There’s going to be a lot of things coming out over the next few days from the deal agreed to by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. For now we only know a little bit as far as things relate to the deal as a whole, and when it comes to potential “minor league” things, we know even less.

With that said, we do know a little bit. It sounds like there’s going to be a 60-man roster of sorts for each organization.

We know that Major League Baseball has told teams that they need a second site for their “taxi squad” to play/practice at and that it needs to be within 100 miles of their home stadium. According to Jayson Stark, up to three players from that squad can travel with the team on road trips.

Another thing we know is that the players on the taxi squad won’t be getting big league service time, or anything remotely close to big league pay.

As noted by Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri above, the pay is set by their UPC. That, however, doesn’t give us an exact answer on what they will be paid other than their minor league pay. But that varies quite a bit. Free agents negotiated their salary. Players who haven’t reached free agency have different pay scales depending on the level they are playing at – and last I checked, there’s never been a “taxi squad” level, so what exactly are non-free agents being paid? The Triple-A rate? The Double-A rate? Will they be paid at the rate for the last minor league level they played at in 2019? We don’t know the exact answer yet.

What we do know is that the answer sucks. These guys are going out into a pandemic to play sports and they are going to be paid next to nothing. They may be able to reach the Major Leagues a bit sooner in this kind of scenario, of course, which could ultimately be beneficial for them. But there’s a lot of risk here, too.

As to why they could reach the Majors quicker, well, if someone tests positive they’re going to hit the “COVID-19” list, which will be different from the injured list.

In a non-pandemic season, an injury may be required in order to get called up. In a pandemic? Well, as ridiculously stupid as this sounds to type, a player getting sick could get a minor leaguer called up. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bathe in bleach for an hour after typing that disgusting, but true statement.

The last thing that we know about, at least as of 1:19am ET as I type this, is that the trade deadline is going to change in 2020. Usually it’s the final day of July, but with the season set to start on July 23rd or July 24th, that doesn’t make much sense. This year the trade deadline has been pushed to August 31st.

The trade deadline, or more specifically the trade market could be really interesting. Teams could be looking to move contracts, and while more teams are likely to be cautious of adding money, there’s a chance someone is simply willing to “go for it” and try to add someone for less than a month of the regular season and then playoffs. Of course that comes with the risk of hoping you can get through September and October without baseball being shut down, too. It’s going to be a weird season – strap in.

10 Responses

  1. Kris

    Doug, is there any word on the Reds progress in signing this years draft picks? Seems oddly quiet.

      • RedsKoolAidDrinker

        Wainwright imo was there best value pick in the draft. Very, very underrated.

  2. SultanofSwaff

    One of the 3 taxi squad players has to be a catcher. It certainly puts Tyler Stephenson that much closer to the bigs. I’ll be very curious to see who makes the 60 man. You’d think it would be weighted toward upper minors players.

    The larger rosters are a ‘next man up’ necessity to complete a season because we know players will test positive and the games will have to go on now that the players and owners agreed they both want their money. I’m agnostic about it all, mainly because it’s the same reality those of us with ‘real’ jobs have been living with for months.

    • The Duke

      I’d assume it will be a mixture of upper minors players who can contribute immediately if needed as well as a mix of well thought of prospects from the lower minors who need the work to continue their progress.

    • MK

      Immediately thought the same thing but since chances are the Reds will have three catchers on regular roster I could see them going with two on travel taxi squad to save the travel and other expenses involved.

  3. MK

    As I mentioned the other day I would go with a 4-man rotation when every game has ore significance. I would much rather have Castillo, Gray, and Bauer with 15 starts than 12. Disco if healthy would be four or Miley though he proved in Milwaukee, under Coach Johnson, he can be very effective out of the pen.

    Since obviously 60 guys are not on the 40-man roster I wonder how this will work. And if it becomes a 60-man I wonder what this does to future rosters and do guys have to be put on waivers if they are removed when it reverts to 40 and number of options a player has.

  4. Colt Holt

    With this trade deadline, if a team is looking to get below the salary cap, will the impact of trading a salary be 2.5x? Given that players only get pro rated pay, I am assuming the cap will remain based on full season, but that every game would reflect ~2.5x actual expenditure. So, if you trade a player on a $20M contract on August 31, with half the season remaining, would you reduce cap impact by $10M, while the receive team is only going to incur $4M for the remaining games? If so, Reds should aggressively add at the deadline as some teams will be giving away players to get the cap impact off their books. Basically the Touki deal, with only 40% of the cost having to transfer for the trading team to get the same benefit