Where will MLB’s top free agents sign once the lockout ends?

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In the best-case scenario for baseball, the players and owners will agree on a new collective bargaining agreement on around Feb. 1, just in time to start spring training as scheduled. Even that rosy outcome would create a transaction frenzy for those free agents who didn’t commit before the Dec. 2 lockout, giving them — as well as the teams with heavy lifting — about two weeks to mobilize.

My hunch is this dynamic will aid the teams more than the players, most of whom prefer to start camp on time with their clubs.

Of the 40 free agents whose fates I projected back on Nov. 7, 23 signed prior to the lockout (feel free to grade how I did with that group).

Now, let’s revisit — and revise, when necessary — the 17 who didn’t sign, looking at both the team and the contract. Rather than offer new, precise financial terms, I’ll venture whether the player will do better or worse than (or the same as) my original conjecture. No reason to get so granular again when the terms of the new CBA aren’t known.

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