MLB Insider: Cody Bellinger, other top free agents likely not signed for weeks Originally appeared in NBC Sports Chicago
If you’re feeling the MLB offseason is going slow, that’s because it is.
17 in MLB trade rumors despite less than three weeks until teams’ pitchers and catchers report Top 50 Free Agents As of Thursday, none had been signed, including four of the top 10 players.
Perhaps most strikingly, 2023 is the peak of the remaining free agency market Cubs Star Cody Bellingerwith the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snellworld series champion Jordan Montgomery and perennial Gold Glove Award winner. Matt Chapman All available.
All four players are represented by Scott Boras, a longtime agent who has made a name for himself and his clients by closing multiple record-breaking deals over the past few decades.
It’s no secret that one of Boras’s secrets is to serve his clients as long as possible to ensure they get the best deal, an effort that Jeff Passan, ESPN Said it is affecting the pace of signings this offseason.
“If such a deal is the end result of delays, sources told ESPN they don’t expect it to happen anytime soon. Multiple executives interested in signing Boras’ top clients agreed that none of the four are likely to be on the calendar. Sign before it’s their turn. By February — and said they wouldn’t be surprised if some still haven’t signed when spring camp opens.” Passan said in the report.
Passan added that the caliber of players so far this offseason is high, noting that only 11 players have signed major league contracts more than five years later than Jan. 27, with two of those contracts going to young Cuban defectors .
According to ESPN, the other nine contracts have a fairly narrow range of outcomes, including Bryce Harper and Manny Machado Deals worth more than $300 million topped the list, while Eric Hosmer, J.D. Martinez and Yu Darvish All transactions in 2018 exceeded $100 million.
While financial constraints have plagued many MLB teams this offseason due to the uncertainty of TV deals, Passan noted that some teams could be involved with one of the four remaining free agents on the market. At least one.
“The Giants are working well with multiple players. Chapman is a good fit at third base; Bellinger can be in the outfield or first base. Although they plan to keep free agent Jordan Hicks as the starting pitcher and add a Spurs NELL-level arm Toronto focused on at-bats, Chapman’s return or Bellinger’s arrival would help salvage a disastrous offseason in which the Blue Jays turned their noses up at Ohtani and Yamamoto and made only Made three notable moves: re-signing center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and adding utility man Isiah Keener-Falefa and starting pitcher Yarell Rodriguez. The Cubs could re-sign Sign Bellinger, lock in the third spot with Chapman, or move to Snell or Montgomery. Texas and Boston make sense for Montgomery, while the Yankees and Angels already have their hands in the Snell sweepstakes” Pasang said.
Passan speculated that an unknown team could also enter the fray for any of the top players, which could force the big-market teams that have established themselves in the competition to take action.
Passan noted that if the impasse continues into pitchers and catchers’ reports and/or spring training, the players could seek short-term contracts with a higher average annual value, similar to this deal Carlos Correa signed with minnesota twins He has until 2023 to hit the market again and get a six-year deal (after an apparent detour) before the 2022 season.
This predicament could work in favor of the Cubs pursuing Cody Bellinger, who may not be willing to commit too much money or too much time to the former MVP since his long-term future in center field is uncertain, especially is in Peter Crow-Armstrong Wait on the north side.
Despite the slow pace of the offseason and the impending spring training, Scott Boras has proven time and time again his willingness and ability to hold the line for clients, and it’s hard to see Jed Hoyer and the Cubs giving in first.