“Padres-Waiting & Watching”
The month of December has reached the midway point of the calendar.
A month removed from the World Series. No winter meetings, no blockbuster trades, no big free agent signings.
And no sign either as to what the next baseball season is going to look like.
MLB and the Union are having dialogue about a trimmed back 2021 season with the reality the pandemic is worse now than it has ever been.
Owners are talking about not opening spring training cmaps in February. The season won’t start the last week of March. Now they are dropping hints it might not start till May.
That would mean spring training camps would be padlocked till April. And who knows what the fallout for the minor leagues, who did not play last year, might be like this year too.
If owners are mumbling about 80-game seasons, or 120-game seasons, then no business is going to take place for awhile yet.
Owners say they want players and their staffs to recevie vacccines before they report to the Cactus League or the Grapefruit Circuit.
No one knows whether there will be fans in the stands to start the season, though Dr. Anthony Fauci, the MVP of infectious disease research, says he does not envision fans in stadiums till late summer.
That means another 3M loss in likely local revenues for the Padres and every other team. Does that mean another 100M plus loss for the Padres and so many other teams for a second year in a row.
And because of all that uncertainty about start times, camps, medical situations, it means free agency is stalled too.
Who knows where Trevor Bauer or George Springer winds up, and more importantly, who knows for how much money.
The Padres are covered from a roster standpoint, because they have so many good young pitchers knocking at the big league door. They don’t have to go into the market place looking for talent.
We started the off season with 147–free agents. Then when players started getting non-tendered, the free agent list grew to 197-players, without contracts, without teams, and without knowledge of where they might be hitting home runs this year.
A ton could wind up on 1-year short contracts, and a hope they re-enter the free agent market next year.
Interesting to see if the Padres can buy-low on someone on a one year deal that makes a difference in the standings.
The clock is ticking on one player they were to bid on…Japanese free agent right-hander Tomo Sugano of the Yomiuri Giants, who is (31Y), and has a (101-50) career record in that country. The 30-day window has opened for a team to sign him.. He’s a middle of the rotation guy and might fit their needs and their budget.
The Masahiro Tanaka-Yankees situation bears watching, as New York has yet to make an offer to retain him, despite a (78-46) career record, but his price tag might be a bit too high.
Are there trades in the offing, sure, but the Padres don’t seem interested in giving up anymore of their young arms, considering they have already dealt away Cal Quantrill and Eric Later in past deals.
And while the business paralysis of the game continues, so does the possible structure of the game stay set in cement.
No idea on the DH-rule for next year, though it seems a positive addition to the game. No idea on expanded playoffs and more revenue for clubs, though that seems a go-to idea to help the players and owners wipe out the 3B in losses from last year.
Mid-December, and I don’t think the Hot Stove League lamp ever got lit. And I doubt we can hear anyone say ‘pitchers and catchers’ report.
AJ Preller and Jayce Tingler…like you and me…waiting to see what happens next in baseball’s battle with the virus and then its union.
Waiting and watching.