Carleton: Why relievers are getting paid this offseason

From Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus on January 17, 2018:

It’s been a “slow” offseason by all accounts. Most of the “major” free agents are still not entirely sure what hat they’ll be wearing next season. It’s been a little perplexing. The Hot Stove usually has a few more coals on it to keep us warm during the cold, dark months when there isn’t any baseball. And so, of course, stripped of the ability to talk about the reasons that a team might have signed a player and why that might or might not be a good idea, we are now reduced to writing about why teams haven’t signed a player (or players in general) and why that might or might not be a good idea.

There are several potential explanations that have been floated, from the nefarious (collusion!) to the coincidental (maybe it’s just a slow year) to the circumstantial (teams are just saving their bitcoins for next year’s loaded class) to the logical (umm, sure J.D. Martinez can hit, but he’s a poor-fielding corner outfielder and teams are getting too smart to be giving a guy like that $25 million a year). But there has been one corner of the free agent market where things have been swimming along nicely. Relievers (thanks, Colordado!) have signed quickly and at prices that I’m sure momentarily sparked some hope among the rest of the class.

I think the movement in the reliever market tells us something important about the rest of the market for free agents going forward.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 17, 2018. Last Updated: January 17, 2018.