High Price, Low Return Makes Long-Term Deals Questionable

The hand-wringing continues.

Agents are aghast that the salaries they expected haven’t been there since the end of last season.

There is displeasure with Tony Clark, the head of the Major League Players Association.

There are cries of collusion.

There are threats of a pending labor war when the current Basic Agreement expires after the 2021 season.

But is it a concerted effort to drive down salaries or a wake-up call?

Are teams willing to pay top dollar but not willing to gamble on long-term deals? They, in general, haven’t paid off in time.

The Rockies, as an example, did initially make attempts to re-sign two of their players from a year ago, but Jonathan Lucroy’s agent laughed off a three-year, $21 million offer as a starting point for talks, and Greg Holland’s agent basically laughed at a three-year $45 million initial proposal and never offered a counter.

Lucroy wound up with a one-year deal in Oakland, and Holland is still looking for work while his former Royals teammate, Wade Davis, signed a three-year, $52 million deal with the Rockies, which may not be a record in terms of length but the $17.3 million annual average value is a record for a reliever.:

Only four free agents in the current off-season signed contracts that have a total value ranking in the top 84 deals in MLB history, and only four received a deal of more than five years, although the Astros did sign Joe Altuve to a five-year, $151 million deal that makes his total package worth $163.5 million over the next seven years.

Tracy RingolsbyComment