Twenty-one baseball teams had the opportunity to acquire one of the best pitchers in the world for a little more than a handful of tickets, and only one jumped on it. If the frozen free agent market this winter was not enough of a sign that Major League Baseball has a competitiveness problem, Yu dear to San Diego Padres sent a clear reminder that passivity is not just a field problem.
Padre’s aggressiveness towards Darvish and former Cy Young winner Blake fast over a 24-hour period stands in stark contrast to the vast majority of the rest of the sport, which has been thwarted by an ownership class that uses the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to match pay. Money was the contributing factor in Chicago Cubs, one of the sport’s jewel franchises, which launches Darvish, their best player in 2020, for a year’s start Zach Davies and four prospects, three of them teens who have not taken a professional bat and one a 20-year-old with less than 300 in rookieball.
Any criticism of the return is vacuum without a deeper dive into why a player of Darvish corpses brought back a relative pittance. The answer to that question ties together so many of the issues that should worry the game’s managers: the complacency of too many franchises; Pandora’s box with extended playoffs; the poor appearance of all the teams with the highest income in the game who practice a version of tightening at the same time – and the combined effects on working conditions with a collective agreement less than a year from the expiration.