Braves: A must-needed change to MLB free agency could be coming

Daniel young Braves

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is under constant scrutiny, and it’s deserving. There are tons of things that could be easily fixed that would improve the popularity of the game. Most notably, why the hell are playoff games televised in the middle of the afternoon on weekdays? That has to be the stupidest idea I’ve seen from any league at any time. This is the most important time of the year for the league, what sells your product to the average fan, and you play the games while people are at work. It’s absolutely mind-boggling.

I digress. Another aspect that must change is MLB free agency. As we sit here today, teams across the country are arriving to Spring Training, yet some of the best players in the game, including 2023 NL Cy Young recipient Blank Snell, remain free agents. The season ended four months ago; it’s absolutely absurd that contracts are still being negotiated.

In every other pro spots league, free agency is one of the most popular times of the year. It’s like one giant enticing soap opera that keeps the league relevant while no games are being played. MLB’s free agency is more like being locked in a room and forced to watch a documentary on how paint dries for 72 hours.

It’s something that has to be addressed, especially after this winter, and Rob Manfred is showing signs of that potentially happening in the near future.

There is absolutely no reason this process should not be expedited. Scott Boras isn’t discussing deals with teams for his clients on a day-to-day basis. It’s more likely the two sides don’t contact each other for months. The deals would still look the same at the end of the day, and the winners are baseball fans, who would be able to sit on the edge of their seats with excitement, knowing a deal is around the corner.

I’ve had my fair share of gripes with the way Rob Manfred has handled things since taking over as MLB commissioner. However, the rule changes he implemented last year were a home run. If he successfully creates something like a month-long MLB free agency period and stops allowing postseason baseball to take place at 1:00 PM ET on a Tuesday, he just might change my mind about the job he’s done before he retires in 2029.

Photographer: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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