MLB Players Union Rejects Owners Offer, Season to Start On Time
The Major League Baseball Players Association officially rejected the league’s proposal for a delayed and shortened season on Monday night. As a result, the league announced that Spring Training and the regular season would start on time as scheduled.
MLB wanted a 154-game season that would begin on April 29 with expanded playoffs that resembled the 2020 postseason. The league proposed that Spring Training wouldn’t begin until March 22, but players would still be paid for a full 162-game schedule. To fit 154 games into the summer with one less month, the league wanted each team to play 12 split doubleheaders.
The union did not make a counteroffer and had already rejected the expanded postseason for 2021 along with the universal DH that was in place in 2020. Players have suggested that expanded playoffs stop teams from spending money in the off-season if it is easier to make the playoffs.
With the current plan in place, Spring Training will start in Arizona and Florida on February 17, with players arriving for testing the days before. Opening Day is set for April 1, and it is very likely that some ballparks will be empty as they were in 2020, while others will have limited fans based on local restrictions.
Cardinals Finalize Deal for Arenado
The St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies officially completed their trade on Monday that sends eight-time Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado to the heartland. Arenado waived his no-trade clause and added another year to the deal, which now runs through 2027. The 29-year-old can opt-out after the 2022 or 2023 seasons.
Arenado has a career .293 batting average to go with an .890 OPS as he averages 35 home runs and 114 RBI per 162 games. He has led the National League in homers three times and RBI twice but hit just .253 with eight homers in the pandemic shortened 2020 season.
The Rockies also sent cash to the Cardinals to cover the 2021 portion of the contract, plus an additional $15 million. St. Louis sent left-handed pitcher Austin Gomber and four minor leaguers to the Rockies in the deal. Three of the prospects were ranked in the Cardinals top 30 prospects, including third-baseman Elehuris Montero and third-round draft pick Tony Locey, another left-handed pitcher.
The Cardinals World Series odds were +3000 before news of the trade broke on Friday night. Now that the deal is official, they are listed at +2000, tied for the eighth-best odds in baseball. Also listed at +2000 are the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, and defending AL champion Tampa Bay Rays. The Los Angeles Dodgers are +450 to repeat, followed by the New York Yankees (+550), San Diego Padres (+800), Chicago White Sox (+950), Atlanta Braves (+1000), New York Mets (+1200), and Oakland A’s (+1800).
Before the trade, the Cardinals were +250 co-favorites to win the NL Central with the Cincinnati Reds. After the deal, they stand alone as favorites at +180, with the Reds still at +250. The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers are +325, while the Pittsburgh Pirates are +5000.
The Rockies meanwhile fell to +8000 to win the World Series, ahead of only the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, and Pirates. They are +6600 to win the National League and +3500 to win the NL West.
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