The most unusual season in baseball history is officially in the books, as the Dodgers notched a 3-1 victory in Game 6 last night to clinch the World Series. It was the Dodgers’ first championship since 1988, and the drought felt particularly long given the team’s multiple postseason near-misses in recent years, most notably coming up short in both the 2017 and 2018 World Series.
The immediate aftermath of Game 6, however, focused equally on both the Dodgers’ triumph and the controversy surrounding Justin Turner’s positive COVID-19 test, which led to his removal in the eighth inning of last night’s game. Much more will be written about Turner’s situation and MLB’s health protocols in the coming days and months, yet it serves as something of an ironic end to a season that will be forever defined by the coronavirus pandemic.
That same uncertainty over COVID-19 will spread into the offseason. At the moment, Major League Baseball has little idea about how anything related to the 2021 season will proceed — how Spring Training will operate, when a new season will start, the length of said season (though a full 162-game schedule has been drafted), whether or not fans will be permitted to attend games, how the arbitration process will proceed, etc. All these unknown factors will certainly impact how teams go about their normal offseason business, as it is widely expected that the large majority of clubs will look to limit or cut spending. The threat of more labor unrest also hangs over the proceedings, as the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after the 2021 season.
Amidst it all, MLB Trade Rumors will continue to provide full coverage of all baseball news in the coming months. Our projected arbitration numbers are already live, and our annual Top 50 Free Agents list and Free Agent Prediction contest are both expected to be posted early next week. You can also follow our ongoing Offseason Outlook series for a team-by-team breakdown of what each club may look to do this winter.
Here is a list of notable dates to monitor for offseason business…
Today: The beginning of a five-day period where teams and players must decide whether to exercise or decline contract options and opt-out clauses for the 2021 season. All eligible free agents are officially now “free agents,” though they cannot sign with anyone but their current team for five more days.
NOVEMBER 1: The deadline for teams to issue qualifying offers (one-year, $18.9MM contracts) to eligible free agents, at 4pm CT. Players issued qualifying offers then have ten days to decide on accepting or declining the QO. For more on what this year’s qualifying offer market could look like, click here and here.
NOVEMBER 2: Free agency officially opens, five days after the conclusion of the World Series.
EARLY NOVEMBER: The GM Meetings take place, this year in virtual fashion rather than an in-person event for team general managers and front office staffers, as well as player agents.
NOVEMBER 20: Teams must finalize their 40-man rosters in advance of the Rule 5 Draft on December. Any draft-eligible players within an organization who aren’t on a 40-man roster can be selected in the Rule 5 by another team.
DECEMBER 2: The deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. A very large number of non-tenders are expected, as clubs look to save on payroll.
DECEMBER 6: The Winter Meetings are scheduled to take place in Dallas. While no official word has been made, it is expected that the in-person Winter Meetings will be canceled, and some version of the event may take place online.
DECEMBER 10: The Rule 5 Draft. Normally set for the final day of the Winter Meetings, the draft is expected to proceed as scheduled, just remotely.
JANUARY 15: The opening of the 2020-21 international signing period. A new addition to the winter calendar, the international signing window was pushed back from its usual July 2 date due to the pandemic. The 2020-21 signing period ends on December 15, 2021. The 2021-22 int’l signing window also won’t begin on July 2, 2021, as that period has now been pushed to January 15, 2022-December 15, 2022.
JANUARY 15: The deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to submit their salary figures to the league, if a deal hasn’t been reached by this date. Teams and players who can’t reach an agreement will go to an arbitration hearing to determine the player’s 2021 salary. With teams increasingly deploying the “file and trial” strategy of using the arb deadline as a strict date for working out contracts, any unsettled arbitration situations by this point are likely to advance to a hearing, though teams and players can agree to a contract at any point prior to the hearing actually taking place (most hearings are held in February).
FEBRUARY 27: The first Spring Training games are scheduled to take place. The actual opening of Spring Training camps should roughly begin two or three weeks prior, though that has yet to be determined.
APRIL 1: Opening Day
Somehow opening the season on April Fools Day just fits…..
A rule 5 draft with no minor league season, this is going to be bizarre.
There was some data sharing by some teams from their alternate sites, but I imagine that the list of unprotected Rule 5 eligible players who were in the 60 man pools has to be incredibly small.
The Arizona Fall League was canceled, but I believe there’s still a fall instructional league playing there. I’m not sure what those rosters look like but my guess would be it’s for younger players who probably aren’t Rule 5 eligible yet.
So yeah, the info for that is going to be very scarce.
Seeing as the dodgers just won it all, do they bring back the same team? Or are guys like turner, kike, treinen, joc easily gone? If I had to guess turner might be back on a 1/2 year deal to potentially play first or dh. Think kike, joc are gone and treinen will be priced out of there range. I’ll be interested to see what moves dodgers make to improve upon this years roster.
I hope they bring back Joc. He’s been such a clutch player in October, and I think he’s good for the chemistry. But even if they lose all of those guys, at least they all got a ring before they left.
If I were in the Dodgers organization, I’d suggest that all of the 2017 Dodgers get rings as well.
If Pederson is back, it will be one year and $2-3M.
Turner has probably seen his last game as a Dodger given his actions last night after being removed following a positive Covid test and still returning to the field to celebrate
That wouldn’t be why. The Dodgers were ok with Turner coming back out, they made the decision to allow it.
I think a lot of Recent champions could say they were wrong to try to bring back almost the exact same roster
I still think JT comes back unless something crazy like Matt Chapman works out. I think Kike is more likely than Joc to be paid some money to come back. I think Joc will be thanked for his time and he moves down the freeway, to LAA or SD (just my opinion). Treinen i think gets a multi year deal to close somewhere
I’m not one for narratives, but I have to wonder if they try to move Kenley in some type of trade. He’s a fantastic team player, but it wouldn’t shock me if he is moved
I cannot wait to see the drastic changes the Cubs don’t make!!! Another season of “intensive talks about player X/Y/Z but nothing made sense”
I saw that the cubs just fired a whole bunch of employees ? It was an article on The Athletic
Is the deadline for offers still 11/1 since that is a Sunday?
I actually believe it to be Monday, so let me confirm.
Tim, I can certainly understand why you deleted the virus posts, but did you really have to take out all of the discussion on the World Series?
Cancel this joke of a season NOW!
I’m being sarcastic.
So was stymeedone…..
The saddest day of the year. It is like December 21st, the darkest day of the year, where we have such a long time to go until the darkness fades again. No more baseball. My wife gets her husband back, and I get….honey-do’s.
Well I have two sets of World Series games (2002 & 2015) that I can watch, that I would rather watch, because I didn’t even watch this World Series anyway. That will keep me occupied for a little while along with watching “field of dreams” about 400 million times.
Maybe I’m odd but the start of the Hot Stove season is almost as exciting as opening day to me. I love following the news and rumors, and that’s actually what got me into this site. I’ll be pretty amped up for the next few weeks. Now come late January when the hot news is who Baltimore is looking at to stash at AAA as their 3rd Catcher, not so much. Luckily by that point we’re typically close to Spring Training.
There is one thing that this weird baseball season has taught me, And that is that life without baseball isn’t bad if you just find something to do with your time. I made it through April, May and June with no baseball by watching old movies, reading, and doing small projects around the house, both honey-dos and ones I want to do. To be honest, I didn’t watch that much of the playoffs and very little of the World Series. I walked away from the game in 1994 due to the strike and stayed away completely until the McGwire/Sosa summer of 1998. That was due to anger, this feels different. I don’t really like most of the fundamental changes in the game. I’m not going to make some kind of drastic, “I’m walking away from the game,” type statement here, but I can now see a personal future without the game of baseball which is something that I never would have believed including my 3+ year sabbatical from the game. Why am I typing all of this here? Who knows? Maybe I just needed to cleanse and release. Either way, thanks.
Now that the fake season is over, we can start the fake offseason. It will be interesting to say the least. Manager hiring and so forth on down the coach chain. Front office manipulations. A smattering of free agent signings. Much gnashing of the teeth over how to play next season. Oh, and the awards. The fake awards. Oh goody. Maybe baseball can supply some useful data to the adults addressing the pandemic. That would be thoughtful. And oh yes, I so hope the Dodgers get to visit the White House. That would be so special. When the game ended, I didn’t get the chance to flip over to QVC to see then hawking shirts like every other year. I was fast asleep. I watched an inning or two of every game then off to dreamland. I couldn’t care less about games this year. Sorry but baseball is inconsequential. As long as the yankees lose, it’s all good.
You must be wonderful to hangout with.
If baseball is inconsequential, why are you on this site? And commenting?
I love the game, played it until past 40, against college kids in a summer league. But right now? I’m sorry but baseball is inconsequential. Doesn’t mean I’m not interested in what’s going on. I’m a fan. That’s what we do, we pay attention to the meaningless minutiae of the game we love.
If you’re a Dodger fan you may be focusing “equally” on the positive test, the rest of the world is still scratching its collective head at Cash’s decision. The world series is not the regular season, and the LAD are not a normal lineup. Overmanaging seems to have become the norm, and Rays fans have to just move on. Sucks. Who knows when they get that far again?
Acting like pulling snell was the deciding factor as to why rays lost is laughable. Down 3-2 in the series up 1 run with the lead off aboard, snell all playoffs after 5 innings gets clobbered. Cash went with the numbers much like all year and his bullpen let him down it happens. Dodgers were still the best team and were much better than rays. Had dodgers used common sense they could have won in 5. Rays and the rest of baseball should be lucky that Dave Roberts is the manager of the dodgers.
Yup if cash left him then he probably gives up 3 runs and then everyone is talking about how cash blew the series by leaving him in when stats show he shouldn’t have
I would of rather had Snell your ace lose the game then some reliever.
“Acting like pulling snell was the deciding factor as to why rays lost is laughable…”
I don’t think anyone is acting like that, but you can laugh if you want to. It WAS a strange moment.
It was a completely data-driven managerial decision. Lots of fans love today’s analytics game right up until it doesn’t work out, then of course it’s totally the manger’s fault for following that game plan.
There was nothing to love about the decision, and you are incorrect. The fans love the idea of analytics, not literally watching a thoughtless idea occur in-front of their eyes. Analytics don’t bring more fans to watch the game. That is a fact.
Your team won the World Series. Congratulations.
Well thanks, but I think you just proved my point.
If you had a point, BlueSkies, it would be your very first.
Your point said “lots of fans”. The game has lost “lots of fans”. Your point is somewhere and nobody can find it. Pack a bag and start your search.
Hard to get mad at Cash and the Rays for using analytics and pulling Snell so they wouldn’t face him a third time.
Without all that analytics, they dont beat the Yankees to win the AL East, they dont beat them in a 5 game series in the playoffs and they dont make it to the world series.
You can say you dont like analytics and we can agree to disagree, but everyone always says dont go away from what got you there.
Some may say that Snell got you there ( at to a large extent he did) but the first thing that go you there was data.
Rays should be lucky to have cash as there coach. Did a great job this year and you have stans acting like snell getting launched in the 6th would have been a better idea. Based on data snell gets launched after 5 innings all year and historically, going with numbers 9/10 times you win that bet. If cash left him in to get crushed everyone would say he is a terrible manager. Damned if you do damned if you don’t as a manager.
I think MLB is lucky the Dodgers won last night, if the Rays had won we’d be having a delay on the Series until they figure out how many players and staff are infected. Its gonna be different without the parade and millions of people celebrating.
Angels & NL West
Congrats to MLB for pulling off a full season.
MLB requested a short season and condensed playoff structure, with minimal off days, so the WS could be concluded before COVIDs fall/winter wave hit. MLB also requested extra playoff teams, and rounds, to recoup some revenue losses via TV contracts. Check and check.
Kudos to Rob Manfred and MLB for pulling off what many thought was impossible.
I agree and thank you for extending your kudos to Rob Manfred. The “fans” who booed him last night are a disgrace. Bullying and mob mentality is never cool. This is a negative behavior that sports unintentionally teaches us: to gang up on one person in an effort to make that individual feel bad. I have been to concerts where people have booed the opening act. What kind of person boos musicians? We need to be better as a society.
But overall, I enjoyed the season and credit everyone affiliated with MLB for making it happen. It was a welcome respite from everything else going on. At age 62, I was surprised by how important last night was to me. When the Dodgers scored the tying and go-ahead runs in the sixth inning, I hugged our golden retriever and wept uncontrollably, even though I knew the game was far from over. But 32 years is a long time and it’s been a difficult year, both personally and otherwise. Best of all, I think my wife now gets why baseball and the Dodgers are important to me. It’s the only sport I still follow and I will continue to do so until the end of my life.
I got “my” championship. And while I hope the Dodgers win another, I’m okay if they never do. To fans who have been waiting a long time for their team to win, I sincerely hope you get your championship really soon. Embrace the moment when it happens, because you never know when/if it will happen again. And when a player on your team is struggling, don’t boo him. Instead, support that player with all your might. That’s what being a true fan and a good citizen should be all about. In my opinion, this is the main thing we should learn from sports. To support those who we love through the bad times as well as the good. Waiting for that breakthrough can be frustrating and even exhausting. But when it happens, it feels so darned good.
Couldn’t help noticing you hugged your golden retriever but not your wife. Just joking with you. But it’s true, right? Last night brought tears to this Dodger fan’s eyes too. Andrew Friedman pulled the right strings this year, and look how much difference it made.
On the subject of Manfred, I very seldom boo at a game (made an exception for Barry Bonds) and would not have if I’d been there last night, but really MLB should understand how unpopular he is as their mouthpiece. I’m not even saying they need to replace him because another mouthpiece is another mouthpiece if what he says and does is the same. What ownership needs is better communication with the paying customers. They need the commissioner to be less the CEO of baseball and more its ambassador. I hope from the booing MLB at least got the message that fans relations aren’t as good as they apparently think they are, and they need to fix that for the good of the game and their business.
Turner’s behavor after learning he was COVID positive was a disgrace.
As a Dodger fan, I don’t disagree. We can’t pick and choose who we’re disappointed with based on the uniform they wear. Nor can we lose sight of what’s really important. Argh! Why does it have to be so difficult to just enjoy this championship? I still enjoyed the moment, but wish that hadn’t have happened.
I’m just waiting for the next Padres post, only to point out that Manny Machado was wrong.