Buster Olney of ESPN reported that there’s an “excellent” chance that some players, including some Colorado Rockies, may skip a shortened, 50-game season.
In an interview on Thursday with KNBR in San Francisco (the Giants’ flagship radio station), Buster Olney of ESPN reported that there’s an “excellent” chance that some players would skip out on 50-game shortened season in 2020, particularly if they have pre-existing conditions or if they are supposed to be a free agent after the 2020 season, both of which the Colorado Rockies have on their roster.
"“I think there’s an excellent chance that you’re going to have a lot of players who are going to choose not to participate,” said Olney. “Either because of legitimate health concerns, maybe family underlying health issues, people they don’t want to expose to coronavirus. But you also might have some guys who are eligible for free agency in the fall who, like college football players don’t play in bowl games, might say, ‘Not worth it.’“If I were sitting in Mookie Betts’ shoes or George Springer’s shoes, the two biggest free agents in the fall, you’re going to have a 50-game season or a 45-game season, do you want to risk your free agency? And you’ve already taken a big financial hit anyway. Do you want to risk that to play?”"
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Oberg has three autoimmune diseases and Dahl doesn’t have a spleen, which can increase his risk of having bacterias that can cause diseases like meningitis and pneumonia. However, at least as of last week, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reported that both of them were “confident” that they would be fine to play in 2020.
As for the free agents that Olney alluded to, the Rockies will likely have a few free agents after the 2020 season, all of them depending on if team options are picked up. They are Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, and Daniel Murphy.
All four of them either struggled on the field and/or dealt with injuries in 2019 so all of them may have something to prove in a shortened season to rebuild their value. As it currently stands, none of the four would likely have their options exercised.
Depending on a deal that is reached by the owners and MLBPA or the deal that Commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally imposes for the 2020 season, those four possible free agents would still get their MLB service time and, likely, still get their pro-rated salary for the season, whether or not they would play games.
It will definitely be something to watch in the coming weeks, assuming that there will be a season, as with Oberg and the possible free agents, the Rockies bullpen, in particular, could really be impacted.