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The state of MLB free-agency...


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#1 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 10:42 AM

Last off-season there were a lot of high-end free agents that were not signed as spring training approached.  Many of the players and agents said that team owners were colluding to fight back against ultra-high-priced contracts.  This season is similar with Bryce Harper and Manny Machado still in the market and players reporting to spring training this week.  Justin Verlander (who will be a FA next off-season) tweeted that the system is broken because talented players are still on the market with no teams springing for the big, long contracts.  I'm a little torn on it because I feel like these guys should make whatever money the game can support.  These are players at the pinnacle of their sport and they have given everything to get (and stay) on top.  But fans help to support the game and the price of everything baseball (tickets, concessions, merchandise) continues to go up to support players who make $200 million over 6 years (or whatever).  A family of four wanting to head out to a baseball game would probably require about $250 depending on which park and factoring in tickets, concessions, parking, etc.  I want to say that the system was already broken because many players were getting insane contracts which compounded the problem and led the way to even crazier contracts.  I feel like the owners are trying to put the brakes on that which may actually be a good idea.  Thoughts?



#2 Iron Chic

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 11:15 AM

I agree.  It's not really the best timing to be looking for those huge long term deals, as teams understandably are trying to move away.  There's too many bad contracts out there hanging over FA like a cautionary tale. It seems like these past few years when talking about baseball we're talking about these deals instead - the Chris Davis situation, the crazy deferred contracts that are going to cripple the Nationals for who knows how many years down the road, the Pandas and Pujols of the world... there are so many teams on the hook for multiple years and big money for a player way past their prime.

 

MLB will need to get realistic with these deals at some point, and sounds like it's trying to


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#3 armagh

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 11:26 AM

Ambivalent.  On the plus side, teams are showing restraint and realizing that it's unlikely any player is worth a 10-year $400M guaranteed deal.  On the negative, it's being driven by sabre metrics that can't measure intangibles.  I don't believe it's collusion, but it's close because the performance metrics change continually to devalue a player's worth.


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#4 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 11:31 AM

I'm not really one to say "you have enough wealth"... I don't care for that idea and I feel like whatever these guys can make, they should be able to have it.  But there's a delicate balance between what players make and the people who pay for it.  I realize that there is attendance money, TV money, merchandise money, ad money, etc. but I just wonder if there will be a tipping point.  Already you see stadiums in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Milwaukee (not quite as much now), Miami and other places where the park is 10-20% full.  Not sure if that's "fan apathy" or just a big middle finger to the league with the idea that prices are too high.  



#5 cavman

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 11:44 AM

With Machado and Harper there were only a handful of teams that realistically could afford them anyways, and one of them that normally could in Boston is already in the luxury tax with Betts still due a big deal so they are out. That leaves the Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, Cubs and White Sox pretty much. I like Harper but he hasn't been consistent or healthy enough to feel comfortable giving him 10 years for $400M, and Machado has his own warts but has offers already NYY offered him $220M over 6 years so it's not like they are being ignored.


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#6 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 11:50 AM

With Machado and Harper there were only a handful of teams that realistically could afford them anyways, and one of them that normally could in Boston is already in the luxury tax with Betts still due a big deal so they are out. That leaves the Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, Cubs and White Sox pretty much. I like Harper but he hasn't been consistent or healthy enough to feel comfortable giving him 10 years for $400M, and Machado has his own warts but has offers already NYY offered him $220M over 6 years so it's not like they are being ignored.

I've always wondered about 1/25th of the team getting a much higher percentage of the money especially if they're hitting .234 or something.  Long-term, high-money deals are very dicey, no question.  Personally I have an issue with Machado because I don't like players that even have the slightest hint of being dirty.  I think he's dirty and I think he's a bit unstable too.  There was some very light chatter about Harper coming to Chicago because he's buds with Bryant (both grew up in LV) but it's going to take more than that to pony up that kind of money and realistically the Cubs don't really need a "Harper" or a "Machado" at this point.  But I realize these are cornerstone players.  Should be interesting because there are spring training games scheduled for late February and the Cubs first televised ST game is March 2 with opening day March 29 (I think)... that's 45 days away!  



#7 maddog

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 11:58 AM

With Machado and Harper there were only a handful of teams that realistically could afford them anyways, and one of them that normally could in Boston is already in the luxury tax with Betts still due a big deal so they are out. That leaves the Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, Cubs and White Sox pretty much. I like Harper but he hasn't been consistent or healthy enough to feel comfortable giving him 10 years for $400M, and Machado has his own warts but has offers already NYY offered him $220M over 6 years so it's not like they are being ignored.

 

The Cardinals could afford either.  


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#8 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:17 PM

The Cardinals could afford either.  

The Cardinals are gearing up.  Did they pick up Goldy?  I seem to remember some other moves.  It's not normal for the Cardinals to be out of the postseason for three straight years so I wouldn't expect anything less.... here they come.  



#9 Car ChuckRam

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:21 PM

I'm not really one to say "you have enough wealth"... I don't care for that idea and I feel like whatever these guys can make, they should be able to have it.  But there's a delicate balance between what players make and the people who pay for it.  I realize that there is attendance money, TV money, merchandise money, ad money, etc. but I just wonder if there will be a tipping point.  Already you see stadiums in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Milwaukee (not quite as much now), Miami and other places where the park is 10-20% full.  Not sure if that's "fan apathy" or just a big middle finger to the league with the idea that prices are too high.


Only Tampa and Miami drew less than 50% per game last year. Overall attendance did drop by 4% overall for the whole league from 2017 to 2018 though.
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#10 maddog

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:24 PM

The Cardinals are gearing up.  Did they pick up Goldy?  I seem to remember some other moves.  It's not normal for the Cardinals to be out of the postseason for three straight years so I wouldn't expect anything less.... here they come.  

 

They did. They'll try to sign him to a longer term deal. They have a ton of revenue with a continually filled stadium and a new TV deal. They have a ton of salary space. I'll not say they should sign Harper, but they have the resources to do so.


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#11 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:30 PM

Only Tampa and Miami drew less than 50% per game last year. Overall attendance did drop by 4% overall for the whole league from 2017 to 2018 though.

I saw Miami's dismal numbers (a record, I believe) but I feel like I saw sooo many games where the stadium had A LOT of empty seats.  The Florida teams are weird... there was no pro ball in FL (except for spring training) for so many years and then here comes the Marlins and Rays.  Still.  Tough to draw a crowd.  I understand the concept of the dome in Tampa (heat, humidity, rain) but I can't imagine that it's nice to watch a game inside that thing.  



#12 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:33 PM

They did. They'll try to sign him to a longer term deal. They have a ton of revenue with a continually filled stadium and a new TV deal. They have a ton of salary space. I'll not say they should sign Harper, but they have the resources to do so.

They could be dangerous.  One prediction I saw showed the Brewers coming in first, the Cardinals second in the NL Central.  



#13 maddog

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:40 PM

They could be dangerous.  One prediction I saw showed the Brewers coming in first, the Cardinals second in the NL Central.  

 

I predict that the Cards and Cubs will be at the top of the division. I think that the Brewers and the Reds will be good. I think all five teams in the division could finish with winning records.


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#14 TxBrewer

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:54 PM

I thought there were reports that some teams, white Sox were one offered Machado a contract around 220 million
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#15 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 01:40 PM

I thought there were reports that some teams, white Sox were one offered Machado a contract around 220 million

I read something yesterday saying that the NYY offered $220m "but that the NYY's offer was not unique because other clubs offered a similar deal including the Chicago White Sox who offered between $170m and $210m".   :huh:   Doesn't sound like the same deal and I feel like he would be giving up some baseball juju by playing on the south side.  I'm not anti-White Sox but it doesn't seem like a happy place to play to me.  They rarely fill the place (like almost never), it's in a terrible neighborhood and I would think Machado would take the NYY offer over this one.  



#16 Mexas Joe

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 01:50 PM

Wife and I used to hit at least 10 Rangers games per year, back in suckfest in the years prior to the 2010 WS.  After that, it seemed ticket prices and beer went up too much to justify attending. 

 

Now we might go x1 game per year and only if they are good seats that are "free." 


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#17 cavman

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 04:26 PM

I'd also be weary of signing Harper to a long term deal in the NL. I'd feel much betterhaving the ability to move him to DH down the road. He hustles and has been hurt playing the field in the past.


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#18 BeerBomber

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 04:27 PM

Year after year you hear about a massive contract that teams give out and the player ends up sucking cock and the team is on the hook for 7+ years of the suckfest.  Mayhap the teams are tired of that shit.  

 

I'd love for my team to sign Harper (Mets) but I'd be pissed if they gave him more than 5/150.  And #### Machado, awesome player but shitty sportsman.


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#19 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 05:20 PM

I'd also be weary of signing Harper to a long term deal in the NL. I'd feel much betterhaving the ability to move him to DH down the road. He hustles and has been hurt playing the field in the past.

The MLB was considering going with a DH in the NL this coming season but withheld it.  The DH will be a part of the NL very shortly it seems.



#20 maddog

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 05:23 PM

The MLB was considering going with a DH in the NL this coming season but withheld it. The DH will be a part of the NL very shortly it seems.


I think you may be right about that, but it's also been true that the NL has been close to adopting the DH several times over the past few decades.
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