With Spring Training set to begin in less than a week, there remains a glut of free agents without clubs for the 2018 season. The list of players extends to a trio of All-Stars in Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish and Eric Hosmer.
The slow-moving offseason has frustrated many players around the league, including Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who suggested a strike if teams continue sitting out free agency.
Despite the threats of a potential boycott, there is no timetable on when the congested free agent market will gain some clarity.
That being said, there has been talk of additional Spring Training sites opening up for the remaining free agents to work out at, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports:
With 30 camps set to open early next week and an unusual number of players still without contracts – some among the top free agents on the market – the union is investigating sites in Florida and Arizona in case it determines a 31st camp is necessary. The IMG baseball academy in Bradenton, Florida, was believed to be among at least three options. The union also is identifying coaches and other personnel to staff the facility.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic then confirmed that the IMG Academy in Florida is where the camp will take place:
Sources: Spring-training camp for unsigned free agents will be at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fl.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 8, 2018
Adding further Spring Training sites make sense, given that many players would otherwise not have the opportunity to participate in team-related activities. Rosenthal went on to add that the camp will be run by former Houston Astros manager Bo Porter.
The camp is set to take place from Feb. 14 until March 4, although arrangements to extend it until the end of Spring Training can be made if necessary.
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark released a statement on Tuesday, directly accusing teams of desiring to lose as many games as possible while established veterans struggle to find deals.
That led to a response from Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner and left-hander Alex Wood, who agreed with the notion that teams shouldn’t purposely tank, and in the process, prevent a free agent from signing with a club.