When was the last time you saw a team (really in any sport but for now just Baseball) win a Championship amidst turmoil and dissention both on and off the field? New York Yankees maybe….with Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson going toe to toe in the dugout in the late 70’s. Keep trying but rest assured it hardly ever happens. Winning teams breed and develop harmony for a very simple reason……it works! Another question – when was the last time a team with the largest payroll won a Championship…….quite a while ago right?
Among this year’s crop of free agents, the Professionals did not last long in the market. Those with healthy minds and bodies – – along with talent were no brainers………the Greinkes, the Heywards, the Lackeys…..again…..the Professionals were signed quickly. But what about the list of free agents still out there waiting to find (basically) a job for next year…….why are they still “out there”……….
Exhibit number one has to be Yoenis Cespedes but I’ve already pointed this out in a previous post you can read here but there are others who fall into this area of limbo where you have to ask yourself…..like why have they yet to be signed. Are they too pricey?……..in today’s world I would doubt that……..are they too old?………are they coming off a major injury? (Maybe- someone like Denard Span)…….do they have an agent who’s living on Mars (ask Chris Davis about that)?……what exactly is the problem?
The New York Daily News published a list of what they called “The 12 Best Remaining Free Agents On The Market “. In keeping with the theme being developed here, why is someone like Justin Upton still on that list? Moreover, why has he been traded what?…three times in the last three years if I’m not mistaken?
Okay, he’s been tagged with that ugly word “potential ” throughout his career…… I get that but still there has to be a reason why teams are so willing to give up on him. There’s something wrong with the picture. No doubt, he’ll have a big payday and someone will scoop him up……..and will they become the team that strikes lightning in a bottle or……will they be looking to unload a Ryan Howard contract like the Phillies have laboriously been trying to do for a couple of years? No, there’s something “wrong” with him ….
Chris Davis? It appears unlikely that he falls into this category of a “pariah ” in the clubhouse or elsewhere, but something is askew with this picture too. What is he looking for…..a better ballpark to belt home runs than Camden…..like Yankee Stadium? In another era – maybe but the Yankees aren’t spending that kind of money until they unload the mistakes of their recent past. So, why is he in “purgatory ” at the moment? Are there rumors floating inside baseball that maybe his body is a bit too perfect…….who knows but it has to be something…….
There is little mystery about someone like Ian Kennedy though. He simply made a bad call by overestimating his value. The former Yankees castoff had a couple of decent years for San Diego but fell off noticeably last year. $16 million was there for the taking a few weeks ago when the Padres surprised nearly everyone by granting him a qualifying offer. For reasons only he can explain, he turned it down. Now, he too is relegated to limbo with Spring Training scheduled to open in less than a month for pitchers and catchers. To make matters even worse, the team that signs him will give up a first round draft pick.
Teams don’t jump into things like they used to. They’re paying big money and they expect a big return on their investment. When there’s any question about a player………they punt and wait for next year’s crop to develop or they keep plugging away looking on the waiver wire, or for a trade to develop. Some of the players still out there, along with their agents, have yet to adjust and they are paying for it……..Overall, it’s a good development for baseball.