Rob Manfred is already crying poor on behalf of the owners

Major League Baseball’s piece of metal hasn’t even been awarded yet and Rob Manfred is already talking about next year.

In an interview with Barry M. Bloom for Sportico, MLB’s commissioner stated that the teams have amassed a collective $8.3 billion in debt by playing the 2020 season without fans. This claim comes just a few days after hundreds of employees, both on the business and the baseball side of operations, have been laid off.
Of course, Major League Baseball’s books are closed so we’ll never actually be able to verify just how much money teams lost this year. I mean, obviously, teams took a significant not having fans in the stands buying tickets, merchandise, and concessions, but player salaries, which make up far and away MLB’s largest expenditure, were prorated to the 60-game season.
Manfred coming out and saying that MLB lost all of this cash is simply just a way to A) navigate the ugly PR situation of so many employees being laid off during a global pandemic and B) get ahead of the game for the inevitable labour negotiations with the Players’ Association that will happen before the 2021 season.
You’ll surely remember …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

What to expect from the Blue Jays at the 2020 draft

Major League Baseball’s miniature five-round draft is right around the corner, which is great because it means there’ll be actual things to talk about beyond whether or not we’ll ever actually be able to watch baseball again.

This will be an interesting draft to follow from a Blue Jays perspective. Due to posting one of their worst seasons in franchise history in 2019, the Jays will have the fifth-overall pick on Wednesday, which is the highest they’ve drafted since 1997 when they selected a high schooler named Vernon Wells with the fifth-overall pick.
Beyond that top pick, the Jays will also be drafting at No. 42, No. 77, No. 106, No. 136 overall in the subsequent rounds. After the draft, the Jays will then have a chance to add whoever wasn’t taken in any of the five rounds as an undrafted free agent. I wrote a little while ago about why I thought the Blue Jays were in a good position to lure undrafted free agents to join their system. The combination of increasing pay to minor leaguers and massively improving their developmental system make them an attractive option for players who can choose …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Daily Duce: Thoughts on MLB’s newest proposal, painting the players as the bad guys, the five-round draft, and more!

Daily?!?!? Weekly?!?!?!?!?!?! MONTHLY!!!!!!?

Major League Baseball’s return is still at the mercy of the COVID-19 pandemic, but, now, there’s another obstacle in the way — a game of chicken between the billionaires and the millionaires.
Earlier this week, the 30 MLB owners agreed upon a plan that would see the season begin sometime in July, with an 82-game season, teams playing exclusively geographical rivals, a universal designated hitter, an expanded post-season, and no fans in the stadium. Also, and most importantly, they proposed a revenue-sharing strategy to navigate around the fact nobody will be at games.
Unsurprisingly, the players weren’t thrilled about that. Back in March, the owners and the players agreed upon a labour deal that would see players paid pro-rated salaries in the event of a shortened season. Now, the owners are looking to balk on that deal, and instead give the players a certain percentage of the amount of cash the league generates from its season.
This is how the system works in the NHL, a much, much more owner-friendly operation than Major League Baseball. Players and owners have agreed to a 50/50 split in hockey-related revenue, so the players pay into an …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Daily Duce: A major domino falls as the Winter Meetings get underway

Daily??!?!?!?!

Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings are here! You know what teat means? It’s time to drink exactly one beer and not sign any starting pitchers.
Things got started with a bang as the Washington Nationals re-signed World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg to a record-setting deal worth a whopping $245 million.

Stephen Strasburg’s seven-year, $245M deal with the #Nationals will give him highest average annual value for a pitcher in major-league history – at least temporarily. Gerrit Cole likely to get even more than $35M per, and for more than seven years. First with terms: @JeffPassan.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 9, 2019

This was a difficult one to predict given that the Nats had both Strasburg and Anthony Rendon out there as free agents. I think most figured they would open up their wallets to bring back Rendon, given that there’s less risk associated with throwing big cash at a position player than a pitcher, but good on them for taking the risk on Strasburg, especially after what he did for them in the playoffs.
Anyways, what does this mean for the Blue Jays? Well, this sets the tone for the rest of the off-season. Strasburg is the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Daily Duce: Ross Atkins speaks at the General Managers Meetings, updates on Shoemaker, Smoak, and Giles, and more!

Major League Baseball’s annual General Managers Meetings in Arizona kicked off this week, so we’re starting to get an idea as to how things are going to play out this off-season. Ross Atkins had quite a bit to say about what the Jays might be up to, so let’s get into all of it.

According to Shi Davidi over at Sportsnet, Atkins and Co. have already been aggressive in their pursuit of starting pitching. Last year, this wasn’t the case, as the Jays took a wait and see approach, letting the market settle before they made their play at under-the-radar players.
“We have tons of flexibility with an incredibly exciting young position player core and a lot of depth on our 40-man (roster) and a lot of depth in our system, much of which is in the form of pitching, which we feel bodes really well for our future,” Atkins said to Davidi at Sportsnet. “As important as the talent on the field that showed very well in the second half, certainly in the last couple of months of the season, is the environment that we have, what we feel is a special one. We’re …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation