Potential Consequences of the 2020 Minor League Season Being Canceled

If the 2020 minor league season is not considered to be a "qualified season" because the season was canceled prior to starting, there could be some far-reaching consequences for a number of minor league players that might potentially result in a mass grievance or maybe even a class action lawsuit... 

Just as it pertains to the Cubs, if the 2020 minor league season is not considered to be a "qualified season" the eight Cubs minor leaguers who were eligible to be MLB Rule 55 minor league six-year free-agents for the first time post-2020 (Eric Gonzalez, Ivan Medina, Jordan Minch, Erling Moreno, Eugenio Palma, Jerrick Suiter, Jerry Vasto, and Mark Zagunis) will - NOT - be eligible to be 6YFA until post-2021 and will instead remain under club control for another season and be eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft (if not added to the MLB Reserve List by 11/20). However, the twelve Cubs minor leaguers who attained Rule 55 status prior to the 2020 season (Jason Adam, Corey Black, Erick Castillo, Derek Dietrich, Luke Hagerty, Danny Hultzen, Ryan LaMarre, Jose Lobaton, Luis Lugo, Ian Miller, Tyler Olson, and Hernan Perez) will be eligible to be a 6YFA post-2020 if not added to the MLB Reserve List in the meantime. 

And the seven second contract Cubs minor league players (Aneudis Beard, Juan Gamez, Garrett Kelly, Ryan Lawlor, Jorge Ramirez, Juan Vasquez, and Vance Vizcaino) who otherwise would have been eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent post-2020 (if not signed beyond the 2020 season) will remain under club control and will not be eligible to be a minor league FA until post-2021, and the five second contract players who are Rule 5 Draft-eligible post-2020 (Gamez, Kelly, Lawlor, J. Vasquez, and Vizcaino) will be eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft (if not added to an MLB Reserve List by 11/20).

In addition, - ALL - players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (as well as players presently on MLB Reserve Lists who are outrighted to the minors at some point in the future) who were not previously declared MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agents (that is, anytime prior to 2020) will have their eventual minor league free agency pushed back one year going forward. So (for example) if a minor leaguer was set to be a free-agent post-2021, it will instead be post-2022, if the player thought he would be a free-agent post-2023, it will be post-2024 instead, etc.

Also, certain players (but not all players) currently on MLB Reserve Lists will get a 4th minor league option year as the direct result of the 2020 minor league season being canceled. 

In the case of the Cubs, Adbert Alzolay (who if not recalled prior to spending twenty days on Optional Assignment to the minors in 2020 would normally have been out of minor league options in Spring Training 2021) will get a 4th minor league option in 2021. Same goes for Justin Steele in 2022, Miguel Amaya and Manuel Rodriguez in 2023, and Nico Hoerner in 2024 (or in 2023 if he is optioned to the minors for at least twenty days in 2020).  

Conversely, Rex Brothers, Victor Caratini, Dillon Maples, James Norwood, Kyle Ryan, Ryan Tepera, Brad Wieck, and Rowan Wick (each of whom are down to their last minor league option year in 2020 and will be out of minor league options in 2021 if optioned to he minors for at least twenty days in 2020) will not be able to get a 4th minor league option in 2021 if the last one is spent in 2020. Same goes for Albert Almora, David Bote, Jharel Cotton, Colin Rea, and Dan Winker (each of whom had two minor league options left going into the 2020 season) in 2022 if the last one is spent in 2021, and Tyson Miller and Zack Short (both of whom who came into 2020 with three minor league options left) in 2023 if the lasst one is spent in 2022.      

Again, all of this will be so if the 2020 minor league season is not considered to be a "qualified season."


CUBS MINOR LEAGUERSELIGIBLE TO BE MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT POST-2020 WORLD SERIES

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS
Jason Adam, RHP 
Corey Black, RHP
Erick Castillo, C 
Derek Dietrich, INF-OF
Eric Gonzalez, C (see NOTE below)
Luke Hagerty, LHP
Danny Hultzen, LHP
Ryan LaMarre, OF
Jose Lobaton, C
Luis Lugo, LHP
Ivan Medina, RHP (see NOTE below)
Ian Miller, OF
Jordan Minch, LHP (see NOTE below)
Erling Moreno, RHP (see NOTE below) 
Tyler Olson, LHP  
Eugenio Palma, LHP (see NOTE below)
Hernan Perez, INF-OF
Jerrick Suiter, RHP/1B (see NOTE below) 
Jerry Vasto, LHP (see NOTE below)
Mark Zagunis, OF (see NOTE below)
NOTE: E. Gonzalez, I. Medina, Minch. E. Moreno, Palma, Suiter, Vasto, and Zagunis are first-time eligible to be Rule 55 minor league free-agents post-2020, so if the 2020 minor league season is not considered to be a "qualified season" because the season was canceled prior to starting, those eight players will not be eligible to be a minor league 6YFA until post-2021, and would instead remain under club control and be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft post-2020 (if not added to an MLB Reserve List by 11/20).

SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS (see NOTES below)
Aneudis Beard RHP (previously released by TEX)
Juan Gamez, RHP (previously released by MIN)  
Garrett Kelly, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Ryan Lawlor, LHP (previously released by ATL)
Jorge Ramirez, LHP (previously released by TEX)
Juan Vasquez, C (previously released by SD)
Vance Vizcaino, OF (previously released by KC)
SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS NOTES:
NOTE-1: With mutual consent (player & club), a second-contract minor league player who has accrued fewer than seven minor league seasons can be signed to a multi-year minor league contract with club control extending up through the player's seventh minor league season.
NOTE-2: RHP Aneudis Beard (previously released by TEX) and LHP Jorge Ramirez (previously released by TEX) are second-contract minor league players, but neither of the them is eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft if signed beyond 2019.
NOTE-3: If the 2020 minor league season is not considered to be a "qualified season" because the season was canceled prior to starting, the seven second contract minor league players listed above who are eligible to be MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agents post-2020 (if not signed beyond the 2020 season) will remain under club control and will not be eligible to be a minor league FA until post-2021, and the five second contract players who are Rule 5 Draft-eligible post-2020 (Gamez, Kelly, Lawlor, J. Vasquez, and Vizcaino) would be eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft (if not added to an MLB Reserve List by 11/20).

Comments

When will this be decided?

Interesting to think about the fourth option ramifications...

If a player spends the entire season on the major league active roster that would only be 67 days and well short of 90. But since service time is being prorated out to 186 days, would that be considered as crossing the 90-day threshold? 

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  • crunch 2 hours 15 min ago (view)

    it screws up stats.  i know you play for wins/losses, but real money is on the line for players and makes agent/player homework selling their client a bit harder.

    it also makes historical comparisons difficult.

    the amount of time i've seen a fresh inning starting out...bunt guy to 3rd for an out, IBB, IBB is too high.  what would amount to a leadoff single following that can easily turn into 2 runs (1 earned) with guys on the corner...which usually leads to another IBB.

     

  • Charlie 3 hours 20 min ago (view)

    Jay Jaffe has a timely argument against the runner on second rule over at fangraphs: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-runner-on-second-i...

    I still don't know why we don't just have ties. Obviously, the Cubs could have dodged most of these situations by simply hitting a little bit during the regulation innings.

     

  • Arizona Phil 6 hours 5 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed free-agent RHSP Adrian Sampson to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to AAA Iowa, and RHP Michael McAvene, LHP Jack Patterson, and OF Donnie Dewees have been placed on the 60-day IL to open up slots for Sampson, Trayce Thompson, and Kyle Ryan on the Cubs minor league 180-man Domestic Reserve List. 

     

  • crunch 6 hours 30 min ago (view)

    well that sucked.

    2-game sweep, 2 games under .500

     

  • crunch 6 hours 56 min ago (view)

    stumbled onto this today...clip from a 2019 ESPN broadcast game with boog, chipper jones, and david ross in the booth...

    https://www.mlb.com/cut4/chipper-jones-sciambi-lau...

    boog used to call games for ATL, btw...

     

  • tim815 9 hours 25 min ago (view)

    Someone on social media was floating Yoelqui Cespedes to the Cubs in a Bryant trade.

    I was clueless if it was permitted. It is.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 20 hours 25 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have traded for outfielder Trayce Thompson, who was with the Diamondbacks at Triple-A, but is formerly of the big league White Sox, Dodgers, and A’s. The Diamondbacks are getting cash in the deal, which is a reflection of the reality that Thompson, 30, is a depth outfielder at this point in his career. Thompson is the younger brother of NBA star Klay Thompson. https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2021/05/11/cub...

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    i'd like to point out ross feels more comfortable with j.pederson and k.bryant in CF over j.heyward.

    watching heyward not just look human in the OF, but having a bit of a hard time is rough.  he's just not getting to stuff like he used to.

     

  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    bryant out of the game for no apparent reason...that...doesn't seem good...

    he's "under the weather" according the clubhouse.  that's better than screwed up oblique or similar, at least.

     

  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    this shane bieber guy kinda sucks.  1 run in, bases loaded 0 outs.

    i hope 4-5 innings of alzolay and the 5 pen guys after him hold it down.

    ...hey wow, bases loaded 0 out turns into 0 runs...very cubs.

     

  • George Altman 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Baseball wants more offense, fans want more action -- limit pitching staffs to 12, ideally transition to 11 over a 3 year period. 

    Teams are asking RPs to throw only 45 pitches a week. Think about that.

    SPs who throw 175 IP/Yr will be museum pieces in 5 years.

    It's not shifts. Oh....and electronic Strike zones as soon as possible. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    given that the starters are on pace to pitch around 150 innings this year they might need the zillion relievers.

    i'm under the impression that d.ross got a new Fitbit exercise tracker prior to the season and likes to have excuses to walk to the mound for higher step counts.  i'm going with this theory until proved otherwise.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    I get that 40 man rosters are complicated, but now we have 10 GD relievers and 3 bench guys, one of whom is an obviously injured Javy.

    I can't wait until they reinstate the 13 pitchers maximum rule.

     

  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    baez (again) a late scratch because back ouchies.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    OF Jake Marisnick to 10-DAY IL, and Cubs recall LHRP Brad Wieck. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    Prior to last season, Rule 4 Competitive Balance Draft picks could be traded in advance of the draft (the window beginning on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the start of the draft), although the pick could not be sold for cash, the pick itself could not be the PTBNL in a trade, and once traded the pick could not be flipped to a third team.

    However, there is presently a moratorium on trading Competitive Balance picks that extends through the conclusion of the 2021 draft, so right now no draft picks may be traded.