Usually, the MLB offseason is ripe with big names going to different teams. Teams fill their needs by signing superstars in order to take the next step towards winning the World Series. However, this offseason seems a little peculiar. There isn't much in the line of free agent signings. In fact, the bigger story for the offseason has been the trades that have went down.
You can blame Scott Boras for asking teams to pay outrageous prices for his clients. You can blame most contending teams having a need at one particular position filled (see Eric Hosmer). But one major reason for the stagnant action is next year's free agent class.
The free agent class of 2018-2019 will feature names like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, Josh Donaldson, and even Clayton Kershaw if he opts out of his current deal. That's just the icing on the cake. There will be plenty of all-stars on the list that teams will be shaking their dollars at in order to bolster their World Series chances.
So while current free agents like Hosmer and Yu Darvish have to sit back and wait for a suitor, next year's class will be expecting big bucks from willing teams. Thus is the reason why teams are shying away from picking up these free agents. If teams like the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox spend money on the current crop of free agents, they won't have enough money to spend on next year's class without encountering MLB's luxury tax.
There's a realistic possibility that many of these free agents won't be with a team when spring training rolls around. There's also a good chance that many of the current free agents will get discounted deals. Whatever the case, next year's free agent class is already having an impact.
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