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Friday November 6, 2009 6:28 am

Let loose the MLB free agents!




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Editorial, MLB, Trades,

Matt HollidayIn the midst of yet another New York Yankees World Series victory, it’s near impossible to find any headlines that deal with something not covered in pinstripes. But with the 2009 MLB officially behind them, it’s time for 29 teams to say goodbye to their new free agents and start shopping around for the replacements they think they need to improve and contend in 2010. It’s business as usual for the general managers, with the Yankees taking the weekend off to celebrate, beginning with the traditional parade down the Canyon of Heroes in downtown Manhattan planned for Friday. So who exactly is available to be sought and bought before Spring Training ’10?

There are currently over 200 eligible free agents available with pens in hand this winter just waiting to sign on the dotted line they think most suits their needs. Jason Bay might be among the most sought after outfielders, having been a more than suitable replacement for Manny in front of Fenway’s Green Monster, and Matt Holliday and Orlando Cabrera are two other excellent options. However, some class A free agents might be in between a rock and a hard place, like Toronto’s Marco Scutaro. The Jays look like they want to cut payroll, so giving Scutaro a bigger contract isn’t an option, and having just come off surgery, how many teams would be willing to sign him for several million and give up the two first-round picks to the Jays in doing so?

Another problem with this offseason isn’t the amount of players available, it’s the situation baseball finds itself in that’s causing issue. Baseball was the first among the major sports to feel the impact of the recession during the course of a full season, and as a result, revenues went down in many cities, which may translate into lower payrolls. As the “better” players sign the bigger contracts, teams will be more inclined to sign the cheapest talents afterwards. Once that is done, there may not be that much money left available for the mid-class players.

The eligible players have the next 15 days to file for free agency, and a number of them already have. Let the game of musical chairs begin. With so many options available for clubs to fill their holes, this offseason might be the cheapest one in years. Don’t expect anybody to sign a contract that even comes close to the ones that CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett inked last year. It also looks like the Yankee-spending might pale in comparison to last year when the Bombers spent almost as much money as the rest of baseball combined. It’s going to be interesting, and the best part is that First Pitch 2010 is only 150 days away!

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