Home runs are down in the post-Mitchell Report era, on a pace for 1,000 fewer than 2007. Velocity is down among pitchers.
So we why is everyone in a rush to lock up players to long-term deals?
Look at some of the pre-free-agent mega-deals handed out since teams spring training:
- The Detroit Tigers gave Miguel Cabrera an eight-year, $152.3-million US deal, while Curtis Granderson was handed a five-year, $30-million package.
- The Jays locked up Alex Rios for seven years at $70.7 million, while Aaron Hill landed a four-year, $12.8-million deal.
- Justin Morneau was awarded a six-year, $80-million deal by the Minnesota Twins. Michael Cuddyer got three years for $24 million.
- Almost a Jay, Troy Tulowitzki signed a six-year, $31-million deal with the Colorado Rockies, who also gave Manny Corpas $8 million over four years and Brad Hawpe $17.4 million for three years.
- Then there are those big-spending Tampa Bay Rays: Evan Longoria a nine-year, $44.5-million deal, James Shields seven years for $44 million, Scott Kazmir a four-year extension for $39.5 million, Carlos Pena three years for $24.125 million, and Dan Wheeler four years for $13.5 million.
- Arizona Diamondbacks gave Chris Young a five-year, $28-million deal.
- St. Louis Cardinals locked up Yadier Molina four years and $15.5 million and Adam Wainwright for four years and $15 million.
- The Texas Rangers gave Ian Kinsler a five-year, $22-million contract.
- Robinson Cano was given a four-year, $30-million deal by the New York Yankees.
- Brandon Phillips got a four-year $27-million deal from the Cincinnati Reds.
- The Cleveland Indians gave Fausto Carmona a four-year $15-million package.
Are we the only ones who drive with the radio tuned to the Jays broadcasts with Jerry Howarth and Alan Ashby, then at a critical part of the game, drive past our exit and not mind one bit?