Looking at and charting every single Major League guaranteed signing over the past five offseasons is not easy. In fact, it makes you exhausted. I speak from experience.
I just built a spreadsheet that has all that data. Lucky for me, it was pretty easy to find, thanks to MLBTradeRumors.com’s transaction tracker. But now, I have to put it to use.
Since I began to cover baseball seriously a few years ago, free agency has always interested me more than just about anything else. In no other sport (perhaps excluding the NBA, but even still, the max contract hinders that) do the best players get to truly choose their destination. Money flies everywhere. Teams open their pocketbooks to extraordinary heights.
Over the past five offseasons, teams have spent almost a combined $10 billion on Major League free agents. That could buy the New York Yankees three times over, according to Forbes. And it could buy the Tampa Bay Rays 15 times over.
I have always wondered, though, what the best time is for a free agent to sign.
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