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Monday, March 30, 2020

If 2020 season is cancelled, which teams would be hurt the most?

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently expressed his optimistic outlook, saying that he hoped the league would begin “gearing back up” in May. That would put a regular season return potentially at the end of June or at some point in July. He expressed that the league may have to get creative, likely referring to ideas like playing doubleheaders, extending the season deep into fall, and playing some games at neutral parks in warm-weather areas.

Manfred isn’t the only one champing at the bit for a return to normalcy. President Trump recently said he wanted to “open” the economy back up by Easter, meaning that our social isolation plan could be done in two weeks. And, frankly, I’m sure many of us are starting to become a little stir-crazy as we attempt to flatten the curve.

It’s hard to imagine life returning to normal when Coronavirus (COVID-19) is really starting to spread in the United States. It would be ill-advised for us to go back to business as usual. This is a time when we need to put other interests ahead of business interests. Frankly, there’s a very real possibility that there is no MLB season in 2020. Or, at the very least, there may be a point when Manfred has to choose between starting a season or protecting the health of the players and coaches, journalists, fans, and all of the many people that would interact with them and potentially become vectors for the virus.

In the event the 2020 season is cancelled, which teams stand to lose the most? Let’s take a look at some contenders.



QLE Posted: March 30, 2020 at 01:23 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cancellations, dodgers, phillies, reds, shortened season, what if

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   1. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 30, 2020 at 12:09 PM (#5934936)
Look at which teams have the strongest projections by Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus, etc. Those ones.
   2. McCoy Posted: March 30, 2020 at 12:15 PM (#5934940)
   3. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: March 30, 2020 at 12:30 PM (#5934950)
I wonder if it isn't a team trying desperately to control costs, someone like Cleveland. The young players get a year closer to or further into arbitration, without the team getting anything out of them. Carlos Santana comes off the books, but it's hard to see them replacing his easily.

Another answer might be "whichever team has the widest array of talent in the low-to-mid minors." If the whole season is hosed then those guys are all going to lose a year of development time. A 19-year-old who becomes a 20-year-old with no development is a guy whose ceiling lowers a bit.
   4. Kiko Sakata Posted: March 30, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5934952)
A 19-year-old who becomes a 20-year-old with no development is a guy whose ceiling lowers a bit.

Is this as true if EVERY 19-year-old becomes a 20-year-old with no development? Not rhetorical, I'm honestly curious.

As for the question, the obvious answer would seem to be teams who made moves focused on 2020 - the Dodgers being the obvious one that jumps to mind with the Mookie Betts trade.
   5. The Duke Posted: March 30, 2020 at 12:52 PM (#5934954)
I’m gonna say the cardinals are a big beneficiary. Because of having two expensive years left, the cards were going to give Fowler and Carpenter 400-500 at bats in 2020 when they have better options on the bench. With only one year left they are far more likely to jettison them if they start slow in 2021. Hicks will be back full speed. Molina’s big contract will come off the books. The Cards had two long years of transition coming and this helps get them there faster.
   6. Mefisto Posted: March 30, 2020 at 12:55 PM (#5934955)
The Dodgers. And they said the virus would have no upside.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: March 30, 2020 at 12:56 PM (#5934956)
Is this as true if EVERY 19-year-old becomes a 20-year-old with no development? Not rhetorical, I'm honestly curious.

And the pitchers might actually benefit.
   8. bbmck Posted: March 30, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5935048)
Tampa Bay is probably only a season or so away from bankruptcy.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: March 30, 2020 at 05:40 PM (#5935075)
Yeah, Tampa is probably in the worst spot ... but MLB can probably dip into its slush fund to get them back on their feet. If the long-term MLB revenues are there, there's over $200 M in shared revenue these days and Tampa will return to being cheaply profitable.

Is this as true if EVERY 19-year-old becomes a 20-year-old with no development? Not rhetorical, I'm honestly curious.

Relative to their cohort, I wouldn't think so (and the point about pitchers is a reasonable one). But, on the fringes, there should be a few extra current MLers who hang on a little longer and a few of the 2021-22 draftees who get to the majors a bit faster because the 2020 cohort of minor-leaguers will be lagging in an absolute sense (or relative to other cohorts). I suppose I'd also expect somewhat wider variation in terms of outcomes relative to expectations -- i.e. it's another factor than can affect outcomes, some guys will make it through this without losing a step, others won't. Most obviously, some guys might do a fine job of staying in shape as long as they are subject to routine, organized workouts for 6-7 months a year but do a lousy job of it on their own. Even non-prospects: Vlad jr is still just 21 and the last thing he needs is another 20 pounds. Being "idle" doesn't doom him to putting on weight but you'd think it must increase the risk.
   10. bobm Posted: March 31, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5935268)

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