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Should MLB have a free-agent signing deadline?

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The last two offseasons might argue for such a thing.

“You sign first.” “No, YOU sign first!”
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Spring training camps open next week and the two biggest free agents, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, are still unsigned.

There are quite a few other good players still on the open market, but it’s felt in many areas that Harper and Machado still being unsigned has kept the logjam from breaking.

Then there’s this statement today that might make you go “Hmmmm....”

So, based on Rosenthal’s comment, Harper won’t sign until Machado goes first. But Machado won’t sign until Harper goes first.

I am certainly not begrudging either one of these great players all the money they can possibly get. We’ve discussed at length the reticence of teams to go over the various luxury tax levels and treating them like a de facto salary cap.

But if Harper and Machado are playing a game of salary chicken between themselves, maybe it’s time for MLB to have a free-agent signing deadline. This would allow teams to plan better for the upcoming season, and liven things up for fans, not that the latter is the primary concern here.

The idea of a FA signing deadline has been bandied about, though not taken really seriously. Maybe it’s time. Free agency begins five days after the World Series ends. Would the Winter Meetings be enough time for players to get and consider offers? That’s about five weeks. You’d think that might be enough time. That would certainly make the week of the meetings quite exciting.

Or maybe New Year’s Eve would work; that would liven up a generally slow week in the baseball world.

Given what Rosenthal wrote — and here’s his entire article from earlier today — maybe it is time for some sort of deadline for free-agent signings.

What do you think?

Poll

A deadline for free agent signings...

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Yes! It should be the date the Winter Meetings end
    (23 votes)
  • 11%
    Yes! It should be December 31
    (42 votes)
  • 33%
    Yes! Sometime around mid-January
    (122 votes)
  • 18%
    Yes! One week before spring training camps open
    (68 votes)
  • 29%
    No! The system’s fine the way it is
    (109 votes)
364 votes total Vote Now