Why are so worried about "overpaying"? You have to pay the market rate to get players. Why only aim for cheap players all the time? Why NEVER sign a free agent that is big time, never?
I'm all for signing FA's. The problem is that there is a limited supply each season and that's why you have to overpay. That's fine if you think a player will at least be decent for most of the contract. It's a problem if you have to go to 5 years and it's likely that the player will have declined a lot. For example do you think the two good starters from last offseason (Beuhrle and Wilson) will still be average pitchers at the end of their contracts? Many people have thought that Blackburn's 5M is a burden. How much more of a burden is a 15M bad contract? What if you have 2-3 bad contracts like that because you have gone nuts in FA with the wrong players? Perhaps you look like the Mets and Cubs.