The frenzy of MLB free agency has come to a close and the lockout has officially begun. Seemingly not to worry, ESPN’s Jeff Passan says it is not a serious cause for concern. Yet.
MLB free agency was forced to speed up as players wanted to sign before any lengthy delays could halt progress on a deal. Consequently, over $1 billion dollars was spent by teams this offseason in just a few weeks as teams look to improve their rosters for this coming season. Below is a list of the highest-spending teams during the MLB’s free agency period.
Top 10 $ committed to free agents so far:
Texas: $561.2 million
New York Mets: $254 million
Toronto: $121 million
Seattle: $115 million
Detroit: $77 million
Houston: $67 million
Miami: $53 million
Los Angeles Angels: $45 million
St. Louis: $44 million
San Francisco: $36 million
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 29, 2021
Sportsbooks Adjust Futures Odds
Notably, DraftKings Sportsbook had the New York Mets at +2000 before they signed top free-agent pitcher, Max Scherzer. The betting odds eventually landed on +1000, a nearly 5% change difference. The 2021 World Series odds shift is a direct result of Scherzer’s signing and is accompanied by the Mets’ other free agent acquisitions — Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha, and Starling Marte.
Furthermore, the Blue Jays also showed a positive increase in their odds to win the World Series at most major sportsbooks. Check out the full MLB World Series free agency movement below.
Notable 2021 MLB World Series Odds Movement
|Team||Sportsbook/Pre Free Agency World Series Odds||Sportsbook/Post Free Agency World Series Odds||Percent Change|
|New York Mets||DraftKings: +2000||DraftKings: +1000||4.76% -> 9.09%
|Toronto Blue Jays||PointsBet: +1800||PointsBet: +1200||5.26% -> 7.69%
|Boston Red Sox||PointsBet: +1800||PointsBet: +2000||5.26% -> 4.76%
|New York Yankees||FanDuel: +1000||FanDuel: +1200||9.09% -> 7.69%
|San Francisco Giants||PointsBet: +2000||PointsBet: +2500||4.76% -> 3.85%
Top Remaining MLB Free Agents
Most of the major free agents are off the board. However, there are at least a few players who are going to demand a massive contract from a few of the teams that missed out on upgrading their teams. Below is a list of the remaining free agents with projections by MLB Trade Rumors, which has been shockingly accurate this offseason. For example, it projected Starling Marte to get a 4-year, $80 million deal. He agreed to a deal with the Mets for four years and $78 million.
- Carlos Correa — Projected 10 years, $320 million
- Freddie Freeman — Projected 6 years, $180 million
- Kris Bryant — Projected 6 years, $160 million
- Trevor Story — Projected 6 years, $126 million
- Nick Castellanos — Projected 5 years, $115 million
- Marcus Stroman — Projected 5 years, $110 million
- Kyle Schwarber — Projected 4 years, $70 million
- Carlos Rodon — Projected 1 year, $25 million
Currently, players and owners need to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The old CBA expires at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 1. During that time, players and owners will no longer be able to negotiate contracts with free agents until the new CBA is agreed upon. The players on the above list are all in danger of being in free-agent limbo during the lockout.
The top free agents in that list will undoubtedly result in more odds movement by sportsbooks if the landing spot is noteworthy.