Something is wrong in baseball. There is no doubt about it. Does the economy alone explain the players that are still available after the new year?
Useful parts like Eric Hinske, Joe Crede, and Jim Edmonds often have to wait until spring training to get a job. They are used to waiting around until teams decide they have a need and have a chance to compete and need to fill a spot with a veteran. The fact that these guys are still available doesn’t seem to really point to any core problem with the system.
“Stars” like Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Derek Lowe, Bobby Abreu, and Oliver Perez are also often out of work at this time of the year. It’s not that they can’t get a job. No, this class of player has a highly disputed value. The player and their agent are steadily manipulating general managers and the media, trying to get the offers in line with what they feel is commensurate with the production of the player. Manny already had a 2-year, $45 million dollar offer, and Lowe has turned down 3 years and $36 million from the Mets. Those numbers still represent raises over what the player earned last year, so inflation in the steady rise of veteran’s pay is still in effect.
So why is there obviously a problem?
In a word, Orlando Cabrera.
Colorado Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday is reportedly being traded to the Oakland A’s pending physicals. Although there is no confirmation which players from the A’s are being traded, it’s speculated at this time to be OF Carlos Gonzalez, SP Greg Smith, and RP Huston Street. While this acquisition might be a surprise for some that only remember the A’s for their tight pursestrings, the A’s will be upping their payroll to $80 million for the 2009 season.
There are two possibilities here for the A’s:
1) They honestly plan to contend for a title next season and having Matt Holliday will certainly bolster an anemic offense.
2) They plan to acquire Holliday and then trade him to another team, be it at the deadline or right away, for more prospects.
As much as I’d like to see Holliday stay with the A’s, he will be a free agent after the 2009 season and he is a client of Scott Boras, a man notorious for letting his clients go out into the free market and find the highest contract said player can get. And considering Boras WILL tell Holliday to be a free agent after next season, I would think that the A’s flip Holliday at some point, unless they are actually contending.
Read More | Yahoo! Sports
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