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Mark P
8:01
Another Sunday, another chat, and still no closer to any idea as to whether or not we're going to see any baseball this season.  On that happy note, let's get to some questions!
2020 Season
8:02
Percentage chance we see any games this year?
Mark P
8:03
For my weekly answer to this question, I'm going to drop below the 50 percent line for the first time.  At the moment, I'd say there's a 45 percent chance we see a 2020 season.  Between the coronavirus threat and the ongoing haggling between owners and players, it's not looking great.
Reds
8:04
Do you believe in our core or will over paying for some average free agents hold up our progress?
Mark P
8:06
The Reds' biggest issue is that they'll potentially miss out on a clear win-now season for them, since Bauer is a free agent after the year, Castillo will get a big arbitration raise, and their veterans will all be a year older.  On the plus side, I can't imagine Castellanos will opt out after the season, so he'll still be around for 2021
Jack
8:07
If this season does not get played, will it hurt any specific player or players particularly hard when it comes to career records/stats or hall of fame?
Mark P
8:08
Potentially, though given the evolving nature of HOF voting, it could be that voters 5-10 years down the road will put more of a value on stats beyond only counting numbers.  So if a guy falls short of, say, 3000 hits because the 2020 season didn't happen, I doubt that would be held against him
Melchez
8:10
If this season is lost... do you see teams going toward a youth movement?  Older free agents like Encarnacion and Daniel Murphy and Howie Kendrick will find it hard to get a decent offer because teams will want to go with younger inexpensive players?
Mark P
8:11
There is definitely a crunch coming for just about any non-elite free agent this winter.  Of the trio you mentioned, I can see Kendrick having the least amount of trouble landing a deal because of his defensive versatility and he couldn't cost as much.  EE will also be helped if the National League adopts a DH, at least.
8:12
Maybe not these three names specifically, but I could also certainly see a lot of veteran players just retiring altogether if they aren't getting any sort of substantial offer.
Mike Rizzo
8:12
Where am I working in 2021 and beyond?
Mark P
8:12
Washington.  I don't see why the Nats would make a change now.
Believer
8:13
Who do you believe is the best player to not be in the Hall of Fame?
Mark P
8:13
Barry Bonds
Jasson Dominguez
8:13
Do you see my eta in the bigs being 2022 and will a cancelled season push my eta back?  Am I a legit talent?
Taking Notes
8:15
Do you believe any of the teams in the top 10 will fail to sign their pick in order to have an extra selection in next years draft?
Mark P
8:15
By all accounts Dominguez is the real deal, though a lost season will probably keep him from the big leagues until maybe 2023?  Assuming that minor league baseball continues in any sort of familiar way
8:17
Oops, I queued up that next question before answering the Dominguez one!

Re: the draft picks.  Purposely punting on a year's draft pick is the kind of thing that would go over really poorly with that pick's agent, and probably the wider baseball community.  The team would be taking a year of a young prospect's career just for a strategic advantage.
Chris
8:17
Bob Dylan,genius or terrible singer?
Mark P
8:18
Can both be true?  Dylan's songs almost always sound better sung by someone else
Bryce Harper
8:18
Do you think I will ever be able to live up to my contract?  Am I the Arod deal of this generation?
Mark P
8:20
Obligatory reminder that A-Rod played extraordinarily well over the course of his first mega-deal, and then played pretty well from 2008-onward (and also won the Yankees a World Series in 2009)
So if Harper plays a key role in a Philly WS victory in the next 12 years, I think they'd call it money well spent
Phandom
8:21
have you seen the documentary "fastball"? what did you think? incredible stuff.
Mark P
8:21
I really enjoyed it.
Jason H
8:22
If the season is cancelled, Betts probably never (really) suits up in Dodger blue. Can you think of any other crazy/painful situation for fans like that in baseball history— the big free agent who never was?
Mark P
8:23
There have been instances of a big-name acquisition getting immediately hurt after joining a new team, and the Betts situation is definitely a unique one.  

That said, the Dodgers would seem like the natural top candidates to sign Betts in free agency.
AB
8:23
Why would Manfred "offer to cancel expanded playoffs and the universal DH in 2021 is there isn't a season in 2020"? Why would those two things be undesirable to the players to the point that it would improve the offer?
Mark P
8:25
An expanded playoff structure means more TV money for the owners, so that's a definite big card for the players to offer.  There was some feeling within the MLBPA that it was so big a concession that the players shouldn't give it up unless they got something guaranteed and big in return, probably in the next CBA.
Will Ferrell
8:27
When can I get a minor league deal?
Mark P
8:27
I think teams would have to be dragged Kicking & Screaming into such a signing
8:28
Well, maybe not the Mets.  Ferrell and Tebow can patrol the outfield together.
AL WEST
8:28
If Houston stumbles, which team is best positioned to swoop in and win the next division title?
Mark P
8:28
I liked Oakland's chances, though in a shortened season, anything can happen.  Maybe the Mariners shock the world.
Manager
8:30
Is it possible that if there is no season a manager could get fired before 2021 and theoretically never have coached a game with that team?
Mark P
8:30
Theoretically, sure.
Barry Bonds
8:31
Will I see my name in Canton before 2025?
Mark P
8:32
Probably not, since it'd take longer than that for Bonds to launch his NFL career and become eligible for the Football HOF (which is in Canton)

As to the baseball Hall, I don't see Bonds getting voted in, and it might take at least a couple of rounds through veterans' committees given all the hard feelings towards him and the PED guys
Yu Darvish
8:32
Can I regain my form and put together a Cy Young season moving forward?
Mark P
8:33
There were a lot of relieved Cubs fans in the second half of last season when Darvish finally started pitching like the old Yu Darvish.  His days of being a Cy-level ace are probably past, but there's no reason he couldn't be an effective front-of-the-rotation type
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