Let’s say you’re a baseball player. You’ve just finished a decent, if unspectacular, year. You are now a free agent. You’re determined to test the market. Unfortunately, the market is uninterested in you. In this case, you are Benjie Molina:
“I think I’ve done enough to deserve something,” Molina told the Sun. “And if I don’t get that type of deal, I think I’m willing to sit out and wait and see what happens next year. I hope it doesn’t come to that.”
See, Molina isn’t getting the kind of contract offers he had hoped for. There were basically two available catchers on the market, and a couple of teams looking to upgrade. Then the mets, who had made an offer to Molina (and the same offer to Ramon Hernandez, to see who would sign first) threw Molina for a loop faster than he could stammer “negotiate.” They traded for Paul LoDuca. And left Molina holding the bag.
Now, I don’t really feel bad for Molina. There was an offer on the table. He tried to leverage his position with the Mets, didn’t resign with Anaheim when he had the chance, and wanted to see what the market would bear. And the market burned him. But threatening to sit out? That’s just dumb. Who is he threatening? This isn’t a contract holdout situation. What team is going to feel any sort of urgency to sign him? Nobody, that’s the reason nobody’s signed him yet. What leverage does sitting out gain him? Nothing, he’ll just be a free agent. Maybe he’s hoping Jorge Posada gets impaled by a flagpole or something, and then the Yankees will sign him midseason. Otherwise? Sign a one-year deal for under (what you perceive) market value. And then prove yourself worthy of a long-term deal for next offseason. What does sitting out get you, other than questions about your dedication, endurance and rust? Nothing! Just as Maurice Clarett how well that worked out for him.
I think Benjie’s got himselcf all worked into a lather that everyone really, really wants to sign him. And he’s going to threaten to sit out, until someone wises up. What a moron.