It is the 23rd of February and we still have not seen the pitchers and catchers report for MLB Spring Training. This is supposed to be one of the most exciting times of the year, where snowbirds get to start seeing the influx of young baseball talent head down to the desert getting ready for the season.
We are supposed to start seeing all the hype videos of guys taking BP, not baseball analysts and other baseball “experts” arguing on Twitter about whether the players are right or the owners are right. But alas, here we are waiting for something to happen on any front and the players are getting frustrated. With the MLB Lockout continuing and the end seemingly being nowhere in sight, it is worth thinking…
What If The 2022 Baseball Season Doesn’t Happen?
This is honestly something I’m sure we all have been thinking about since the lockout began in December and it has become more of a realistic possibility with each passing day. We are going to assume that a shortened season is not a possibility. Looking at this from strictly a Mariners perspective, I strongly believe this would be detrimental to the development of our young core.
Another year with no additional MLB at-bats for Kelenic (and potentially J-Rod) would not be a positive development. Add in our young up-and-coming pitchers (Brash, Kirby, Gilbert, etc.) not getting any innings at the major league level and that is just a recipe for disaster.
Stunting the growth of the young core would absolutely throw off the competitive timeline Dipoto has for the club. Even worse, players like Mitch Haniger (extend please), JP Crawford, Ty France, Luis Torrens, etc. would have to wait another full year to get back on the field in an official capacity.
All four of the above-mentioned names had extremely solid seasons last year, so it would be a huge bummer if we didn’t get to see if they could replicate that. Also, those players and others would not be getting to go to Spring Training ready to put the work they put in during the offseason into action. Essentially they would have to go another 12 months until they could get back on the diamond.
How Would This Effect The 2023 Roster?
Honestly, not too much. Though, I am assuming that none of the contracts for this season would have tolled so each player who is on a 3 year deal (for example) would still have 3 years remaining with the team. So, Robbie Ray would still be with the Mariners for a significant period of time BUT would be a whole year and some change post CY Young instead of only a few months.
The Mariners 2023 roster could honestly be similar to where they are at now because the transactions period would have never opened back up AND free agency would still be frozen. Trader Jerry will have gone mad with the inability to shuffle his roster, which is never a good thing.
Like most people, I am hoping that the appropriate concessions are made by the MLB and the MLBPA so that we can have a 2022 season. Though the Mariners are by no means done building their roster, I am intrigued by what they have done to this point.
Check-in next week for the next installment of What-If Wednesday!