Baseball's Best Have Signed, But There Is Still a Problem

Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, and Bryce Harper have all signed and I am now thoroughly confused.

The past two weeks in baseball have been a massive wake up from the dull slumber that occupied most of the offseason. After literally months without a peep, Manny Machado broke the scales in a record-breaking 10-year $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres. Fellow infielder and soon-to-be free agent Nolan Arenado said, “Anything you can do, I can do better” and signed an 8-year $255 million extension with the Colorado Rockies, which nets him a higher AAV than Machado. Then just a few days later, Bryce Harper goes, “Hold my beer,” and signs an insane 13-year $330 million agreement with the Philadelphia Phillies, beating out the massive contract totals of Manny Machado, Giancarlo Stanton, and Alex Rodriguez.

All I can say is…wtf MLB?

I mean yes, thank god all of the unnecessary drama over these players is over. Smokescreens were being thrown left and right to break our radar (especially after Manny Machado teased us all on social media with Chicago White Sox caps and baby booties). I must say it worked, but I was genuinely sick and tired of it after a month, let alone three months of this pointless shit. So yes, thank you for finally signing with your clubs.

I am confused about the state of the MLB now. For the past two seasons, genuine Major Leaguers like Curtis Granderson, Francisco Liriano, and Hanley Ramirez have settled for Minor League contracts with big league club invites. Sure, they may not be the superstars they used to be, but they’re still major contributors with positive impacts both on and off the field. That alone should be enough to warrant even just the 25th spot on your 25-man Major League roster. Additionally, other high-profile names like Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel are still sitting on the market while Spring Training is already underway. The same goes for All-Stars J.D. Martinez and Mike Moustakas, who settled for a B.S. one year “prove-it” deal for just $6.5 million after slashing .272/.314/.521 with 38 HRs and 85 RBIs the season before.

Meanwhile, the latest three signees just broke American sports records in a matter of days. Despite how good they are, Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, and Nolan Arenado are not worth the combined contracts of the rest of their teams, nor should they be valued at 60x the annual worth of proven veterans who are settling for dingy Minor League contracts. Machado and Harper are perceived as two of the laziest and most careless ball players in the game. And they have histories of being toxic in their clubhouse.  And yet, both are valued significantly more than guys like Granderson and Ramirez who are known to give their heart and soul to the game, while making extremely positive impacts both in the locker room and in their communities.

Yeah, it’s cool to see the big money shelled out for the big name players, but it’s discouraging to see them making insane amounts of money while all 30 GMs are undeniably dumpster diving for the rest of the league’s players. I think this at least partly comes down to the fact that the MLB has a major problem with marketing its players. The best-known players are making the most by an insane margin while more efficient, but lesser known, guys are being signed for dirt cheap.

I LOVE baseball, but I think there’s a major problem with the free agency system. Fair to say this off season bonanza is a sign of the larger problems facing America’s Pastime. Do you guys agree with my disdain for the state of the MLB? Let me know in the comments below.

Purveyor of truth. Breaker of chains. Foolish fan of the Mets, Jets, and Knicks.

Twitter: @ChazzLucenti