User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Free agents ask premium prices early

New customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Ned Colletti thought back to last winter, when people kept pestering him.

''You've got eight starting pitchers. What are you going to do with all eight?'' the Los Angeles Dodgers general manager recalled everyone asking. ''And three weeks in, we're on No. 9.''

Pitching is at a premium already, with teams looking to increase depth for the long season ahead. Pretty much all free agents are going for top dollar this early in baseball's offseason.

Tim Lincecum got a $35 million, two-year contract to stay with the San Francisco Giants, who didn't want him going on the open market.

Outfielder Marlon Byrd agreed to a $16 million, two-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies this week, a huge increase from the agreement he signed with the New York Mets last winter that wound up earning him $800,000 - including bonuses.

''It's definitely a little scary,'' Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said Wednesday after hearing some of the asking prices.

Several agents were on hand for baseball's meetings this week, which included sessions with GMs for the first three days and a full owners' gathering on Thursday morning. The courtship process will build heading toward the winter meetings in nearby Lake Buena Vista from Dec. 9-12.

Agent Scott Boras, who wants to goad teams into spending more on free agents, criticized the Mets, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros for not spending enough and playfully suggested the Tampa Bay Rays seek a more financially beneficial home.

''I think there's a lot of cities that may attract them,'' he said. ''Maybe New Jersey would like that winning percentage.''

After missing the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years, the New York Yankees are in a shopping mode. In addition to trying to retain second baseman Robinson Cano, they're interested in catcher Brian McCann and outfielder Carlos Beltran, among others.

They need pitching, too. But there aren't any aces on the free-agent market, so teams could bid up the prices of pitchers projected as a No. 2 or No. 3 on a staff.

''I don't think there's any question about that,'' Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik said. ''The market sets itself.''

Only one agreement was announced Wednesday, with infielder Nick Punto leaving the Dodgers for a $3 million, one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics. For the premier players, deals will take more time.

How long is unclear.

''There's a certain amount of hesitation on really agent side as well as club side in terms of what the market is and what's going to happen next,'' Mets GM Sandy Alderson said. ''I'm sure there's some clubs that are looking to jump in and get something done right away and are prepared to do it under any circumstances, and so that's why I think you may see something over the next week or two. I don't think necessarily you have to wait til the winter meetings. I don't know what effect a late Thanksgiving will have.''

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Puig gets swollen eye thanks to bouncer
Jays sign LHP Happ to three-year deal
Former MLB outfielder Otis Nixon arrested
Avila, White Sox reach $2.5M deal
D-backs name Magadan hitting coach
Braun optimistic following surgery
A's acquire Jed Lowrie from Astros
Rockies trade Brothers to Cubs
Carpenter, Lavarnway sign with Braves
Why Buy Picks From
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
Live Odds
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 2463
Vince Akins + 1414
Chip Chirimbes + 1286
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 992
John Fisher + 906
Doc's Sports + 704
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 727
Bill Marzano + 560
Kyle Hunter + 559
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1664
Chip Chirimbes + 1582
Vince Akins + 1551
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 2104
Vince Akins + 1641
Don Anthony + 1557
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 633
Jimmy Boyd + 579
Kyle Hunter + 429
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership