As the countdown to the beginning of Spring Training slowly ticks on, there are several “big name” free agents who have not yet signed a contract. Most MLB players will be reporting to Spring Training sites around February 13. The first Spring Training games will begin February 22. So, what happens if Spring Training begins and the free agents have not yet been signed?
There have been reports that some of the unsigned free agents could band together and have their own Spring Training…just so they can get all of their pre-season workouts in while waiting for a contract offer. So, why haven’t these “big name” free agents signed a contract? To me, the answer is in two words: SCOTT BORAS. The agent is representing four of those “big name” free agents…pitcher Jake Arrieta, first baseman Eric Hosmer, outfielder J.D. Martinez and third baseman Mike Moustakas. Any of these four free agents has the ability to turn an average team into a contender or a contending team into one that could go all the way to the World Series.
A pretty interesting comment was made by Kenley Jansen, closer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. During the Fan Fest over the weekend, Jansen was saying that perhaps players need to go on strike in order for the stagnation of free agency to be taken seriously. Of course, Jansen has the comfort of knowing that he signed a five-year, $80 million contract before the start of last season and is signed through 2021. Perhaps, someone should tell Mr. Jansen that if the players go out on strike THEY WON’T GET PAID!
There are a couple of theories as to why these free agents have not yet signed. One: Boras and his players are way too greedy. Case in point: J.D. Martinez has a five-year, $125 million contract offer from the Boston Red Sox. Apparently, that is not enough…when the free agent period began, last November, Boras told anyone who would listen that he would be seeking a contract in the area of $200. So, I guess $125 million is not enough!
A second theory: There are several All Star-caliber players who are due to become free agents after the 2018 season. Among them are: Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw (who can opt out of his current contract), John Donaldson, Charlie Blackmon, Dallas Keuchel and Brian Dozier. Some baseball pundits believe that teams do not want to spend a lot of money this year and make a run after the free agents after next season.
My advice to the current free agents: Take what is offered to you…you may not get a better offer. There are quite a few players in the majors who would love to have J.D. Martinez’s offer of five years and $125 million.