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Alex Bregman ‘disappointed’ in contract renewal by Astros

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For the past week or so we’ve seen a number of young talents, most notably Blake Snell, having their contracts renewed at low rates. While teams certainly have the power to do this — and while some renewals are better than others — they’ve caught flak from commentators and players for being cheap and shortsighted moves.

Add Astros’ All-Star third baseman Alex Bregman to the list of players disappointed in such tactics. Bregman was renewed for $640,500 — he made $599,000 a year ago and the minimum salary is $555,000 — which is certainly a bigger bump than some other guys have gotten. Still, Bregman put up a line of .286/.394/.532 with a league-leading 52 doubles, 31 homers and 103 RBI and a 6.9 WAR season and that sort of production is worth eight figures a year on the open market.

Bregman spoke about the move yesterday, making the point better than anyone else can:

“I feel like good business would be wanting to make a player who performed at a high level on your team happy and want to feel like he wanted to be kept and feel like they wanted him to play here forever. I’m just disappointed it doesn’t seem like the same amount of want.”

GM Jeff Luhnow defended the decision, saying “That’s just the nature of our industry right now.” Which is not a defense of the nature of the industry right now, of course. It’s merely an acknowledgment that, when a player has zero leverage, he’s going to be paid far, far less than his production is worth and that teams will, quite happily, take advantage of that fact.

Which, again, is their right. Bregman’s comments about the shortsighted nature of such moves, however, should be remembered if and when players in his position are less than eager to stay with a club or grant any concessions in negotiations whatsoever once they actually get some leverage.

Rumor: MLB execs discussing 100-game season that would begin July 1

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Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.

In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.

Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.

Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.