Several reporters have turned their gazes back on the more confounding free-agent market in recent memory, chronicling some of the more incongruous results and providing additional reporting on how it all unfolded. We’ll run through some of the key points here:
- It’s always worth remembering that free agency is a game that features plenty of variability and would never (theoretically) be played the same way twice. Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports on what might have been for some players. Logan Morrison and Greg Holland both asked for more than was being offered and ended up being bypassed when teams checked down to other targets. The Mariners, says Olney, dangled three years to veteran outfielder Jon Jay before they struck a trade for Dee Gordon. (That rather surprising offer could have had quite a domino effect on the outfield and second base markets had it been accepted.) On the other hand, Olney cites Angels sources that reject the notion the club offered Mike Moustakas a $45MM contract, as had been reported. Of course, had any of those situations developed differently, it’s possible we’d just be talking about different players whose markets collapsed.
- As part of his lengthy examination of the brutal winter for free agency, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has an interesting note on one of the few top players yet to have signed. Veteran starter Alex Cobb, he says, was in position to secure a four-year, $48MM offer at one point earlier in the winter (from an unknown team) and “easily” could have landed a three-year guarantee. We’re obviously still waiting to see just what Cobb will ultimately earn, but needless to say, it seems unlikely he’ll reach the levels he might have had previously. In the meantime, several lesser pitchers have gone on to sign fairly solid, multi-year deals, perhaps absorbing some of the demand that might have led to a better payout for Cobb.
- Every period of free agency produces highs and lows, of course, but they seem particularly pronounced this time around with such an array of outcomes. Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Jon Heyman of Fan Rag have each run through the winners and losers on this shocker of a market.