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Extensions are MLB’s new normal. Are Bryant, other Cubs next?

Has there been a change in strategy around baseball? What used to be the goal of nearly every player — earning the right to choose which team he plays for — might now be less appealing. From Nolan Arenado to Aaron Hicks, young players are beginning to see the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side. It means signing extensions with their current teams could be the norm more than the exception.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

“Of course there’s some hesitation that goes along with it [free agency],” Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant said recently.

Pitcher Kyle Hendricks added: “We’re paying attention and taking note of what’s happening. Regardless of all of that, I’ve always said I would love to be in Chicago for my whole career. I know how tough that would be in this day and age.”6

The Cubs are an example of a team that has been unable to sign any of its young players. But it’s not for a lack of trying. Past discussions haven’t resulted in a single long-term deal for players such as Bryant, Hendricks, Javy Baez and Kyle Schwarber. Common thinking is players want to test the free-agent market, figuring they can’t do worse when all 30 teams can bid on them.

At least, that used to be the thinking. It still might be for stars such as Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, but that leaves many others wondering about the free-agent landscape before the collective bargaining agreement expires in a little less than three years. After all, it’s March and there are plenty of players without jobs.

“We’re all watching what’s going on,” one agent for a second-tier type player said. “I wouldn’t say our strategy has changed. But it could. And it it’s different for every player.”

Union chief Tony Clark said the message from players is loud and clear: They want to see all 30 teams trying to win every year. If that were the case, the 30- to 32-year-old veteran might be more in demand.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

“The value for players that can help teams win doesn’t seem to be what it should be,” Clark said last week after visiting with Cubs players. “It appears that there are a number of teams who are working toward and interested in being the last team that’s standing, and there are a number of teams that don’t appear to be quite interested in that.”