So I'm sitting on my couch, pondering my navel, wondering the usual things like "how much would it hold? It would make a great place to put ketchup for my fries". When a call comes in. It's a friend of mine, hyperventilating about the boys at Sportsnet and conflicting messages.
On one hand, he read that Shi Davidi is reporting that the Encarnacion and Bautista Era is over. Then he hears Wilner interviewed and he's not convinced that they are gone. Something still may happen. Buddy points to a Davidi article that says the Jays will have more big league payroll in 2017. So the Jays can afford them? Yet another article, this time not from Sportsnet, says the Jays are taking the cheap way by signing Morales. With the DH spot taken that means EE is gone, right? Except Edwin's agent says he's more of a first baseman. So he wants to know, who in the hell to believe?
It's time for my friend and the rest of us to breathe into a paper bag, or at least drink what's in the paper bag and relax.
- It's unlikely that any major free agent is signed before December 1,2016. The new CBA will be taking effect and one of the issues is the luxury tax threshold. It will no doubt increase due to a decline the players percentage of overall revenues as described in this Fangraphs article. But by how much? Even Boston and New York are waiting on the numbers before committing to new contracts.
- There is a consensus that the Qualifying Offer system will be tweeked so it doesn't penalize certain players and their contracts. Example: EE has a draft pick attached to his signing. Many teams assign a dollar value to that, up to 10 million.. So EE if signs a 4/80, the signing team may see that as actually a 4/90 cost. Players would like that cash. Teams don't want the added cost
- Certain teams may be looking to the 2018 Free Agent class and saving their cake for then. Teams may not be willing to sign any player for longer than 2/3 years which is exactly what JB and EE are reportedly asking for.
- It's better to wait longer to see how the market shapes itself. This year doesn't have a stellar crop of players. If lesser players sign for more than expected, because of supply and demand, then the better players can demand more, if they wait.
I can go into more detail but you get the idea. Both Davidi and Wilner can have differing opinions and still be correct. There are too many unknown variables to make an informed decision on where EE or JB end up. We can all guess but without knowing the Jays budget, whether Shapiro seriously wants to get younger, what Jays prospects might be MLB ready in 2 years and what the new CBA will bring, it's all guesswork.
For what it's worth, at the beginning of the season, I thought they'd both be signed by other teams this offseason. A more interesting debate is what to do with Donaldson. I'll leave that for the next post.
With my friend calmed down, with a bag over his head and drunk on cherry brandy. I bid him adieu and went back to pondering my navel, How does all that lint end up in there?