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Good morning baseball fans!
The big news coming out of yesterday is the Giants signing outfielder Denard Span to a three-year, $31 million contract.
With Alex Gordon signing on Wednesday and Span coming off the board yesterday, who's left in MLB free agency? Our own Matt Goldman explored that.
Premier talent like Chris Davis, who's led MLB in home runs since 2012 is still available; Justin Upton, the 28 year old outfielder who's averaged an fWAR of 3.78 since 2009 is still available; and Yovani Gallardo, the 29 year old pitcher who's thrown at least 180.2 innings since 2009, all while posting an FIP at or below 4.00 over that time span, is still available.
Last week, Nick Lampe asked and answered how the luxury tax is affecting this offseason.
While the Yankees and Dodgers are already over the luxury tax threshold for 2016, they could end up under the luxury tax threshold as soon as 2017, which would save them a significant amount of money by knocking them back down to the first time violator rate the next time they exceeded the tax threshold. The Yankees are set to lose three eight figure salaries after the 2016 season, as Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, and CC Sabathiawill become free agents. The Dodgers could also lower their payroll in the coming years, especially if they are able to receive significant contributions from players in their top-ranked farm system.
Of course, we do not even know what the luxury tax will look like in the next CBA, which is set to begin after the 2016 season. Even if the current luxury tax format stays in place, we will likely see the luxury tax threshold continue to increase, perhaps above $200 million in the near future. Based on what we've seen this offseason, the Yankees, Dodgers, and Angels seems to believe that the luxury tax will remain in place for the next CBA.
In any case, the luxury tax appears to be serving its purpose of increasing competitive balance by reducing the amount large market teams spend on player salaries.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1996, for the first time in 25 years, no one gets 75 percent of the votes needed to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Phil Niekro comes closest with 68 percent.
Question of the Day: Was Denard Span worth a three year deal, or is it a huge risk for the Giants?