NEW YORK (AP) _ Baseball players' union head Tony Clark says the number of rebuilding teams and unsigned free agents in a historically slow market ``threatens the very integrity of our game.''
Clark issued a statement Tuesday and spoke in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. He says ``a significant number of teams are engaged in a race to the bottom'' and ``this conduct is a fundamental breach of the trust between a team and its fans.''
Just 53 of 166 players who exercised their free agency rights last November had announced agreements entering Tuesday, down from 99 of 158 at a similar time last year. J.D. Martinez, Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas are among the players still looking for a place to play a week before spring training camps open.
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said last week more teams may be competing for the top draft pick than for the World Series title.