Justin Verlander (Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Major League Baseball execs are reportedly predicting “one of the best free agency categories in recent memory,” with some high-profile players planning on their contracts Use an exit clause to access the open market.
Jon Heyman of The New York Post reported Thursday that it was a team that included New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob DeGrom, Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander, Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa, Boston Red Sox shortstop Sandbogart and San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Carlos Rodon.
Those with options in their 2023 contracts are expected to join a star-studded free agency group that also plans to include New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Los Angeles Dodgers short stop Trea Turner.
Having so many big names in free agency would be the first major scrutiny of MLB’s collective bargaining agreement test.
After a 99-day hiatus, the league and the Players Association reached an agreement on a new CBA in March. One of the biggest concerns the union raised throughout the process was “artificial restrictions on free agency.”
-The agency market has been sluggish in recent years, which is basically a problem in two aspects.
On the one hand, talented teams compete to try to avoid hitting the league’s competitive balance tax, MLB’s version of the luxury tax , and opted for the cheaper depth option.
On the other hand, quite a few clubs fully embrace tanks, so they have no interest in signing when the World Series is not a realistic goal Free agents with massive salary increases.
This leaves a handful of teams competing for most of the big names in the market, resulting in long-term free agency stays and contracts that are less than expected value.
The initial returns of the new CBA are promising. In the first 10 days after the deal was announced, more than $1 billion was spent on player contracts.
So now the focus has shifted to this winter, and if the CBA works as players expect, money should be flying around again.
DeGrom and Verlander are two of the best pitchers of this generation, and could be in the same league as last break Starting pitcher Max Scherzer earned $43.3 million from the Mets this season on the same pitch, which is MLB’s current highest salary, according to Spotrac.
Hitters like Judge and Turner should also be bankrupt in the new CBA environment. The Yankees slugger has recorded 51 home runs so far in 2022, 15 more than any other player, and the Dodgers infielder is one of the most well-rounded players in the sport.
The likes of Bogaerts, Correa, and Rodon may not be well matched to the top four salaries, but they also have the potential to earn big contract.
Having said that, if this year’s free agency market falls short of expectations in terms of team spending, complaints about the CBA could restart.