Pay your players.
Pay. Your. Players Say it with me, MLB franchises: pay. Your. Players
Feel it Live it Breathe it Drink it, man.
Those three words could probably be repeated 30 to 40 times in the rest of this column to prove a point and send a message; after all, after two quite dead years of free MLB agency without dynamism, it must be said. But so far during this period of free agency, there has been hope that this offseason is not a total burden, which is a good sign for fans and players.
Mike Moustakas got his money and years from the Cincinnati Reds; the Braves signed Will Smith with a fairly lucrative contract and it seems that Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg could sign sooner rather than later. So please, MLB teams, keep spending money. Still want to win.
The elephant on the bench is the CBA that expires at the end of 2021, so the teams have two years to do well and show that they want to do exactly that: spend money and earn. It seems that in 2019 baseball, teams are more concerned about their results than the left column. Mets relay pitcher Justin Wilson said it last year during his presentation conference call.
"I agree with (Justin Verlander) in some respects, there is a lot of league that prefers to make money than win," said Wilson. "Which, if you're a player, it's not really fun, because we play this game to win."
"I don't enter the season with any goal other than a World Series. So having two thirds of the league is not really involved in that, not trying to win a championship, that's keeping the agency free."
Not long ago, Neil Walker vehemently criticized the free agent process the year he landed with the Yankees, signing in mid-March. Walker was far from being old or ruined: he was 32 at the time and came from a good run with the Mets and Brewers in 2017 in which he was worth more than two wins, according to Fangraphs.
The trend continued when Gio González, who was off for the Brewers in 2018, had to wait until March 2019 to sign. Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel signed the MLB Draft because the teams wanted to avoid giving up draft compensation.
Yes, the big market guys like Patrick Corbin, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado got their money, and presumably Gerrit Cole, Rendon and Strasburg will get theirs. But this is not so much about the most important types, but about those helpful veterans who had to wait a little longer to receive the payment.
It certainly seems that it is beginning to improve: in addition to Moustakas and Smith, Travis d & # 39; Arnaud and Yasmani Grandal signed, perhaps a little earlier than many expected. Surprising, but true: signing as soon as possible in the off season is best for business.
Set aside the benefit for the media and fans for a second. Think of the players, some of whom had to go through terrible minor league conditions to finally wait four or five years for the free agency opportunity to only be set aside because the owners want to play a nice game of "flexibility of payroll "with the players. something that could generate labor disturbances in the coming years.
It is much more than the way in which free agency was handled: the fiasco of the contraction of minor leagues, the manipulation of service time and other rules are at the forefront of change for the MLBPA and the league.
But for now, teams seem to get smart by opening their wallets again, and that is a welcome gift for fans before the holiday season.
Keep filling that stock, folks.