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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Rosenthal: Many factors contributing to historically slow free agent market – The Athletic

Ken, Ken, Ken. Teams will spend money. The players will get signed. Maybe, though, the Players Association might want some new leadership. The Luxury Tax system they agreed to gives the big markets good reason to be frugal this year. Smart management is only a problem for agents who depend on emotionally-charged decision-making.

An MLB official dismissed any suggestion of collusion, saying clubs are so secretive, they barely communicate with the commissioner’s office during free agency, much less each other. Perhaps the more pressing issue is that most clubs now think alike, relying heavily on advanced statistical analysis and making decisions based on similar data. Such groupthink, while not illegal, is not conducive to competition. At times, the entire sport seems to suffer from an advanced case of paralysis by analysis.

It’s a culture of fear — many GMs are reluctant to trade prospects and sign free agents, terrified of facing criticism if they make a mistake. The GMs become too process-oriented, passing on opportunities to improve, protecting their long-term plans. There is no incentive for them to act with greater urgency; few face an immediate threat to their job security. Twelve teams have changed GMs since Aug. 2015, but of the current group, perhaps only the Seattle Mariners’ Jerry Dipoto and the San Francisco Giants’ Bobby Evans will be in trouble if their teams disappoint in 2018. In too many cases, the goal is to win tomorrow, not today.

Many fans tolerate such thinking, applauding management for fiscal restraint, muttering, “trust the process,” as if they are zombies. The increased emphasis on payroll efficiency, stemming in part from the rise of data-driven analysis, is hardly a bad thing, often leading to better decision-making. But in the current climate, GMs draw more praise for saving money than spending it. The Yankees under Brian Cashman have made the playoffs 16 times in 20 seasons and won the World Series four times. Yet only now, with the Yankees transitioning to a younger, less expensive club, is Cashman receiving his just due.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2018 at 06:13 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agency, pay site

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   1. Khrushin it bro Posted: January 09, 2018 at 05:54 PM (#5603679)
The Yankees under Brian Cashman have made the playoffs 16 times in 20 seasons and won the World Series four times. Yet only now, with the Yankees transitioning to a younger, less expensive club, is Cashman receiving his just due.


If the whole sport has similar thinking regarding free agents shouldn't the team with the most money make the playoffs 80% of the time?

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