Spring training officially is here, but dozens of well-established Major League Baseball players remain without teams.
Two of the biggest stars in the game, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, have yet to sign deals and plenty more veterans — ranging from serviceable to All-Stars — remain free agents as teams get together in Florida and Arizona.
Players around the league have voiced their frustration over such notable players remaining unsigned throughout the offseason. And one veteran, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, thinks the frustration eventually will reach a breaking point for the players.
Speaking with InsideSTL.com on Friday, the pitcher voiced his growing concerns over the issues brewing between the players and the league.
“Unless something changes, there’s going to be a strike. 100 percent,” Wainwright said, as transcribed by SI.com. “I’m just worried people are going to walk out midseason.”
The 37-year-old righty is perplexed as to how big names like Harper can remain unsigned.
“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,” he said. “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,” Wainwright added. “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.”
There obviously is a growing discontent among players surrounding free agency. While it is tough seeing the players walking out in the middle of a season, it is becoming increasingly clear that something is going to have to give at some point. Players will be able to formally address the situation in 2021 when the current collective bargaining agreement expires.