For those of you who were surprised that the 2021 season has already had a postponement due to COVID-19, well, every day is April 1 for you. Don’t walk too close to the edge of the Earth, you might just fall off.
Speaking of April 1, MASN unveiled its streaming service yesterday – roughly an hour before the Orioles’ Opening Day against the Red Sox was rained out. Note the word “service” and not “app” as promised on January 25.
So if you’re a user in one remote outposts served by these tiny networks, well, this has to be biggest day since they put in a new Dollar General out by the Amazon warehouse!
Baseball America revealed two significant developments for 2021, should the minor-league season actually happen.
The first is that the full-season rosters will be expanded to 30 for AAA and AA, and 28 for High- and Low-A. This is probably going to matter most at the AAA level and for pitchers especially, as MLB teams are going to want to be able to call up guys to as replacements for injured or “otherwise unavailable” players.
At the lower levels, this will mean fewer cases of the “Hellenic Flu” and other machinations (e.g. 3-day TIL) which, to be honest, is long overdue. I will not miss having to explain/remind that not everyone on the disabled list is actually hurt.
The second development is more of a confirmation. Herr Manfred, et al have decreed that the 2021 Draft shall be 20 Rounds. This was widely reported last summer as MLB slowly executed its takeover of MiLB.
Folks smarter than I am about the intricacies of the Draft can weigh in on what this means, but seems rather obvious to me that it will be harder for second-tier HS players to threaten to sign with a college as leverage. It also seems more likely that second- or third-tier collegiate players may be forced to choose between playing for free in hopes of getting signed as NDFA or retiring.