Veteran free agents aren't the only major leaguers frustrated with how the 2018-19 hot stove has gone cold.
San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria blasted the slow offseason Friday, as two of the best players to ever hit free agency remain unemployed with less than a month until spring training facilities open.
"We are less then a month from the start of spring and once again some of our games biggest (stars) remain unsigned," the three-time All-Star shared on Instagram, along with a picture of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Craig Kimbrel, and Dallas Keuchel.
"Such a shame," Longoria continued. "(It) seems every day now someone is making up a new analytical tool to devalue players, especially free agents. As fans, why should 'value' for your team even be a consideration? It's not your money, it's money that players have worked their whole lives to get to that level and be deserving of. Bottom line, fans should want the best players and product on the field for their team. And as players we need to stand strong for what we believe we are worth and continue to fight for the rights we have fought for time and time again."
Longoria wasn't the only player who sounded off Friday on the state of free agency. Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant called Machado and Harper's free agencies "really weird" while suggesting that his fellow players are paying close attention to what's happening.
"Two of the best players in the game, and they have very little interest in them, from just what I hear. It's not good," Bryant told ESPN's Jesse Rogers. "It's something that will have to change. I know a lot of the other players are pretty upset about it."
Last offseason, multiple stars waited into spring training to finally sign contracts, including Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb. The belief then was that teams were saving money for the following offseason, when Harper, Machado, and Josh Donaldson would all hit free agency. Now, Donaldson has settled for a one-year deal, and the pair of 26-year-old superstars are navigating the market with a limited amount of suitors.
Like Donaldson, Yasmani Grandal also had to settle for a one-year deal, which was barely worth more than the qualifying offer the catcher turned down earlier in the winter.
The current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire following the 2021 season, and increased tensions between the league office and the MLB Players Association seem to indicate potentially difficult negotiations between the two sides.
Longoria signed a 10-year, $135.6-million contract - which includes a $13-million team option for the 2023 season - with the Tampa Bay Rays before being eligible to reach free agency. He'll become a free agent after the 2022 season if his option is declined.