The MLB and MLBPA will be returning to the bargaining table tomorrow, in order to hopefully begin the process of thawing the MLB landscape, which has remained quite frosty for over a month now. While this is surely welcome news for the baseball world, it doesn’t seem like the end of the lockout is imminent. At this point, with the scheduled start of spring training about a month away, there’s no avoiding a scenario with a quick turnaround between the conclusion of the lockout and the resumption of baseball activities. It’s been deduced by many that this will surely lead to a period of frenzied hot stove activity, as there are still a great number of free agents to be signed, as well as trades to be made, as teams look to set their rosters before the season begins in earnest.
Once that happens, some teams will surely be more active than others, depending on their respective circumstances. Front office members are typically cagy in public about what sort of payroll parameters they are working within, for sensible reasons. When negotiating with a player’s agent, for instance, it’s harder to make it seem as though you have little wiggle room if you’ve publicly boasted about having millions of dollars at your disposal. That makes it impossible for us to know exactly how much money is remaining in each team’s piggy bank, but we can at least make inferences by looking at precedents.