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MLB OFFSEASON (Maybe soon???)


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The Marlins are closing in on a trade to acquire catcher Jacob Stallings from the Pirates, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). The teams are reviewing medicals of the players involved. Pittsburgh will acquire righty Zach Thompson in addition to right-handed pitching prospect Kyle Nicolas and outfield prospect Connor Scott, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports.

 

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Apparently as part of the negotiations - MLB has proposed expanding the playoffs to 14 teams

Per ESPN

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Major League Baseball's expanded playoff proposal, as part of a new collective bargaining agreement between owners and players, includes the ability for division winners to pick their wild-card opponent, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

The format would call for 14 teams -- seven from each league -- to make the playoffs, four more than currently play in the postseason. The three division winners in each league would be joined by four wild-card teams to make up the playoff field. Here's how it would work:

• The team with the best record in each league would get a bye into the best-of-five division series.

• The remaining two division winners would get to pick their wild-card opponent from the bottom three wild-card teams. The division winner with the second-best record would pick first, then the No. 3 seed in the league would pick its opponent from the final two wild-card teams. The wild-card team with the best record would play the wild-card team that wasn't picked by a division winner.

• Once matchups are set, the higher-seeded teams would host all three games in a best-of-three wild-card round.

• Winners in the wild-card round would advance to the division series and the playoffs would continue as they have in the past.

One concern with the proposed format is the time off for the top seeds while the wild-card round proceeds, hence teams hosting all three wild-card games in consecutive days.

There are mixed feelings on the proposal, according to sources. Players contend it could disincentivize teams from spending and/or pushing for more wins knowing they might make the postseason with, say, 80 to 83 victories. Or less.

The league believes the incentives for the top seeds -- like having a bye or picking your opponent -- will keep teams aggressive both in the winter and during the season. Plus, it opens the door for a perennial 75-win team to now push for around 80 wins to potentially make the postseason.

An informal poll of executives at the general managers meetings earlier this month revealed they weren't thrilled with the idea of a televised event on the Sunday night before the playoffs begin where opponents would be chosen. It's ripe for second-guessing and perhaps even bulletin-board material.

Of course, the expanded playoffs would be a windfall for owners in terms of television and gate revenue, but they would also add over 100 players to the postseason spotlight where reputations are burnished. Players also get playoff shares for every round their team wins in October.

The playoff proposal has been on the table for months as the sides negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. The old one expires at midnight on Dec.1.

Also in the story - apparently there is a proposal for a Draft Lottery for the first three picks in the draft

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3 hours ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

To piggyback off their signing of Stallings, Miami trades Jorge Alfaro to San Diego for a PTBNL.

Hip Hip Jorge!  Jorge was very popular when he was here in Spokane.

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What do you guys think of the proposed realignment by the players?
2 15 team leagues
two divisions in each league (one with 8, one with 7)
Division Winners qualify directly for Divisional Series.
Next four best records get wildcard round spots

I kinda like it. Yes, I love rivalries with the Yankees (not so much the Rays right now), but I think 18 games versus a team during a year makes that rivalry a little too oversaturated. And yes, this is set up to be expanded to 32 teams eventually.

(they would also bump the Luxury Tax line to $240 Million)

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2 minutes ago, SirFozzie said:

I kinda like it. Yes, I love rivalries with the Yankees (not so much the Rays right now), but I think 18 games versus a team during a year makes that rivalry a little too oversaturated.

Do you feel that way already because teams are already playing their division rival 19 times a season

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As a seperate post: 

 

This is what I'd probably be happy with if I'm the players

Luxury Tax Line: $220-230 million

Three seasons cost control

4-5: Arbitration

6+: Free Agency

(however, any time in the majors counts as a service year, let's quit the shenanigans about "We have to wait 50 days so we get another pre-arbitration year"

For players not Free Agents, a League Wide "Bonus Pool" based off some metric, (possibly WAR or one of it's very many variants)

(however, any time in the majors counts as a service year, let's quit the shenanigans about "We have to wait 50 days so we get another pre-arbitration year")

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For the record - I don't think any of the player's proposals outside of advertising on uniforms is gonna happen as it seems fairly clear the owners aren't gonna budget and they will just do the usual "wait for the PA to fracture" and get what they want

Btw the lockout will happen tonight

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The impasse is likely to lead the owners to lock out the players at midnight on Wednesday. It's not a mandatory move, as the sides can keep negotiating under the old CBA rules if they desire, but the league insists it's the best route to instill a sense of urgency in the process. The owners don't want a lockout viewed as punitive but just part of the process.

The players won't lose paychecks until the start of the regular season, so they might view the lockout as less risky than an in-season work stoppage would be. If a stoppage occurs, there will be no contact between teams and free agents or players on their 40-man rosters. In fact, team personnel aren't allowed to speak publicly about players as it pertains to their game on the field or in any manner.

The sides will meet again on Wednesday with less than 24 hours until the old CBA expires.

The bolded part is a knee slapper as a) there should have already been a sense of urgency and b) now they will just wait till mid-Feb when Spring Training is about to start before they start having real conversations again

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I like it, because I'm a big fan of less divisions in leagues. Love the NHL realignment from a few years ago for example. Ideally we'd go back to only division winners and maybe two wild cards making the playoffs, but I know that ship sailed long ago. Out of all the expanded playoff plans, 2 division winners getting a bye and one round of wild cards is probably the best.

I'm surprised the players proposed the 15 team leagues, I thought they were the ones that pushed the leagues to evening out in size way back when, because they said it wasn't fair that some teams had a shorter path to the playoffs.

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10 minutes ago, elizium said:

I'm surprised the players proposed the 15 team leagues, I thought they were the ones that pushed the leagues to evening out in size way back when, because they said it wasn't fair that some teams had a shorter path to the playoffs.

I think it is because as Foz pointed out - it is step 1 in expanding to 32 teams (which equals more jobs for the players).

Because going to 32 teams means either going the NFL alignment route (which will never happen due to all the rivalries MLB holds so near and dear) or going to 4 divisions of 8.

I also think - like how it is basically accepted that the Universal DH will be part of this deal - I think expanded playoffs is a lock. It is just a question of whose version gets agreed upon.

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Other last minute deals:

James Paxton gets $10m from Boston for a year (note he got $8.5m from Seattle last year got a total of four (4) outs before requiring TJ surgery)

SF steals Alex Cobb - 2/20. 

The ChiSox bring back Leury Garcia - 3/16.5

DC is signing Cesar Hernandez away from said ChiSox. 

Detroit tells Matt Boyd to gtfo. 

-- 

Miami/Atlanta/Boston are apparently all battling to get Kyle Schwarber.  Hmm...  

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Scherzer is one of the 8 players on the Executive Board (the other 7 are Marcus Semien, Gerrit Cole, Francisco Lindor, Jason Castro, Zack Britton, Andrew Miller and James Paxton.)

Scherzer also said that the MLBPA has a "war chest" that can help the more rank and file players if the lockout extends into the season

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