How MLB 2020 Season Agreement Could Impact the Pittsburgh Pirates


Following an agreement being reached on Friday, the MLB and MLBPA have come to an agreement on how to handle multiple issues if there is no 2020 season. So, how would a potential cancellation of the 2020 season impact the Pittsburgh Pirates?

The Pittsburgh Pirates should be preparing for the second game of their 2020 season against the Tampa Bay Rays this afternoon. Instead, along with the rest of Major League Baseball, the Pirates are sitting at home waiting for the COVID-19 spread to clear up before their season starts.

As a result of the suspension of the start of the regular season, the MLB and MLBPA came to agreements on how to tackle a shortened, or potentially even cancelled 2020 season. This agreement included the season still counting as a year of service time for players. So, how could this impact the Pirates?

The biggest thing that jumps out is the agreement that players will receive a season of service time for the 2020 season, even if there is no baseball played. This means that players who are set to become free agents following the 2020 season will still do so, even if no baseball is played.

For the Pittsburgh Pirates, this would include multiple players. Closer Keone Kela is slated to become a free agent following the season. As are off-season additions Derek Holland, Jarrod Dyson, and Robbie Erlin.

Of these four, the most impactful for the franchise would be Kela. If there is a trade deadline this season, Kela figures to be one of the most highly sought after relief pitchers available. A lack of a season would take away the Pirates ability to move Kela for prospects or young players at the trade deadline.

Josh Bell could also be impacted. The slugging first base man is set to become a free agent following the 2022 season. Due to this, there is a good chance the Pirates could look to trade Bell this upcoming off-season in an effort to maximize his trade value.

There is also starting pitcher Chris Archer. The righty is controlled through 2021. However, with a strong start to the 2020 season he would likely be a trade deadline target for contending teams in need of starting pitching help. If not moved at the deadline, the Pirates would undoubtedly look to trade Archer in the off-season.

Archer’s trade value largely hinges on his ability to have a bounce back campaign in 2020. So, if there is no 2020 season, then it could become more difficult for the Pittsburgh Pirates to move Archer.

Next. Pirate Fans: We Will Get Through This. dark

There was also the news that MLB could look to expand the postseason from 10 teams to 14 as soon as this season. If this were to occur, mathematically speaking, the Pittsburgh Pirates would have better odds of making the postseason. Under this format, the 2018 Pirates would have captured the final National League postseason berth.

Hey, especially at times like these, you have to look for optimism somewhere, right?