So what can we learn from the current state of MLB Free Agency? Let me show you in three simple charts: less paragraphs, more econ graphs!
If we look at the overall number of signings over time, we see the last two Free Agency periods have slowed relative to the norm. There are many conjectures about why we see this but one thing we know for sure is that is is likely not because the pool of Free Agents is weaker than years past...
Relative to the pool of available Free Agents in the 2016/17 offseason, the 2018/19 pool of Free Agents is anywhere from somewhat stronger to much stronger!
The biggest concern for critics, such as Washington National's pitcher Sean Doolittle, is that there is a strong pool of available Free Agents just ready to be signed.
Many have also shown that hypothetical teams made up of existing Free Agents, the so-called All-Free Agent Teams, would rank among the best in baseball. Indeed the graph below shows that today's available Free Agents are as strong as last year's signed Free Agents!🤔 I understand it can be difficult to empathize with athletes who make millions to play a kids game but this is troubling and something thing to keep an eye out for in any industryhttps://t.co/5HW4hzI2RD— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) January 11, 2019
But the most important thing to realise is that with just a couple more signings, ostensibly picking out the best available Free Agents, and the market will provide some balance once again. I have created a simple logistic regression to predict who will be the next likely Free Agent signing and it shows below, the grey marker for available Free Agents will drop for Opening Day 2019 as only a few more quality Free Agents are signed.
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