Friday, January 19, 2018

Sporting News: Jake Arrieta or Yu Darvish: Who provides best value?

It seems in each baseball offseason a face-off ensues among “elite” free agents searching for nine-figure salaries. Often, teams fervently jump into the bidding for such players, but not this offseason.

Some have suggested that teams are intentionally stifling the market to drag down players’ prices, and to an extent they are correct. However, the slowdown has taken also shape because, unlike in years past, clubs have resisted veering from their player valuations based on performance projections of the player going forward. Meanwhile, players’ agents are sticking to the mindset that their clients are due contracts based on past performance. The impasse has crippled much of the free-agent market.

The agents’ model is better suited for free agents with prime seasons ahead of them, but when a player enters the market on the downside of the age-curve — regardless of his pedigree — clubs are beginning to refuse to pay backward. This couldn’t be more true in the case of the premier starting pitchers in this free-agent market — Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish, who both remain unsigned with less than a month until pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

SNY: Is the cost of landing Yu Darvish worth it to Yankees?

The New York Yankees are firmly and legitimately back in win-now mode.

They claim year after year to be ready to compete for a championship, but the truth is the last couple of seasons there were more questions than answers. However, courtesy of an extended 2017 postseason run and the addition of Giancarlo Stanton earlier in the offseason, the Yankees are a real threat now. If New York manages to land free agent right-hander Yu Darvish, they will be putting an exclamation point on this offseason, demonstrating they view themselves as a bonafide World Series contender.

While adding Darvish strengthens the current squad, there should be some wariness leading up to and after a potential signing.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Sporting News: J.D. Martinez's reported contract demands are well above his worth

Though J.D. Martinez generated exemplary walk-year production in 2017, his mega deal eludes him — even with spring training less than five weeks away.

Martinez has the right man behind him in Scott Boras, but even the super-agent seems to be having a difficult time persuading clubs that it’s wise to heavily invest in a player destined to be — or at least should be — a full-time designated hitter. Boras does not sweat securing significant deals when facing a dwindling timeframe because he has experienced immense success in similar circumstances with numerous high-level free agents.

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Sporting News: Why a bidding war for Eric Hosmer makes no sense

In the latest installment of baseball contracts destined to fail, the Padres and Royals seem committed to engage in a bidding war for free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer — a commodity likely to age poorly and ultimately become a disappointing investment.

Unless one is an impact reliever, the MLB free-agent signing period is moving like a glacier, which indicates teams are more than willing to wait out players anticipating elite contracts. Under the circumstances — spring training is less than six weeks away — it would seem the player would be the party getting antsy, but instead the Padres and Royals appear intent on overshooting the mark to sign Hosmer.

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