Usually the hot stove is already lit at this point in the MLB calendar, at least with some key-free agents and off-season offers. But this year? Not so much.
While we were waiting for traffic to start up again, we asked a panel of experts to advise us on what to do. Who will be the hardest working teams when things finally get going again? Which players are going to pay out? And what will the 2021 season look like when the MLB tries to return to normal after a shortened 2020 season?
Here’s how 20 MLB team managers and baseball insiders answered these and other questions.
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Which team makes the biggest jump in low season?
This is what the investigation uncovered: Put 12, Angels 4, Giants 2, White Sox 2.
Usually Christmas is too late to ask this question, but this year is a good time. It is clear that the heart of the wood-burning season will continue into the new year.
Some teams, such as the White Sox and Braves, have made their debut in the off-season, but most of them still have a lot of work to do, including the team most often mentioned by our experts. Catchman James McCann may just be the beginning of a winter period for the Mets under new owner Steve Cohen.
What about the selected teams outside the Mets?
The Angels know their mission, said a rare non-New York voter. I think Perry Minassian heard all the talk about Mike Trout not making the playoffs. Let’s just say we know they won’t stand still.
Will Trevor Bauer sign a one-year or multi-year agreement?
This is what the investigation uncovered: Perennial market 14, Perennial market 6
Dutch winner Cy Young gave mixed signals on the subject, but most respondents still believe that he will stay with the team for the long term. One thing that Bauer insisted on is that he wants to play for a competitor every season, but does that make it more or less likely that he will accept a contract that will keep him in the same place for half a decade or more?
He’s an arrogant guy, said a voter who thought Bauer would only sign for a year. And next year he might open up a few scholarships, so I think he’ll bet on himself to get the best overall deal next off-season.
A lot of people say DJ LeMahieu is coming back to the Yankees, and chances are J.T. is doing the same. Realmuto comes back to the Phillies, so where will the other best player in the business, George Springer, end up?
This is what the investigation uncovered: Mets 13, Blue Jays 5, Giants 2.
So it’s no surprise that the Mets show up here in large numbers. They’ve been associated with Springer since the day Cohen bought the team. The Blue Jays continue to pop up in talks with leaders, as Toronto has certainly tried to convince the big names to cross the line on the phone.
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Meanwhile, the Giants are a sleeper team. They have laid a good foundation for 2020, but they still have some work to do to follow the Padres and Dodgers to the hard west of the Netherlands.
If the Mets want it, they get it, a voter said. When have we ever talked about this?
Interchangeable after the season: Francisco Lindor, Chris Bryant, both or neither?
This is what the investigation uncovered: Lindor 11, both 9s.
Executives often talk about how difficult it is to close a deal given that many of them never make it to the finish line, so it is interesting to note that no one has taken the easy way out in this way. Every voter thinks at least Lindor will be moved. Lindor and Bryant have only one season left for Free Agency, so at least they will both have a new address by 2022 at the latest.
I think it’s pretty clear… how it came to be with Mike Clevinger…. The Indians are going to move Lindor. This had of course also to do with what was happening outside the field. The only question is where and when for Lindor.
Which players are most likely to be overpaid this winter?
This is what the investigation uncovered: Liam Hendricks 3, Alex Colom 3, Jose Quintana 2, James McCann, Trevor Bauer, Tommy La Stella.
Some may find it interesting that two buddies take the lead, but with the volatility of the turnarounds – even those that have proven their worth – it is difficult to discuss the results.
Two drummers even appeared in the answers, and Bauer’s voice was a bit surprising. But Cy Young winners can be just as overpaid as anyone else. In this category, time will tell the story.
Two-part question: Do you think spring training starts on time and 162 regular season games are played?
That’s what the investigation uncovered: Start on time… Yeah, eight, twelve. Game 162… Yeah, 10, 10.
If you’re wondering what the 2021 season will be like, you’re not alone. Even those in the game don’t know for sure. With the NHL and NBA playing shortened seasons, it cannot be ruled out that MLB will follow a champion. However, these leagues are still recovering from the changes in their 2020 calendar, while baseball doesn’t have this problem because the World Series ended in October, just like last season.
No, we have no idea how baseball is gonna play in low season. We always play against all 30 teams.
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However, spring training is currently scheduled to start in February, long before the vaccine is widely available – hence the uncertainty of those responsible.
He ticked both boxes, said a voter, and explained his answer: No in the spring and yes at 162. The pandemic will diminish somewhat as spring and vaccinations approach, but there is still enough time to carry out 162 vaccinations.
There will be enough seven-day doubles to get 162 games, another voter said.
IsUniversal DH here for good?
This is what the investigation uncovered: Yeah, 18, number 2.
It is clear that few people follow the MLB’s advice that teams should prepare for 2021, as if the National League has no DH. This decision could be taken as part of a wider negotiation that would cover everything from the extension of the playoffs to the scope of the list and other rule changes for next year’s CBA. While most people believe that HD could return for good, teams are moving slowly – much to the grief of some agents – until they have the last word in 2021.
This is probably a good thing for consistency in these difficult and uncertain times, said an LA voter. I’ve always been a fan of the National League.