All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Looking for a major-league job? Stand in line

ESPN's Jayson Stark has an article about the unusual number of free agents who haven't found jobs yet.

Here at World Rumblings Headquarters, we keep a free-agent transaction book every offseason. But we've never seen a winter like this. As of Friday morning, we still had more than 150 names in our book that hadn't been crossed off. Yeah, 150.

That's not guys who played in Korea last year. That's not guys who played in the Gulf Coast League. That's the number of players who have played in the big leagues within the last two years -- counting men who have been released, non-tendered, designated or pretty much forgotten altogether -- who still don't have jobs.

And it's February.

The explanations?

We asked a bunch of executives from both leagues about this free-agent gridlock. They offered all sorts of plausible explanations.

One of the least compelling free-agent crops ever. … Too many interchangeable parts. … Too much trade talk involving bigger names, which held up the market. … The Mitchell Report. … Renewed emphasis on younger players. … Yada, yada, yada.

As we said, it's all plausible. It's all true. But that doesn't mean it isn't weird.

Stark even suggests that collusion is a possibility, though it can't be proven.

In any case, this appears to be a lousy winter to be a free agent.

posted by BubbaFan, 3:40 PM


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