View Full Version : Is Free Agency the way to go?

05-08-2008, 11:23 AM
It seems to me that in today's baseball environment most successful teams are built upon player development and trades. Free Agency seems to be the most risky route to try in order to put together a team. I think you are seing a shift in the way contracts are given out to the "Indians" method in which players are signed early and long term. A team decides which players they are going to build around and then lets the other "prized" players walk. It also seems unless you agent is Scott Boras you are more incline to sign an extention than test the FA waters. It makes you wonder why teams choose to sign certain players and not sign others. Granted the Barry Zito signing is sticking in my head and you also have the Pavano and Clement signings but guys like Carlos Lee and Carlos Beltran have yet to put their respected teams over the top. You also have Giambi and Damon who are both vying for the DH roll and their usefullness is at an all time low. I don't have all the information but it seems to me trying to sign the "prized" free agent backfires more often than not.

05-08-2008, 11:33 AM
There's a lot of great talent in FA. The problem is the cost, pure and simple. Any player, be it a prospect, a trade target, or a guy signed in free agency caries a good deal of risk that he won't pan out, that he'll get injured, or that he'll simply underperform. Such is the nature of the game.

Due to the nature of the free market, there's almost always somebody willing to take on significant risk. Thus, nearly any forray in to FA requires the signing team to take on the maximum amount of risk. When you have to pay the guy as if he's going to live up to his abilities for the duration of his contract, and given that very few players do so, you are setting yourself up for a potential cost inefficiency down the road nearly every single time.

I'd avoid FA like the plague. I'd also be testing the waters, but simply wouldn't take that big risk unless I was in a position to garner major payoff in the form of a championship. If I do go FA, I take the approach of more money and fewer years. I'd rather pay a $10M player $13 for 3 years than $10 for 5, and carry greater risk of having years of zero value.

05-08-2008, 11:39 AM
There are a few top end up free agents each year, a ton of overpriced middling guys and a few bargains to be found at the bottom.

It should not be used to build but should be used to supplement.