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An MLB trade deadline in a 60-game season? Really?

An MLB trade deadline in a 60-game season? Really?

The season is slated to start July 23 or 24. The trade deadline will come five weeks later.

According to multiple reports, Major League Baseball will have an Aug. 31 trade deadline for its 60-game season. Parameters for an attempt at a season were agreed to Tuesday night when the league and Major League Baseball Players Association came to an agreement after months of ill-fated negotiating.

The trade deadline is immediately fraught with concerns.

RELATED: MLB, PLAYERS AGREE TO 60-GAME SEASON PER REPORTS

Still in the middle of a pandemic, the league has put forth an idea to allow teams to ship a player away from his family for a month’s worth of work. It’s an odd decision. It may also ultimately prove to be moot.

Who is going to send prospects to another team for a rental during a 60-game season? Who will deal multi-year player control in the middle of uncertainty? Probably no one.

The players’ union can’t be happy there is a transaction window. And, the idea of not having one would not have been so strange because a typical season wades through August and September without trades (now that the single July 31 deadline is in place).

Players often do not fully relocate their families when traded in normal seasons. If they have multiple years on their contract when traded, the full relocation could be in play. Otherwise, they typically want to keep their kids in the same school or home life as stable as possible.

In this case, when players will be quarantining on the road regardless, it makes little sense to relocate -- even for those with full families. They would have to consider all the health parameters of living in one area versus another as coronavirus continues to stir across the country. That would be an offseason decision.

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But, the trade deadline and 60-game season does create one compelling idea: if you are a general manager, or owner, how hard are you going after a “title”? Do you consider trading any asset in a shortened season? Would any owner be willing to take on money when they are already hemorrhaging money this season? Would any team try to sell three weeks into the season?

Here’s what is assured about this trade deadline idea and the 2020 season: it won’t be normal, and this decision is just another layer in the chaos.

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Davey Martinez wishes Nationals just kept playing after Marlins outbreak

Davey Martinez wishes Nationals just kept playing after Marlins outbreak

WASHINGTON -- They played five innings -- sort of -- Saturday. Then six more -- sort of -- Sunday.

What the Nationals didn’t do was play the Miami Marlins for three games after appearing to wake up in back-to-back wins against Toronto last week. The weekend series against Miami was postponed while Major League Baseball’s scheduling complications persisted amid playing baseball in a pandemic.

The Nationals took Friday off, played two simulated games over the weekend, then took Monday off (though coming to the park was a voluntary option). Just seven games into the season, they were again stalled out, dealing with the replication of an All-Star break seven days after getting started. The short ramp up to the season stole chances to improve timing and get up to game speed. The break pushed both back, too.

“I’ve got to be honest with you, we much rather would have been playing,” Davey Martinez said Sunday. “The bats started coming around. The last two games [we] started playing fairly well. We got this little lull, but we’ve done everything we possibly can to get ready.

“Trying to keep these guys going. Keep their at-bats going. It’s tough not having that game speed, that actual adrenaline playing other teams. But, the boys are doing good.”

RELATED: MCCUTCHEN RIPS MARLINS FOR NOT FOLLOWING PROTOCOLS

Reliever Tanner Rainey needed the break after five appearances in seven games. And, Juan Soto, expected back Tuesday night, needed the time to do every baseball activity possible. Saturday, he hit all day, then ran the bases. Sunday, he stayed in left field for all six simulated innings. He was twice restricted to his apartment for quarantine in July. He’s behind. His absence was glaring. So now Soto is trying to hustle back.

When everyone returns to rain-soaked Nationals Park on Tuesday, they will see a longtime division rival, the New York Mets, in what has become a typical state. The Mets were the story across baseball Monday when outfielder and designated hitter Yoenis Céspedes decided to stop participating in the season because of COVID-19 concerns, but did not initially tell the Mets. He just decided not to show up. Or so the Mets said.

The Mets don’t even have this straight.

“There’s two sides of the story,” outfielder Brandon Nimmo told reporters. “We have the side where [the Mets] were let known before the game [Sunday] and we’ve also heard the side where they weren’t let known until the eighth inning, so I honestly don’t know which one to believe and I’m not going to try to figure that one out, but as far as us, we knew that people could walk whenever they wanted.”

Recall the Mets’ situation in late-May of 2019: The Nationals arrived at Citi Field for a four-game series. The Mets held a press conference before the series began to explain that Céspedes had suffered a “violent” fall from a horse on his ranch (the story evolved into an exchange with a wild boar which led to  Céspedes’ ankle fracture). General manager Brodie Van Wagenan also used the press conference to give then-manager Mickey Callaway a vote of confidence. The Mets were a mess -- until they swept the four games from the Nationals in a new stunning way, day after day. Then, it was Martinez who needed the public reassurance from his general manager.

The eventual ending was better for the Nationals.

Tuesday night starts just a two-game series. Patrick Corbin pitches for the Nationals. Steven Matz pitches for the Mets. Washington is trying to get its act together. The Mets are...well, the Mets. Sounds familiar.

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Braves pitcher Mike Soroka out for season with torn right Achilles

Braves pitcher Mike Soroka out for season with torn right Achilles

Atlanta Braves ace Mike Soroka is out for the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon Monday night against the New York Mets.

Soroka was hurt in the third inning after delivering a pitch to J.D. Davis, who grounded the ball toward first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Soroka broke toward first to cover the bag, only to go down on his first step off the mound. The right-hander knew right away it was a devastating injury, one that ensures he won't be back on the mound until 2021.

"It's a freak thing that happened," manager Brian Snitker said, delivering the grim news after the Braves lost 7-2 to the Mets. "I'm sorry it did."

Soroka yelled in obvious pain and tried to walk gingerly for a couple of steps before dropping to his knees. He couldn't put any weight on the leg as he was helped toward the clubhouse with the assistance of Snitker and a trainer.

It was a major blow to the two-time defending NL East champion Braves, who had won five straight despite struggling to put together an effective rotation.

"Somebody else is going to get an opportunity," Snitker said. "Things like that happen. These guys will regroup. Somebody is going to get an opportunity to do something really good. Our young guys are going to continue to get better. We're going to be fine."

Soroka, who turns 23 on Tuesday, made his first opening day start last month after going 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA in 2019 to finish second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

Soroka was making his third start of the season. He came in having allowed just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings but struggled against the Mets, giving up three hits and four walks. He was charged with four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, the second-shortest outing of his career.

Unfortunately for Soroka, he won't get a chance to make up for it this season.

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