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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.