Day 33 of Mister Manfred’s lockout. No action on the negotiating front. No likelihood of any for a couple more weeks, it seems.
Happy New Year to one and all. Let’s hope things get better. Let us also hope that the people responsible for baseball come to a speedy and equitable resolution.
Now, I’m convinced that a resolution will be reached sooner rather than later. My reasoning for this is rather convoluted and grasps at the slimmest evidence. See if you can follow and maybe have the same false confidence as I in a resolution.
The primary reason for which I expect a timely settlement is money. The owners experienced a season of monetary loss (in 2020 or the loss of profits at the very least). The players brokered payment of the bulk of their salaries that season, but no active player has ever experienced an April without a paycheck.
Another reason is the collective intelligence of the negotiators. They are all aware of what’s at stake. It’s their job to reach an agreement, not prevent one. I don’t for a moment believe that they have not been in contact since talks broke off at the Winter Meetings,
Now, is it possible that negotiations could be held without word leaking to the press? Well, Manfred forbade any team from speaking with the media except for the owners. The types of articles being reported by the baseball media would seem to indicate that team personnel have listened to Manfred’s order.
With no leaks from the owners, the usual collection of water carriers among the national media have not been printing the usual pro-owner articles as they have in the past. And, the players’ association in the past only responded to the owners’ leaks. With no leaks, there has been no reason to comment.
But, how are the negotiations being held? One word, Zoom. Or something similar. With just the negotiators involved on zoom calls, there is no one place where the media can camp out to find the leaky participants. With Manfred’s gag order on MLB employees other than players, negotiations could have been going on for weeks.
So, in my mind, no news is good news. If negotiations are being held as I choose to believe, and negotiations aren’t being reported to influence the public by the media, then I am hopeful a deal can be struck in time to save the season and most of spring training.
Over the weekend, one of you offered up several predictions. One was that Nick Maton would open the first month of the season at shortstop. This was the first departure from the more common Stott starts the season at shortstop, a Galvis-like interim solution until Stott was ready, or the acquisition of one of the pricey free agents. This has opened the door for what I feel is a brutal, honest, unpopular truth. Didi Gregorius will start the season as the Phillies’shortstop. He WILL be playing for his next contract, and maybe he can be flipped at the trade deadline.
Either solution, Maton or Gregorius, would make use of existing assets on the roster and would negate the necessity to make a trade of or for a shortstop. Or at least mitigate it while they pursue left and center fielders.
Another brutal, honest, unpopular truth may be that the Phillies are out of the relief pitcher market. In addition to signing FA Corey Knebel as their closer, they also either signed, re-signed, traded for, or claimed 15 pitchers to minor league contracts this offseason. Maybe I should add scary to the string of adjectives?
This is the courtesy thread for comments and discussion about the Phillies and other BASEBALL topics.
Rosters and Stuff
- organization’s rosters (1/2/22)
- organization’s injury list (1/2/22)
- organization’s Rule 5 eligibility (1/2/22) (includes player info, assignments, …)
- December 1, 2021: CBA expires
- December 2, 2021: Manfred locks out players
- December 15, 2021: Close of the 2020-21 international signing period
- January 28,2022: Caribbean Series
- TBA: Minor League spring training reporting date (probably late February)
- April 5, 2022: Lehigh Valley season opener at home v. Columbus
- April 8, 2022: Clearwater season opener at home v. Fort Myers
- April 8, 2022: Jersey Shore season opener at home v. Aberdeen
- April 8, 2022: Reading season opener at home v. Somerset