After the Dodgers won the 2020 World Series in a shortened season, many were looking forward to the baseball offseason. The Hot Stove season of free agency and player trades is a right of passage for baseball fans. Unfortunately, like everything else, COVID-19 has reared its ugly head again and has changed the baseball landscape. Check out the latest Major League Baseball news so you can get all set to make your bets against our MLB odds for the upcoming season.
MLB COVID-19 Update – November 25th Edition
Normally by now, many big moves have been made. The free agency period started on November 1st, and usually there were many big moves made within the first week of this period. We’re now three weeks in, and we’ve only seen a handful of moves, none of which have involved the top available players.
This wait-and-see approach could linger on throughout the winter. With many owners losing millions of dollars last season, we’re unsure how much spending we’ll see this winter. With only 60 games last season without fans, the owners’ revenue streams took a huge hit. The only revenue that they made was from television and media deals.
Many owners will be hesitant to spend much money with the uncertainty on what will happen next season. We could very well still have a limited amount of fans able to attend, and the owners will still be operating on limited revenue streams. Owners have already laid off numerous front office and baseball operations employees. Now the pandemic could affect player salaries as well.
With the uncertainty growing about next season, many owners will be looking to reduce payroll. Even large market clubs such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees, teams that have never been scared to spend money, will be looking to trim payroll.
Baseball’s popularity level is at an all time low, and even before the pandemic, attendance numbers were dropping. Even if fans are allowed in stadiums, it will be a limited number, and revenues will be minimal. It’s also a lot easier for fans to watch games at home, and not go through the inconvenience of going to the ballpark. Many fans still could be scared to attend games.
The 2020 free agent class isn’t one of the better free agent classes in recent history. JT Realmuto, Trevor Bauer, George Springer, DJ LeMahieu, and George Springer headline this class. Even though these players should still get very lucrative deals, they may not get the guaranteed years or money that they would have in years past.
Since free agency started, only six players have been signed, and there have only been a handful of minor moves. The marginal players will be the ones that take the biggest hit. Many may not be signed until Spring Training starts, or maybe not even until the regular season kicks off. Players that owners would normally take a flyer on could very well go without jobs until later in the winter. Many will probably be signed to minor league rather than major league deals, or they will be signed to a one-year incentive laden contract.
COVID-19 has made huge changes to the world, and the baseball world has taken a hit as well. We’ll see lots of changes to how the business side of the game is run. Players will take salary hits, and we could see more and more teams go into “rebuild” mode to save money. It certainly won’t be the same we’re used to seeing.