If the MLB owners and MLBPA cannot agree on something, the 2020 season will be lost. Here are three Padres that will be impacted the most.
When the coronavirus pandemic shut down Spring Training in mid-March, the early projections had the league resuming in May. That has come and gone with several proposals from both the owners and players union being declined. Now the league may step in and mandate a 50-game season with the players receiving prorated ray.
However, the owners have recently expressed the desire to reduce that number even further to 48 games. A couple of weeks ago, it seemed feasible that a June Spring Training 2.0 would occur with an early July resumption, but that, too, is looking less likely each passing day, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic ($). If the league were to implement a 50-game season, or 48-game game season, whatever ends up being selected, the season wouldn’t begin until August.
But there’s also the possibility the 2020 season doesn’t happen at all. Looking at the NHL and NBA, they made it look effortless to agree on a return-to-play plan while MLB, primarily on the owner’s part, continues to argue about lost revenue. Granted, both the NHL and NBA were in different situations, given that most of the regular season had been played.
But again, whatever option is chosen is not going to be ideal. Going with the worst-case option, here are the three players on the Padres roster that will be the most impacted by a canceled season.
Cordero was limited to just nine games last year after being hampered by several injuries. He continues to receive rave reviews about his combined exit velocity and speed, but that’s assuming he can remain healthy. Cordero was expected to compete for a fourth outfielder spot on the roster in Spring Training. If the season were to be canceled, Cordero could be buried in the depth chart with Josh Naylor needing playing time and Taylor Trammell about to become an everyday player.
Richards signed a two-year deal with the Padres in December 2018, despite being in recovery from Tommy John surgery. He returned to make three starts to close out 2019, tossing 8.2 innings and striking out 11 batters. Regardless if there’s a season this year, Richards will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the league year with no proof that he is capable of returning to his 2014 or 2015 form before he was injured. The Padres likely won’t bring him back, given that MacKenzie Gore and several other pitching prospects are knocking on the door.
Hedges was a highly-touted catcher out of UCLA, drafted by the Padres in the second round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft. He’s revered for his pitch-framing and defensive skills behind the plate, but he’s failed to demonstrate the ability to make any contact offensively. Last year, Hedges hit .176 in 102 games and was tendered a one-year deal.
He still has two years of arbitration left on his deal. Still, with Francisco Mejia showing more promise offensively and his defense improving, the Padres may non-tender him in the offseason. Also, Luis Campusano is about to enter the conversation as well.