Reasons Baseball's Hot Stove Is So Chilly

No surprise here: bad economy has slowed activity to a crawl
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2008 3:00 PM CST
Los Angeles Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez set the record with 62 saves during the 2008 season, but hasn't yet signed with a team for 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – December is usually prime time in baseball's hot-stove league, but with the market seemingly frozen, Tony Massarotti lists reasons why for the Boston Globe:

  1. The economy. With the possibility of dipping revenue over the next year (or years), teams are reluctant to jump into long-term, expensive player contracts.
  2. CC Sabathia. “Pitching still wins,” writes Massarotti, meaning that a big prize like left-hander Sabathia has huge sway over the free-agent market. Teams are waiting to see where he goes before pursuing the next-best thing.

  1. Compensation. At the other side of the market, teams have been less likely to sign smaller free agents before Dec. 1 because they didn’t want to sacrifice a draft pick.
  2. Scott Boras. This agent controls a strong stable of talent, and is a master of delaying negotiations in order to play teams off one another and get his way.
  3. Collusion? Are the owners up to something to depress the player market? It seems unlikely, but some owners will take great measure to cut costs.