It feels like baseball writers/bloggers/observers can be divided into two camps – those who live for the off-season and those who do not. I consider myself part of the second camp. I prefer baseball to not baseball, and speculating on transactions related to baseball remains squarely in the Not Baseball camp.
Thankfully, our friend Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet can do both. The former lead writer at MLB Trade Rumors excels in November and December. So I turned to Ben to help me break down the potential wheelings and/or dealings that we can expect over the next two months.
Fans hate spending money, which is weird. The plugged-in fan seems more risk-adverse than the actual teams they follow (the casual fan, on the other hand, wants to throw money around like it’s on fire. There is a difference between these two camps as we should proceed appropriately.)
One of the greatest fears appears to be the dreaded Overpayment. “Don’t overpay!”, they cry; only to decide every deal is an overpayment. It’s the nature of the beast, the demand does not match up to the supply and salaries inflate in turn.
Free agent fool’s gold is no longer the vogue way to build a team. Build from within is the rallying cry. It makes sense. Saving money on players is a great way to afford other players when the need arises. Or something. I guess that’s the endgame.
I feel the Red Sox title powered on the backs of smart free agent signings might help turn this worm. Smart baseball fans will see the opportunities within the free agent market as much as the glaring red flags and potential franchise killers. These players are out there for the taking for the team willing to suppress the little voice inside their head that says “this is risk!”
Free agency is always a risky proposition. The Red Sox season would look much different if they didn’t hit on so much on of their calculated gambles last winter. Can any team balance risk and reward so effectively this winter?