Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's due to the Domino Effect

Ben Shpigel wonders aloud if the fact that the economy is in the crapper is the reason for the relatively quiet free agent signing period so far. Ben notes the "Domino Effect" but also dismisses it.

Player agents and front-office executives often speak of the domino effect that occurs after the premium free agent at his position makes a decision. For instance, as soon as Sabathia, the most coveted starting pitcher, chooses where he will play for the next six or so years, interest in the other top starters — A. J. Burnett, Derek Lowe, Oliver PĂ©rez and Ben Sheets — should sort itself out.
He goes on to speak about that while the biggest fish (Sabathia, Teixeira) will get theirs, maybe the economy will jump up and bite some of the other guys. I disagree, to a point. Once Sabathia lands, the dominoes will tumble quickly. If the Yanks are left watching Sabathia take the podium in Anaheim, you can bet that they will step up their offers and interest in ALL of the best remaining pitchers, plus Teixeira. And I'd expect it to happen pretty quickly.

Let's say that Sabathia signs somewhere the week after Thanksgiving. The rest of those big ticket pitchers (Lowe, Burnett, Sheets) plus Teixeira will be signed before we take Christmas break. That's not the economy, stupid (nothing personal, Ben!). That's the Domino Effect.

Sure, the economy will shrink the deals offered to the lower level free agents, but the best guys will still do just fine once the first --very large-- domino comes a'tumblin' down.

1 comment:

tHeMARksMiTh said...

I agree. Sabathia is the big-ticket guy. The other are waiting to see what he gets. The teams are waiting to see who gets him so they can go for the other pitchers or Teixeira or Manny. Then, teams will miss out on the free-agents and need to finally make trades. But Sabathia's cooling his heels waiting for other offers, either to know the Angels, Dodgers, or Giants want him or that they want him so the Yankees will give him $30M more.