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Baseball Is Broken. Can Anything Short of a Strike Fix It?

• Michael Baumann

Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned. One of the sport's best catchers had to settle for a one-year deal. Kyler Murray might play another sport if he can't get paid. Only the players can fix this, but to do so, they'll have to risk a work stoppage they're not currently prepared to win. Last week, the top catcher on the free-agent market, Yasmani Grandal, signed with the Brewers for just one year and $18.25 million, barely eclipsing the qualifying offer he rejected from the Dodgers in November. Just four seasons ago, free-agent catcher Russell Martin signed a five-year, $82 million deal with Toronto, even though he was two years older then as Grandal is now, and not as good. Grandal's game is polarizing: He is an elite hitter and pitch framer for his position who sometimes struggles to work well with pitchers and?"to his immense embarrassment in the 2018 playoffs?"block pitches in the dirt. But in total, he's one of the best players?"perhaps the best?"at

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