This year's baseball free agent market is completely ridiculous. Even what was expected makes no sense.
Paul Konerko and Brian Giles, two of the most coveted position players on the market, decided to re-sign instead of moving elsewhere. Konerko got 5 years, $60 million and Giles 3 years, $30 million. Both ended up with contracts in the range that was expected when free agency began.
However, considering the lucrative deals being handed out to closers, those contracts are not in line with the market. Brian Giles will actually get less per year than Billy Wagner and he's barely being paid more than B.J. Ryan. So, according to the market, an All-Star-caliber left fielder is equal to an All-Star-caliber closer. That simply is false. Position players like Brian Giles and Paul Konerko are superior to any reliever because they play so much more. Great position players have a greater opportunity to impact games than any reliever, so they end up impacting games more. Therefore, they should be payed more than any reliever. It is as simple as that.
This free agent market clearly favors relief pitchers. Though it remains to be seen whether this is a one year phenomenon or a trend, teams will be better off going with cheap youth in their bullpen and spending all their money on offense and starting pitching if premium relief pitchers continue to be this overpriced.