The third signing day in United Rotisserie League history was not notable for the size of the contracts given or who was signed, but for the fact that, for the first time, every one in the group did sign a contract, instead of some receiving no bids.
Adam Dunn and Curtis Granderson led the way, as they were the only players that signed contracts that were over the $100 barrier. Dunn signed with the Arkansas Cardinals for $130 over 5 years, while Granderson went to the Atkins Alley Cats in a five year deal worth $125.
“Granderson is coming off helping his team into the World Series,” Atkins owner Charles Rector said Monday. “That kind of experience and leadership comes with a price tag. We expect to be reaping the benefits come October 2007.”
Cardinals owner Daniel Shoptaw had similar sentiments for Dunn. “Adam is going to be a big part of this team, as indicated by the fact that he has, at the moment, the top salary in Cardinal history. We expect that his power and batting eye will help push this team through the marathon that is the season.”
Other notables that signed included shortstops Bobby Crosby (Brewville Style) and Edgar Renteria (Cardinals) and legendary pitcher Roger Clemens (Style), who has yet to indicate whether he will return for 2007 or not.
Due to a clerical error in processing the paperwork, the rights to starting pitcher Mark Buehrle were incorrectly announced as being won by the Clarksville Cubs. Subsequent investigation showed that while the bid amount announced was correct, it was submitted by the Atkins Alley Cats. The front office of the United Rotisserie League deeply regrets this error and will endeavor to improve its procedures so this does not happen again. All relevant files on the official URL site have been updated to reflect this correction.
When the New York Mets took a catcher with their first overall pick in the expansion draft that created them, sage Casey Stengal noted that “without a catcher, you have a lot of passed balls.” The teams of the United Rotisserie League have taken this credo to heart, signing four backstops in the second day of free agent signings.
The Edwardsville Armada shelled out big bucks to solidify behind the plate, spending $400 over five years for Joe Mauer and $250 over five years for Victor Martinez. Depending on how the contracts are structured, that could constitute 20% of the Armada’s 2007 payroll.
“We’re shelling out the money”, said owner David Reed, “but we expect to get big returns on the field.”
Other catchers that found a home were Ramon Hernandez ($50/5 by the Conway Capitols) and Russell Martin ($64/4 by the Arkansas Cardinals). With the signing of Mike Piazza by the Cardinals on the opening day of the free agency signing period, that means that five catchers have already settled into new homes.
The other big news from Day 2 was the signing of David Wright to the second-largest contract in URL history. The Atkins Alley Cats landed him for $470 over five years, a mere $1 per year shy of Miguel Cabrera’s standard-setter.
“Wright is going to be huge for us,” said top Cat Charles Rector. “Not only on the field, but in our marketing and outreach to the fan base as well. Plus, being that David is from New York, he may be able to get me into some of those exclusive poker rooms.”
The third day of signings is scheduled for Monday, October 30.
The first free agent signings were submitted to the league office today, giving wood to the fire that is the Hot Stove League. Topping the early contracts was Miguel Cabrera, who received a five year, $475 contract from the Edwardsville Armada.
“We wanted to make sure we were able to attract some prime talent,” Armada owner David Reed said at the signing Monday. “We think Miguel fits that criteria perfectly, and he should be a cornerstone for years to come.”
The Armada and the Conway Capitols were the busiest teams on the first day of the signing period. They combined to sign eleven of the 19 players that were landed Monday.
The Capitols started a strong pitching staff by shelling out money to Roy Oswalt ($180 over three years) and Josh Beckett ($80 over two years).
“Pitching wins championships, in our opinion, and we think that these signings give us a leg up on a 2007 championship,” stated Capitols head man Mark Scott.
Bidding is expected to increase in the coming days, as another signing period will be coming Thursday.
The gates were swung wide open this morning by Commissioner Daniel Shoptaw, starting the first free agency period in United Rotisserie League history. All eight teams were expected to begin talking to players and getting some preliminary financial discussions going during this week.
“I understand that some teams were active this weekend. Due to the great number of players to talk to, I am not surprised and I’m glad to see that teams are becoming involved,” Shoptaw said. “I look forward to seeing where some of these players wind up in the next couple of months.”
The first update of bids on players is expected on Wednesday or Thursday of this week, while players will start deciding on contracts starting next Monday.
The United Rotisserie League announced today that, after discussions and votes from the owners involved, the free agency starting date would be moved from November 13 to October 16.
Commissioner Daniel Shoptaw explained that the logistics involving contracts was the main reason for the change.
“Sure, everyone is anxious to get some players and start forming a team,” said Shoptaw, “but when we realized that allowing for the uneven distribution of a total contract over the life of the contract was going to require some other changes, moving the free agency period up seemed to be the best way to fix those issues.”
The free agency period will now be expanded, as the ending date has not changed. Instead of three groups closing in a normal week, it will now be two, as groups will close Mondays and Thursdays, to allow owners more time to get their contract details into the league office.