Perhaps the most affecting scene of
Major League Baseball's movers and shakers will on Monday converge on the Bellagio for the start of their annual winter meetings, and while the destinations of most of this off-season's crop of free agents won't be determined by the time the meetings end on Thursday, we should by then have a much better idea as to which group will by spring be figuratively amassed before the Bellagio's fountains, wryly smiling at the heist it has collectively pulled off.
Will it be the players' agents, with
I suspect that it's going to be the latter group. The free-agent market has been open for three full weeks now, and yet we can cross off just four players from
That the other 46 members of the list (as well as more than 100 of their less-talented colleagues) remain in limbo suggests that baseball's GM's will be more reluctant than usual to shovel coal into the hot stove.
Other than that, though, we might witness the difficult-to-pity sight of a bunch of disappointed multi-millionaires come spring. Few teams seem willing to commit the dollars that proven producers like
While things can rapidly change as the dominoes start to fall, the sense of desperation felt by GM's might this year be tempered by baseball's new economic and competitive realities. In fact, starting on Monday at the Bellagio, Boras and his fellow agents could well face that which they most dread: a buyer's market.