Factors that will create a wild winter
November, 4, 2013
By Buster Olney | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Elise AmendolaExpect Jacoby Ellsbury to get a deal that will shock even the most hardcore fans.The contract talks for free agents can start tonight, and the way some evaluators speak about the market, it feels like there are teams and players all revved up and waiting for the green flag to drop. For baseball, this could be like shoppers bursting through the door the day after Thanksgiving.
Here are nine forces that will shape baseball's market:
1. There is money available. Lots of it.
Teams are receiving the first influx of dollars from Major League Baseball's massive national television packages, from ESPN and other entities, money that will allow clubs to nudge their budgets upward, and perhaps spend more than they planned on spending as they pursue a particular player.
The lower class of free agents may not necessarily benefit, but the guys at the top of the market -- Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, etc. -- may get deals that could shock us.