Jeff Passan's 2022-23 MLB free agency takeaways

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Spring training starts in less than a month. Every major free agent is signed. Almost all of the second- and third-tier ones have jobs, too. It's almost like Major League Baseball free agency doesn't need to bleed into the beginning of a new season.

With that clarity, we can find takeaways, lessons and trends -- the sort of things that inform not only the past three months but the season to come and, possibly, the years ahead. Teams have guaranteed players a record $3.8-plus billion this winter. Maybe it is an outlier -- a confluence of a free agent class with a bigger-than-usual group of star-caliber talent, a new collective bargaining agreement that juiced spending and a handful of motivated owners willing to ignore convention and logic in search of winning. Or perhaps it's just the new norm.

Time will tell. Either way, there is plenty to chew on -- some of it indicative of that new era, some reinforcing long-held thoughts. All of it, though, is representative of a free agency period that won't be forgotten anytime soon.

Here are eight things free agency taught us.