Two good deals – Bryce Harper and Manny Machado – do not prove free will is healthy – The Athletic


Yes, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will make more money next year than you and I are likely to sniff in their lifetime. Yes, it looks like they've signed the two biggest contracts ever and Harper has signed the longest contract of all time in baseball. Yes, two teams handed two free agents two Brink trucks for their talents.

But no, free will is not as healthy as these facts suggest.

On the one hand, none of these contracts is actually the biggest of all time. Not even close. Not if you convert yesterday's mega-deals into today's dollars.

In today's dollars, they have just signed the seventh and tenth biggest contracts of all time. In a year in which baseball has recorded record profits, two of the youngest free agents of all time – both expected to be among the 15 best players next year – come all just to win, you know, the top 10 contracts. Well, but not the record numbers that people would have you believe.

It's true that the teams were generally scared …

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