This offseason has been quite a bit like my writing lately. Slow and sometimes non-existent. I had all intentions on keeping myself busy during the worst time of the year for a baseball fan. Problem is, when I finally was able to get around to it, the news I was going to write about was old and stale. So instead I found myself at my computer staring at a blank screen trying to come up with something interesting to write about with not much luck.
There has been one thing though that continues to circulate in my mind almost daily. The amount of quality players that are still without a contract. Everyone figured that when the “big money” players signed, the rest would follow. Problem is the “big money” players haven’t signed. J.D. Martinez who was out their asking for over $200 million is still without a job. Other top free agents like Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, and Eric Hosmer (although it was said he had a couple of offers) are in the same boat.
What we have seen are some of the middle tier free agents sign deals, and teams filling their needs via the trade instead of signing a player long-term. We have also seen relief pitchers getting paid, as teams have decided to turn to the “Super Bullpen” idea. This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Scott Boras, although looking out for the best interest of his clients, is being Scott Boras. His techniques don’t seem to be working as well as they once did. I feel like Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista found that out last year. Teams just aren’t as willing to go long term for guys in their 30’s like they used to. When you start throwing the $150 million + number around, you are taking yourself out of so many markets. Teams now are finding out they can improve and stay relevant by not making those kinds of deals.
What does this mean for the Lance Lynn‘s of the World? Time will certainly tell on that one, but I would be a bit nervous as spring training closes in (thank goodness).
Are we going to see a plethora of one-year deals at a higher value? Will a couple of teams come out of hiding and pluck some of these guys from their competitors? I for one, if I were a player, would love to have everything worked out prior to Spring Training, but we may see some guys wait until it starts.