Let's talk about this ballclub.

nvalvo

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Well, at least we won't have to worry about an ambiguous outlook pre-trade deadline.

We should be in position to be competitive again pretty quickly, with Sale and Rodriguez expected back in 2021. That's a lot of pitching, especially with Houck and Mata approaching maturity, Eovaldi under contract, and Perez and McHugh presumably still interested in working here.

If I'm Bloom, my top priorities — especially if the season goes long enough for the luxury cap to reset — are signing Rodriguez and Devers to extensions and building depth in the minors. I'm also sounding out Bradley about an extension in the next few weeks. If he'll take something team favorable (2/$30?), sign it; if not, look to trade him.
 

RedOctober3829

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Well, at least we won't have to worry about an ambiguous outlook pre-trade deadline.

We should be in position to be competitive again pretty quickly, with Sale and Rodriguez expected back in 2021. That's a lot of pitching, especially with Houck and Mata approaching maturity, Eovaldi under contract, and Perez and McHugh presumably still interested in working here.

If I'm Bloom, my top priorities — especially if the season goes long enough for the luxury cap to reset — are signing Rodriguez and Devers to extensions and building depth in the minors. I'm also sounding out Bradley about an extension in the next few weeks. If he'll take something team favorable (2/$30?), sign it; if not, look to trade him.
Bradley should absolutely be traded at the deadline. If he’s hitting fairly well, a contending team will be interested.

The priority should be locking up Devers and JD Martinez. I would not be looking to give big money to Rodriguez.
 

Danny_Darwin

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Bradley should absolutely be traded at the deadline. If he’s hitting fairly well, a contending team will be interested.
It’s an open question of how teams are going to approach this, I’d say. The Brewers, for one example, just had Cain opt out. Bradley could probably help them. I think they think they’re contenders in that division, but are they really going to give up anything of value for him just so they can have slightly better odds in the tournament, if the season gets that far? I’m genuinely not sure.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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JBJ isn’t a difference maker, so he’s not bringing back a top prospect regardless of COVID’s impact on this season. However, I’d certainly be willing to trade him for something of value before giving him anything like $15m/year. I mean, he’s not significantly better than Pillar, is he? And we signed him for $4.25m.

It’s going to be a very interesting off-season. I think most teams will be more conservative than usual, but more players will also be open to team friendly extensions to lock in guaranteed money during these uncertain times. And unless he just doesn’t want to be in Boston any more, I have a hard time seeing JD opt out.
 

nvalvo

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JBJ isn’t a difference maker, so he’s not bringing back a top prospect regardless of COVID’s impact on this season. However, I’d certainly be willing to trade him for something of value before giving him anything like $15m/year. I mean, he’s not significantly better than Pillar, is he? And we signed him for $4.25m.

It’s going to be a very interesting off-season. I think most teams will be more conservative than usual, but more players will also be open to team friendly extensions to lock in guaranteed money during these uncertain times. And unless he just doesn’t want to be in Boston any more, I have a hard time seeing JD opt out.
I don't know what you consider significant, but JBJ is better than Pillar on both sides of the ball. What that earns him in this off-season's FA market is anyone's guess. Bradley will be of interest to a team that has lost an outfielder to injury (or COVID) and needs a reliable defender with some offensive potential.

Back in 2015–16, Pillar had some great defensive seasons and put a rep together, but his numbers have been very mediocre for awhile now. OAA has him at +0, +2, and +2 from '17–19; Bradley during that span was +15, +12, +6. (UZR has them closer.)

Pillar will post decent batting averages and good power numbers, but because he has only posted a walk rate above 5% once (JBJ's lowest is 7.3%), he routinely posts terrible OBPs. So Pillar's career line is .262/.297/.407/.704, while Bradley's is .236/.318/.409/.727.

So, basically, Bradley will make eleven fewer outs at the plate and eleven more in the field in a typical season compared to Pillar.
 

amRadio

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Not to mention Taylor and Hernandez were probably both first in line to get auditions in high leverage situations. I'd like to think one of them could have potentially been in there in lieu of Barnes tonight. Barnes has proved at every turn in his career he doesn't deserve high leverage innings, so it's hard not to feel like the roster is broken when he's protecting a 1 run lead in the bidet.
 

jon abbey

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Not to mention Taylor and Hernandez were probably both first in line to get auditions in high leverage situations. I'd like to think one of them could have potentially been in there in lieu of Barnes tonight. Barnes has proved at every turn in his career he doesn't deserve high leverage innings, so it's hard not to feel like the roster is broken when he's protecting a 1 run lead in the bidet.
Taylor and Hernandez are both lefties, though. It's so hard for lefties to be effective against this NY lineup. NY's kryptonite in recent years has been top velocity righties, Verlander, Cole, Eovaldi in 2018. We won't really know for many years how the Betts trade pans out in full, but as a Yankee fan I am happy BOS doesn't have Graterol as an option because that's the kind of guy NY struggles against, when they struggle.
 

StuckOnYouk

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I think Speier may have mentioned this in the past day or so - if Darwinzon comes back soon why not stretch him out as a starter again. What's the harm?
 

Rovin Romine

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Barnes has proved at every turn in his career he doesn't deserve high leverage innings, so it's hard not to feel like the roster is broken. . .
Good morning. I represent 2015, and on behalf of my client, I am instructing you to return its hot take to its possession.
 

BaseballJones

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10 games
7 losses
8 games allowing 5+ runs
5 games allowing 7+ runs

Team era of 5.79
Team era+ of 81
Team whip of 1.53

The only pitchers doing anything worth a damn are:

- Eovaldi: 2.45 era, team is 2-0 in his starts
- Workman: 3.00 era, 2 saves
- Valdez: 0.00 era in 5.2 ip
- Walden: 1.80 era in 5.0 ip

That's basically it.

Doesn't help that between Devers, Benny, and JD, they're a combined 18-98 (.184), with 1 homer and 6 rbi in 10 games.
 

Pitt the Elder

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So realistically, what are the realistic goals of this season?
  • Keep the league afloat for another 4 weeks to reset the luxury tax
  • Support and develop key players important for our future (Devers, Verdugo, etc etc?)
  • Tank the season and get a high draft pick (?)
Honestly, I'm not really sure what to root for. It'd be nice if the Sox somehow clawed their way back to .500 or something and got one of the expanded playoff spots, but that seems increasingly less likely the further behind they drop this early in the season.
 

BaseballJones

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The goal is to have the season last until Sept 1, when the luxury tax resets. Anything else is gravy. I assume they're also trying to figure out which of the mish-mash of relievers can stick for the future, and try to set up something of a roster for 2021.

I'd like to see them deal away a bunch of major-league caliber players and get prospects in return, but who knows what the trade market will look like.
 

GreyisGone

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The goal is to have the season last until Sept 1, when the luxury tax resets. Anything else is gravy. I assume they're also trying to figure out which of the mish-mash of relievers can stick for the future, and try to set up something of a roster for 2021.

I'd like to see them deal away a bunch of major-league caliber players and get prospects in return, but who knows what the trade market will look like.
This is 100% the right approach. This season was always going to be weird and bad (no Sale/ERod), goal should be the future. If the luxury tax resets, you get a couple half decent prospects for guys, and some good draft picks.
 

joe dokes

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The goal is to have the season last until Sept 1, when the luxury tax resets. Anything else is gravy. I assume they're also trying to figure out which of the mish-mash of relievers can stick for the future, and try to set up something of a roster for 2021.
I'd like to see them deal away a bunch of major-league caliber players and get prospects in return, but who knows what the trade market will look like.
Getting a chance to see if Hernandez can be a reasonable starting option would be nice, but short time is getting shorter.
 

rlsb

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Even 1981, the last significantly shortened year had more excitement. I take this as combination of 1984 (finding out who can pitch) and 1987 (finding out who can hit) in the same year. If it turns out no one, then the tax reset is what we get.
 

BaseballJones

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The worst outcome is sucking, but not getting the luxury tax reset, because then they'll be right back in the same spot next year with no room to maneuver financially.

Though on the bright side, the Yankees wouldn't win the World Series, so there's that I guess.

My ideal at this point: reset the luxury tax, the season ends before the playoffs (sorry NY), Boston has dealt away some players and actually acquired some good prospects, Verdugo looks like he'll be a quality player, they lock up Devers long-term, and pitchers like Valdez and Brice show they can be quality major league relievers.

Then Eduardo and Sale return healthy for 2021 (Sale at some point during the season), they've added quality players with the $$ they would then have available, Dalbec emerges, Downs arrives, and the team makes the playoffs in 2021.
 

amRadio

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Getting a chance to see if Hernandez can be a reasonable starting option would be nice, but short time is getting shorter.
Only 12 starts and 55 innings, but he had a 5+ ERA at AA-AAA as a starter with a 7+ BB/9. SSS, and leave no stone unturned yada yada, but is it realistic to expect him to be a starter in the Majors?
 

joe dokes

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Only 12 starts and 55 innings, but he had a 5+ ERA at AA-AAA as a starter with a 7+ BB/9. SSS, and leave no stone unturned yada yada, but is it realistic to expect him to be a starter in the Majors?
Probably not, but this is a good time to let him give it a shot. So "no stone unturned" is probably the right way to look at it.
 

sean1562

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I cant see any team trading good prospects at the deadline for a season that could be canceled at any time. Do you think GMs see these playoffs as "legitimate"? Hopefully Valdez, Godley, or somebody can turn into a reliable middle reliever but I dont see any of the fringe guys turning into something amazing. We are going to have to invest in our bullpen and probably another starter in the offseason so I would not be surprised to see JBJ on another team and Pillar in CF to start next season.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I cant see any team trading good prospects at the deadline for a season that could be canceled at any time. Do you think GMs see these playoffs as "legitimate"? Hopefully Valdez, Godley, or somebody can turn into a reliable middle reliever but I dont see any of the fringe guys turning into something amazing. We are going to have to invest in our bullpen and probably another starter in the offseason so I would not be surprised to see JBJ on another team and Pillar in CF to start next season.
I don't think it's a matter of "legitimate" or not. It's entirely their confidence in the post-season happening. If they happen, teams are going to take them seriously. Confidence right now can't be that high but if they get through another 3 weeks of the season without another Marlins or Cardinals type episode, confidence will rise and I think trade markets might emerge as a result. Then the question is if there's any team that sees someone on the Red Sox roster that they want to trade something good to get. I really don't think Bloom is going to trade a JBJ for the best available offer if the best available offer is junk.
 

nighthob

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Depends, I doubt that they extend him a QO, so there’s not going to be any comp involved. So I can see them trading him for some lottery tickets that might have utility in future deals.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I cant see any team trading good prospects at the deadline for a season that could be canceled at any time. Do you think GMs see these playoffs as "legitimate"? Hopefully Valdez, Godley, or somebody can turn into a reliable middle reliever but I dont see any of the fringe guys turning into something amazing. We are going to have to invest in our bullpen and probably another starter in the offseason so I would not be surprised to see JBJ on another team and Pillar in CF to start next season.
This is my sense too. I guess if we get to August 31 and there are no more incidents like the Marlins and Phillies and there's a general sense that things are under control, you might see some significant activity but I just don't really think we're going to see many serious trades in such an uncertain season. I think adding the DH in the NL is also going to make the trade market slightly let robust since roster construction is easier in the NL and versatility with platoon side hitting isn't as big a thing. Not a huge factor, but another that I think will matter.

Sometimes what you buy when you trade for a rental that is about to become a FA is an exclusive negotiating period. I actually think that the Dodgers were negotiating for that as much as anything with the Mookie trade. I just don't think an exclusive negotiating period for JBJ is really something that's going to fetch a lot. I guess maybe we'll find lightening in a bottle if there happens to be a team with many pieces in place that needs a plus outfield glove and a lefthanded bat.

I guess my thought is that if they are to get a good trade it would actually be sooner rather than later -- a team that needs someone relatively nowish.

Edit -- I think the guys who are going to be in demand are the guys with a year of control next year. In fact, I could theoretically even see the Red Sox as buyers in the right circumstance there, though not sure what with.
 

LoweTek

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This is my sense too. I guess if we get to August 31 and there are no more incidents like the Marlins and Phillies... and there's a general sense that things are under control...
Umm, Cardinals have at least four positives, probably more. Their games were all postponed this past weekend.

This is at least three teams after only the first 10 games. Multiple postponed and rescheduled games. Schedule shuffling, etc. I'm afraid I see the chances of reaching September 1st fading quickly. We might be lucky to hang on until mid-August.
 

JBJ_HOF

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I'm afraid I see the chances of reaching September 1st fading quickly. We might be lucky to hang on until mid-August.
I see the exact opposite. They ran through the stop sign of a major outbreak, the Marlins, at bare minimum, had poor seating on planes and the Cardinals went to a casino. That shit is going to get locked down now and they learned that the spread between teams while playing didn't happen.
 

donutogre

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Umm, Cardinals have at least four positives, probably more. Their games were all postponed this past weekend.

This is at least three teams after only the first 10 games. Multiple postponed and rescheduled games. Schedule shuffling, etc. I'm afraid I see the chances of reaching September 1st fading quickly. We might be lucky to hang on until mid-August.
I might be forgetting already, but who besides the Cardinals and the Marlins had this go down? I don't count the Phillies, as it seems like they had to quarantine because of Miami's foolishness.

Not that I think the overall outlook for MLB is good here; this whole season has seemed ill-advised since the drop. But I don't think we're up to three teams yet?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I might be forgetting already, but who besides the Cardinals and the Marlins had this go down? I don't count the Phillies, as it seems like they had to quarantine because of Miami's foolishness.

Not that I think the overall outlook for MLB is good here; this whole season has seemed ill-advised since the drop. But I don't think we're up to three teams yet?
It's only two teams. I'm sure the poster was counting the Phillies, but you are right, it's a bit unfair to lump them in as if they've done something wrong. They had a scare, and a couple positive tests on staff which may have been entirely unrelated to the Marlins, but as far as we know, they've not engaged in any risky behavior off-the-field like the Marlins and Cardinals are believed to have done.
 

trekfan55

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My problem is I fail to see what payers might fetch a decent prospect.

Eovaldi? I think the need him
JD? Too expensive and might opt out.
JBJ? He might something serviceable but as a rental he's not worth a good prospect.
Maybe if Workman has very good numbers they can trade him for a good player/lottery ticket but he's no Aroldis Chapman (say what you will about him, he netted the Yanks two very good prospects and they got him back).

Besides that I don't see anything else, so I think they stay put with what they have and with a tax reset John Henry open the purse again.
The player for prospect deal was Betts and Price.
 

nighthob

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They aren't going to go on an immediate spending spree. They have extensions with young players to lock down first, two more years of Price on the books after this one, and a dearth of low cost talent to surround their anchor deals with. The odds are that the next big spending spree is in a couple of years when the farm's re-stocked and Price isn't dragging their payroll. And while Eovaldi's great to have, with E-Rod returning and Sale getting back at some point next season, my guess is that he's extremely available to anyone willing to give up prospects for him.
 

LoweTek

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I might be forgetting already, but who besides the Cardinals and the Marlins had this go down? I don't count the Phillies, as it seems like they had to quarantine because of Miami's foolishness.

Not that I think the overall outlook for MLB is good here; this whole season has seemed ill-advised since the drop. But I don't think we're up to three teams yet?
I guess you're right but I was frankly counting E-Rod and Dalbec but they were pre-summer camp positives.

I honestly don't think you will have to wait long for the third.
 

donutogre

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I guess you're right but I was frankly counting E-Rod and Dalbec but they were pre-summer camp positives.

I honestly don't think you will have to wait long for the third.
Yeah, in terms of severity, E-Rod has to be way up there, if not at the top. I can't recall any other MLB player who has had this turn into something significant and debilitating like E-Rod did.
 

nvalvo

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Do we think there will actually be a trade market?

Let's imagine I'm Theo Epstein of the Chicago Cubs, and on August 18 my team is sitting at 15–8, and looking like a wire-to-wire pennant winner in the NL Central. My chief rivals, the Cardinals and Brewers, have had their seasons disrupted by COVID, the Reds are a year early, and who knows what's up with Pittsburgh. But three of my outfielders, Jason Heyward, Albert Almora, and Steven Souza, are still sitting around a .500 OPS, and I'm thinking about facing a stacked Dodgers roster in an NLCS and a closing competitive window as my position-player core of Baez, Bryant, Rizzo, and Schwarber approach FA. I could sure use a veteran outfielder: a better defender than Ian Happ or Kyle Schwarber and a better bet to post a league average OBP than my slumping trio.

Chaim Bloom just called and mentioned that Jackie Bradley, Jr. is available, and mentioned he's been scouting tape of Brailyn Marquez, a hard throwing 21 y/o LHSP who reached the high-A South Bend Cubs in 2019, albeit with weirdly underwhelming K numbers for a guy with his velocity. Bloom sees some potential there. He notes that he knows the Cubs are right up at their budget, but Boston could cover most or all of the balance of Bradley's salary in the right deal.

In a normal season, that would be a great fit, and I'd be happy to send Boston an interesting-if-flawed A-ball pitching prospect to consolidate my outfield for a championship run. But on August 18, 2020, am I really confident enough that there will even be a postseason to send away Marquez for Bradley? It's not as if the Cubs don't need young pitching prospects, too. What happens if I deal Marquez and only enjoy the improvement to my outfield depth for all of two weeks before the season is canceled?
 

jon abbey

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If you throw in Workman and take back Kimbrel, I bet Theo would send you some quality prospects right now (although I think they have to be announced as 'players to be named later' because only guys on the 60 man roster can officially be dealt).
 

E5 Yaz

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Speier goes over how undisciplined the Sox have been at the plate. JDM half-blames the changed protocols with video in-game, but there's more to it (at least I hope so).
They were talking about JD and the video room the other day. Said he told them he preferred video from the current game to from previous matchups
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Do we think there will actually be a trade market?

Let's imagine I'm Theo Epstein of the Chicago Cubs, and on August 18 my team is sitting at 15–8, and looking like a wire-to-wire pennant winner in the NL Central. My chief rivals, the Cardinals and Brewers, have had their seasons disrupted by COVID, the Reds are a year early, and who knows what's up with Pittsburgh. But three of my outfielders, Jason Heyward, Albert Almora, and Steven Souza, are still sitting around a .500 OPS, and I'm thinking about facing a stacked Dodgers roster in an NLCS and a closing competitive window as my position-player core of Baez, Bryant, Rizzo, and Schwarber approach FA. I could sure use a veteran outfielder: a better defender than Ian Happ or Kyle Schwarber and a better bet to post a league average OBP than my slumping trio.

Chaim Bloom just called and mentioned that Jackie Bradley, Jr. is available, and mentioned he's been scouting tape of Brailyn Marquez, a hard throwing 21 y/o LHSP who reached the high-A South Bend Cubs in 2019, albeit with weirdly underwhelming K numbers for a guy with his velocity. Bloom sees some potential there. He notes that he knows the Cubs are right up at their budget, but Boston could cover most or all of the balance of Bradley's salary in the right deal.

In a normal season, that would be a great fit, and I'd be happy to send Boston an interesting-if-flawed A-ball pitching prospect to consolidate my outfield for a championship run. But on August 18, 2020, am I really confident enough that there will even be a postseason to send away Marquez for Bradley? It's not as if the Cubs don't need young pitching prospects, too. What happens if I deal Marquez and only enjoy the improvement to my outfield depth for all of two weeks before the season is canceled?
Even if there is a post season, why would the Cubs trade away something of value knowing that they have to overcome the inherent randomness of a three game series and then overcome a slightly less random five game series to even face the Dodgers? Yeah, maybe JBJ increases the odds that they win those handful of games a bit, but is the difference material enough to give us a real prospect?
 

Earthbound64

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Even if there is a post season, why would the Cubs trade away something of value knowing that they have to overcome the inherent randomness of a three game series and then overcome a slightly less random five game series to even face the Dodgers?
So what you're saying is, when Manfred implements this on "normal" years in the near future, there will never be a trade market again?
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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So what you're saying is, when Manfred implements this on "normal" years in the near future, there will never be a trade market again?
A)If this becomes normal, I would expect that it would have some impact on late season trades, yes. If you reduce the likelihood that the trade is going to produce value, then the "buyer" is going to pay less for that opportunity. The "seller" might not therefore get the price they want and there will be fewer trades as a result.
B) As has already been pointed out, there are other reasons for a trade this season to have uncertain value for the "buyer," I'm just saying that the extra round of small sample size playoffs increases that uncertainty.
 

Kliq

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They suck. All of our worst fears about the pitching staff have come true and a slow start from our hitters is just icing on the cake. I'm just rooting for them to tank as hard as possible and to pray the season gets to Sept. 1, we can reset the tax and hope that Kumar Rocker becomes the first good starting pitcher this organization develops since Buchholz.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0gXU7bChPs
 

nighthob

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Even if there is a post season, why would the Cubs trade away something of value knowing that they have to overcome the inherent randomness of a three game series and then overcome a slightly less random five game series to even face the Dodgers? Yeah, maybe JBJ increases the odds that they win those handful of games a bit, but is the difference material enough to give us a real prospect?
The uncertainty of the postseason is actually a reason for teams like Chicago to make deals. The more uncertainty the more opportunity for teams like Chicago to go all the way to the World Series. In an old fashioned two division format with a seven game series the Cubs would face far reduced odds of getting past LA. Thanks to the new uncertainties, LA's chances of actually reaching the NLCS have been reduced.

As for the Cubs system, it's a lot like Boston's (I'm not counting Nico Hoerner as he's in Chicago) with a bunch of high upside lottery tickets in A Ball or in the summer leagues. So they're not really giving up a real prospect in any trade scenario.
 

OurF'ingCity

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The uncertainty of the postseason is actually a reason for teams like Chicago to make deals. The more uncertainty the more opportunity for teams like Chicago to go all the way to the World Series. In an old fashioned two division format with a seven game series the Cubs would face far reduced odds of getting past LA. Thanks to the new uncertainties, LA's chances of actually reaching the NLCS have been reduced.

As for the Cubs system, it's a lot like Boston's (I'm not counting Nico Hoerner as he's in Chicago) with a bunch of high upside lottery tickets in A Ball or in the summer leagues. So they're not really giving up a real prospect in any trade scenario.
Right, the other way of looking at playoff uncertainty is that even if you have say, the fifth-best record in the league, if a couple bounces go against the top teams in the first round you could find yourself as one of the top seeds in round two.

That said, I do think the trade market is going to be depressed this year, both due to the uncertainty of even making it to a conclusion and because I assume most ownership doesn't consider success in this postseason the same way they would other years (besides the prestige and long-term goodwill winning a WS brings, obviously a prime driver of the desire to do well in the postseason is the increased revenue those games will bring the team, which is muted this year). But something is better than nothing and I can't imagine that the Sox will get NO offers for JBJ etc. - they just won't be as good as they might have been in past years, and the Sox just need to accept that since there is zero value in hanging on to any of their expiring free agents past the deadline if they don't intend to even attempt to re-sign them.
 

nighthob

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Yeah, I wouldn't expect a lot of rental deals due to the uncertainty of the season actually ending. But guys with service time left are still going to get moved. That's why I expect Boston to get calls on Eovaldi (so long as he remains healthy).
 

Rovin Romine

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The trade deadline is Aug. 31. The season finishes Sept. 27.

I have to think there will be some team out there unduly excited on Aug 29. Assuming they play that long, some will be optimistic about the season finishing. It's also hard not to imagine there might be a GFIN team that gets hot during the first month. Cleveland? San Diego? Who knows.
 

EL Jeffe

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I can see the expanded playoff structure creating a beneficial supply & demand scenario for Boston. Having more teams in the playoff hunt, in theory, should create more buyers. Inversely, there would be less sellers available. I don't think the unique 2020 market will artificially inflate the value of guys like Pillar or Barnes to any meaningful degree ('though it'd be a whole lot cooler if it did), but I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume that Boston will be among a smaller pool of sellers than in a traditional 10 playoff-team season. Or as RR said, who knows.