As the calendar turns to February, and team trucks load up equipment and head down to Florida and Arizona for that annual springtime ritual, the headlines are becoming palpably more anxious. Over 100 free agents still unsigned. 8 of the top 10 free agents still unsigned. Teams are tanking, owners are being accused of colluding. Rumblings of a massive boycott of Spring Training is brewing. The sad part is, the only chumps in this, if the baseball season doesn’t go off without a hitch, are the fans. Nobody is going to feel bad for billionaire owners. But I’m also not going to drink the cool-aid being pushed right now, that the Major League Baseball player is being treated unfairly.
Eric Hosmer is reportedly sitting on 7 years, $140 million. Poor baby. Mike Moustakas, and his 38 HR (2.5 WAR) breakout is waiting around for a similar AAV over 5 years. Yu Darvish wants to take two giant dumps in the World Series, continue to not pitch up to his stuff since coming back from TJS, and get paid like investing in 31 year old pitchers are like investing in municipal bonds. So wait, it’s collusion, because nobody wants to pay Jake Arrieta like it’s 2015?
We’ve got a handful of players at the top, sitting on tens of millions of dollars, whining that they aren’t getting their due. Meanwhile, hundreds of minor leaguers every year can’t make scratch, but no one is threatening to hold out of Spring Training for them.
Meanwhile, greedy agents representing the greedy top 20 free agents, are claiming that greedy owners have no right to tank and rebuild. There’s a narrative out there that team’s should try to compete for third place by signing pricey free agents and keep payroll above annual operating costs, while forfeiting draft position, draft picks, and international slot money. But why should the Mets and Marlins, the two most maligned ownership groups right now, not have regard for their operating costs. The Mets lost money as an operation each year, they say, when the Jason Bay and Johan Santana contracts went up in grisly flames. Since them, the Wilpons make the outrageous claim that they seek to keep payroll at a level where they will not absorb loss. Cheap bastards! Whatdya mean you want to not lose money?!
The Marlins posted an operating income of negative $66 million last year. Yet, they should draw ire for the tear down, because many of the more successfully run franchises are making tremendous profits? We keep hearing that line, that “teams are bringing in record amounts of revenue”. So the Marlins should have kept their contracts, and lost another $70 million in 2018, because the Cardinals do a better job in scouting, development, free agency, etc. and are operating at a profit?
The Cardinals are a great example. Profitable team that seemingly had a spot on their roster for either Moose or Hos. Cheap-shit collusion artists! Oh, but..wait…they were willing to absorb $300 million to get Giancarlo. Can’t have it both ways.
Shame on you greedy agents and top tier free agents. You made me sympathize with also greedy, billionaire owners. I gotta go take a shower.