Week in review: Harsh words exchanged, free agent batters and more

In looking back on the last week of stories here and revisting a few, we spent some time discussing the harsh words exchanged recently by the players and owners, looked at some lefty-batting free agents and also looked at the latest PECOTA projections.

On Monday, we discussed some recent statements issued, including one by the Major League Baseball Players Assocation and one by prominent agent Brodie Van Wagenen. He said the slow free agent market “feels coordinated” and that the players “are uniting in a way not seen since 1994.”

Rob Manfred OPACY.jpgMy conclusion continues to be that a series of events rather than collusion has impacted this mostly frigid market. The luxury tax has kept traditional big spenders like the Dodgers and Yankees on the sidelines. Teams are now more reluctant than ever to hand out lengthy deals to players whose best years may be dwindling or behind them. Some teams are looking to rebuild and won’t spend big on free agents right now. They’ve seen how well it worked for the Astros and Cubs, as both were hitting rock bottom in the standings not long ago. Some teams are waiting for next winter’s very strong free agent class. Teams are now relying on younger - and, yes, less expensive - talent more than ever before. That is a series of events that led to weeks of a slow market that few, if any, could truly foresee.

On Tuesday, we looked at some available free agent outfielders, three in particular in this post, presenting a discussion of Carlos Gonzalez, Jon Jay and Jarrod Dyson. At a time when the Orioles are building some nice outfield depth on the farm, they still could sign a lefty batter before opening day.

On Thursday, we looked at the latest PECOTA projections that have the Orioles winning just 69 games this season. In recent years, this system has been low on the O’s win total by as much as 21 and 22 wins. But last year, the projection for 73 victories missed by just two on the low side. But O’s fans are used to it by now - PECOTA is not the Orioles’ friend.

As always, leave comments on those or any other Orioles stories we’ve addressed here, or bring up some of your own questions and comments. All are welcome.

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