Every day seems like it has to be the day where a big free agent finally signs with a new team, opening up the dam and starting a frenzy that sees player after player agree to a new deal with a new team. I mean, we are less than two weeks away from the start of spring training and, depending on your count and definition of major-league free agent, there are at least 50+ players left on the market. Many of them are at the top of the market, too, with guys like Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez, Jake Arrieta and Eric Hosmer still unemployed. Fans dying for a little action aren’t the only ones getting frustrated, either. Players, both the free agents and their employed bretheren, are getting more and more angry by the day.
It certainly makes sense that players are getting upset right now as we’ve never really experienced an offseason like this. Owners, and teams in general, are less willing than ever to pony up for aging free agents and would prefer to benefit from the cheap, team-controlled labor of pre-free agency players. Players are certainly partially to blame for all of this considering that they agreed to the changes that have gotten us to this point in the most recent CBA, but that also doesn’t mean they should just sit here and let it happen. It is starting to become clear to the MLB Players Association, for the first time in a long time, that they’ll have to be willing and ready to fight long before the next round of CBA negotiations if they want a change.
On Friday, it started to become clear that they are indeed ready and willing to fight. Ken Rosenthal had a lot to say on this over at The Athletic. He mentions the new pace-of-play initiatives being proposed, and likely eventually unilaterally imposed by the commissioner. It looks increasingly unlikely that the MLBPA will accept the new rules, and largely as a protest of the owners’ actions this winter. They’ve raised the possibility of everyone refusing to report to spring training until February 24, but apparently a collective, organized showing like this is not allowed. A prominent agent has suggested boycotting spring training altogether, but it’s unclear if that’d actually work out in their favor. Either way, it continues to look like we’re barreling towards labor unrest in the near-future, and as time goes on it’s only getting worse.
- The lack of action in free agency and the resulting tension between players and owners is important, but it’s not nearly as important as the possible return of bullpen carts.
- Miami county actually thought Jeffrey Loria might share his profitsfrom the Marlins sale. They must be new here.
- Back to the slow offseason for a minute. The Yankees could arguably hold the key to getting things moving again.
- Collusion has been a popular argument for why things are moving so slowly, but perhaps it’s more due to unrealistic expectations from players.
- The Brewers have been one of the few teams to actually be aggressive this winter, and it’d be a surprise if they don’t end up with a top-four free agent starting pitcher.
- Colorado has Nolan Arenado, and they don’t plan on moving him anywhere besides the hot corner in the near future. Despite that, could they be a destination for Todd Frazier?
- Apparently the Mets are looking at numerous mid-rotation starters. Who wants to tell them acquiring such a pitcher would require spending money?
- The Yankees already got one slugger in Giancarlo Stanton, and they could be interested in Mike Moustakas as well.
- Moustakas’ old team, the Royals, aren’t expected to compete this year, but you could see a contender if you really squint.
- Despite appearing in only four games before undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, Shelby Miller has won his arbitration hearing.