Last offseason, MLB teams were afraid to spend a lot of money knowing that there was a conflict brewing between the owners and the players for the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
They knew there was a lockout coming, and they didn’t know if there would be a season in 2022 or when would it start.
Thankfully, those issues were solved, and the season took place relatively normally.
This offseason, organizations are spending lots of dollars on free agents, and there were several high-profile extensions during the season, too.
The fear to spend is no longer a thing in MLB.
In fact, teams have been handing out long-term deals that pay star players well into their thirties and even in their forties.
It’s part of a new trend.
“Free-agent contracts of 11+ years in first 46 years of free agency: 1-Bryce Harper (13 years). Free-agent contracts of 11+ years in last 3 days: 2 (Bogaerts, Turner),” MLB insider Jayson Stark tweeted.
Free-agent contracts of 11+ years in first 46 years of free agency:
1-Bryce Harper (13 years)
Free-agent contracts of 11+ years in last 3 days:
2 (Bogaerts, Turner)
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 8, 2022
Baseball Economics Does Help Teams Absorbing The Blow Of A Long-Term Deal
Franchises are more comfortable than ever giving away long deals because by the time the last few years of those pacts come, inflation would have done its job and those salaries probably won’t hurt as much as they do today.
The Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) for 2023 is established at $233 million.
By the time 2026 rolls around, it will be $244 million, and it will keep rising with time.
Eight, nine, or ten years from now, those players earning $30 or $40 million per year probably won’t be in the top ten in yearly salaries.
It’s how baseball and economics work.
In order to sign a star-level player in free agency, as a team you have to stomach some ugly seasons late in the deal.
It’s part of the game: otherwise, someone else will secure that player.NEXT: MLB Insider Details The New Braves Bullpen