I don’t think it’s as big a deal as you think it is. Teams that aren’t trying to win aren’t going to pay 10x , 20x the minimum to sign an Adam Jones type just because they get to stash him at AAA if he goes into a slump or sudden decline. Teams aren’t signing those types of veterans to middle class contracts because they’d rather put a Jacoby Jones type out there for the minimum and shoot for a few more losses and a higher draft pool.Because it’s hurting many of the free agent veterans who are still good enough to make and help teams, but not quite good enough to commit a definite permanent roster spot to. The difference since 2009 is that the gap between 23 year olds and 31 year olds has closed quite a bit.
As we just saw with Josh Harrison, what these teams want veterans to do is to sign for rock bottom contracts, options or no options.
And if you’re talking about teams that are trying to win, then my point about encouraging talent hoarding comes into play. Yeah, I’m sure the Yankees and Dodgers would love to be able to sign 3 or 4 veterans for 3 or 4 million each and stash them in AAA for emergencies. But that just makes the rich even richer.