Today: 26.04.2018
News
Opinion
Business
Living
Metro
Tech
Sport

Last News

20:08
Today
19:43
Today
19:30
Today
19:23
Today
19:19
Today
19:18
Today
19:05
Today
18:29
Today
18:06
Today
17:55
Today
17:14
Today
16:48
Today
16:45
Today
16:37
Today
16:14
Today
15:34
Today
15:27
Today
15:16
Today
15:15
Today
15:13
Today
14:19
Today
13:49
Today
13:13
Today
13:07
Today
13:02
Today
12:57
Today
12:51
Today
12:38
Today
12:27
Today
12:02
Today

A guide for MLB free agents to thaw out the spending freeze.

Major League Baseball, land of (relative) opportunity and parity, should be thankful The Post has to reach for an NBA analogy to aptly describe this current Hot Stove league: The owners are the Warriors of recent vintage, and the players are everyone else. Good grief, what a nuclear winter for free agency. With less than...
Time: 15:05     Date: 13.01.2018
Last US Sport News: A guide for MLB free agents to thaw out the spending freeze. NY Post 24 - US News

The owners are the Warriors of recent vintage, and the players are everyone else.

Good grief, what a nuclear winter for free agency. With less than a month to go before Yankees and Mets pitchers and catchers report, just 11 of The Post’s top 30 free agents have landed employers. And just three (Wade Davis, Carlos Santana and Shohei Ohtani) of the top 10. Last year by this date, 20 of 30 and nine of the top 10 had secured their futures.

If the players rally late to cash in handsomely and break new ground for their open-market descendants, then you’ll get a jumbo-sized mea culpa here. Many, many industry folks don’t see that happening, though.

The volume of available players appears too high and the amount of desperate teams too low. Though the crop’s cream — Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez — won’t fall on their faces, none appears poised to push the envelope. And beneath that top tier — as exemplified by the modest, three-year, $39-million deal that Jay Bruce accepted from the Mets this past week — it won’t be pretty.

Call it organic collusion, the collective realization by nearly all teams — which have homogenized thanks to a near-universal embrace of objective analytics — that 1) Large free-agent deals backfire too often; 2) Such a lack of success can be attributed significantly to the player’s age when he signs the deal; and 3) The calendar can be used to the teams’ advantage by starving the players into late January and February. Throw in ongoing concerns about television rights fees and other revenue streams going flat, the $50-million-per team payment for the BAMTech sale to Disney notwithstanding, and you have teams eager to save.

Todd Frazier is among the many top free agents still looking for work.Getty Images

Some one-off factors can help explain this lack of activity: The Yankees and Dodgers, both determined to get under the luxury-tax threshold in 2018 so they can spend on next year’s star-studded class, are uncharacteristically quiet. Scott Boras, baseball’s Most Patient Man, represents Arrieta, Hosmer and Martinez as well as Greg Holland and Mike Moustakas, a more prominent crop than usual for the super-agent.

However, the Players Association (whose executive director Tony Clark politely declined a request to chat for this column) would be wrong to shrug this off as an aberration. Too many non-Boras guys — like Lorenzo Cain, Alex Cobb, Todd Frazier and Lance Lynn, in addition to Darvish — remain on the sidelines to say this is just a Boras thing. Too many other big-market teams, like the Red Sox and Giants, are working deliberately to think that the coasts’ powers will fix everything next time.

Let’s say that next year, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, both of whom will be 26 years old on Opening Day 2019, receive record-setting deals from the Cubs and Yankees, respectively. Will that trickle down as it once would have? Or will the other supposed elite guys like Charlie Blackmon (who will be entering his age-32 season), Josh Donaldson (33), Craig Kimbrel (31) and Andrew Miller (34) suffer for residing in the wrong age demographic? Don’t bet against the latter.

The players, to mix sports metaphors once more, need a new playbook. Here are some suggestions, moving forward, to make free agency great again:

1. Change the priorities for the next collective bargaining agreement. OK, this can’t be addressed until after the 2021 season, when the present CBA expires. Yet no doubt exists that this deal damaged free agency by instituting harsh penalties for going too far over the luxury-tax threshold and maintaining, if slightly lessening, the awards (in the form of a draft spending pool) for finishing poorly,. The players made concessions in return for quality-of-life improvements like team-funded meals in the clubhouse. Maybe they can give those back for more capitalism.

Carlos Santana (middle) moved quickly and signed a $60 million contract with the Phillies.AP

2. Be more aggressive. It takes courage for a player and agent to sign very early or very late in the cycle. When so many hang around late, though, that courage doesn’t get you very far. Santana, the highest-paid free agent to date, could have tried to hold out for a four-year deal, a reasonable thought for a guy turning 32 in April. Instead, he jumped on a three-year, $60-million offer from the Phillies, accepting a high annual average value in return for fewer years. Davis, also 32, followed a similar route when he took a three-year, $52-million package from the Rockies.

3. Embrace analytics. If teams are going to sign players based on factors like exit velocity, spin rate and catch probability, then shame on any player who doesn’t do everything he can to enhance his performance there just as he once would have for his batting average and ERA.

4. Elevate the ceiling on pre-free agency deals. If the natural order of things no longer raises the tide — except for setup men last month — then players should work to lift precedents on the deals in which teams buy out arbitration and free-agency years. Those contracts, while providing considerable security on the front end, can keep the player out of free agency until his 30s, the new death knell. So far this offseason, the starting pitcher with the largest contract is Tyler Chatwood, who has never thrown more than 158 innings in a season but who is just 28 and got himself a three-year, $38 million deal from the Cubs.

5. Behave yourselves. The union should direct all of its members to look at CC Sabathia, who quite possibly would be out there with a boatload of other free-agent starting pitchers if he hadn’t made himself such an integral part of the Yankees’ clubhouse culture. Bruce probably got himself a few extra bucks, too, by showing the Mets how he could help off the field.

6. Lobby to change Social Security’s full benefit age from 67 to 37. It sure looks like we’ll see a bunch of veteran players (Curtis Granderson? Matt Holliday? Ichiro Suzuki?) forced into retirement. Ballplayers just might have to face the reality that teams increasingly prefer young players for reasons both physical and fiscal, and it’s not clear what, if any, legal means can reverse that trend.

Sport

Last US Sport News: Giants get their man: Take Saquon Barkley at No. 2. NY Post 24 - US News
Giants get their man: Take Saquon Barkley at No. 2.
The Giants got their man. Do not expect Saquon Barkley to fly in wearing a red cape but he will embark on his NFL career...
Last US Sport News: Browns take Baker Mayfield with No. 1 pick in NFL draft. NY Post 24 - US News
Browns take Baker Mayfield with No. 1 pick in NFL draft.
It’s Baker Mayfield to the Browns. Cleveland selected the Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Thursday with the first overall...
Last US Sport News: Freak who got away can show Yankees what they’re missing. NY Post 24 - US News
Freak who got away can show Yankees what they’re missing.
During his 12 years as a Yankees baseball operations official, Billy Eppler took the time to visit Monument Park in both...
Last US Sport News: Rangers’ next coach must find way to fix the defensive chaos. NY Post 24 - US News
Rangers’ next coach must find way to fix the defensive chaos.
Regarding the Rangers, about to embark on their first visit to Lotteryland in Toronto on Saturday: 1. Watching Dan Girardi...

Opinion

Last US News - Opinion: De Blasio’s inconvenient truth about sexual-harassment complaints. NY Post 24 - US News
De Blasio’s inconvenient truth about sexual-harassment complaints.
Did Mayor de Blasio tell an inconvenient truth Wednesday when he griped about a “hyper-complaint dynamic” at the Department...
Last US News - Opinion: Surcharges would let diners know who’s to blame for high prices. NY Post 24 - US News
Surcharges would let diners know who’s to blame for high prices.
Restaurant owners in the city are at a breaking point: They’re being squeezed by the high minimum wage but fear if they...
Last US News - Opinion: The mayor’s latest budget is a crisis in the making. NY Post 24 - US News
The mayor’s latest budget is a crisis in the making.
“Spend it if you’ve got it.” That seems to be Mayor de Blasio’s motto — judging by the $89.1 billion budget...
Last US News - Opinion: Gov. Andrew ‘Nixon’ Cuomo, Trump’s Saudi gamble and other comments. NY Post 24 - US News
Gov. Andrew ‘Nixon’ Cuomo, Trump’s Saudi gamble and other comments.
Policy wonk: Cynthia Nixon Has Already Won Democrats took a big step toward “total control in Albany” and “a progressive...
Last US News - Opinion: Why does de Blasio keep closing his eyes to sexual misconduct?. NY Post 24 - US News
Why does de Blasio keep closing his eyes to sexual misconduct?.
On July 17, 2017, during my campaign for mayor, I issued a news release containing the following headline: “Mayor Turns...

Living

US Living News: Here’s proof that teens really just need a nap. NY Post 24 - US News
Here’s proof that teens really just need a nap.
That kid dozing in the back of class may be smarter than you think. Researchers at the University of Delaware and University...
US Living News: Formerly paralyzed ESPN star: ‘I was locked in my own body’. NY Post 24 - US News
Formerly paralyzed ESPN star: ‘I was locked in my own body’.
Victoria Arlen is the picture of confidence. Truly: Right now, the 23-year-old ESPN personality is gracing giant billboards...
US Living News: Chinese start-ups hire attractive women to ‘motivate’ male coders. NY Post 24 - US News
Chinese start-ups hire attractive women to ‘motivate’ male coders.
It might sound like something that belongs in an episode of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” which spoofs the eccentricities...
US Living News: Teens take selfie on bridge moments before it collapses. NY Post 24 - US News
Teens take selfie on bridge moments before it collapses.
Three young women – including two teenagers – suffered multiple fractures after falling over 30 feet off a rundown bridge...
US Living News: ‘Fake’ $5 coin turns out to be worth millions. NY Post 24 - US News
‘Fake’ $5 coin turns out to be worth millions.
When a coin collector was told his mysterious $5 discovery was a fake by numerous experts, he began to believe it himself....
US Living News: America’s $1 trillion student-debt problem heads into its sixth year. NY Post 24 - US News
America’s $1 trillion student-debt problem heads into its sixth year.
Student debt has been a $1 trillion problem for at least six years. Six years ago, on April 25, 2012, activists took to the...
US Living News: Economists are freaking out over this checking account trend. NY Post 24 - US News
Economists are freaking out over this checking account trend.
How much money is in your checking account? Here’s why it matters — and what it might say about you. Markets are...
US Living News: College adds ‘Cry Closet’ for stressed-out students. NY Post 24 - US News
College adds ‘Cry Closet’ for stressed-out students.
Students at the University of Utah will have the opportunity to relieve stress during finals week by locking themselves in...

Business

Last US Business News: Amazon stock surges as quarterly profits double. NY Post 24 - US News
Amazon stock surges as quarterly profits double.
Amazon more than doubled its quarterly profit despite the e-commerce juggernaut’s heavy spending on warehouses and developing...
Last US Business News: Former HSBC exec gets 2 years in prison for currency scam. NY Post 24 - US News
Former HSBC exec gets 2 years in prison for currency scam.
A British trader accused of bragging that ripping off a client was like “f—ing Christmas” was sentenced to two years...
Last US Business News: Chinese start-ups hire attractive women to ‘motivate’ male coders. NY Post 24 - US News
Chinese start-ups hire attractive women to ‘motivate’ male coders.
It might sound like something that belongs in an episode of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” which spoofs the eccentricities...
Last US Business News: Facebook exec grilled by UK Parliament over data leaks. NY Post 24 - US News
Facebook exec grilled by UK Parliament over data leaks.
A top Facebook executive got grilled Thursday by British lawmakers, who angrily demanded answers about the company’s data-leak...
Last US Business News: Developer Michael Shvo settles art sales tax case for $3.5 million. NY Post 24 - US News
Developer Michael Shvo settles art sales tax case for $3.5 million.
Michael Shvo, the luxury broker turned developer, has settled his ongoing art sales criminal tax case for roughly $3.5 million,...
Last US Business News: Steve Cohen’s hedge fund sued over use of another fund’s name. NY Post 24 - US News
Steve Cohen’s hedge fund sued over use of another fund’s name.
Billionaire Steven Cohen’s hedge fund was sued on Wednesday by a San Francisco money manager seeking to stop it from using...
Last US Business News: Southwest says deadly engine disaster is hurting business. NY Post 24 - US News
Southwest says deadly engine disaster is hurting business.
Southwest Airlines on Thursday warned that fallout from a fatal mid-air explosion last week will weigh on second-quarter...
Last US Business News: Tesla’s head of Autopilot is leaving company. NY Post 24 - US News
Tesla’s head of Autopilot is leaving company.
Tesla said Jim Keller, who had been in charge of the electric-car maker’s controversial Autopilot software, has left the...

Metro

Metro News: ISIS wannabe who stabbed FBI agent gets 17 years. NY Post 24 - US News
ISIS wannabe who stabbed FBI agent gets 17 years.
An ISIS wannabe was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in prison for attempting to aid ISIS and trying to kill an FBI agent....
Metro News: Woman can’t sue husband over topless pics in sex-harassment case: judge. NY Post 24 - US News
Woman can’t sue husband over topless pics in sex-harassment case: judge.
What a buncha boobs! Back in happier times, Sandra Piedrabuena posed topless for her husband, hedge funder Russel Abrams,...
Metro News: NTSB investigates dragging death of man on LIRR platform. NY Post 24 - US News
NTSB investigates dragging death of man on LIRR platform.
The feds are investigating the death of a man who was dragged by a Long Island Rail Road train earlier this month, officials...
Metro News: Cuomo touts $1.4B in new Brooklyn projects. NY Post 24 - US News
Cuomo touts $1.4B in new Brooklyn projects.
Heading into his re-election, Gov. Cuomo on Thursday boasted that he’s set aside $1.4 billion on projects in Brooklyn....
Metro News: Senate Ethics panel scolds Menendez over gift scandal. NY Post 24 - US News
Senate Ethics panel scolds Menendez over gift scandal.
The Senate Ethics Committee on Thursday formally admonished Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey over his relationship...
Metro News: City doubles security barriers to protect pedestrians from terror attacks. NY Post 24 - US News
City doubles security barriers to protect pedestrians from terror attacks.
The city plans to add 3,000 new security barriers — double the number proposed in January — on sidewalks and...
Metro News: NJ has one of the highest arrest rates for marijuana. NY Post 24 - US News
NJ has one of the highest arrest rates for marijuana.
Despite being closer to legalizing marijuana than ever before, New Jersey has the highest arrest rate for pot of all other...
Metro News: Dad charged in toddler death went to jail for son’s drowning. NY Post 24 - US News
Dad charged in toddler death went to jail for son’s drowning.
A man charged in the death of his toddler daughter — found in a suitcase near New Jersey train tracks this month —...

Sport

Last US Sport News: Giants get their man: Take Saquon Barkley at No. 2. NY Post 24 - US News
Giants get their man: Take Saquon Barkley at No. 2.
The Giants got their man. Do not expect Saquon Barkley to fly in wearing a red cape but he will embark on his NFL career...
Last US Sport News: Browns take Baker Mayfield with No. 1 pick in NFL draft. NY Post 24 - US News
Browns take Baker Mayfield with No. 1 pick in NFL draft.
It’s Baker Mayfield to the Browns. Cleveland selected the Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Thursday with the first overall...
Last US Sport News: Freak who got away can show Yankees what they’re missing. NY Post 24 - US News
Freak who got away can show Yankees what they’re missing.
During his 12 years as a Yankees baseball operations official, Billy Eppler took the time to visit Monument Park in both...
Last US Sport News: Rangers’ next coach must find way to fix the defensive chaos. NY Post 24 - US News
Rangers’ next coach must find way to fix the defensive chaos.
Regarding the Rangers, about to embark on their first visit to Lotteryland in Toronto on Saturday: 1. Watching Dan Girardi...
Last US Sport News: Twins ‘officially pissed off’ at this Yankee Stadium deja vu. NY Post 24 - US News
Twins ‘officially pissed off’ at this Yankee Stadium deja vu.
A team could get a complex. The Twins at Yankee Stadium have been a virtual lost cause. Find a way to lose, and the Twins...