With the negotiations over the upcoming season going anything but smoothly, MLB and MLBPA have exchanged proposals numerous times without coming to any kind of an agreement. While this is depressing for fans who simply want to watch baseball this year, it also has a negative effect on the players, who may be forced to take the year off from playing baseball, as well as the organizations, who will not make money unless the season resumes. With that being said, there are some players who are clear losers if the season does not resume this year.
Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina
Wainwright is 38, and nearly 39, years old, while Molina is a little over a month away from his 38th birthday. Despite their age, these two players have no plans for retirement and would like to continue playing for as long as possible. However, the idea of not playing a competitiv game for over a year, is not an idea that will be beneficial for these two. If this happens, they will be a year older, while also being out of “baseball shape”. Additionally, with the financial losses that will occur in all organizations around the league, the Cardinals may try to convince these players to retire instead of renewing their contracts. ‘
Tyler O’Neill and the rest of the young outfielders
Tyler O’Neill has been a regular on the Cardinals bench for the last two seasons and looked likely to have the first crack at locking down a regular role in left field. After impressing occasionally and waiting two years to start, it is unfortunate for him that he might need to wait another year. Additionally, Lane Thomas appears to be MLB-ready but if the season does not resume, he will not be given a chance to earn playing time. Then, when baseball continues next season, the Cardinals might be willing to allow Dylan Carlson to win a starting job in Spring Training which could push O’Neill to the bench, and Lane Thomas into the role of fifth outfielder. Both of these players are talented, but they may need to wait even longer to get their chance at a starting job in the outfield, and depending on the Cardinals plans with Carlson and Dexter Fowler, they may need to wait until the end of Fowler’s contract. Additionally, the cancellation of the season would not help Harrison Bader who is looking to establish his hitting ability after a disappointing year at the plate in 2019.
Daniel Ponce de Leon
Ponce de Leon is a pitcher who has always thrown the ball well at the major league level, but has only ever had a role as an injury fill in. He was looking to make his mark this year, especially is the active roster was expanded to 30 players. This would be a great opportunity for him if the players and the league can come to an agreement on the season. However, if they cannot, then he will be a 29-year-old with limited MLB experience and a blocked path towards a regular role next season. This is not a great position for him and he would be looking to establish himself on the big league roster if the season takes place this year. However, if the season is cancelled, it will be a massive missed opportunity for the right-hander.