MILWAUKEE -- Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder made it to the free-agent market.
Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez didn't.
It's always fun to look a few years down the line to see who what treats each year's free-agent marketplace will offer.
And it's always important to remember that those treats may or may not reach the market.
Matt Kemp could have been a free agent next winter. Jered Weaver could have, too.
Kemp and Weaver chose to take the big money upfront and stay in Southern California instead.
For now, Matt Cain and Cole Hamels remain on the list of possible 2012-13 free agents. In fact, right now Matt Cain and Cole Hamels probably top the list of 2012-13 free agents.
Hamels may not make it to the market, either. The Phillies would like to sign him to a long-term deal this winter.
Cain may not make it there, either. And it wouldn't exactly be shocking if Zack Greinke (another potential 2012-13 free agent) stays in Milwaukee.
The 2012-13 class was never going to match this winter's class. There wasn't a Fielder, and there wasn't a Pujols. There wasn't a Verlander or a Felix, two ace starters who would have been free agents this winter if they hadn't signed long-term deals with their own teams.
With Kemp and Weaver, though, the class would have featured a potential MVP and a potential Cy Young winner.
Without them, it just doesn't look as good.