Free agency in baseball is basically dead, at least for high-end players. Players’ current teams are buying the best players out of free agency with long-term deals that will keep most of them on the same team for the majority of their careers. Just this week there was the 8 year deal for Justin Verlander and 9 year deal for Buster Posey. Then last night word came that the Rangers were extending Elvis Andrus for 8 years at $120 million. Personally, I think that’s a staggering amount of money for a good but not great player, albeit one that is only 24 and likely to get better. But they have the money and they want to lock in players. Jonah Keri has much more on this. I don’t see this as a bad thing at all. Players are getting paid big money. Owners get bankable stars. Fans get to root for a player over a 15 year period, like in the days before free agency. The only downside is that some of these contracts are going to become albatrosses over time. Unfortunately, I think that probably includes Felix Hernandez in Seattle.
Anyway, it also means that the days of the Yankees buying everyone might be over, or at least limited to the occasional Jeffrey Loria salary dump, as Jonah suggests. I certainly think that’s a good thing.
Also, Opening Day!!!