The big baseball deadline Q&A

Throughout the major league baseball off-season, there are all sorts of deadlines and critical dates, whether it is the deadlines for offering or turning down qualifying offers, the deadline for setting the 40 man rosters, the date for the Rule 5 draft, the date for exchanging arbitration figures and on and on. But this off-season, there is another critical date that occurs this week. On Wednesday, December 1st at midnight, the collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players union expires, and all indications are that it will expire before a new deal.

Here is a little FAQ on this…..

Q. Is there a chance of an agreement coming to place before the deadline?

A. Sure. The parties will be meeting on Wednesday, and indeed, they could come to an agreement before the deadline. We don’t know where the negotiations are at this point. But the gut feeling here is that there are a lot of issues to be ironed out, and there needs to be a lot more posturing and gamesmanship before this is put to bed.

Q. If there is no agreement by the end of Wednesday, does this mean a lockout, strike, and/or, most importantly, cancellation of baseball games?

A. It likely means the owners will opt to lock out the players and, more importantly, suspend all further business (trades, free-agent signings, arbitration offerings). Obviously, the two sides would have a lot of time and opportunity to come to a settlement before this would affect actual games, but based on what happened in the 2020 debacle, there is not a lot of confidence that they will come to an agreement quickly.

Q. What types of issues are out there that need to be ironed out?

A. Well, the players have already expressed that they thought they did not get a good deal last time. Of course, what else would you expect them to say. But there may likely be fallout from the 2020 season, when after failing in negotiations, the commissioner, Rob Manfred, imposed the conditions for the season. There will likely be negotiations over how young players are handled versus service time and how the teams manipulate it. There will likely be negotiations over the arbitration process when it kicks in and how many years it lasts.

The players will want to get rid of the luxury tax or modify it. They will want to push for teams to have a minimum amount they should be spending per season (if you have a high-end tax, maybe you should have some motivation for teams not to go below a specific figure?).  The Universal DH, which seemed like a slam dunk and a small win for the players (a DH who plays every day makes more than a bench guy who plays occasionally), will undoubtedly be discussed. Roster sizes, extra-inning rules, the three batter minimum rule for relievers, COVID protocol, support for the minor leaguers and many other issues will be discussed.

A lot of these items, in the end, may not change from the current rules, but they all have value as trading chips in the negotiations.  

Q. Is there any likely fall out from the lockout and suspension of business?

A. Some fallout is already happening as there is a flurry of activity ahead of the deadline. As a friend of the blog, Old Pro wrote yesterday, some may want to sign under the devil they know agreement rather than the devil they don’t know.

The other fallout might be a much more compressed time situation for free agency, which would favor the owners as there would be less time for back and forth with agents, and there might be some fringe candidates settling for smaller/shorter contracts to make sure they have a job.

Q. Will the stoppage, if there is one, cost real season games?

A. Well, they would have to be idiots to not come to an agreement before then, right? On the other hand, idiotic things have occurred before. Dan P would say there is about a 5-10% chance of this affecting the regular season. Both sides have seen reduced money, especially in 2020, and they need to be building this brand back, not alienating folks who are just now getting comfortable with in-person ball games.

Any other questions you want to ask of Dan P and his Magic 8 ball?


61 comments on “The big baseball deadline Q&A

  1. (I’m repeating this since this post just was posted)

    Brooks Raley getting signed by the Rays for 3 years $1 billion

    Ok – part of that sentence was the truth


    • I wish him nothing but the best. In reading the article, I thought I didn’t see the REAL Brooks Raley they were talking about until I got to this part “six home runs against the 120 hitters he faced from that (right-handed) side this year.”


  2. It would appear that on each team about 20 players know where they will be next season. That means about 20 more won’t know until the end of Spring Training which league or team will be their home. That is not difficult for the single guys, but brutal to those with families.


    • This sounds like my work place – we don’t know who is staying, who is going on their own and who is getting sent away…..and there are not nearly as many zeroes involved in our salaries.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Becky – in the 42 years since I graduated from UH and joined the work force the only time that was worse than the last two years was in the early to mid 80’s when I was laid off and the Houston economy went to crap. On the plus side, back then I got a job in Arkansas and we welcomed two of our sons during the 7 years we lived there.

        Liked by 1 person

    • The Blue Jays let Matz and Ray go sign elsewhere so they could sign Gausman for dollars than either (individually)? I don’t get it. I’ve always liked Gausman, but strongly believe his numbers were aided by that SF field and defense quite a bit. The Blue Jays defense is awful…especially after losing Semien. Their park can also allow teams to put up crooked numbers in a hurry. Should we infer that they thought both Matz and Ray performed better in 2021 than we should expect going forward or should we assume both pitchers didn’t want to stay in Canada due to the maple syrup shortage?

      Liked by 1 person

    • From who? I think he plays hardball until late January then begs Crane to sign him for some save-face contract and spins it as a desire to win in Houston.


    • The candidates for the Correa sweepstakes are narrowing. I’m wondering if he’ll be left holding the proverbial empty money sack when it’s all said and done. I just can’t see somebody giving him 10 at 35MM/year or more but but then again one never knows. I could see the Astros giving him 6 at 35 with an option but no more.


  3. If the Rangers are stupid enough to pay that kind of money to Seager, somebody will probably be stupid enough to pay more for Correa. I just hope it isn’t our team.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rangers have signed *4* players for over $659 million dollars. I don’t know if their owner robbed a bank, but one pitcher and three position player does NOT guarantee that your team is a contender.
    Our local sports guys are questioning the Seager money, and WHERE Correa fits in that money picture….so am I. There are still short stops to be signed, but I can’t IMAGINE Crane throwing that kind of money around….can YOU??


    • The MLBTR article talks about Baez at SS, but he moved back to 2B for the Mets last year. On paper, the Tigers could still sign Correa to play SS. Articles came out yesterday saying the Rangers now have the best middle infield in baseball, but defensively a Correa/Baez pairing could be one of the best we’ve ever seen.


  5. When I read all these contracts being given out, I bet that George Springer wishes now he had waited a year. It is starting to look like he could have gotten another $200 Million. This has turned into Monopoly money.


  6. The Correa situation is getting very interesting. Yes, he is probably more valuable than Seager who got the 10 years / $325 MM. But, are there teams willing to get into a bidding war for him? The Tigers obviously have the payroll room and seem to be gearing up to contend. But who are they bidding against to up the ante? The Yanks are a possibility, but they have been working towards staying below the luxury tax line. Now they did that last season I believe – so they could always jump over for a season (or forever – they are the Yanks). Or they could grab Story for a good bit less.
    Could the Dodgers get involved? Is Trea Turner really their SS going forward? Are there too many ill feelings towards Correa for him to head there?
    Correa’s agent may have a problem. How do you explain to your client that – yes, the Rangers overpaid for Seager and you are on paper worth more than Seager, but the market is drying up for you.
    Correa might be better served by taking a shorter term deal at a higher rate per season and an early opt out and become a free agent when he would be the belle of the ball – since all the best SS’s will be tied up forever.


    • I think this market is playing into Correa’s hands. There are at least 4 or more teams with crazy owners that need a shortstop. Now if he doesn’t sign now, a lockout for Spring Training, and he could end up like Keuchel with no place to go for a while. Now the second part is that there may be some teams that would never take him at any price. But it only takes one idiot to give him his $300+million.


    • It’s very interesting. Did every team stay away from the most expensive option at SS and left the most expensive SS to try and leverage 2-3 teams against each other, none of which looked at SS as their biggest need?

      It seems as if Seager will end up with the largest contract in total value, but Correa will probably beat that in AAV. It wouldn’t surprise me that if he decides to take the non 10 year deal, that he is back with the Astros with something that surpasses the 32.5 AAV of Seager while not matching Seager’s 325M.


      • Well we were hearing from unsubstantiated sources that Correa was offered 6/210 to remain in Houston. I don’t think the ego will allow that to happen now though. Maybe in March.


  7. The Astros tendered contracts to all their arbitration eligible players. Tells me that Montero must be recovering from his injury.
    The Astros put Andre Scrubb on outright waivers to make room for Neris.


      • Garrett Stubbs was traded for a player who did not need to get added to the roster, Logan Cerny, to create a roster spot. Houston now has two spots open to add Neris and Verlander.
        By the way, I noticed Cerny has been added to the Astros Top 30 Prospects list, at #28. Now there is a bio on him.


  8. This Orioles writer has an opinion of Odor that is similar to Becky’s.

    “Orioles sign guy who punched Jose Bautista that one time.”

    Rougned Odor hasn’t been good in three years, which means he stinks just enough to play for the Orioles

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is an intriguing hire OP. Love to get younger folks into the organization and in this case a lady who was also a player (in softball) and from her resume is highly thought of in the Brewer organization.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Can I say that even know his name is probably as common as Joe Smith (no not that Joe Smith) – it bugged me to see headlines touting the Padres talking to Luis Garcia. Thank goodness our two step wonder is untouchable for a few years and whoever his namesake is – they are no Luis Garcia or at least not as good as ours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did a double take also when I started reading the story. Had to get down to “Cardinals” when I finally hit me it was his double. Maybe we need to go to the actions of the Screen Actors Guild (at least that was what I read). As long as an actor with that name is alive, no one else can use it.

      Luis Garcia shows 5 in Baseball Reference and 3 are still playing.


  10. News on the CBA: “This afternoon’s session between the two sides concluded after seven minutes.”

    I would say they are really close to an agreement or light years away from one if it lasted 7 minutes.


  11. It is midnight in New York. All is quiet on the Western Front, the Eastern Front, and the Third Coast Gulf Front. So we must assume a Lock Out is now in effect. I have to wonder if that means DanP can no longer post until there is a new CBA?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Judging by the number of players, including some vocal ones, not getting a paycheck, it seems to me the Association might be at somewhat of a disadvanage if the lock out continues on for awhile. At the same time, I don’t like the idea of a lock out one bit. It’s the tried and true method of fixing things. But it smacks of the cigar chomping old boys network digging in for a long fight to protect their own best interests.

    But with all that said, Jordan Lyles apparantly signed the last deal before 11:59 PM last night, at a guaranteed 7 million for being a crappy pitcher able to throw a whole lot of bad innings. Baseball is screwed up. And I can’t identify whom might help fix it. Certainly not the commissioner.

    Manfred layed out his stance to the fans last night. It’d like to see The Players Association do the same. I’d like to see exactly what both side want.


  13. Let me explain the Poker table. The Players want to raise the salary tax to $240 Million per team (players get more money). The Owners want to keep the last $20 Million per team (owners keep more money). The Fans are at the table. They can Ante but can not deal, shuffle, cut or call (All the money in the pot, came from the pockets of the fans).


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