Predictions of lavish free-agent spending in baseball could be at odds with cable TV’s fragile state – Los Angeles Times

If the 2018 season represents a rainbow, there are many, many pots of gold waiting at the end of it.

So goes the conventional wisdom that has settled over the major leagues, and here at the All-Star game. The greatest free-agent class in major league history is coming, and with it the greatest wave of spending. Bryce Harper is the star of the class, and $400 million is considered an opening bid.

No athlete ever has gotten a contract so rich, and yet that might not be enough. Believe the hype, and you start hearing an auctioneer: Four hundred million! Four, do I hear five? Five hundred million? Do I hear six? Five going once, five going twice … six hundred million!

And not only Harper. Clayton Kershaw could opt out of the final two years and $65 million of his Dodgers contract; he certainly could do better on a new deal. The other free agents next year could include All-Stars Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Blackmon, Craig Kimbrel and Daniel Murphy and stars Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Zach Britton and A.J. Pollock.

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