MLB Offseason 2020 News & Notes

nattysez

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After what the Giants' closest competitors did this off-season, it's a little hard to imagine they'll splurge for a CF, especially if they want to start working in Dubon there.
 

santadevil

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allmanbro

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For those paywalled: They are winding the first layer of yarn a little looser. That makes make the ball slightly less bouncy, but a tiny bit lighter (and maybe also smaller? It's not really clear in the article - it would be interesting since reduced drag was supposed to be the big difference in 2019). The league thinks will take ~1-2 feet off a 375 ft flyball and reduce HRs by 5%. I assume that assumes flyball rates stay the same. Five new teams are also going to start using humidors, on top of five that already do.


My gut feeling is that you'd need more than a 5% reduction in HRs to materially change hitting strategy so hitters go for more balls in play instead of selling out for HRs. They may not be thinking that far ahead, and may just be happy to knock down HR rates a bit. But I guess we will see. I approve of the idea, and I hope they are open to going a little farther if it doesn't make a big difference (I'm sure they will immediately revert if it goes too far)
 

Danny_Darwin

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Reds should trade for Story. Given what Arenado cost, they could probably get him for, what, Noe Ramirez and a PTBNL?

EDIT: More seriously, I really hope the Reds and Brewers don’t concede the NL Central after the Arenado trade.
 
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CarolinaBeerGuy

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Wow. They go with the 2 out of 3 that most fans (myself included) are not good with. Baseball is so bad at this. Pitch clock, universal DH. This isn’t hard.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Or they could, like, implement a pitching clock like we all know would fix pace of play.

But, yeah. 7 inning double headers and guys on second in extra innings or whatever.
Obligatory article I post every few years.

Article comparing a game from 1984 and 2014. Each game has identical score (11-2), combined pitches thrown, baserunners, and batters.

The game from 1984 lasted two hours and 31 minutes. The game from 2014 lasted three hours and six minutes (35 extra minutes).

The primary factor? In 1984, The elapsed time between a pitcher releasing one pitch and his release of the next pitch was 32 minutes and 47 seconds. The total time in 2014 was 57 minutes and 41 seconds. So, an additional 25 minutes of watching guys stand around. An additional 9 painful seconds added to every. Single. Pitch.

Please God. Implement the damn pitch clock.
 

Max Power

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The 7 inning double headers aren't being used for speeding up the game. They're keeping them so that Covid-related make up games can be completed without tearing through two pitching staffs. Even if they were playing at 1984 speeds, you wouldn't have the arms to get through multiple double headers in a week.
 

jon abbey

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The 7 inning double headers aren't being used for speeding up the game. They're keeping them so that Covid-related make up games can be completed without tearing through two pitching staffs. Even if they were playing at 1984 speeds, you wouldn't have the arms to get through multiple double headers in a week.
Yeah, this, although it is lame to not also keep the 28 man rosters for another season for the same reason.
 

Ale Xander

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I despise the 7 inning double headers.
This guy gets it.

NESN and some of the other RSN's lose a little bit of leverage with fans here I think. As do teams trying to sell tickets.

Give me 9 innings every day, please, MLB. Not 7, not 14.
 

dynomite

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This guy gets it.

NESN and some of the other RSN's lose a little bit of leverage with fans here I think. As do teams trying to sell tickets.

Give me 9 innings every day, please, MLB. Not 7, not 14.
Totally agree with this. Can you even imagine attempting this in another sport? If the NFL announced they would play some 3 quarter makeup games or something?

And these aren't meaningless makeup games, either. The Miami Marlins played 60 games in 2020 and made the playoffs despite playing 14 (almost 25%!) of their games in 7 innings, getting to save their bullpens, shorten games, etc. It's a creative solution but makes the entire exercise seem a little silly.
 

VORP Speed

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Totally agree with this. Can you even imagine attempting this in another sport? If the NFL announced they would play some 3 quarter makeup games or something?

And these aren't meaningless makeup games, either. The Miami Marlins played 60 games in 2020 and made the playoffs despite playing 14 (almost 25%!) of their games in 7 innings, getting to save their bullpens, shorten games, etc. It's a creative solution but makes the entire exercise seem a little silly.
Does any other sport have a long-standing precedent of shortened games being acceptable? If 5 innings is good enough when it rains, why can’t 7 innings be good enough? Having a week of rest and then having your schedule stacked with 7 inning doubleheaders doesn’t save your bullpen and give you an advantage.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, I also hate the seven inning games but I get why they are necessary in a still Covid-impacted climate. This had better be the last season for them, though.
 

VORP Speed

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Yeah, I also hate the seven inning games but I get why they are necessary in a still Covid-impacted climate. This had better be the last season for them, though.
This won’t be the last season. Owners want expanded playoffs. Nobody wants season to run into November. Players like more off-days and less travel. I bet we get regularly scheduled 7 inning doubleheaders as a way to compress season a bit to accommodate expanded playoffs.
 

grimshaw

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None of the changes baseball has made over the past few years have impacted my enjoyment of the games. I thought the extra inning thing was weird, but I hate pitchers breaking all the time and I think the good outweighs the bad in both instances.

Two leagues having different positions after all these years is mystifying to me.
 

PseuFighter

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Gonna be kinda weird if people are paying full price for 7 inning games (e.g. day-night doubleheaders) and kinda dangerous that beer is sold until after the 7th inning.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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I would presume it's the same policy that's been used in the minors for decades and alcohol sales will be cut off after the 5th inning of the game (or 5th inning of the second game if it's single admission). There are plenty of reasons to dislike 7-inning double-headers, but that's not one of them.

The extra-inning rule is an abomination. If they want to save pitching staffs it would make just about as much sense to bring the managers out to the plate when they're tied after 9 and have them do rock-paper-scissors to declare the winner.
 

jon abbey

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I don't mind the runner on second so much: it is dumb and probably largely pointless but at least it is evenly dumb for both teams. Making a game seven innings long affects the entire thing, the pacing is so crucial in baseball and this changes the entire thing, like making a NBA game 40 minutes long.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Gonna be kinda weird if people are paying full price for 7 inning games (e.g. day-night doubleheaders) and kinda dangerous that beer is sold until after the 7th inning.
I hope that if 7 inning double headers become a permanent thing, it comes with a requirement that such double headers must be single admission. Might suck for the teams that sell out most games that they'll have to refund some folks, but then again, maybe that would prevent it from being a frequent thing. Or even a thing at all.
 

PseuFighter

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I would presume it's the same policy that's been used in the minors for decades and alcohol sales will be cut off after the 5th inning of the game (or 5th inning of the second game if it's single admission). There are plenty of reasons to dislike 7-inning double-headers, but that's not one of them.
When it pulls people away from going to games, or for those going to games, spending less, I have to imagine, to the teams, it will be one of them; it's still $$ not being realized.

It also adversely impacts advertisers, both on television and during in-game spots.

For it to be fan-friendly, I agree that there should be a policy whereby 7-inning doubleheader days should be required to be single admission, but I wonder if the owners would go along with it.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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MLB also updated their code of conduct policy in light of all the off-season scandals. Team executives will be required to attend anti-harassment and discrimination training. An anonymous hotline has been created to report harassment.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Melancon to Padres, Arrieta back to Cubs, Asdrubal Cabrera to D-backs, Rich Hill to Rays.

Dodgers rearranged deck chairs at the back of their pen, sending Floro to Miami and replacing him with Kolarek from A's.
 

Diamond Don Aase

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Melancon to Padres, Arrieta back to Cubs, Asdrubal Cabrera to D-backs, Rich Hill to Rays.

Dodgers rearranged deck chairs at the back of their pen, sending Floro to Miami and replacing him with Kolarek from A's.
Kolarek went from the Dodgers to the A’s, primarily in exchange for Infielder Sheldon Neuse. Neuse provides insurance if the Dodgers do not re-sign Justin Turner but, at least as importantly as the Dodgers pare down to their 26-man roster, has two minor league options remaining.
 

vadertime

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Detest starting a man on second in extra innings. Theoretically, there could be a DH and a guy could have a perfect game through 7 innings. Guy on 2nd to start the 8th, gets bunted to 3rd, next man hits a sac fly that scores him and wins game. Pitcher gives up a run and loses while technically still pitching a perfect game.

For the record, Ive been against most of the changes they've made in recent years including the 3 batter minimum and limiting the number of pitcher/catcher conferences.
 

jon abbey

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Detest starting a man on second in extra innings. Theoretically, there could be a DH and a guy could have a perfect game through 7 innings. Guy on 2nd to start the 8th, gets bunted to 3rd, next man hits a sac fly that scores him and wins game. Pitcher gives up a run and loses while technically still pitching a perfect game.
It's not technically a perfect game (or a no-hitter) unless it is a full nine innings, so rain-shortened games don't count either.
 

jon abbey

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Yusmeiro Petit back to OAK, I had my eye on him for NY but they never seemed interested.
 

Tuff Ghost

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JBJ is definitely a better player than Pillar and someone I'd rather have on the team I support, but between the potential money, years, and the downward trend in his underlying batting numbers, it's not impossible to see why teams may be approaching him cautiously.

I've seen JBJ's 2020 labeled as a "bounce-back" year in a few places, but it seemed like, offensively, it was more of a fortunate year and the inverse to his unlucky 2018. In a just and mathematical world, the OPS for those two years should be switched (.717 in 2018 and .814 in 2020).

Several of JBJ's underlying numbers have been declining since a peak in 2018:

Barrel % (Career: 8.6%):
2018: 10.3%
2019: 9.6%
2020: 7.6%

Exit Velocity (Career: 89.9 mph):
2018: 92.2 mph
2019: 90.1 mph
2020: 88.3 mph

Hard Hit % (Career: 42.2%):
2018: 50.1%
2019: 44.2%
2020: 36.1%

xwOBA (Career: .331):
2018: .351
2019: .327
2020: .299

On the other side, Pillar is a mediocre offensive player and a worse defender than JBJ, plus he also benefited from a lucky 2020 season (.798 OPS despite a below average .312 xwOBA). His underlying numbers were in line with his career numbers (.308 xwOBA) and the OPS should have probably been closer to his career (.707). He did walk more than usual (5.8%, still below the MLB average of 8.3%, but better than his career average of 4.1%) and hit the ball hard a little more often (36.5% versus career of 30.8%), but he does not seem like a player primed to have an offensive renaissance in his thirties, certainly. He was simply the cheap option in time and money.
 

IpswichSox

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Gammons has a piece in The Athletic today on David Price. It includes a line that I thought was surprising and didn't know if it was foreshadowing something or was just Gammons being Gammons.
"Price, if he is not traded, will be returning to Dodger Stadium this season to be in a rotation that places him among those two other Cy Young winners in Kershaw and Bauer — and someday Walker Buehler will probably be added to that list."
The Dodgers' payroll mushroomed to $254 million after the Trevor Bauer and Justin Turner signings, so LA could be looking for salary relief (even if we're subsidizing half of Price's salary). Still, I hadn't heard or considered that Price could be traded or that the Dodgers might even be entertaining it. Again it might just be Gammons' in-need-of-an-editor style of writing, but I thought it was an interesting kind of parenthetical drop in by Gammons.

Link
 

nattysez

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Have any of Boras's clients gotten screwed by his tactics since Stephen Drew? I can't think of one. It feels like JBJ may be shaping up to be the next.