"To say that the 60s ended with the Moon Landing is to say that there's still nowhere to go but up for Western civilization. But to say that the 60s ended with the Manson Family killings is to say that society had taken a wrong turn, that history, culture, and civilization had set upon a dark path."
Last year's free agent market was sluggish, albeit less so than this year. The problem this year is that a kind of "soft collusion" among front offices doesn't stand a chance against market forces that will produce the two biggest contracts in the history of major league baseball.
"The 90s were a crucible for pitchers. Newer ballparks were smaller and had stingier foul territories. The strike zone was the size of a license plate. Two rounds of expansion drafts diluted talent. More power hitting followed, as well as more 300 strikeout seasons by elite pitchers. The “Colorado Effect” made a superstar of Larry Walker but was harsh on pitchers who had to survive at high altitude. Baseballs were allegedly juiced. And so were the hitters—allegedly."
Long-term, a dearth of homegrown talent in the future puts more pressure on a good return from a Machado trade now. Hopefully the team has a greater capacity for spotting top line talent developed by other teams than developing its own.