Dodgers will use demoted closer Brandon League in “less stressful” situations

7 Comments

Not only has Brandon League pitched his way out of the Dodgers’ closer job, it sounds like he won’t even be seeing any action as a setup man for a while.

Don Mattingly told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles that he plans to only use League in “less stressful” situations, which is a nice way of saying “mop-up work.” According to the manager, the Dodgers’ coaching staff will try to “piece him back together” and in the meantime they’ll go with other options to hold leads in front of closer Kenley Jansen.

All of which certainly makes a lot more sense than sticking with League in high-leverage spots just because he’s got a $22.5 million contract. Dating back to May 1 he’s thrown 17 innings with a 6.75 ERA and 9/7 K/BB ratio, blowing three saves, taking three losses, and allowing opponents to hit .361.

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
2 Comments

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.