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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Why the Winter Meetings Were Finally a Success

SAN DIEGO — Major League Baseball has been desperate for an event. This week it got one—because the sport at last got out of its own way.

The league markets the annual Winter Meetings as the game’s offseason showcase, complete with logo and merchandise. The official website bears a large countdown clock. But for the past few years, an alarm clock might have been more relevant.

Last year, the marquee free agents—rightfielder Bryce Harper and third baseman Manny Machado—did not sign until spring training had begun. Harper was scheduled to be the cover star of the MLB the Show video game; the company finally opted for a photo of him dressed in a white hoodie, because it could not wait any longer for him to choose a team. Harper eventually got a record $330 million over 13 years, and Machado $300 million over 10, but fans and players alike were left disheartened by the delay.

On Monday, as the meetings opened, the Nationals brought back World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg on a seven-year, $245 million deal, a record for a pitcher. On Tuesday, the Yankees shattered that mark when they signed AL Cy Young runner-up Gerrit Cole for nine years and $324 million. On Wednesday, the Angels nabbed NL MVP third-place finisher Anthony Rendon for seven years and $245 million. In a span of 56 hours, the top three free agents chose their futures and clarified the rest of the market.

A question I’m not sure this article answers, at least in any sort of coherent manner….


QLE Posted: December 14, 2019 at 12:36 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: winter meetings

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