It has now been a over a week since we’ve really gotten any more sort of news about what the league is thinking about baseball coming back, though that’s not surprising since no one really knows what is going to happen in the near, medium or even long-term future. That said, we have heard some things over the last month or so about potential rule changes and agreements between the league and the players. That was the topic of this week’s FanPulse survey.
Should Divisions be realigned?
I feel like we need some more context here, right? There have been two main reported proposals for MLB’s comeback. One of which has the teams reporting to their own spring training facilities, which would mean that there would be baseball in both Florida and Arizona, and this is where the division realignment would come in. They would have to realign divisions under this scenario, or else they’d have teams flying between Arizona and Florida. We’re trying to avoid that. However, the scenario in which all teams are in Arizona seems like the more likely way baseball comes back in 2020. Under that plan, I would agree that realignment wouldn’t be necessary.
What to do about service time?
This was probably the biggest question teams and players had to answer in their agreement shortly after the season was supposed to begin. Players will indeed get a full year of service time if they do not play any games in 2020, a huge win for them. I will generally always take the players sides in these conflicts, though I certainly acknowledge it is a little complicated. I’m not going to cry for “small market” owners unwilling to pay stars, but I do feel for fans of teams like, say, the Indians who could have one fewer year with their star, and in the case of Francisco Lindor it’s possible he’s already played his last game in Cleveland.
Compensation for teams?
I’m going to be honest, I don’t understand this question. If we’re talking about regular compensation through qualifying offers and stuff, then yes, of course. If we’re talking about compensation no matter what, I can get behind it but I’d need more information. It’s just vague, both in terms of what the compensation would be and also who this refers to. Is it only for teams who signed free agents to one year? Is it depending on that player’s salary? What about a guy like Mookie Betts? Compensation sounds good, but we need a lot more detail here.
Where is spring training?
I’m not really sure how this is even a question. Based on every report for the last month or so, there’s basically no way baseball initially comes back in teams’ home parks. So the second spring training should pretty obviously be held wherever they play. I have a feeling that any season would be limited to Arizona, so that’s where spring training should be.
Yay or Nay to the Desert?
I’m going to assume that they work out the logistics here, and that is obviously a big assumption. First and foremost it needs to be safe for everyone involved and also not lead to public health issues for the nation at large. If there’s not enough testing for the public, MLB certainly can’t hoard their own stash to get the league going. So let’s assume that’s figured out. Let’s also assume that the players agree to living away from their families in essentially a bubble for at least a few months. I’m not convinced that will happen, but for the sake of conversation, we’ll assume it does. We’ll also assume they figure out a way to get around the summer heat in Arizona, which again is very hard! If they work that out? Of course I support it. I want baseball and if this is the only way this is the only way. But all of that stuff and more needs to be figured out first, and that is an uphill battle. Not an impossible one, but very difficult.