MLB Hot Stove / Offseason / Lockout 2021-2022

The Blue Jays have extended Jose Berrios for seven years at $131 million; it starts next year, this eliminating his last arbitration year.

It’s always a risk to give a guy a seven year deal, but this is as solid a risk as you can ask. Berrios is good, youngish, and has been healthy, so you might as well take a chance on him.

The Cy Young Award winners are Robbie Ray and Corbin Burnes.

Ray was a good choice; I would not have voted for Burnes, but he had a hell of a year.

His FIP was 1.63, which is pretty stupid for a starter.

The MVPs are Shohei Ohtani and Bryce Harper.

Ohtani was an easy choice, but Harper is IMHO one of the weaker MVPs in recent history. He had a really good year with the bat, but

  1. He was not clearly the best hitter in the league; Juan Soto is surely just as good, isn’t he?
  2. He has very little value as a defensive player, and
  3. The Phillies sucked.

I realize the NL had no one clear choice, or even a few obvious frontrunners like the AL did, but I sure wouldn’t have voted for him. Baseball Reference doesn’t even think he was one of the NL’s ten best, which might be a little pessimistic, but I don’t think he was top five.

And of course this is the modern interpretation of MVP where the MVP doesn’t carry his team to the post season but just puts up the best numbers. Ohtani is actually a terrible choice. I’m pretty sure the Angels could have been just as non-competitive all year with or without him.

But this isn’t the past, so so be it. Just rename the award already to highest WAR and get it over with.

Now get off my lawn.

Also known as “providing the most value”. :slight_smile:

Harper put up .309/35/84
Soto: .313/29/95.

On those numbers, kind of a toss-up.

Do you have a cite that says the MVP was originally intended to go to a player who carried his team to the postseason?

No, I don’t have a cite. Are you seriously doubting that was the tradition of the award?

I seriously don’t know.

This is an bizarre take, because of late they have actually been MORE inclined to give the MVP to a player on a winning team. In the last 25 years, Ohtani and Mike Trout are the only AL winners not from postseason teams. (Yes, the Angels could have lost without Ohtani - but they would have lost WAY more.) Again and again, the voters have chosen a player from a winner over a player with better analytical stats from a loser. The “modern interpretation” of the award is that the player must be from a winner unless a player from a non winner is insanely superior to everyone else.

It was more than sixty years ago that they gave Ernie Banks back to back MVPs despite playing on a team with a losing record. That would never happen now.

That’s why the Harper choice is so weird. He doesn’t qualify under either criteria; his team was mediocre, and he was not the analytical choice.

In just the second year they gave the modern MVP Awards out, neither winner was in the postseason. It was a regular occurrence, from the earliest days of the award, to give it to a player from a team that didn’t make the World Series and often wasn’t even close to making it; Chuck Klein in 1932, Ducky Medwick in 1937, Ernie Lombardi in 1938. Jimmie Foxx won three MVP Awards in the 1930s, and his team finished way out every time. They definitely preferred players from winners to some extent - Frank McCormick over Johnny Mize in 1940 is a prime example - but didn’t at all mind giving it to players who played exceptionally well for teams way out of first place, and were actually more inclined than they are now to give it to such guys even when they were not all that dominant; Bob Elliott in 1947 was a really weird pick, at least as weird as Bryce Harper.

Today, of course, it’s easier to make the postseason, but the response of the voters, as I noted, is to always give the MVP Award to a player from a winning team unless they really, really, really have no good options to do so.

Would you have given it to Soto or Tatis? I think it was an exceptionally close race between the 3 of them, and am bummed that Tatis’ injury took him out of the running.

(Btw, you forgot A-Rod’s first MVP with last place Texas.)

I would probably have voted for Trea Turner.

A-Rod probably should have won it the year prior too, also for a last place Rangers team, but for some reason they gave it to Miguel Tejada. Maybe because he batted .308. Tejada’s OPS was .861 and A-Rod finished at 1.015.

If I was the king of baseball, the award would got to the best hitter, full stop. The pitchers wouldn’t be eligible.

Isn’t there already an award for that?

I know, but it’s like the Silver Slugger award. Nobody cares. Sites like Baseball-Reference don’t list it in their major awards category. Besides, nobody seems to understand the meaning of the MVP award. It’s scattershot.

Looking at Harper and Soto: Fangraphs has them tied in WAR. Maybe Harper’s OPS pushed him over the top (that and his 78 extra-base hits to Soto’s 51.)

I like the idea of it going to the player who has been most valuable to his team—in whatever way(s).

I think people just disagree on what it means.

To me it means the player who added the most wins to his team. Winning ballgames is, after all, very much the point.

2 weeks left to go before the CBA expires and it seems like negotiations are…not going well. MLB wants a $100M floor, but start the CBT (Competitive Balance Tax aka Luxury Tax) at $180M (down from $210M). They also want to remove arbitration and the 6 years of service requirement. Free agency would start in the offseason after player turn 29.5 (the half is weird to me).

Based on what I’ve seen, the players are unimpressed. They oppose a floor because they think it will lead to a hard cap. They also want teams punished for tanking for draft position.

Manfred mentioned a lockout as a tool for moving negotiations forward.

Interesting takeaway from this article:

The average major league salary dropped from $4,097,122 in 2017 to $3,881,021 in 2020, before accounting for prorated pay caused by the pandemic, according to the players’ association. Based on this year’s opening-day payrolls, the final figure for 2021 is projected to be about $3.7 million.

I see the season starting late, but who knows.

I assume this refers to baseball age. Players have a “Baseball age,” the age the player is as of July 1 of a year. If you turn 30 on July 2, in effect that is the year you are 29.5. Maybe they meant that.