St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright became the latest player to voice his concern over the slow free agent market and even forecast a strike midseason.
“Unless something changes, there’s going to be a strike, 100 percent,” Wainwright told InsideSTL.com on Friday.
“I’m just worried people are going to walk out midseason. …
“Thirty owners need to be answering that because you have one of the best players in the game that needs a job and no one is signing him. You’ve got 30 owners who have a sabermetric box that will sign players when they were in that box. They don’t take any intangibles or anything else into play and that’s a sad thing.
“You have to realize that this is about winning. If Bryce Harper wants 10 years and he’s 26 years old, is anyone saying that he’s going to have 10 MVPs? No, but he might have three or four in there … He’s going to be a dynamic player. The same can be said about Manny Machado. These guys are superstar players.”
With full squads reporting to camp in the coming days, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel remained unsigned, among many others.
Earlier this week, Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander vented his frustration on Twitter.
“System is broken,” he wrote. “They blame ‘rebuilding’ but that’s BS. You’re telling me you couldn’t sign Bryce or Manny for 10 years and go from there? Seems like a good place to start a rebuild to me. (Age) 26-36 is a great performance window too.”
Could a midseason strike actually happen? It’s conceivable considering all the frustration, but probably unlikely. There hasn’t been a work stoppage since the 1994-95 season. But that could end when the collective bargaining agreement expires Dec. 1, 2021.
The regular season, however, is less than six weeks away with some of baseball’s best players still sitting at home.