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MLB trade rumors and news: It’s Draft Week!

I love the smell of a sports draft in the morning.

MLB: FEB 18 Baltimore Orioles Photo Day Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The MLB Daily Dish is a daily feature we’re running here at MLBDD that rounds up roster-impacting news, rumors, and analysis. Have feedback or have something that should be the shared? Hit us up at @mlbdailydish on Twitter or @MLBDailyDish on Instagram.

  • Draft Week is upon us folks, and despite it looking a little different from the years of yore, it doesn’t change the fact that this is a big day for teams and players alike. Stick around these here parts for some of the best draft coverage on the inter webs, such as this article on the top 5 shortstops available in the 2020 MLB Draft.
  • Do you love a happy ending and an underdog story? Well, this may finally be the year for something other than dystopian novels, because it’s very likely a first baseman is being taken first overall this year.
  • Quick, name a beloved catcher you have in your heart. Awesome, glad you could conjure that up. Now memorize these names because they’re coming soon to a backstop near you to either incite unending fear or love.
  • Power corners, anyone? These third baseman have become one of the most fascinating group of players to keep an eye on during the 2020 Draft rumor mill.
  • There were whispers earlier this week that MLB was poised to reject MLBPA’s offer of a longer season with prorated deals and yesterday, that is exactly what they did. What is more concerning is that the reports were that MLB was not going to send a counteroffer and seems intent on doing a shorter, 50 game season now. That means all of the negotiations are back to square one and honestly, we are running out of time.
  • In non-COVID-19 or civil unrest related news, Chris Archer had to go under the knife yesterday to correct thoracic outlet syndrome. The timing of the procedure means that he will not play during the 2020 season regardless of when it starts or how many games it ends up being. Given that TOS can be a really scary thing to have, we wish Chris a speedy and successful recovery.
  • In tragic, unsettling news, MLB teams have released hundreds of minor league players, with more players likely to be released in the coming weeks. As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds across the country, billionaires are making the choices to cut menial, insignificant costs in the form of the people who make them money. If you’re looking to help during this difficult times, tweet us at @mlbdailydish while we work with Adopt A Minor Leaguer to help find sponsors for MiLB players struggling.
  • Last week saw Max Scherzer very publicly weigh in on the negotiations between MLBPA and the league regarding the 2020 season. Given that he is both an MLBPA representative and a generally terrifying human being, this stands as both an pretty clear snapshot of the union’s current stance as well as arguably their best negotiating tactic given that everyone has seen what happens just when Scherzer is about to be taken out of a game that he doesn’t want to leave. What this all mean? Well, right now it means that the players are still wanting their full, prorated salaries salaries for the 2020 season and are pushing for a slightly longer 100-game season rather than the proposed 82.
  • While there are some baseball diehards/weirdos such as us here at MLBDD that are going to be hanging on every pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, a lot of people just want to know who the absolute top players are and who is going to be taken 1st overall. To help with that, our own Patrick Karraker put together a breakdown of the candidates to be the top overall pick in a couple of weeks.
  • While MLB veered away from its initial plan of asking the union to submit to a 50-50 revenue split, the players were nevertheless “very disappointed” by the owners’ initial proposal, which featured a tiered paycut system with the highest-paid players losing the largest percentages of their pro-rated salaries.
  • For MLB veterans, there’s much to lose if the season is canceled.
  • The Athletics spent all day last Tuesday making news that sparked outrage throughout the baseball community. Early in the day, it was revealed that they’d utilize their scouts’ expertise through the MLB Draft, then furlough some of them through the end of the season. Later in the day, in an exponentially more controversial decision, the team informed its minor leaguers that it will stop paying them the $400 weekly stipend they’d been receiving during the coronavirus shutdown at the end of May. Things are looking bad to say the least in Oakland right now, and they only figure to get worse if there’s no 2020 season.
  • The 2020 MLB Draft is just a couple of days away and we have already begun to preview the coming draft class. Our own Patrick Karraker took a look at the 2020 MLB Draft class and ranked the top 10 college players available. Given the unique dynamics of this draft, we can expect to see a lot of college players to have their names called within the first five rounds.
  • Check out this cool exclusive our sibling site Beyond the Box Score did with Eugene Freedman, baseball scribe and labor lawyer, on unionizing the minor leagues.
  • The Blue Jays have guaranteed their employees that there will be no layoffs or furloughs for the the remaining duration of the shutdown (or, perhaps lack thereof a season), reports John Lott of The Athletic. The team will pay all salaries through October 1st, and has found creative ways to utilize staff that otherwise would be left out of particular roles. Perhaps the coolest thing they’re doing is bringing in minor league coaches and staff to be a part of this year’s draft process. Good for you, Toronto.
  • The league and the MLB Players Association have not been on the same page about much over the last few years, which has led to a lot of folks thinking that the next CBA negotiation could turn into a work stoppage. This has also spilled into the negotiations regarding the attempts to try and play the 2020 season with lots of leaks and statements to the media slinging mud at each other. However, one thing that does seem to be making some level of progress is the health/hygiene standards discussion, as the players responded to the league’s proposal on the matter with thoughts and counter-proposals of their own. That on top of the news that it sounds like the league is going to share some financial info with the MLBPA in order to get on the same page with the players financially gives a small amount of hope, at least.
  • Major League Baseball is projecting a loss of $4 billion in free cash flow due to game played in front of empty seats during the proposed 82-game season, The Associated Press is reporting. The 12-page document from the commissioner’s office laid out the exact numbers of what the league will lose out of, averaging that it will cost $640k a game in losses. Each team would face at least $84M in loses, a figure dependent on the franchise’s projected earning pre-interest, taxes, etc. In contrast, the MLBPA is claiming that these losses aren’t are stark as owners are claiming. Now, they’re seeking further documentation of where these facts and figures came from. More on this story from both sides as it develops.
  • While being a part of a global historical event that no one asked for has changed our daily lives in various ways, Matt Harvey has turned this tremendous negative into a positive. The Dark Knight has been throwing bullpen sessions one or two times a week in the hopes of earning a contract once the season starts up, reports Dan Martin of the New York Post. After playing for the Angels last season on a one year, $11M contract, Harvey lacked the spark he’d shown with the Reds the season before and threw for a 7.09 ERA and 6.35 FIP. But everyone loves a comeback story, and nothing says “perfect set up for a movie starring Matt Damon” than the former Mets ace revitalizing his career after a fall from grace and months spent in isolation, meditation and looking back at his life. I want a royalty fee, btw. Let’s not forget, Harvey isn’t just battling back from bad outings — he also previously underwent Tommy John and thoracic outlet surgery.
  • MLB and its umpires have agreed on working terms for the 2020 season, after what sounds like one of the most unbearable Zoom calls ever. So while the umpires have agreed not to file a grievance against Major League Baseball for the hold up in cash flow, it’s their money and they need it now. (Maybe they should give 877-CASH-NOW a shot?)
  • One subject that had kind of gotten overshadowed given the state of the world was whether or not the Hall of Fame inductions of Derek Jeter and Larry Walker (plus Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller) were going to happen as scheduled or in a different form. Well, the Hall made their decision and their inductions will be postponed until 2021 with this year’s elected members being enshrined alongside next year’s class. Just a dagger in the side of those New York voters who tried to make Jeter be in a HOF class by himself.
  • MLB and Minor League Baseball are reportedly close to an agreement that would cause 42 minor-league teams to lose their big-league affiliations. While there are perhaps a few positives to be taken from this deal — every club will have the same number of minor-league affiliates, travel will be more efficient, and minor-leaguers will get paid more — it’s extremely rough news for employees and fans in the affected markets and the players whose dreams will be crushed as more than 1,000 jobs are eliminated.
  • After undergoing Tommy John surgery last September, Adam Warren’s baseball suitors weren’t exactly beating down his door for a contract. However, he was able to snag a deal with a team he’s already very familiar with: the Yankees. The reliever has worked out a two-year minor league contract with the club, reports George A. King III of the New York Post. He would already be spending 2020 recovering from surgery, so the added time given the current situation only strengthens his case for a good comeback in 2021.
  • Need some additional drama to add to this pandemic situation? According to a report from Zach Buchanan of The Athletic, three minority owners of the Diamondbacks have joined forces to sue Ken Kendrick, the team’s managing general partner. The suit stems from a letter Kendrick sent owners that instructed anyone with less than one percent of the team either increase their shares of the franchise or sell them back to the team at a price that will be determined by an appraiser. While Kendrick feels this ultimatum was fair and square, this trio of owners are saying this act of backing them into the corner was illegal. Cue soap opera music.
  • There is a lot of potential weirdness surrounding the current COVID-19 situation and what the loss of regular season games or even the whole season could mean for various players and team employees. However, one such area of weirdness has already been ironed out as it has been reported that even if the 2020 season doesn’t happen, the punishments handed down to the Astros’ Jeff Luhnow and AJ Hinch will be considered served. This was likely to be a necessary move given how the league is planning on handling MLB service time, even though it doesn’t necessarily feel great.