Yankees and Major League Baseball arrive at a crossroads

Miguel Andujar (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Miguel Andujar (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Bobby Brown level blockage

The hot stove season has been pretty cold, Dee Gordon notwithstanding. And we all know why: Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani. Of the two, at least Stanton seems to want to play for a championship.

But when that logjam breaks, we will see the first of a new era in baseball, or perhaps it is better to say a return to an old era.

Free agency took a real hit in the last collective bargaining agreement. Rules made it, so teams signing specific free agents had to give up first round picks. I’m not going to dissect the minutiae as this is a Yankees site and I want to return to them, individually.

This happened at the same time as big market clubs reawakened to the monetary value of homegrown players. That caused what we all saw the last few offseasons: A slow process that almost always left a few outstanding veterans out of baseball.

That rule has been changed. There are still compensation penalties, but the highest now only go between the first and second rounds.

This should make it easier for clubs to sign role players again, whose salaries the clubs don’t object to but are not worth compensation picks. The effect of this change will be incredibly significant over the next two or three years, its impact seemingly slight at first.