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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

MLB, Union Reportedly Considering Further Rules Changes

It appears that the recent run of COVID-19 infections within the Marlins organization has prompted further contemplation of rules changes. The MLB Players’ Association has reached out to its members to gauge their sentiment regarding a few potential tweaks, per Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic (Twitter links).

Most notably, it appears the union has discussed with the league the possibility of keeping the 30-man active roster in effect all season long. The plan had been for it to ramp down to 26 players over the course of the campaign. But there’s now consideration of maintaining maximum flexibility for the entirety of the season.

The idea here, presumably, would be to make it easier for teams to manage workloads and deal with any coronavirus-related matters that arise. With more players to work with, for example, it’s easier to be proactive with isolating anyone who may have experienced possible transmission.

The other potential modification relates to doubleheaders. It’s possible the league could utilize a pair of seven-inning games or a regular nine-inning contest followed by a shorter, seven-inning affair. That would make it easier to squeeze in twin bills, as may well be needed to accommodate the scheduling modifications that have already proven necessary.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 29, 2020 at 03:50 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: coronavirus

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   1. JRVJ Posted: July 29, 2020 at 05:18 PM (#5966732)
One would hope that MLB and MLBPA can reach agreement on this type of tweaks on the fly.

Having said that, one thing that worries me is what I was explaining to Mayor Bloomberg a couple of posts ago:

"As soon as a player is out for COVID-19 reasons, his 40-man slot becomes available. Thus, if the Marlins lose 15 players to COVID-19, that's 15 40-man slots that just opened up for the Marlins to add players (be it from the taxi squad or FAs which they pick up).

The problem is that once those original 15 players start coming back, they each reclaim a 40-man roster spot. That's what puts a team like the Marlins in such a quandary: to field a competitive team, they may have to add players to their 40 man roster which they would have to DFA in order to keep once the original 15 start coming back.

That's not that big an issue if you have to fill-up your team with absolute dreck, but it is a problem if you have to add actual, genuine prospects to the 40-man roster."
   2. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2020 at 05:25 PM (#5966734)
Should play games online.
   3. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 29, 2020 at 05:52 PM (#5966738)
but it is a problem if you have to add actual, genuine prospects


Thanks JRVJ. But if these are prospects, they assumedly have options left, correct? So this would simply preserve the option. I'd think the bigger concern, long term, would be service time.
   4. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 29, 2020 at 05:58 PM (#5966740)
The Red Sox rep to the MLBPA thinks this season is a bad idea and it should be cancelled immediately.
   5. JRVJ Posted: July 29, 2020 at 06:13 PM (#5966745)
3, they can be sent down, but they have to remain on the 40 man roster, which is precisely the problem I'm outlining above.

Phrased differently, you have to move people INTO the 40 man roster for the Marlins to field a team, but if you do that, a number of players will have to be cut to make room in the 40 man roster when the COVID+ players start coming back.
   6. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 29, 2020 at 06:17 PM (#5966750)
3, they can be sent down, but they have to remain on the 40 man roster, which is precisely the problem I'm outlining above.


I see. Thanks I completely overlooked the 40-man aspect. Sorry for the trouble.
   7. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 29, 2020 at 06:30 PM (#5966753)
To the extent I understand the concern with the 40 man roster, can you designate infected players as out for the season and then free up slots that way?
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: July 29, 2020 at 08:37 PM (#5966772)

To the extent I understand the concern with the 40 man roster, can you designate infected players as out for the season and then free up slots that way?


I Don't think they thought that far ahead, which I think is kinda the point of this article to an extent.
   9. base ball chick Posted: July 29, 2020 at 10:11 PM (#5966799)
who cares if the players catch covid? they ain't dying are they? no reason to even isolate them. let them all give it to each other like a giant gangbang without condoms. they are already acting like they at a giant gangbang without condoms with all the refusal to distance or wear masks

we don't care about the coaching staff/support staff neither because they are cheap and replaceable
   10. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: July 29, 2020 at 10:12 PM (#5966801)
I think that's more of a theoretical problem than a real one. (I mean, beyond the fact that we're talking about the Marlins who would need to sign some players to compete even if their team didn't just catch the plague.) If you're down one or two players, you just go with empty slots on the 40 man. If, as with the Marlins, you get your whole team wiped out, you sign whatever random joes you can find on an indy team and release them as soon as the real guys are back, because if you lose your whole team all at once, competing really isn't in the cards anymore anyways.

Edit: This is probably obvious, but just to be clear, it's the 40 man thing that's not a real problem. I wasn't responding to BBC's post.
   11. JRVJ Posted: July 29, 2020 at 10:49 PM (#5966808)
7, in principle I think you can, but presumably the Marlins WANT to get back those players that come back from their COVID-19+ convalescence (assuming all come back fine. I'm no professional athlete, and it took me two plus weeks to get to the level where I could do my hour and a half walk/jog in my neighborhood slopy 150 acre park).

In fact, if it were a 162 game season, the Marlins might actually have a competitive advantage, in that over half their team has already gone through COVID-19... In a 60 game season, that's simply not an option.
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 30, 2020 at 12:02 AM (#5966818)
MLB Updates The Coronavirus Protocol:
Major League Baseball is encouraging players not to leave hotels in road cities except for games, mandating the use of surgical masks instead of cloth masks during travel and requiring every team to travel with a compliance officer who ensures players and staff properly follow the league's protocol, sources told ESPN.
The Marlins post-test response may have fallen a bit short, too. Look for some change there:
Following the positive tests of starter Jose Ureña, first baseman Garrett Cooper and right fielder Harold Ramirez, the protocol called for contact tracing -- a look into which other players or personnel fell within CDC guidelines of "close contact": being within 6 feet of an individual for about 10 minutes, according to a copy of the protocol obtained by ESPN. Only one player, sources said, was in that category after contact tracing: starter Sandy Alcantara, whom MLB Network reported was among those to later test positive. The notion that just one player among a team traveling 33 would be subject to the close-contact protocol -- quarantine pending the results of a rapid coronavirus test -- struck officials from other teams as unlikely. All 30 MLB teams are required to staff at least one trained contact tracer, while the contact-tracing operation is overseen by the league.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: July 30, 2020 at 03:43 AM (#5966823)
can you designate infected players as out for the season and then free up slots that way?

Players on the 45-day IL (60 in a normal season) do not count against the 40-man limit. Neither do players on the covid list apparently.

That latter sounds great but doesn't really help the Marlins. They had 30 active, 10 more on the 40-man, 20 more on the taxi. With 14 players on covid -- great they don't count against the 40-man but the Marlins now have only 26 players on the 40-man. So they need 4 more just to get to 30 active.

Near as I can tell, if they add guys from the taxi squad to the 30-man, they of course have to be on the 40-man. That would give the Marlins 30 on the 40-man and 14 on the covid. Any further player who goes to the regular or covid IL requires adding somebody to the 40, just to stay at 30 active. When players start to return, they can handle up to 10 covid guys coming back and send players down but the last 4 covid guys would require somebody being exposed to waivers. Of course by then maybe some other guys would be on the 45-day IL or the covid list so they might be able to handle it.

I could be wrong but it seems to me we've already seen a good number of "useless vet claimed off waivers" type transactions which suggests to me that teams will be following Ziggy's strategy of trying to limit 40-man additions to guys they have no qualms cutting when they need a spot.

Still in retrospect, they either should have expanded to, say, a 50-man roster or negotiated with the union to allow a one-year suspension of restrictions on moving players off the 40-man back to the taxi squad. The taxi squad is kinda useless if you can't really add players from it without it eventually causing you to expose somebody to waivers.
   14. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 30, 2020 at 04:29 AM (#5966824)
...which suggests to me that teams will be following Ziggy's strategy of trying to limit 40-man additions to guys they have no qualms cutting when they need a spot.


I guess I dont really understand the issue. Arent the only guys left in the USA who can play baseball essentially useless fodder anyways? Can you give a real life example of a guy that MIA might be afraid to sign for fear of cutting him later? YOu mean like someone signed to a minor league contract in the MIA orgxn? But I thought none of those guys were protected.

Maybe Im the only one not getting it. But in hopes that maybe a few other primates would benefit: can you explain it a little more, or just give a real example?

thanks.
   15. Karl from NY Posted: July 30, 2020 at 02:20 PM (#5966941)
The Marlins organization is pretty well motivated to avoid playing as many games as they can, right? The playoffs are determined by winning percentage if teams play unequal numbers of games, and they're 2-1 and only project to go downwards from there.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 30, 2020 at 02:43 PM (#5966948)
The Marlins organization is pretty well motivated to avoid playing as many games as they can, right? The playoffs are determined by winning percentage if teams play unequal numbers of games, and they're 2-1 and only project to go downwards from there.
The Marlins won Sunday, scoring 11 runs, with ~ half the team infected with the coronavirus, suggesting they might be quite formidable when they get healthy. Their hard-earned immunity may even give them some extra swagger.
   17. puck Posted: July 30, 2020 at 10:33 PM (#5967041)
Thoughts on 7 inning double headers? I guess stuff like this is inevitable with trying to play baseball during a pandemic.

Maybe someone can get some complete games out of this.


@JeffPassan
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have agreed to stage seven-inning doubleheaders starting Aug. 1, sources familiar with the situation tell ESPN.
5:59 PM · Jul 30, 2020

@JeffPassan
With a number of doubleheaders expected to take place on account of rescheduled games due to current and potential coronavirus outbreaks as well as weather-related postponements, shortening games to seven innings was a compromise that came together quickly.
6:02 PM · Jul 30, 2020

@JeffPassan
The extra-innings runner-on-second rule still will apply in doubleheader games, meaning teams in the eighth inning will automatically start with a runner on second base, sources tell ESPN.
6:10 PM · Jul 30, 2020

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