Sport 5 big questions for the MLB offseason

15:56  01 november  2019
15:56  01 november  2019 Source:   sbnation.com

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5 offseason questions looming for D-backs. 5 offseason questions looming for D-backs. The D-backs will certainly pick up his option for 2019, but the big question is whether they look to trade him this winter, extend him, or let him play out his walk year and see what happens after that.

With the 2019 season over and the offseason ahead of the 2020 season now upon us, this is as good of a time as ever to think about the future. If you’re a Nationals fan, a lot of this doesn’t apply to you yet since you should be spending this entire winter celebrating as hard as you possibly can. Only one team gets to celebrate the previous year — the other 29 (or at least the ones that aren’t rebuilding) are now trying to figure out what went wrong, how to fix it, and other concerns on their mind at this moment.

a baseball player holding a bat© Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

1. How long will we have to wait for big free agents to sign?

In the previous offseason, we didn’t see Manny Machado and Bryce Harper sign their big free agent contracts until February. J.D. Martinez was the MVP of the 2018 World Series and the Red Sox didn’t sign him until that previous February. Jake Arrieta didn’t land with the Phillies until March of 2018. Those are probably the biggest examples of what’s been a constant over the past two offseasons, which is that the free agent market has moved remarkably slow.

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General Ticket Information Season Tickets Big League Tours Fan Value StubHub.com. Watch MLB .TV Buy MLB .TV Gift Cards MLB .TV Supported Devices MLB .TV with Extra Innings MLB .TV Help Center/FAQ MLB .TV 5 questions facing Dodgers this offseason . By Ken Gurnick @kengurnick.

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The main difference between those two offseasons and this one is that the upcoming free agent class figures to be considerably stronger than usual. You just got done watching Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg give their all for their teams in the World Series. Cole and Rendon are going to be free agents and it seems likely that Strasburg is at least going to test the waters by opting out of his current contract. Combine that with guys like Hyun-Jin Ryu, Marcell Ozuna, and Zack Wheeler on the market and you can imagine that teams out there will have plenty of opportunity to make impact acquisitions.

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Here are five questions for the Phillies entering arguably the franchise's most critical offseason since 2002-03, when they signed Jim Thome and David Bell and acquired Kevin Millwood in a trade in anticipation of moving to Citizens Bank Park in '04: 1. Do the Phillies make a big splash in free agency?

2. Are Mookie Betts and Francisco Lindor actually going to get traded?

A Mookie Betts or Francisco Lindor should be the cornerstone of your franchise. Instead, they could be in for an offseason of trade rumors and could possibly end up in a new home by Opening Day or the trade deadline. If those two are on the move, then this could really shake things up as far as offseason activity goes. The free agent class is already stacked and if those two dynamic young talents are available that would add to offseason intrigue.

With Cleveland showing no signs of wanting to even attempt to sign Lindor to an extension and with Betts seemingly having all of the intentions in the world to go to free agency once his chance comes up after the 2020 season, it’s looking very likely that those two could be on the trade block sooner rather than later. It’d be a crying shame for fans in Cleveland and in Boston but for any team who decides that this is worth it, this could very well turn into a bonanza if they end up getting traded during this winter.

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Here are five key questions facing Washington in the offseason : 1. Will the Nats find a way to re-sign Bryce Harper? Harper's impending free agency To ensure its rotation is a strength again Washington will need to add at least one starting pitcher to complement Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg at

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3. Which teams will finish in a wildly different position in 2020?

In 2018, the Nationals won 82 games and missed the playoffs. I think you all are already well aware of how their season ended one year later. The Twins jumped up from 78 wins in 2018 to 101 and a divisional title. Conversely, the Red Sox missed the playoffs after winning a title. The Rockies went from a spot in the 2018 Divisional Series into the doldrums of the NL West. Things can change drastically in 12 months and there’s always a chance that a team could go from the penthouse to the outhouse in a hurry.

So it’s clear that there could be maybe one-to-a-handful of teams who see their fortunes fluctuate wildly from this past season to the upcoming season. There are some teams you figure are safe, like the Yankees, Dodgers and Astros. Then you look at the Braves. Could they end up taking a quick detour from divisional dominance and go back to taking their lumps again? It’s possible if the offseason goes bad for them. The NL Central could end up being a three-way brawl again and if that happens, all bets are off. Then there’s always the chance that an Offseason Champion could end up being an Actual Season Champion. The possibilities are endless and it’s interesting to think about so early in the offseason.

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4. Will teams continue to do a whole lot of nothing during the offseason?

Then there’s a chance that we could just end up getting another dull and boring offseason like we got last year. If that does happen, then that might just be a trend we have to get used to. As long as the current system of free agency is in place and as long as teams continue to be frugal, then we are probably not going to see anything resembling the halcyon days of the Hot Stove season until after the next collective bargaining agreement comes into place and they find a suitable replacement and/or fix for things like the qualifying offer and draft pick compensation.

This is honestly what I think is the most likely scenario. I’d love to see a bunch of baseball-related chaos go on between now and March of next year. Even if my favorite team doesn’t pull the lever on some moves or your particular team sits on their hands, it’s just nice to see any teams decide to live life and go for it during the offseason. Plus, it’s just fun to follow. The offseason is long and it can get tedious just waiting for anybody to do anything, so why not make it fun and actually get busy making major moves and acquisitions during the offseason? It would be nice to light up the Hot Stove again, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we’re in for another winter of waiting.

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5. Are they going to mess with the ball again?

We’re also going to see Rawlings (which means we’re going to see MLB) do something about the baseballs for the 2020 season. After the 2017 saw teams hitting baseball out of the park at an alarming frequency, it seemed like things dialed down for the 2018 season. Then 2019 rolled around and the ball went back to flying like a meteor in the cosmos. It was to the point where MLB once again had to answer questions about the condition of the balls that were being used and they had to deal with those questions at all points throughout the season.

So you tend to believe that if MLB is tired of having to deal with those questions and if they don’t want to deal with them for 2020, they’ll make sure that the balls move back to normalcy. It would be nice if they could find some sort of happy medium with the baseballs. Home runs are cool, but we don’t need to see them all the time. Conversely, we don’t need a de-juiced ball where the complete opposite happens and we bring in another Year of the Pitcher. Just fix the ball and everything else will fall into place.

Related slideshow: Best of the 2019 MLB postseason (Provided by imagn)

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