Photo credit: Rex Fregosi
So it begins. I suppose there will be all the arguing about keeping the guys in some kind of bubble and revamping the schedule geographically for the season. Then we get the argument about shortening the season and pro-rata salaries. Then we get the argument about service time. Stassi’s hip should be fine by the time any actual baseball gets played. Here is another link concerning the requested delay to the start of spring training. There is more detail in this second link than the first. The Player’s Union is already in disagreement with any delay to Spring Training.
The sticking point about the universal designated hitter and expanded playoffs seems to be when the two are tied together in the same offer. There is no word yet on what the Players Union might counteroffer. There was also a pitch clock and a spring training trial of the electronic strike zone bundled into the MLB offer. Now we will have an MLB Draft Combine and various other evaluation and showcase events. The Yankees traded Adam Ottavino to the Red Sox. Those two teams don’t trade with each other very much. I guess the deal made too much sense to stand on principles or nurture feelings of mutual antagonism. Austin Romine has a deal with the Cubs for one year at $1.5 Million.
In sad news, Davey Johnson was hospitalized with COVID-19. He has been released from the hospital.
while we’re here, I’m wondering about Schilling. I think the closest comparison to an active pitcher is Greinke. Would we consider Greinke a Hall of Famer? I’m not sure about that, or about Schilling. Schilling has a lot of WAR, Greinke not far from that total. Schilling has the 400th best ERA ever, Greinke 340th but they’re so close that’s not a significant difference.
Maybe they both should be in. I see that Schilling’s WAR lead increases if we only consider pitching. Zack must be a better hitter.
If the closest comparison isn’t Greinke then it might be Verlander and it feels, to me, that Verlander will be in the Hall.
The argument for Schilling is WAR and post-season, maybe strikeouts because that 400th best ERA and 86th most wins wouldn’t be enough to impress the old school voters.
How about if I put a Yankees or Doyers hat on him? Does that help you see him in the HOF?
Greinke with incredible post season numbers is a no brainer. Not really Zack’s fault he hasn’t gotten more post season opportunities.
While I love numbers, I think sometimes we get too caught up in them. Schilling was among the best of his era and if there was any guy out of that group I wanted to start a huge game it would probably be him.
But he is a jerk, and thus not as good a baseball player. I think the math is, if you’re a butthole 1/3 of your total stats don’t count…. unless you’re Ted Williams or Mickey Mantle.
Twins pick up Simba, 1/$10.5
I’m happy for Simba, but I just wish he had gone to the NL.
Now I’ll have visions and nightmares of him beating us with his bat and glove.
2021 Baseball HOF Ceremony will be brief. Nobody was elected. To me, nobody deserved to go outside of Schilling but his mouth keeps him out. I’m happy the PED abusers were rebuffed.
Semien to the Jays, one year for $18m
That’s pretty intense. There are a couple of other teams that need shortstops. Andrelton Simmons might actually get a good pay day.
Semien is going to be part of next year’s bumper crop of shortstops now.
Simba will get less than $10M AAV.
Wrong Fungo, $10.5M.
Reds, Phillies, A’s need shortstops.
Semien and Galvis came off the board today. That leaves Simba and Didi as free agents and then really nobody. 2 players for 3 seats.
Be nice for us if Oakland is left out.
Galvis for 1.5M. He’s probably not going to be the best of this bunch, but he may be the best value at that price. In Camden yards he could be a 3 WAR player if he plays up for 1/10 what Simba will get for 5 or even less compared to what Semien will get for 4 WAR.
I think that, as has been the case with past expected FA bumper crops, that SS class is going to be half as good as we think, starting with Lindor and Seager getting extended, possibly Baez/Corea too, and then maybe another guy or two kind of sucking. That’ll leave Story and the other Baez/Corea and a few less awesome options including Simmons and Semein. There will still be a nice market, but it won’t be five A+ options like it looks now at all.
The Semien signing is potentially good for the Angels on 2 levels:
The Jays are one less suitor for Bauer & We get Semien out of the AL West where he has just raked against the Angels. Although I heard the Twins were split about consummating this deal.
The story gets deeper. Per The Athletic, MLB urged the Phoenix mayors to write that letter. Basically the owners are open to pushing back the start of ST but the players are not.
Sounds to me like a fight is a brewin’.
Union’s statement yesterday seemed to suggest they knew it really came from MLB and not the Cactus League acting alone.
MLB the organization is a joke on both sides.
That being said, shorten the season to 144, start ST in late Mar- Apr. start the season in May. Do a double header week for division rivals and one for inter league play.
The global basketball fans are still watching the NBA and the NFL is still top dog in the US. It’s only the MLB who needs to start their season under their exact wishful conditions which comes off narcissistic as hell. Just fix the schedule and play. It’s stupid that they’re still arguing tule changes and schedule.
Being “America’s Pastime” brings with it all the legislative delays of America, it seems.
Those other sports work on a revenue sharing model. Baseball does not.
Phillies sign Realmuto for 5/115.
Seems like his market was really only one team after the Mets signed McCann.
Now Bauer can sign but not today. He’ll want the news to be about him so he’ll wait until people stop talking about the hall of fame vote/non-vote.
So maybe in the next few days…
The damn Dodgers will sweep in and sign him.
Surprised the Phillies went that hard. Currently, I have them pegged 4th in the division. Realmuto is a solid catcher but that team is in need of a reset.
Kinda what happened with us after Pujols. The Harper contract means your window is right now and spending is the only way to stay in contention.
Yeah, going on year 3 for Harper. Buyers remorse big time. On the front 5-years, Albert did produce. Not equal to his Cardinal years but did pound the ball over the wall.
Thing that would eat at me with Harper is that he was only worth his contract one season in his career so far. Pujols was still a 148 OPS+ the year he came here. Sure, he slid down a hill as soon as he got here and had declined from 170 his last year in Stl. But Harper, was 198 in 2015 and never even came close to Pujols type numbers after that. His contract was an obvious reach when they gave it to him.
Here’s the scoreboard as of now:
The mayors in Phoenix want tourist dollars. They want to delay Spring Training to maximize those.
The players union wants game day dollars. They want to get Spring Training out of the way so they can get to those dollars
The owners will want fan dollars so they don’t really care about Spring Training. They will care about when fans are allowed in stadiums, though, so they might pretend that they care if it profits them to move it back.
There will be virtue signaling and moral stances taken when it can benefit somebody. But really it is about revenue, which in this case does come with better health.
In this case the MLBPA has the weakest position. If it isn’t safe to have tourists and fans in the stands, then spring training and the season should be pushed back.
The players don’t care about revenue, especially not the paltry Spring Training revenue.
But, yes, pushing to open the season and ensure early losses for ownership could come back to bite them.
Well, we know it isn’t about health and safety, since the Phoenix area has been open for travel ball tournament business throughout the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Little League here has been shut down for almost a whole year. We don’t even know if we’re going to be able to have a season. I’m all for keeping everyone safe, but this has been really hard on the kids who want to play.
Get yourselves prepared for a much shortened season and Spring Training. That way you can only be surprised (ie if baseball has a full season) and not disappointed. Covid is running rampant and 6 weeks is not going to make a difference. Players are not going to want to report under such circumstances.
So Bob Nightengale says the Mets want to give Bauer the highest AAV in history, and now Heyman says they have “some interest”
So, just to confirm, no one knows anything, and winter is too long.
Does Bauer love attention? He’ll string it out, I think. Right now the two names most talked about are Bauer and Realmuto and I expect Bauer to wait until Realmuto signs.
I don’t want Bauer anymore for 30,000,000+ reasons. Pitchers lose it quickly and steeply. I expect Bauer to pitch well in 2021, ok in 2022 and then be a mid-4 ERA guy or worse. It’s just a bad investment, in my opinion.
Yeah, at the prices being thrown around we can’t take that gamble. At least not on a guy who put it together in a shortened season.
That said, it’s not my money and I have no control over it, so if they sign him I’ll at least enjoy watching him try.
I would imagine after the Porter fallout that his tweets are getting an iron brushing. Fact or fiction, some reporters and writers from NY and LA are casting concerns on his moral character. But if NY is still making an offer after the last fubar, the vetting must have concluded nothing. I’m so on the fence with this guy, tilting towards getting a couple of lesser FA arms and BP depth.
They need to just admit spring training is starting late, plan to start the season in late April/May with the same West/Central/East bubbles as last year, and plan for full travel and some fans no earlier than July. Anything else is just silly and delusional.
They could’ve pretty much done this and kept flexibility for 162 game season.
Start the season with each team playing 4 game series against each division rival. One home, one away. Squeeze in the inter league rivalry series at another 4 games total. That’s 36 games with limited travel and likely takes them to mid May.
Repeat the division schedule over the last month or so, giving teams ability to make up any games lost during the first month.
Problem is that things will likely not be much improved until late Summer at the earliest – particularly with the variants. The current vaccines are very difficult to transport and store (they have to stay in a deep freeze). Therefore you can’t go into your local CVS and get it. There are some vaccines coming, likely by May or June, that can be shipped and stored at refrigerated temperatures. That will make widespread distribution possible and you’ll be able to get it at your local pharmacy probably by mid-Summer. That’s when things will likely improve dramatically. Until then, baseball is probably on hold. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think the game returns to normal until 2022.
Johnson & Johnson’s normal refrigerated one-dose vaccine if approved in 2 weeks or so is set to ship <10M doses in February and then 15-20M in March. The supply really picks up in about 1 month.
Warmer weather allowing outdoor activity, 3 approved vaccines + something like 30% of the country having been infected (and a TON in the last 2 months) means cases will start to really drop in March.
That last line is the variable we truly don’t know. I personally think we’re probably closer to 60% of the country infected. I’ve seen estimates ranging from 20-70%.
But I’m with you on thinking cases drop precipitously starting about March. Let’s hope we are right.
I wouldn’t plan a multi billion dollar industry on hope, though.
“I wouldn’t plan a multi billion dollar industry on hope, though.”
Exactly. March/April is more a pipe dream.
Summer is hope.
Fall is more realistic.
The CDC (as of last week) estimated that 81M people had been infected in the US. That is well shy of 60%.
I hope you are right (that would mean the number of infections should slow considerably) but I wouldn’t count on it.
That’s 22% ish. Better for millions who wouldn’t have to worry about 5 years from now.
We’ll never really know. But I’m desperate for this to calm down.
Me too Jeff, but I’m trying to be super realistic. Many of the people who have had Covid no longer have antibodies to it. So we really don’t know the percentages and the numbers mean little. Also, scientists have no idea whether vaccinated folks who are exposed to the disease could still be contagious to other folks who haven’t been.
Until we have a vaccination program at the local pharmacy level where people can go in and get boosters every six months to a year, this thing will continue to be out of control particularly given all of the variants showing up. Sorry to be a bummer.
Not a bummer. I keep a balance between really hoping for some semblance of life but being careful.
I still have cycling. Think I’ll bike from HB to SD in a few weeks. Having a goal keeps me a little better. Hard to beat that ride.
You’re not a bummer but I think its fair to say we’ve had nothing but bad news for 12 months so it can be hard to believe good news.
The vaccines are effective at reducing serious disease. Israel has variants and have seen transmission drop quite a bit.
One thing I love about this board is that we’ve been able to discuss things sanely.
There won’t be a clear switch of the light that makes the world safe again. We’ll venture out in our own ways at our own times.
I just hope we do it intelligently, considerately, and respect each other’s decisions to reengage or hold out a little longer.
As long as there are still sharks in that ocean out there just waiting to eat us all we should never feel safe. Also, it turns out Zebras are totally mean and kill people sometimes.
That article re the J&J vaccine in Feb is from the New York Post which I find to be fairly unreliable. That vaccine is not even approved yet. We don’t know it’s efficacy rate. We don’t know re deployment. The timelines I have seen from people in the know are, realistically, June delivery for that vaccine which brings me back to my original point.
I get a disproportionate amount of my news from Bloomberg. I watch the European markets close along with our mid day. Been cool to see this from a global perspective.
Anyway, they’ve pointed out that the US is generally 3 weeks behind Europe in this. When they go up, we follow. Down, same.
So that’s where I’ll be looking.
I am referencing the doctor who ran Operation Warp Speed, not the NY Post.
J&J said today they’ll reveal data early next week and on track to deliver 100M doses by June. Same info as always. Still on track to ship in late February.
My dad just received his first dose at an Albertson Pharmacy in AZ last week so it can be done already at some pharmacies. California, like with everything else the sate government does, is just SNAFU.
Agree completely re California. But it doesn’t change the fact that the current vaccines are very difficult and expensive to distribute and store. That is why there is not more widespread distribution at pharmacies. Hopefully that issue gets dealt with with the next round of vaccines.
I have a relative who gives the vaccine at a grocery store pharmacy. Apparently, they come in packs of 4 doses, you have to take the entire pack out to defrost, you can’t put it back in the freezer, and it goes bad in 3 hours.
If they don’t have 4 people come to get the vaccine in that 3 hour window, they have to throw the extra doses away, because obviously it would be unfair to offer the vaccine to a person who isn’t allowed to get it yet in lieu of wasting a dose.
As long as fairness is upheld does anything else matter?
They should have just sent all the vaccines to the hardest-hit county and vaccinated everyone there (with proof of county residency), then moved on to the next county. There’d be an uproar from the counties not getting the vaccine, but it would be more effective in actually shutting this thing down.
Think about it, when you go to a wedding/luncheon, do they serve meals one table at a time, or do they serve one person from each table? The former is more efficient, the latter is what is being done with the vaccine.
I’ve always thought the logical play is 162 games – first half similar to last year with regional emphasis and then a “traditional” schedule with travel and fans starting after the All Star Break in July.
I love your optimism! I think it’s pie-in-the-sky, but I love it.
Its not though. The NFL has fans in stadiums during a huge spike right now. Even NY of all states allowed it in Buffalo.
If 50M seniors are vaccinated by April, I think you’re maybe underestimating how much hospitalizations and deaths will reduce down to something that is not justifiable to shut down huge industries any longer.
By July anyone who *wants* to be vaccinated will have had it made available to them.
Your fatal flaw is the term “justifiable”. Most of what we have been subjected to isn’t particularly justifiable, it just feels right to a pile of people. Those same people will decide when they feel it’s justifiable for you to watch a ball game, or do much of anything else. So I will probably have to hop a cheap flight somewhere in July to go see a game…. Kansas City or Dallas or something. At least I can go to the Negro League HOF and Arthur Bryants again. Arizona’s close…. that is if anyone is left alive in Phoenix after they face Covid without the same level of wisdomy scientifantastic protection that we have in California.
I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
Good call on Arthur Bryant’s.
Clubs have approached this entire offseason like P&C are not reporting in February (See: the Angels rotation and RF situation as of January 26th) so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it pushed a few weeks.