It all seemed to work out well for the New York Yankees this off-season. They signed an ace and added some valuable depth. The biggest key was that they kept the majority of their team from last season.
Then word came out on Mar. 12 that the season would be delayed until at least mid-May after Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball followed the NBA and NHL in suspending their play indefinitely. The last time the season started late was 1995 due to an ongoing strike.
But what if there is a season of absolutely no baseball and is that even possible?
For starters, yes it is very possible. Many health officials are saying that this could take several months to combat, and that alone will keep sporting events from occurring.
Empty stadiums are always an option, but Manfred does not seem too keen on making that happen. Baseball relies on fans attending the games, and teams are not going to be willing to pay players their full salaries. This just does not seem like it will happen, regardless.
So now let’s examine what happens if there is no baseball at the Yankee level.
First off, that means that there will be no baseball in Iowa. The Yankees are set to take on the Chicago White Sox in Dyersville, Iowa on Aug. 13 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Field of Dreams. This will be the first time since 1875 that a Major League game will be played in Iowa. If there is no baseball in 2020, this will not occur.
Second, it means that players like James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and D.J. LeMahieu may have played their last games in pinstripes. All three have made significant contributions during their tenures as Yankees and will be missed if they decide to hit free agency and sign with another team.
Now we’ll focus on the Major League level impact.
As long as players are on the current roster, they are going to get service time, even though they are not playing. For any active player, this is a fantastic opportunity, especially for players who constantly go up and down between the Minor and Major leagues or players who are uncertain about their future in the Majors.
Second, teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers may not see Mookie Betts play a single game for them. What makes this even worse for the Dodgers is that they acquired him through a trade, and gave up a high prospect in Alex Verdugo along with two other prospects.
This is going to be a long road ahead for Major League Baseball. There is no timetable of return, but hopefully, baseball will be able to come back at some point this season, even if the schedule is shortened.
However, fans should not be surprised if not a single game is played at all this year.