GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona, begin to shape Major League Baseball. General managers have begun discussing – and in some rare cases, even full – time trades, while the biggest event of the offseason, opening a free agency, is on the horizon.
Or rather, the traditional biggest event of the offseason. The last few years, however, have seen free agency come down to something snobbish, where players linger unemployed until late in the winter, and many rely on less than expected market value. If they even signed up in the winter, it is.
However, under all circumstances those who wish to take advantage of it are given the opportunity, and the Jankies are in the prime position to do just that.
Every major league baseball player hitting free agency this season is aware of the slow free agent market that saw players of all skill levels continue to be unsigned even when the stations and offenders started reporting. Should he join the team in December with a deal that is slightly less than they would like, can they think of jumping in before retiring, just for some security?
Obviously, the top of the market – your kind Gerrit Cole, Anthony Randon and Stephen Strasbourg – will not be affected by any of these problems. After all, their agents can point to Bruce Harper and Manny Makado, who despite having to wait until mid-February to sign, still found the $ 300m mark and came up with their expectations pay. However, lower-level players, ranging from guys like Zack Wheeler and Hyun-Jinin Ryu to top midfielders like Hawkeye Kendrick and Steve Sisek, may very well be ready to take a lower bid earlier. in free agency.
This is where the Jankies need to enter.
Now, I'm not saying that the Junkies should avoid the top of the free agent market and instead go for players who may not want to slow down. No, they should be key players in the search for Cole and Strasbourg. But the truth is, every team enters free agency with more holes than can be filled with agents without one or two stars. For the Jankees, the uncertainty lies in the depth of the trash and the need for a backup catcher and starting center for center; for the Red Sox is a deep depth; even the Astros' 107 wins come in winter, requiring a break through half of the starting rotation and free agency for hitting bulls (hmm, maybe there is a pattern here?). As the market for Gerrit Cole and Steven Strasbourg develops, the Chans need to be active elsewhere in free agency to put the team in the best possible position in April. The simplest way to do this is to get the free agents needed to fill the holes at the top of your list.
In this market, the simplest way to do this can be to strike fast.