Another week closer to spring training, and we might finally start to have some news about what the season will look like, as far as the National League is concerned.
On Monday, it was reported that the MLBPA has rejected Major League Baseball’s offer of a DH in the National League and of continuing expanded playoffs.
The MLBPA had agreed to these terms during the 2020 season, mainly to help pitchers have more rest in an unknown season, while also giving more teams an opportunity to play longer in the shortened season. If there is no new agreement, it will revert to the old Player’s Agreement, where there would be six playoff teams and no DH in the National League.
The Player’s Union knows that MLB would like the expanded playoffs, mostly for monetary reasons. But the players fear that if there were to be permanent expanded playoffs, there would not be as big a demand for talent at the trade deadlines. Competitive integrity is at the foremost of the players’ minds in these discussions.
We don’t yet know where the news of no DH will land in the Dodgers’ front office, and how it will impact their decision on which right-handed bat to sign. As per usual, the Dodgers and Justin Turner are said to both like a reunion, but Turner also would like a four year contract to seemingly finish out his career.
As of right now, the regular season is supposed to start on April 1, with spring training starting in just a few weeks.
On Monday, the Cactus League sent a letter to MLB asking them to delay the start of spring training due to the number of Covid cases currently in Arizona.
Aside from not knowing that there is a Cactus League front office, one wonders why they would send such a letter when the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Coyotes and the Phoenix Suns have all been playing, some playing their games inside, and some with fans in attendance. The Cardinals even allowed the San Francisco 49ers to come and use their field when they were not allowed to play in Santa Clara County in California.
In response, MLB has instructed teams to be ready to report and start spring training on time, regardless of the letter from the Cactus League. One would presume that all of the protocols from last season will still be enforced, at the very least until players, staff, and personnel can get their Covid vaccinations.
It is unclear why MLB and the MLBPA are waiting until the last minute to iron out the details of the season, but hopefully there will be more news in the coming days about just what the 2021 season will entail.
We also would like to bid adieu to Kiké Hernandez. The former utility man for the Dodgers has signed a two-year contract with the Boston Red Sox worth $14MM. We’ll never forget his dugout antics, the banana suit, the gyrating dances and the three home run game in the 2017 NLCS.
Best of luck, Kiké, and thanks for everything.