Going into this off season it was understood that the economy is in pretty bad shape, although it is getting better. The invention of free agency was the single best thing to happen for baseball players since the sport was invented in the late 1800′s. Why shouldn’t players have the option to pick where they play and how much they get paid. As a player, if its a city you don’t want to play in, or if they didn’t offer enough years or enough money, you just say “thanks, but no thanks” and move on. The only issue with that is once you get around the age of 35 or so, you are on the downhill slide, you are a senior citizen in baseball. Unless you are a legacy player such as Derek Jeter, you are probably going to have to settle for a contract less than what you truly want.
There are several players still on the market this off season who have the ability to make an impact on a team, but they don’t want to settle for anything less than what they feel they are deserved. Sometimes your agent causes you to have this type of thinking. One agent notorious for this in Baseball is Scott Borars. Boras will get the best contract he can possibly get for his player. As a player you wouldn’t want anything less from your agent. Boras is rumored to tell teams that other teams have better offers out there, although the offers do not exist. One prominent player who is represented by Boras is Alex Rodriguez who signed with the Texas Rangers after the 2000 season. At the time of his signing Arod had an offer from the Mets also. It is rumored that Arod wanted to play for the Mets, but the Rangers offered more money and at the urging of Boras he came to Texas. His three years in Texas were great, although the Rangers who were in over their head by signing him, had trade him away and they paid for it the next four seasons. Boras makes sure that players take the best offer out there.
Earlier this off season Johnny Damon who is another Boras client was offered a two year deal for 14 million by the Yankees. Boras probably told him he was worth more and he turned the offer down. Pitchers and catchers report in 8 days and Damon is still unsigned. According to MLB.com Damon currently has a 1 year offer from the Braves and he probably won’t take it because its not up to his standards. Sometimes players need to take their own career in their hands and decide what is more important playing baseball for less money or not putting the uniform on?