Pitchers, Catchers Report in 8 Days, 5 Hours and 25 Minutes
It is officially time to panic now for pitchers and catchers without teams with pitchers and catchers reporting in 8 days, 5 hours and 25 minutes according to mlb.com.
MLBTRADERUMORS.com shows these five catchers as the only catchers without a team:
Paul Bako (38)
Rod Barajas (34) – Type B, offered arb
Michael Barrett (33)
Jose Molina (35)
Javier Valentin (34)
Most of the remaining free agent starting pitchers are the flotsam and jetsam left over after a long winter of wheeling and dealing. John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez are the two best known pitchers without a team. At their age they need to be signed soon or they may not be able to be ready for opening day.
I can understand not much interest being shown in Smoltz since he compiled a 3-8 and 6.35 ERA record in 2009. However he did strikeout 73 in 78 innings while walking only 18. Smoltz will be 43 on May 15 making it that much harder for him to find a team for 2010.
Smoltz definitely does not need to keep playing for the money since he has earned $135 million during his career so he could probably pitch for next to nothing in 2010 if he wants to play badly enough.
Pedro Martinez who will be 39 all season pitched well last season with a 5-1, 3.63 ERA but for some reason there has not been much talk about any team actually being interested in signing him.
It may be that clubs are waiting for the price to drop on Smoltz and Martinez and then scoop them up at bargain prices as spring training approaches next week.
What Happened With Johnny Damon?
It is a mystery to me why Johnny Damon has not agreed to terms with a major league baseball team on February 9.
He apparently asked for an astronomical amount that no team was interested in paying and now is faced with reducing his asking price or not play baseball in 2010.
Players like Damon who request big money contracts sometimes find themselves on the outside looking in later in the negotiating season. Many teams have already addressed their outfield needs and are through wheeling and dealing this offseason.
Now there are only a hand full of teams still interested in signing Damon. With Scott Boras as his agent Damon may have been hurt by the Boras strategy of waiting the teams out for the best deal. Instead the waiting seems to have backfired for Boras and Damon and they may have to accept a lot less money than they originally asked for.