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These guys were worth the big bucks

Will CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira earn their deals? Page 2 looks at MLB's best free-agent signings. Story

Updated: January 30, 2009, 2:05 PM ET
By Page 2 staff

Baseball's first free agent was Catfish Hunter, declared a free agent after the 1974 season when Oakland A's owner Charles Finley failed to pay an insurance premium as required in Hunter's contract.

Hunter had won the AL's Cy Young Award in '74 after winning 25 games. He was 28 years old. You can imagine the demand for his services. According to accounts, the only team besides Oakland not to pursue Hunter was the Giants. A young owner of the Yankees named George Steinbrenner won the bidding ...

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