Baseball says it plans to start spring training on time, in about three weeks — regardless of concerns expressed recently by civic leaders from the greater Phoenix area, where coronavirus infection rates remain especially high.
Maybe that explains the flurry of moves over the past week in an otherwise slow-moving winter across the landscape of pandemic-influenced player markets.
But dozens of quality free agents remain, including the best free agent pitcher, NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer.
And many teams still seem to have barely begun assembling rosters that look remotely ready for camps to open, much less rosters that looked improved from last year.
That especially applies to that 10-team cluster of NL and AL Central teams that comprised one of the three regionally insulated schedule groups for the 60-game 2020 season — a group of teams that claimed seven of the 16 spots in an expanded playoff field.
They say things always even out in baseball. But if the first three months of the offseason is any indication, this is ridiculous.
How those 10 Midwest teams rank in the offseason as February looms: