Yankees and Major League Baseball arrive at a crossroads

5 of 11
Bryce Harper (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) /

I wish I could get this guy’s money

Some changes are already in place, such as a more extended season to provide the players with extra rest.

But there is one more turning point baseball is coming to. A few years ago, teams realized the folly of signing thirty-year-old players to what players want most, a ten-year contract.

Agents, however, had encouraged players to wait until the age of 30 to test that kind of market. Historically, more players have had career years in their age thirty season, than any other.

This new analysis halted an age-old process. Players already 30, no longer got the big contracts and agents began to work on extensions that ended when players turned the new magic number, 28. It seemed to many that baseball had changed and the era of the big free agent contract was over.

How many times did we hear that teams now sign their players and big free agents are a thing of the past?

Wrong; it was just a market correction. And next year, as well all know, will prove it. But, why does that make this offseason the turning point? Two reasons. One, some teams are probably not going to wait until next off-season to lose their stars and make bold trades this year. If true, that would favor teams with deep systems.

Such as the Yankees.

How would it feel to trade Chance Adams, Jake Cave and Thairo Estrada for one year of Manny Machado? Bryce Harper? Clayton Kershaw (opt-out)? Charlie Blackmon? Gio Gonzalez? That might be a possibility.

Don’t want no short term, don’t want no short-term deal

The other thing that is changing is giving the long-term extensions. It seemed like a good idea to lock up a budding superstar early.

But small market teams forgot that superstars are rare. When you pay a player at a superstar level, and he stops performing like one with six or seven years left, your club is financially stymied for the next decade; Homer Bailey springs to mind.

My feeling from the league is that this philosophy is ending. That will mean a return to players coming available even earlier in their careers, another trend starting now.

That’s a quick primer on some of the new and most impactful changes and discussions coming to the 2018 season that major league baseball will have to confront. And that’s not all MLB will have to contend with.

Now that we know the framework, we can see the 2018 Yankees coming into view. Time to take a look.