Yes, sure, sure, we’re all excited that baseball is again, however that is solely the start. The principle job is completed, however now consideration turns again to every part we missed over the past three months — i.e., free company.
With lower than a month to go earlier than the brand new begin of the MLB season (April 7) there are nonetheless dozens of free brokers who weren’t capable of signal earlier than the lockout and now have little or no time to barter a brand new contract for the 2022 season.
And these ain’t no-names both. These are absolute distinction makers, together with a number of former Rookies of the Years, three former MVPs, two former Cy Younger Award winners, and several other World Champions.
Right here’s a fast listing of just some of the massive names nonetheless ready for a workforce to scoop them up:
1B Freddie Freeman
3B/OF Kris Bryant
LHP Carlos Rodón
LHP Clayton Kershaw
OF/1B Kyle Schwarber
RHP Kenley Jansen
SS Carlos Correa
SS Trevor Story
OF Nick Castellanos
OF Michael Conforto
I didn’t even point out Eddie Rosario and Jorge Soler — each outfielders on the 2021 World Champion Atlanta Braves; Soler was even the MVP of that collection. I didn’t point out Anthony Rizzo, or Seiya Suzuki (worldwide), or Andrew McCutchen, or Danny Duffy, you get the purpose. There are a ton of gamers that might have a significant impression that have been simply sitting there, ready for the lockout to finish so they might negotiate a brand new contract for themselves. Gamers can report back to coaching camp as early as tomorrow, and whereas it doesn’t take a lot time for a ballplayer to get again into the swing of issues, each day that goes by with out signing a brand new contract is much less time to prep for the upcoming season.
Whereas many of those gamers have been seemingly in talks with groups previous to the lockout, it’s going to be troublesome to simply choose up the place issues left off. There are quite a lot of new guidelines in place that might alter participant and workforce negotiations. Elevated minimal salaries imply much less cash to spend on veterans, except the house owners are actually keen to pay extra, which simply gained’t be the case for a number of small-market groups. The implementation of a common DH creates a brand new space of concern for roster-building within the Nationwide League. The per-arbitration bonus pool provides further bills, too. I’ve little question that these gamers will receives a commission what they deserve, however groups are undoubtedly going to attempt to use the brand new CBA as an excuse to cut back their unique gives. With so little time between now and the beginning of the season, don’t be shocked if some big-title gamers chew on these smaller-than-expected gives.
Except for the upcoming wave of free-agent signings we’re about to see, there isn’t a lot else to dislike. We have been informed the season wouldn’t begin till April 14. Now, it’s beginning every week earlier. We have been informed we weren’t going to get a full 162-game schedule. We’re. We have been informed we seemingly wouldn’t get an expanded playoff format this yr. We’re.
There are many nice issues to sit up for, however earlier than the season begins, there are nonetheless greater than 200 gamers on the free-agent market who want jobs. We now have lower than 30 days…prepare for a wild one.