For the second offseason in a row, there has been a free agency freeze for players in Major League Baseball.
Teams aren't spending big money, period. If you don't believe me, check out this factoid ESPN's Jeff Passan sent out on Twitter:
The Nationals spent more on one player this winter than the Blue Jays, Brewers, Cubs, Giants, Indians, Marlins, Orioles, Padres, Pirates, Reds, Rockies, Royals and Tigers combined have guaranteed free agents.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 25, 2019
Column on the free agent market's new normal: https://t.co/D0Wi7qox6u pic.twitter.com/7XYVEsOKRi
The Washington Nationals signed left-handed starter Patrick Corbin to a lucrative six-year, $140 million deal. That contract alone is more money than the Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Miami Marlins, Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers have spent alone.
That's 13 teams. Almost half of baseball!
I understand the front office thought process of not handing out a lot money for a lot of years to players who are over 30 years old. We all know that they don't work out in the end and teams pay for it big time.
However, what's going on right now is downright wrong.
It's almost as if teams are refusing to sign quality veteran players, some of whom won't cost an arm and leg, and instead will rely on younger players who don't cost a thing in the grand scheme of it all.
88 days into baseball free agency and the two biggest stars haven’t signed. No indication of when they will sign. No clue who they will sign with. There is something wrong with this picture. #MLB #Boring #— Bruce Jones (@RuFan130) January 24, 2019
Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in roughly three weeks, and you still have superstars like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado unsigned. They'll get their deal and make a lot of money, but they have slowed this market down to a screeching halt, which hurts everyone else in the free agent market.
The new normal of waiting and waiting some more is not good for players and the game itself. Something needs to change.