Is the Charlie Blackmon deal the beginning of a new trend that other free agents could follow in the coming seasons? Mark Feinsand of MLB.com asks this question and examines the subject in depth. The extension takes Blackmon out of a very crowded free agent pool next offseason that’s set to feature Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado and Dallas Keuchel, all of whom are widely expected to be the subjects of massive bidding wars. “After the past few markets, there’s no question this is going to become a trend,” one agent said of the pact. “You will see clubs look to sign players very young.” However, another agent believes that Blackmon made a mistake by signing the extension so early, as he’d have been the second-most coveted outfielder beyond Bryce Harper. The trade-off in this case is simple… a soon-to-be free agent in his 30s perhaps gave up some earnings upside, and in exchange doesn’t have to worry about what might or might not happen in a volatile free agent market next season.
A pair of other reactions to the Blackmon-Rockies accord…
- Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post views the extension through a different lens; he wonders how this pact will directly affect fellow Rockies star Nolan Arenado. Saunders believes that the Blackmon deal makes it significantly less likely that the Rockies can afford to keep Arenado in the fold for the long term. After all, the All-Star third baseman could command a deal in the $300MM range, which will certainly be difficult for the Rockies to manage in combination with the $94MM in new money they just guaranteed to Blackmon.
- Blackmon is just the latest in a line of players to take themselves out of the 2018-2019 free agent class, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The baseball world has been talking about the impending class for years, but Matt Harvey’s poor performance the past few seasons has largely taken the possibility of a nine-figure deal off the table, Jose Fernandez tragically passed away, and now Blackmon has extended his tenure with the Rockies. Others such as Anthony Rizzo, Corey Kluber and Anthony Rizzo could have been free agents this winter as well had they not signed long-term deals earlier in their careers. Though Greg Holland, Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Lucroy are among the unexpected additions to this class, it seems as though a class that once looked like an unprecedented convergence of free agent juggernauts has been watered down a bit.