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Boycott of spring training suggested over slow free-agent market

Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Baseball

"I don't know," Frazier replied, adding: "There are teams interested."

"Oh, good," Hill said. "Who's interested? Did they tell you?"

Knowing they were being filmed, Frazier sheepishly told Hill: "I can't really tell right now. We'll talk later."

Frazier, like many others, might have to settle for a one-year deal and try again next year, when the market will be filled with big names such as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson.

Commission Rob Manfred said Thursday at the owners meetings in Beverly Hills, Calif., that many factors are involved in the slow market, including "different quality of players" and the new CBA.

"Just like there have been some markets where the lid got blown off in terms of player salary growth, I think economics would suggest occasionally you're going to have some that are going to be a little different, not quite as robust," he said.

At the Cubs Convention, Anthony Rizzo speculated the reason might be collusion but added he didn't know enough about the situation to say for certain. When asked about collusion theories, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said: "No one has brought that up until you, but there's nothing to it. I think everyone just has finite resources. And they're just looking at the playing field for the market, and they're all making whatever decisions they make for their team."

 

Ricketts suggested some teams were "saving their powder" for next year's free agents. No one will know if that's true until November.

Rest assured there will be baseball, with or without the unsigned players.

(c)2018 Chicago Tribune

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