With the economy as the bad guy, as of this evening, there were still nearly 100 free agents that have yet to sign with a team. Always looking for someone or something to blame, both owners and agents alike say free agent signings are way down this year.
With 100 remaining unsigned, its time to show case the talent. One way, hold a special tryout type of camp.
This was used after the strike to help sign free agents. With so many still unsigned, agents are looking at the tryout camp again.
As the offseason nears and camps begin to open, some free agents are beginning to feel the heat. Heat and pressure to make sure they are playing when camp opens in less than five days now.
The two biggest teams in the offseason were the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. Both stated early what they needed and both spent freely to get it.
The Yankees have added tons, and right now it looks like they got what they needed and a little more. They went after CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, then for a bonus they signed Mark Teixeira.
The Mets, needing a closer got the best in baseball last year, K-Rod and added backup help in JJ Putzs. If K-Rod faulters, then Putz steppes in.
After watching the Met's swoon last September, it looks like they too got what they needed. Putz can easily step in if anything happens to the F-man.
Looking at both teams on paper they should meet in next year's fall classic. Sadly, the games must be played on the field and not on paper, so if neither don't make it we won't be too surprised.
But, as time runs out on the offseason, 100 players who haven't signed begin to rattle with each passing moment. Even with the agents watching the owners closely, most are scrambling to make sure their players sign.
The bottom has dropped out and it went fast. When guys like Manny Ramirez haven't signed as of this late date, most have to wonder if collusion is the bye word here.
Don't think that in their private talks the players and agents feel this way. In any other year Manny would have signed not long after the free agent period opened last fall. Here we are just days away from pitchers and catchers reporting and a huge number of free agents are still looking for work. Some big names too.
Ramirez, Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn head the list, and many of us wonder why our team isn't going after any of the three. Think about it, put these three in the same outfield and we'd consider it a stud lineup.
As I sit and ponder I wonder how far my Cubbies would go with any of them in our outfield. Gotta be better than Gathright and Fukudome right?
I'd like to be in the stands with the team's scouts if they do use the tryout camp like they did after the strike of 1994-95. The player's union would conduct a spring camp, possibly in Vero Beach, FL.
With the low yearly salary that I make, its hard for me to feel for any of the MLB players. I don't blame them for getting what they can get, I would, too. Baseball's owners held the upper hand for so long in paying their athletes, its fair game now that the players can get what they feel their worth.
Now the by-word is "cut-rate", meaning the players left have no chance to get what they and their agents thought they were worth. Many missed the boat by not taking arbitration.
With each hour that passes and each free agent that doesn't sign, their stock drops. The more a stock drops, the less its worth right? Instead of a tryout camp maybe the players union should go to congress and ask for help. It worked for the stock market and the car makers.
Come to think of it, maybe the big four will let me borrow their company's Lear jet so I can fly to Washington and ask for help myself. I need it more than they do!