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Data: Spotrac; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

For the second straight year, baseball free agency is moving at a snail's pace as a new crop of risk-averse general managers are refusing to pay players for past results and are increasingly embracing the rebuild (it's not "tanking" but it's close).

Why it matters: "For decades, players thrived under the current setup — club-imposed salaries for their first three years, arbitration-inflated numbers for the next three, the riches of free agency after six," writes The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal (subscription).

By the numbers: Four of the top seven free agents (Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel) and nine of the top 20, per Sports Illustrated, remain unsigned.

  • Silver lining: Relative to a year ago, the number of free agent signings and total money spent have both increased. Still, they're lower than in any of the previous six seasons (as depicted above).

But in recent years, teams have started to take advantage of that system and, for many players, the "riches of free agency" are simply no longer there.

  • The bottom line: "There is a growing consensus ... that the system is broken," writes Rosenthal.

Closing remarks, via the WSJ's Jared Diamond: "It's perfectly reasonable to say that it's smart for teams not to pay free agents the enormous sums of money they want, as long as you acknowledge how anticapitalist it is for players to be forced into below-market wages for as many as seven years before they hit the free market."

  • "Maybe players have an unreasonable expectation of what they're worth on the open market. ... But remember that they spent their entire career up to that point making far less than their worth because of baseball's economic system."

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Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 33,137,748 — Total deaths: 998,372 — Total recoveries: 22,952,164Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 7,116,456 — Total deaths: 204,762 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. States: 3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week
  4. Health: The childless vaccine. The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic
  5. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Big Tech's share of the S&P 500 reached record level in August

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Reproduced from The Leuthold Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

The gap between the weighting of the five largest companies in the S&P 500 and the 300 smallest rose to the highest ever at the end of August, according to data from the Leuthold Group.

Why it matters: The concentration of wealth in a few massive U.S. tech companies has reached a scale significantly greater than it was before the dot-com bubble burst.

Fortune 100 companies commit $3.3 billion to fight racism and inequality

Data: Fortune 500, Axios analysis of company statements, get the data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon, Naema Ahmed/Axios

Big businesses continue to push funding toward fighting inequality and racism, with the 100 largest U.S. companies' monetary commitments rising to $3.33 billion since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police earlier this year, according to an Axios analysis.

Why it matters: The continued pace of funding commitments shows that months after Floyd's death there remains pressure for the wealthiest corporations to put their money behind social issues and efforts.