MLB: Bryce Harper and Manny Machado still have no team! Why?
Here we are, roughly three weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. Ironically there is no word about Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and where they will sign. Two of what was supposed to be most sought after free agents are still free agents after the winter meetings for some reason. Why is that? During the year there were reports that each may get large contracts. That may be because of these two, Major League Baseball would go back to being the “hot stove” league that it once was. This offseason has dragged on ever since it first started after Machado struck out in game seven. There have been a few minor splashes outside of the Arizona Diamondbacks trading Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals. Why is that?
Some people may say that after witnessing the success of clubs like the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros, The league is starting to move away from flashy large free agent contracts and more towards the analytical side of things. Instead of paying players because of what they just finished with, looking more towards the trends of that player and comparing that to all sorts of other variables to see what sort of future they may provide. Baseball seems to be walking away from the “gut feelings” and more towards statistical “Moneyball” teams. If this is the case then that means Manny Machado and Bryce Harper aren’t as sought after as if this was a few years ago and teams were looking for their “golden child” by way of free agency that will take them to the promised land.
Personally, I think the reason that they aren’t getting signed is not that of where the league is currently heading analytics wise. But rather, more the “dance” that’s usually played in pay negotiations in any job situation. A sort of chess game in which agents go up against large teams, utilizing any tool they have to get their client the most money. That has always happened in the business of sports, does not matter the league. The difference with Major League Baseball is there’s actually another partner in that same dance.
Also, teams aren’t at the mercy of free agents as much as other leagues. Many teams in those leagues still focus more on building super teams. Since that is the case, chances are when Machado and Harper do sign, it’s not going to be for some five hundred million dollar contract. Simply, because teams just aren’t interested in that anymore. Chances are teams are going to wait out both of these guys until the cost comes down. However, that may take all the way until midway through spring training or right at the beginning of it. Either way, times are changing in baseball. It’s going to be interesting to see where the league goes and what it does to the game.
How do you feel about Manny Machado and Bryce Harper? Leave a comment below.
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