Uncategorized

Buster’s Buzz: How trades like Indians-Mets swap hurt free agents

Early in this offseason, some agents were a little concerned about a rash of trades because of how those deals affect a large class of free agents. When one team addresses a roster hole by swapping assets with another club, that effectively closes an opportunity for a free agent.

That burst of trades that began right after the close of the World Series has developed into a trend. The Indians’ move for Kevin Plawecki on Sunday was one more example of the sort of incremental deal-making we’ve seen this winter. Plawecki’s production in the big leagues has not been what the Mets had expected — a .218 average in 237 games, with 14 homers — but Cleveland bet that he could provide more in a backup role, at a price they like, than one of the many catchers still waiting for jobs in free agency.