The free agent market has moved at the pace of molasses. Owners, holding their wallets ever-closer to their chest, have refused to dole out contracts to what insiders and front office executives had billed as the best free-agent class in decades.
As Spring Training rapidly approaches, nearly every top free-agent remains on the market — and the few who signed have gotten far less than projected or what players with similar profiles got just two or three years ago.
Just 16 days until pitchers and catchers begin reporting.— Devan Fink (@DevanFink) January 28, 2019
The following free agents are still unsigned:
Naturally, this hasn’t struck a positive chord with players, or the spouses of players, especially those who actively share their opinions on Twitter.
In fact, all it took was one Tweet to set off a (very funny) discourse between Shawn Kelley, Eireann Dolan, Sean Doolittle, and he-who-shall-not-be-named (it’s Bryce Harper).
Seriously. Every major league player is so unbelievably talented that we fans, as laypeople, genuinely can't fathom how talented they are.— Sheryl Ring ⚾️ ⚖️ (@Ring_Sheryl) January 27, 2019
Harper and Machado are the top 1% of that cohort. This shouldn't be hard to understand.
They need to stop lying. I would watch Harper swing a bat through my goddamn car windshield and pay him for the privilege.— Eireann Dolan (@EireannDolan) January 27, 2019
And I would let Dooooooooooooooooooooooooooo throw a high heater and break my upstairs window anytime. https://t.co/NBBmudeleg— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) January 27, 2019
@EireannDolan I have a very particular set of skills ... I feel I could be of assistance here— Shawn Kelley (@kelleytime27) January 28, 2019
(As a side-note: Is Kelley referring to glove-throwing, struggling with location, or just overall strength? In any case, we support him.)
On a more serious note, these discourses will soon move off Twitter and blogs and into the territory of labor disputes. With a new collective bargaining agreement set to be debated ahead of the 2022 season, the change in the free agency process very well may set off a strike or lockout, seriously damaging a game already struggling to connect with younger fans.