San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria is sick of baseball’s glacial free-agent market. The 33-year-old bemoaned the state of free agency, saying it’s “such a shame” so many premier players are still available.
Longoria made those comments, and said a few other things, in an Instagram post.
We are less then a month from the start of spring and once again some of our games biggest starts remain unsigned. Such a shame. It’s seems every day now someone is making up a new analytical tool to devalue players, especially free agents. As fans, why should “value” for your team even be a consideration? It’s not your money, it’s money that players have worked their whole lives to get to that level and be deserving of. Bottom line, fans should want the best players and product on the field for their team. And as players we need to stand strong for what we believe we are worth and continue to fight for the rights we have fought for time and time again.
A post shared by evan longoria (@evan.longoria3) on Jan 18, 2019 at 10:37am PST
Longoria not only expressed disappointment in the market, but also said free agents are being devalued by analytics. He added that fans should not care about player “value,” and should want their teams to have “the best players and product on the field.” Finally, Longoria said the players need to “stand strong for what we believe we are worth and continue to fight for the rights we have fought for time and time again.”
That last sentence strongly hints at the labor fight to come with the owners. Many have speculated baseball is headed toward a strike once the current collective-bargaining agreement expires at the end of 2021. Longoria’s comments seem to confirm that the players are angry with the way the free-agent market has played out, and that they are prepared to fight unless things change.
He’s not the only player to speak out about free agency. Toronto Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman commented on the lacking market for Manny Machado on Wednesday. Dallas Keuchel — who was mentioned in Longoria’s post — said people no longer care about what a player has accomplished in the past.
That doesn’t mean anything anymore… apparently 😉 https://t.co/EJ8HtE7s0D
— Dallas Keuchel (@kidkeuchy) January 17, 2019
While some of those comments are fairly innocent, the fact that the players are speaking publicly about the market says quite a bit. In the past, players have generally remained quiet on the topic. The fact that a handful have expressed frustration could be more evidence of the widening gap between ownership and the players.
As Longoria notes, the players will need to “stand strong” if they hope to enact change. The collective-bargaining agreement doesn’t expire until the end of 2021, so the players should have plenty of time to get on the same page.
If the recent comments are any indication, some of them already are.
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