The competition level will drop considerably for the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates when they open a three-game series Monday with a holiday matinee at PNC Park.In addition Jhoulys Chacin Jersey , the stakes will remain fairly pedestrian between the two National League Central also-rans.Cincinnati (59-78) will be playing the final three games of 16 in a row within the division. The Reds are 4-9 so far in that stretch but got a boost from winning two of three against St. Louis over the weekend, including a 6-4, 10-inning win Sunday.Article continues below ...“This series we played better, and we got a W, we got a series (win),” Eugenio Suarez told Fox Sports Ohio after he hit a winning two-run homer, giving him 100 RBIs.Even with a sweep of this series, the last-place Reds would be hard-pressed to catch the fourth-place Pirates in the division but can continue to build for the future.“We’re trying to turn the page from a terrible August and see if we can play better baseball in September and take that into the offseason and into spring training — just get back to winning baseball,” Cincinnati manager Jim Riggleman said.“We want to win games. We don’t care who the opposition is or whether it’s against any of these three (previous) teams competing for playoff spots. We’re not out there trying to spoil their hopes; we just want to win games for ourselves.”There won’t be much the Reds could spoil for the Pirates anyway.Their carrot would seem to be finishing above .500.Pittsburgh (66-71) was 3-6 on a road trip against Milwaukee, St. Louis and Atlanta, and was 2-5 on a preceding homestand against Atlanta and the Chicago Cubs, making it five straight series against clubs holding a playoff spot.The Pirates are coming off a 5-1 loss Sunday to the Braves.In the series opener, Cincinnati right-hander Matt Harvey (6-7, 4.97 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh righty Trevor Williams (11-9, 3.30 ERA).Williams seemingly is vying for the title of Pirates ace, particularly with his performance since the All-Star break, going 4-2 with a 0.84 ERA in seven starts. Over his past eight starts, he has allowed four runs.Wednesday, Williams pitched six scoreless innings and struck out a career-high eight in Pittsburgh’s 2-0 win at St. Louis.Before his strong stretch, over nine starts he had a 7.02 ERA and competed six innings three times.“It’s fight or flight, really. I didn’t want that to define me this year,” said Williams, who leads Pittsburgh’s starters in ERA and with a 1.19 WHIP. “It was really taking that second half and making the most out of it, where I give our team the best chance to win every five days and execute my pitches and keep the guys in the ballgame.”Against Cincinnati, Williams is 2-1 with a 4.73 ERA in seven career appearances, four of them starts.Harvey is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in his past four starts.Wednesday against Milwaukee, he did not get a decision in a 13-12 extra-inning loss. Harvey struck out six and walked none in four innings but gave up five runs and 11 hits.In eight career starts against Pittsburgh, he is 2-6 with a 6.12 ERA. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are the marquee names on this year's free-agent market, and both players could wind up signing record-breaking deals.They're not the only ones about to cash in, and for every excellent under-the-radar bargain signing, there's a player who winds up being massively overpaid.From unsustainable breakout performances to aging stars headed for a decline, free agency can be a minefield of financial pitfalls.Ahead is a closer look at six prime candidates to be overpaid this winter.SP Anibal Sanchez1 of 6Rich Schultz/Getty Images2018 Standard:24 GS, 7-6, 2.83 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 42 BB, 135 K, 136.2 IP2018 Advanced:143 ERA+, 3.62 FIP Jeremy Jeffress Jersey , 3.85 SIERA, .255 BABIP, 26.3 Soft%WAR:3.0OutlookWhat a find Anibal Sanchez has been for the Atlanta Braves.The 34-year-old pitched to an atrocious 6.41 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 105.1 innings with the Detroit Tigers in 2017, wrapping up a five-year, $80 million deal in disastrous fashion.Not surprisingly, he generated little interest on the free-agent market, and after the Minnesota Twins released him from a minor league deal on March 11, he caught on with the Braves five days later.After nursing a hamstring injury early on, he returned from the disabled list May 29 and provided a consistent presence alongside breakout ace Mike Foltynewicz at the top of the rotation.While his 3.62 FIP lends credibility to his strong performance, there's little doubt he was the beneficiary of some good luck, as his .255 batting average on balls in play was the 10th-lowest mark among pitchers who threw at least 120 innings.Signing him to anything longer than a one-year deal would be a major risk.Buying low and betting on a bounce-back season from someone like Marco Estrada or Lance Lynn is a far better approach than buying high on Sanchez.2B Asdrubal Cabrera2 of 6Rich Schultz/Getty Images2018 Offensive:112 OPS+,.262/.316/.458, 60 XBH (23 HR), 75 RBI, 68 R2018 Defensive: -17 DRS, -10.1 UZR/150WAR:0.7OutlookPoint: Asdrubal Cabrera is still a major threat offensively after posting a 112 OPS+ and cranking out 60 extra-base hits last year.Counterpoint: Those numbers came amid deteriorating plate discipline, as his walk rate plummeted (9.3 to 6.9 percent) and his on-base percentage (.351 to .316)followed. He also hit just .228/.286/.392 for an 80 OPS+ in 185 plate appearances following his trade to the Philadelphia Phillies.Point: His defensive versatility adds to his value.Counterpoint: There's nothing valuable about playing multiple positions poorly. His minus-17 DRS and minus-10.1 UZR/150 at second base made him one of the worst defensive players in baseball, and he combined for minus-6.0 DRS in limited action at shortstop and third base.Final thoughts: For teams looking to add an impact utility player, Marwin Gonzalez and Eduardo Escobar will be infinitely better options. If you whiff on those two, you'll get more bang for your buck out of someone like Daniel Descalso or Logan Forsythe, and they'll likely both come cheaper than Cabrera.RP Zach Britton3 of 6Mike Stobe/Getty Images2018 Standard:41 G, 7 SV, 9 HLD, 3.10 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 21 BB, 34 K, 40.2 IP2018 Advanced:140 ERA+, 4.22 FIP, 3.57 SIERA, .241 BABIP, 20.7 Soft%WAR:0.7OutlookZach Britton has dealt with some significant injury issues since turning in a Cy Young-caliber season in 2016.A left forearm issue sent him to the disabled list twice during a less-than-stellar 2017 season, and then he suffered a ruptured Achilles during the offseason.When he finally returned to action this past June, it took him some time to shake off the rust, but that didn't stop the New York Yankees from trading for him in July.The 30-year-old ended up pitching to a 2.88 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with three saves and eight holds in 25 appearances with the Yankees, and that surface-level resurgence should be enough to fuel his first foray into free agency.However, those seemingly strong numbers came with a 4.08 FIP, and even as he started to get a better feel for his stuff, he was still walking batters at a 4.0 BB/9 clip.In a market where Brett Cecil inked a four-year Jesus Aguilar Jersey , $30.5 million contract two offseasons ago, there's a good chance Britton is massively overpaid. For teams in search of lefty relief help, aiming lower and signing someone like Jorge De La Rosa could yield similar results at a fraction of the price.SP J.A. Happ4 of 6Jim McIsaac/Getty Images2018 Standard:31 GS, 17-6, 3.65 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 51 BB, 193 K, 177.2 IP2018 Advanced:117 ERA+, 3.98 FIP, 3.64 SIERA, .272 BABIP, 20.5 Soft%WAR:1.6OutlookVeteran J.A. Happ was a game-changing addition for the New York Yankees at the trade deadline.In 11 starts after coming over from the Toronto Blue Jays on July 26, he went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 63 strikeouts in 63.2 innings.He can be an excellent addition this offseason at the right price.The 35-year-old just wrapped up a three-year, $36 million deal, and continuing on at that $12 million price point gives him a chance to provide some positive value.However, signing him to anything beyond a two-yeardeal is risky given his age, and anything beyond that salary could wind up being a massive overpay.As good as he was during his two months with the Yankees, he was pitching to a good-not-great 4.18 ERA in 20 starts prior to the trade, and that level of production is probably a safer bet going forward.CF A.J. Pollock5 of 6Michael Hickey/Getty Images2018 Offensive:106 OPS+,.257/.316/.484, 47 XBH (21 HR), 65 RBI, 61 R, 13 SB2018 Defensive:6 DRS, -1.6 UZR/150WAR:2.5OutlookA.J. Pollock was one of the most dynamic players in baseball during the 2015 season.He showed an impressive mix of contact, power and speed with a .315/.367/.498 line that included 39 doubles, 20 home runs and 39 stolen bases, also racking up 14 DRS in center field to win his first Gold Glove.Unfortunately, he's never been able to match that level of production.In the three seasons since that monster performance, he's played in 12, 112 and 113 games, missing time once again this season with a fractured thumb.It's more than just injuries, though.His walk rate has dropped from 7.9 percent in 2015 to 6.7 percent this season, and his strikeout rate has moved in the opposite direction from 13.2 to 21.7 percent. His defensive metrics have also never returned to that elite level.He's still the best center field option on the market and was a 2.5-WAR player this season, even with time missed to injury. Teams just need to make sure they're paying for what he is, and not what he used to be, or they could wind up massively overpaying.RP Andrew Miller6 of 6Bob Levey/Getty Images2018 Standard Stats37 G http://www.brewersfanproshop.com/authentic-ryan-braun-jersey , 2 SV, 10 HLD, 4.24 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 16 BB, 45 K, 34.0 IP, 0.2 WAR2018 Advanced Stats104 ERA+, 3.51 FIP, 3.29 SIERA, .329 BABIP, 14.9 Soft%OutlookLast time Andrew Miller was a free agent, he signed a landscape-altering four-year, $36 million deal with the New York Yankees.That was an unprecedented figure for a non-closer reliever, and his performance during the 2016 postseasonhelped usher in a new era of bullpen usage.For the first three years of that deal, he was absolutely in the conversation for best reliever in baseball. Serving a number of different roles, he posted a 1.63 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 14.4 K/9 with 17 wins, 50 saves and 52 holds in 187 appearances.However, a nagging shoulder injury cost him significant time this year, and he hasn't been his usual dominant self. Most notably, his signature slider has been far more hittable:2017:642 sliders,56.97% usage, .099 BAA, .053 ISO, 3 XBH, 76 K2018:320 sliders, 56.84% usage, .260 BAA, .208 ISO, 10 XBH, 26 KAt 33 years old, there's no guarantee he returns to his pre-2018 form.He's still capable of being an excellent addition to any bullpen, especially in a thin market for lefty relievers. There's a good chance someone trying to win it all in 2019 will overpay in both years and dollars and wind up regretting it on the back end.All stats courtesy ofBaseball ReferenceandFanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.