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Players that hit free agency are still likely going to fetch decent money but the best players aren't going to be available. It's a growing trend that players are fetching long-term extensions that keeps them on their respective teams during their prime production years. Just look at the players that will be available to throw money at after this season. Barring extensions between now and then, there will be only nine players available that are under 30. Of them, only Phil Hughes has had a season worth more than 2 fWAR since 2009, though there are some high upside players such as Josh Johnson, Matt Garza, Tim Lincecum, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann who will be just entering their 30's.
In just the past year, we've seen an All-Star team worth of talent sign multi-year extensions that took them off other teams' radar. We've mentioned Verlander, Posey, and Hernandez. There's also Joey Votto, Evan Longoria, Ian Kinsler, David Wright, Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Adam Wainwright, Madison Bumgarner, Adam Jones, Brandon Phillips, Carlos Santana, Miguel Montero, Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Sale, and many others (plus Yadier Molina, Matt Moore, and a bunch more, if we want to go back a few more months). Late Sunday night came yet another big headline: Per Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers were close to signing Elvis Andrus, the All-Star shortstop two years away from testing the open market, to an eight-year, $120 million extension. If a prime Scott Boras client punting on six years of negotiating rights doesn't convince you that free agency is heading the way of the Dodo bird, nothing will. [...]
But really, what we might see is a renewed emphasis on scouting, drafting, and player development, not just for smaller-revenue clubs, but also the big boys.
"Remember Shrinky Dinks?" said Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto, referring to the once-popular plastic sheets kids could put in the oven and shrink to small plates. "That's the free-agent market. It's the way of the world now."
Tim Lincecum [...] who will be just entering their 30's.
Whereas we used to call these contracts "team friendly," they are more likely to be market priced in the future, perhaps requiring above market prices for some players
Born: June 15, 1984 in Bellevue, WA
Of (players available under 30), only Phil Hughes has had a season worth more than 2 fWAR since 2009
However, the small and middle market teams know that if they let a great player get to FA, the big boys will still outbid them, b/c they're printing money even more than the smaller markets. So if they want to spend their new found money on great players, rather than merely good ones, they have to lock up their stars early.
But if they do this (sign long extensions to merely good players rather than only stars), we'll start seeing a lot of those contracts bust, which will temper the market.
Well, unless the player signs in Miami in which case you know that jersey you bought will be out of date in a year...
Lower risk, but also lower reward. You're committing financial resources on talent you already control for multiple years. The Andrus contract will provide zero value to Texas over the next two years.
Really? If you're generous, and say his current level of ability is 4 WAR, it's hard to say the bottom is 3.
There are some cautionary tales among MIs: Chris Spiers, Tony Kubek, Ozzie Guillen, Rennie Stennett.
I'm just saying there's history of hotshot 3-4 WAR young IFs collapsing.
Committing big money to a guy for 10 years is never safe.
Andrus should have been used as trade bait to fill holes at 1B, OF or P.
I'm more with cfb on Andrus's future and the "reasonableness" of this contract. I mean, I think it's sub-optimal and I don't think I'd have ever done it in the Rangers' shoes but I think the chance of a disaster is fairly slim. It's the Profar bit that really makes it a head-scratcher.
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