Chicago Cubs: Is tanking and rebuilding bad for the game of baseball?
By Jake Misener
Tanking has thrown the brakes on free agency
And the fire sale in Miami? It’s completely changed the trajectory of free agency. With guys like Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcel Ozuna all playing in new uniforms, the free agent demand took a big hit. Guys like J.D. Martinez are still looking for a home – despite putting up big-time numbers.
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And it’s not just position players. The biggest contract given to a free agent starting pitcher this year? The Cubs’ signing of right-hander Tyler Chatwood a couple months back – three years, $39 million. Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn all remain unsigned.
Super-agent Scott Boras, whom I generally disagree with on principle, sat down with USA Today this week to talk about this offseason. If I had to wager a guess, it hasn’t been his favorite winter given the overwhelming majority of his guys still don’t have jobs.
"“This tanking mechanism has dramatically interrupted the timing of the (free-agent) process,’’ said Boras. “You have clubs creating non-competitive behavior. Four All-Star players bursting into the market completely affected the normal ebb and flow of free agency.’’"
He’s not wrong.
Remember when we thought Arrieta would land $100-plus million easily? Or Darvish would pocket a seven-year offer from someone? What about rumblings over a 10-year Eric Hosmer contract? Those days are long gone.