Searle: Extensions have WARPed future free agent markets

From Ginny Searle at Baseball Prospectus on April 10, 2019:

Continuous news blasts, by virtue of sheer volume of information, tend to have a concussive effect, robbing spectators of the ability to accurately contextualize and categorize the news being relayed. While many remarked on the slow winter market for free agent news, it was anything but that for contract extensions. Even casual observers noticed the unprecedented wave of massive extensions preceding, and now bleeding into, the start of the MLB regular season, but it bears pointing out the particulars of just how much the landscape has shifted regarding how teams and top players approach team control and free agency.

Inclusive of the most recent in a tidal wave of extensions, Cubs infielder David Bote’s, MLB Trade Rumors’ extension tracker counts 30 extensions in the five months since the official end of the 2018 season. By comparison, only 15 such extensions were tracked in the full year between November 2017-2018, while the year prior had 26 extensions. In the last five months there have already been more extensions than any full year in the last half-decade, though as Rob Arthur points out, the figure is more in line with those of the first half of this decade.

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Originally published: April 10, 2019. Last Updated: April 10, 2019.