At this time last year, the Free Agent Team would’ve been able to field quite a squad, with Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta fronting the rotation (hey, this is all “on paper” stuff), and Eric Hosmer and JD Martinez holding down the middle of the lineup (one out of four ain’t bad?). It was quite the culmination of an offseason that saw a market seemingly held up by big names, but in reality we now know it was just the start of an overhaul of what free agency looks like in the current CBA era.
Is this year better or worse than last year? The fightin’ words seem to me to be about the same, but the joblessness around the league seems to be a touch worse.
Consider the free agent team – here at the very end of January, with pitchers and catchers reporting in less than two weeks – that Jayson Stark put together:
…Next, it's the All-Unemployed Pitching Staff!
Rotation: Dallas Keuchel, Ervin Santana, Gio Gonzalez, Wade Miley, James Shields
Closer: Craig Kimbrel
Set-up crew: Ryan Madson, Brad Boxberger, Bud Norris, Tyler Clippard, Jerry Blevins, Jake Diekman
Opener: Sergio Romo
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) January 30, 2019
I think the rotation could leave the bullpen exposed a bit, thought it’s not a terrible group if they can get some surprise contributions from the 50+ decent relievers who’ll settle for minor league deals. The lineup, though – they’re gonna score some runs.
And, in summation:
— Peter Moylan (@PeterMoylan) January 30, 2019