Chat with MLBTR's Steve Adams 6/23/20
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Steve Adams
It only took 3 months but we might maybe kind of sort of potentially have the possibility of perhaps getting in a potential would-be 2020 season. Hooray compromise!

What's that? Oh, they didn't even compromise in the end? Well... hrm. Let's chat anyway.
Nelson Cruz
How likely am I to play in 2021?
Steve Adams
He said he wanted to play prior to the shutdown -- I don't see why he wouldn't want to now. Most active players seem to have said the downtime has made them realize they want to go out on their own terms and things along those lines.
Do the players say no to these health protocols just to avoid playing?
Steve Adams
The notion that the players don't want to play is not correct. They'll probably have some slight tweaks but they're not going to flat-out reject them.

(As I type this, I'm thinking to myself: "Oh god they're totally going to reject them now" ha)
(I don't expect them to)
Who wins the most from the DH rule?
Steve Adams
Position players who want to have more jobs created for them in the future? If you're looking for a team -- Dodgers have such a deep roster that they'll be able to trot out nine average or better hitters on a given day with ample matchup flexibility. Brewers have a lot of options. D-backs can give Kevin Cron a look after he homered in 10% of his plate appearances last year
Mets could get a look at Cespedes I guess, but can't bank on anything from him. Would give them more opportunities to keep Cano fresh, too, though. And more ABs for Dom Smith
Royals announced they signed the No. 4 overall pick like 2 minutes after I started this, ha. Naturally. Give me a minute to get a quick headline up on that and I'll pop back in here.
What does the new season mean for next years draft order?
Steve Adams
No indication it'll be determined by anything other than traditional methods. I wouldn't mind seeing them go to some kind of lottery system, because I do wonder if some teams will just tank if they go into a 3-week slide to start the season.
Hopeful Dodger Fan
Hearing that upcoming FAs are going to get destroyed this coming offseason, does that make someone like Mookie Betts who has been adamant about not signing an extension more likely to?
Steve Adams
He's been this committed to testing the market -- I don't see why he'd waver now. Maybe he falls well shy of expectations ... he'll still sign for more than any player in free agency.
What are the current understood rule changes? I'm too dizzy to keep up. Universal DH, expanded playoffs?
Steve Adams
No expanded playoffs
Rest of the rule changes are pending MLBPA approval off health/medical protocols. The universal DH for 2020 (not 2021) is in there, for instance. So is teams playing only within their division and the corresponding geographic division in the other league
Other elements will surely be put in place but the union has to vote first. Their response should come in soon.
During my rebuild, do my prospects see the field this year or does the M’s hopes for October baseball just get pushed another year out?
Steve Adams
Some of them will. Evan White was always going to be their Opening Day 1B, even though they hadn't officially said as much. Justin Dunn and Justus Sheffield will get long looks. Shed Long as well.

But for younger guys like Kelenic and Gilbert, Dipoto implied that they won't be thrust right into the MLB spotlight:
What happens if a player gets the virus and his health goes south and he can't play anymore ever?  Has anyone thought of that?
Steve Adams
I'm sure plenty of players have thought of it, which is part of why they took such a hard stance in negotiations (albeit one of many reasons). And of course the chances of it are low, but it's not impossible and it's a legitimate concern for some of the guys I'm sure. We see lots about the percentage of people who recover, which is clearly the overwhelming majority, but "recovering" also doesn't always mean just back to normal in a short time.

There are tons of concerns surrounding the health protocol, but the players' general tone is that they want to play. And guys who harbor such fears -- or fear for family members who are higher-risk and in close proximity -- will be able to opt not to play. It just remains to be fully seen how service time and salary will ultimately be addressed in all those cases.
16 team playoff
It’s ridiculous!!!  If my team goes 48-12 will they still get a lst round bye? Baseball is turning into hockey now
Steve Adams
There are no expanded playoffs this year.
That had to be bargained with the players, which is why the league did not want to implement a season length. The players weren't happy with their final offer and held out on agreeing to that expansion, thus keeping the 10-team status quo for playoffs
Mike Hazen
How will rate-based stats be reflected in the record books? For example, if a starting pitcher finishes the season with an ERA under 1.12, is he no. 1 and Bob Gibson no. 2 in the modern era?
Steve Adams
He wouldn't meet the qualification criteria for innings pitched in a standard 162-game season so no, he wouldn't be considered the best ERA all time or anything
Unfortunate Mets Fan
No expanded playoffs is a shame. Doesn't seem like the Union got enough back to justify passing on that.
Steve Adams
They got back their right to file a grievance, which I agree does not seem like much. They still get 60 games, so perhaps they'll tout that as a win when MLB was thinking 48-52, but that also makes it harder to win said grievance.

Everyone looks bad in this trainwreck though.
Does the Red Sox trade of Mookie Betts look better now?  They basically dealt maybe 60 games of Betts for Verdugo and minor leaguers.  With no guarantee he'd re-sign and a bit of a crapshoot as to who can win with a shortened season, I'd make that trade every day of the week.
Steve Adams
Of course it doesn't. It's not as if they knew the season would be 60 games. You have to judge them on the merits of the information they had at the time.

Verdugo, Downs and Wong wasn't a nightmare return in the first place or anything, but the Red Sox still dumped one of the best players in franchise history because their owners didn't want to pay the luxury tax -- which they admitted early in the offseason -- and then flatly denied that despite on-record contradictory statements just months prior. Ownership made clear in dumping Betts and basically sitting out free agency that winning in 2020 wasn't a priority, which has to sting for fans of such a big market club that has been in perennial win-now mode for quite some time.
Any inside news on what might happen with the Jays if there is a re-start? Buffalo? Tampa? Dunedin?
Steve Adams
Ontario chief medical officer David Williams said within the past hour that MLB's proposal doesn't address the possibility (or obstacles) to hosting games in Toronto and that he has "not seen anything specific from Major League Baseball." Will have those comments on the site shortly, but sure doesn't sound like MLB is planning on games at the Rogers Centre. TSN and Sportsnet have said they're also doing work at TD Ballpark in Dunedin to prep for night games. That's my bet at the moment.
Bob Sacamano
Is the "For Sale" sign the Wilpon's have out for real or is this just to appease frustrated Mets fans?  Why would anyone spend $2B plus right now with such an uncertain future?
Steve Adams
Between the economic downturn and the report that no percentage of SNY is being talked about in the sale, I wouldn't be certain we're looking at a $2 billion-plus price point.

Beyond that, the opportunity to buy a team comes along rarely, and the long-term growth potential is still enormous
My Final vote
I definitely vote for Steve Adams to be are new baseball commissioner. But does he have any interest?
Steve Adams
Not sure there's a more underqualified horse to back, ha! But I appreciate the sentiment I guess. That job would be a nightmare though, man.
Mr Roctober
When will the transaction hold be lifted?
Steve Adams
No official word yet but you'd have to imagine it's lifted rather quickly if health/safety is agreed upon. If they're telling teams "report next week" and they want to bring in some veteran depth guys who aren't signed at the moment, they need all the notice they can get.
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