Re: Cold reality check for remaining free agents, plus more notes
We seem to have a bifurcated market developing. There are a few FA's who due to relatively young age, consistent performance, and all around game, constitute good value. They are demanding high dollar, long term contracts and getting them from the big market teams. The remaining FA's have enough warts to constitute substantial risk for the smaller market teams still shopping. Moreover, the market value for these players is declining. Some clubs are upside down on contracts....they owe more to players than their declining market values. This downward trend in the market value of 2nd tier FA's make longer term deals even more dicey. Instead of taking on more 2nd tier players, teams seem more likely to want to trade the ones they have for prospects, with the receiving team absorbing most of the contract as well.
Like many, I am somewhat disappointed that the Reds did not fill certain holes. Most of the available players within their price range, however, carried too much risk. Those available by trade constituted a short term fix for a high price in prospects. IMO, Walt acted wisely and got about the best he could get without overpaying in an uncertain market. Likewise, I believe he did well last year in getting value in return for Griffey and Dunn. The Reds strategy is clear. They are investing heavily in the farm system. It may be frustrating for those of us tired of delaying gratification, but I think it is the only realistic strategy they can employ that has any chance of success.