Samson: Players Have To Adjust To Current Market

Elite free agents remain unsigned for a very simple reason, David Samson says: they don't understand the market – or where they fit in it

Taz and the Moose
February 19, 2019 - 9:35 am

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Spring training is underway, and Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel, and Craig Kimbrel, among others, remain unsigned.

Why is that? Are owners just being cheap?

Former MLB executive and current CBS Sports HQ MLB analyst David Samson says no.

“(The) players do not have an understanding of where they fit in the current market,” Samson said on Taz & The Moose. “They believe they fit in a place where the market used to be, and they just have to adjust. I’ve been talking about it publicly and privately to anyone who will listen. Harper expected to get more than (Giancarlo) Stanton, and he’s just not going to get it. He’s holding out, hoping that an owner just caves, but I just don’t think it’s going to happen.”

The players, Samson explained, want contracts with more money and more years. The general manners, however, aren’t offering that.

“The players are adjusting to what the fact is,” Samson said. “The fact is they can’t get a contract for the number of years (they want).”

While Samson believes Machado could wind up with a short-term deal with the Yankees, he believes Harper will go where the grass is greener.

Literally greener.

“(It’ll be based on) what it’s always been when you’re a Boras client: it’s money,” Samson said. “When you choose an agent like Scott Boras, you know it’s not for the love of the game; it’s for love of money. That’s his right, and I respect him for it. He’s a great player, and he’s going to make a team better. 

“But again, if I’m running the team, which I have run, it’s very hard to explain to an owner that I’m going to bring in Bryce Harper for $35- or $40 million and he’s going to be that much better than a player I can get for $15- or $20 million – or even $5 million,” Samson continued. “Is he an extra win? An extra two wins? Well, if I’m an owner, I’m saying that $20- or $25 million extra for that, the juice is not worth the squeeze. But he will end up signing somewhere because he’s going to have to.”

Click below to listen to Samson's interview in its entirety.