There has been lots of talk already about why this offseason has been so bereft of deals, but Henry Druschel has an interesting idea. He points out that the last collective bargaining agreement imposed cost controls on the international free agent market that enabled mid-level and small-market teams to improve themselves there without large investments, and he hypothesizes that international free agents are a substitute good for domestic free agents. He uses the Rays as an example.
I’m not sure I buy the hypothesis. What’s to stop a team to spend the (very affordable) max in international signing dollars, and then still have the ability to play the domestic free agent market? If the budget isn’t tiny, I don’t see why the opportunity costs from one should include the other—that’s the whole point of cost controlling, from the competitive balance perspective.
But Druschel’s idea is interesting, so give it a read and tell me what you think.
- Keith Law’s top-20 Rays prospect list is out. If you’re not an “ESPN Insider,” Danny discussed a couple highlights.
- Baseball America’s first base prospects has Jake Bauers at the top.
- Baseball America’s top-20 second base prospects has Brandon Lowe at number 9, and Vidal Brujan at number 19.
- Baseball America’s top-20 Appalachian League prospect list has two Rays.
- The Tampa Bay Times top-50 restaurants list has Joe Maddon’s Ava as the top “moderate priced” area eatery.
- Jonathan Mayo wrote about “12 prospects who will make an impact in 2018.” Two Rays on the list. They’re the usual suspects.
- Bill Chastain did another Q&A, including a question about using Brendan McKay as a closer.
- Jonny Gomes will be a hitting coach in the Arizona Diamondbacks minor league system. Former-Ray Burke Badenhop is also in the system, as a special assistant to the GM.
- Rob Manfred made another proposal to the players union, regarding pace of play, that would not include a pitch clock for at least one year. Bob Nightengale reports.
- Eno Sarris is leaving FanGraphs.
- If you want tips from the pros on coaching baseball.
Parents & coaches of youth baseball & softball participants – Join us & @PCA_TampaBay at Tropicana Field this Saturday, February 3 at 10:30 am for a FREE coaches clinic! #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/uR684UX0kJ— Rays Community (@RaysCommunity) February 1, 2018
- Jake Bauer’s been taking social media notes from Brent Honeywell.
- New uniforms released at 11:00.
For your FYI, we're gonna release our new uniforms tomorrow at 11 a.m.— Durham Bulls (@DurhamBulls) February 2, 2018
Just thought y'all should know.