Diamondbacks “looking to trade” John McDonald

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This offseason HardballTalk had several posts wondering why, exactly, the Diamondbacks seemed to be collecting light-hitting utility infielders. It turns out maybe they didn’t know why either.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Arizona is now “looking to trade” John McDonald because he’s behind Willie Bloomquist and Cliff Pennington on the depth chart. And that’s not even counting Didi Gregerius, the shortstop prospect acquired in the Trevor Bauer deal who could be starting for the Diamondbacks at some point this season.

McDonald is owed $1.5 million this season and at age 38 it’s no longer clear if his defense can make up for his awful offense. He hit .249 with a .681 OPS last season and that’s actually 73 points higher than his lifetime OPS and the second-best mark of his career.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.