The United Rotisserie League’s free agency period has been open for close to a month now, but signings have been few and far between.
Of those that filed for free agency, only seven—catcher Yadier Molina, first baseman Carlos Pena, outfielders Kosuke Fukudome and Ken Griffey, and pitchers Kelvim Escobar, Rafael Perez and Jose Valverde—have come to terms with teams. The Arkansas Cardinals and URL Champion Wendy’s Peffercorns have signed the most free agents with two.
“It’s a weak field,” said Conway Capitols owner Mark Scott. “Most of the big names were signed to long-term deals last offseason. There’s not a whole lot out there this year.”
Edwardsville Armada owner David Reed pointed to the lack of need as well as the lack of quality.
“There are some guys out there that could help a team,” Reed stated, “but they play positions that most everyone is stocked up on. Look at Nick Johnson. If healthy, he can rake and really be productive. But he plays first base. There aren’t a lot of people that need a first baseman. They either have a major league player at that position or have a minor leaguer ready to step up and be productive.”
Charles Rector, owner of the runner-up Atkins Alley Cats, doesn’t expect that next off-season will be much better. “Most of the good ones were locked up well past two years. Sure, you have Josh Beckett scheduled to be a FA, but that could be about it. It’s when you get into 2009 and 2010 offseasons that impact players become available, assuming they aren’t slapped with the franchise tag.”
Free agency will continue until January 25.