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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: Do the international signing rules hurt free agency

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MILB: SEP 28 Florida Instructional League - FIL Braves at FIL Rays Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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.

Lists ($$)

Links

  • Jake Bauer’s been taking social media notes from Brent Honeywell.
  • New uniforms released at 11:00.