dare to dream, people. Dare to dream.