Time Running Out on MLB Free Agency

Jimmy Beasley SrContributor IJanuary 30, 2009

With Jeff Kent saying good-bye to the baseball world as the all-star announced his retirement, and with just days left until the reporting of pitchers and catchers to spring training sites all over the south and southwest, there are still many free agents waiting to sign with old or new teams, time seems to be running out on some big names as well as some of the middle to upper tier free agents.

Never has baseball seen these types of economic times, except since the "Great Depression," most MLB owners have taken the financial downturn and as always used it for their own good. With the big drop in their right pockets they offer or are waiting to offer much lower prices to get players.

From all reports, most owners don't mind waiting the extra time because they know that the longer they wait, the more anxious the players get.

Think about it, if you're a free agent who hasn't signed as of today, and everywhere you look most see or hear that MLB's offers keep dropping with every minute that passes.

Most owners are now shopping at the Dollar Tree instead of Tiffany's. You know the place, where everything is just a buck? Great stores, both. But unlike those two great establishments, players offer's are dropping faster than the DOW. The key words right now for owners is "Take less to sign"

As we all know this does not include the powerful New York Yankees. Love them, like them or hate them, you have to admire their drive. If we're honest and a true baseball fan, deep down we wish our owners had the same gusto and stocked our favorite teams like the Yankees do.

They want a winner and they spent the money to get a winner. And as we all know itdoesn't always payoff, but if you a Yankee fan you gotta love it.

As for me, I wallow in my hope that maybe this year will be the one year that my Cubbies finally make it a World Series. Notice I didn't say win a WS title I said play in one. If they make it that far I'd be tickled as pink. Plus, give Sweet Lou a best-of-seven series and I'll take my chances.

As you all know I'm a HUGE fantasy baseball player and this is something we talk about just about everyday. In fact, I told my favorite rival, The Joker, owner of our Barking Spiders, just one week from the winter meetings that in two weeks we'd be crying because the Cubs didn't have an owner yet and that it will hurt us in making a great trade or FA pickup.

For once I was right on the head with my prediction. I mean, Joey Gathright? That was our big signing? Very fast kid, and nice upside, maybe, but both Joker and I expected something much bigger, like Jake Peavy. And now we trade two very nice young players for Hiellman? Seattle fans are still laughing about this one.

For us Cubs fans, we have to bite our lip and hope that our newly gained player turns the baseball world on its heals and has a monster breakout, doubtful.

What bothers my good friend Joker and I is this, were reading everyday the the new Cub owner, who I wouldn't know if he passed my broadcast booth tonight, is buying the Cubs but is taking on debt. How does that work?

Is he using the "No Money Down" deal we see on TV every late night when were switching through channels looking for another late night sports show we haven't seen ten times yet? Is he buying the Cubs on a signature then hoping to live on its equity until he makes money?

Then the kicker, Pujols comes out yesterday and announces to the baseball world " I'm asking the Cardinals to sign Manny"? He said he talks with him every three days or so and Manny just can't understand why no ones signed him yet, so do we.

When someone like Pujols says something like that, it usually means he'll rework his contract to allow his team to sign, sound familiar? We've seen it many times before.

After his monster second half, he alone carried the Dodgers to the playoffs, knocking my Cubbies out so fast I still haven't recovered. His second half stats with the Dodgers was just awesome. I'm sure like me, he lead many fantasy owners to league titles.

If you read my article yesterday my parting shot was, "I just hope Manny doesn't sign with the Cardinals, our team owner, Murry "the Milkman", would be turning flips all across Terre Haute, again gloating how great his team is and how their heading to yet another World Series title. The thing is, he might just be right if the Cards did sign Manny.

With a signing like that, it will send most Cubs fans running looking for an answer. Yes there are still a couple of nice players who haven't signed yet, Abreu, Dunn,and a few others, that could help the Cubbies. Problem is, with ownership not willing to expand, we have to hope with all hope that this just might be the season for Gathright and Hiellman.