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It's oh so quiet in free agency

Jan 2, 2010, 9:25 AM EST

It could be something spooky and
nefarious like collusion, or perhaps that general managers have become more savvy about how they spend their team’s money (Jim Hendry
excluded, of course), but Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports notices that
there’s a striking difference between this offseason and 2006-07:

Thus far, more than halfway through the 2009-10 free agent signing
period, teams have given only seven players contracts of three years or
longer. In 2006-07, 31 players received deals of three or more years.


They handed out 29 multi-year contracts that averaged more than $5
million per season. This offseason, owners have given out a dozen
multiyear, $5 million-a-season deals.

The most significant difference? The
big-bank free agents. Teams coughed up over $100 million for Alfonso
Soriano, Barry Zito, Carlos Lee and Daisuke Matsuzaka that winter. On the heels of
a recession, this offseason is a different animal, with less premium
players seemingly entering their prime seasons, like the ones mentioned above. It’s possible that
Jason Bay could have found a $100 million contract in the past, but
that doesn’t mean it would have been wise. Matt Holliday, who turns 30 this month, is the only one
worthy of the threshold in the current marketplace, and there’s
increasing indications
that he’ll get there.

Obviously something has changed between then and now, but perhaps the biggest casualty is someone like me. Granted it’s January 2nd, but I’m sitting here recapping someone else’s article about the lack of activity in the free agent marketplace. It’s a sad state of affairs. Someone please rescue us from this current state of Hot Stove boredom.

  1. MiniWii - Jan 2, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    The Yankees not being involved in major free agency this year has killed some value as well. They might be setting it up for a major market splash in 2010 though.
    Also advanced metrics are helping more and more people (except Jim Hendry) realize the true value of players. I think without information about Jason Bay’s terrible defense, he would get more money than he did now for sure.
    The draft is more valuable now to teams, so some teams are reluctant to go out and sign free agents that they normally would otherwise. And the reduction in interest, causes a reduction in price. Brian Cashman for one was on record I believe (somewhere) saying that he would not sign a relief pitcher if it cost a first round pick (I believe it was when he was asked if Mike Gonzalez was an option for them).
    Also happened to be a weak free agent market, since Holliday was really the only one that could even be considered a super star. Everyone else had some major concerns (Bay- defense, and pretty much every talented pitcher- injury or lack of sufficient success in past seasons).

  2. Chipmaker - Jan 2, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    Hang in there, the Hall’s 2010 election announcement is only four days away.

  3. Robinson42 - Jan 2, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    The Yankees not buying every shiny bauble in sight has quieted things.
    But don’t worry– Yankee fans are promising us that they are signing the great Carl Crawford next year. And 30 something Cliff Lee.

  4. Old Gator - Jan 2, 2010 at 11:29 PM

    I want to offer the possibility that most of the general managers and owners have actually learned something from all the extenuated, backloaded, overpriced dead weight contracts so many of them are still paying out on after already dumping the players in question.
    .
    And what the hell are you laughing at?

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