Sunday, January 11, 2009

This Free Agent Market Is Cold... Too Cold

I have no evidence whatsoever and no possible way to prove it, but I'll betcha the owners are colluding. Even in a down economy, this just doesn't feel like a functioning marketplace. Just my gut, for what little that is worth.


Kenny G said...

lets just hope so... as long as there is no colluding over another has-been

James Bjork said...

The owners got burned trying it before, and had to pay out a big settlement. Do you think they'd tempt fate? Maybe so, since they could point to the Sabathia and Teixeira contracts as evidence.

The other counter-argument they can make is that the compensatory draft system (where free agents cost an increasingly-valued draft pick) is what is reducing the value of free-agents, and that this system needs tweaking.

Finally, they might be able to cite better sabermetrics that illustrate why a Pat Burrell can (and SHOULD) be had so cheaply.

I know you hate the owners, but you really just might want to chalk this one up to brinksmanship and waiting for the market to drop. Griffey might be willing to take a $1 mil or less deal DURING spring training to try and pad his HOF stats on someone's bench...

Steven said...

Who knows how many times they've gotten away with it, and whether the cost of the payment outweighed the gain of collusion.

Also when I spoke directly to Kasten I found his disdain for agents and really the players themselves so ideological that I'm not sure it's just dollars and cents. Letting Crow walk hurt the team--on the field, financially, and they did it to make a point, just to spit in an agent's face. That was the take-away from my conversations with Rizzo and Kasten on this. Rizzo said straight out it was a mistake, and Kasten wouldn't defend it on baseball grounds. He just kept saying, "we can't just let agents run everything..."

It's less the Burrell's of the world and more guys like Derek Lowe, Ben Sheets, Oliver Perez... You have 30 teams that need pitching, and a really pretty short list of guys who can really help you. It should still be a seller's market, regardless of what's happening in the real economy.

It just feels lie all the owners made an agreement, and the Yankees refused to play along.

It shouldn't be that hard to do and not get caught. The standard of proof for a collusion trial is so high that as long as you don't have an informant you should be fine.

Hendo said...

It just feels li[k]e all the owners made an agreement, and the Yankees refused to play along.

All the owners including Ted Lerner? Think he knew Boras and Teixeira wouldn't bite at his bigger offer?

Steven said...

Nah, I don't think you can do that. Hell, maybe he really did want to play near home? Lerner had to be ready to pay what he offered.