The Winter Meetings Were Supposed to Be This Week

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The Winter Meetings Were Supposed to Be This Week

Chicago Cubs

Normally, today would be a really exciting day: the Sunday before the Winter Meetings.

You have some hype and tension as folks travel to the location for the meetings, you’d have themes for the week crystalizing, and – most fun – you’d have rumors breaking today about what might be happening this week. You might even get some breaking news late in the evening.

But there are no physical Winter Meetings this year because of the pandemic, and whatever video chats are set up to deal with league business aren’t going to do much in the way of spurring along trades and signings. Other than the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday and maybe an announcement on the new minor league structure, there’s really not anything special about this week. It’s just another week in an offseason where most people and teams are doing a lot of waiting and watching. They want to know what the rules are going to be, they want to know what the state of the pandemic is going to be, they want to know how the vaccine distribution is going, and they want to know when Opening Day will be.

Without any clear picture on that stuff, it’s hard to say that much will be special about this week. It’s a bummer, because this week is often the most fun we have all offseason. And today usually starts it.

My hope is that, with some of the league meetings and discussions that will be taking place, we could at least maybe get an update on talks between the owners and players about some of those rules questions – DH, roster size, playoff size, length of season – which would, in turn, inform roster construction going forward. I’m not necessarily optimistic, though, because there’s a lot of incentive right now to wait as long as possible. And as we saw last year when the sides needed to negotiate, the owners definitely were content to take their time. Given that fans might not be able to be in parks this coming year until well after April, it’s hard to see much in the way of a rush.

My gut says the league is going to watch the roll out of the early part of vaccine distribution, will want to see that there are no major hiccups, and then they might start seriously talking about the rules and the structure of the season in mid-January. Further, if you want my early guess? Peg Opening Day to around May 1, with a season that lasts about 140 games.

In any case, I doubt any of that gets resolved, or even serious traction, this week. And I also doubt we see a ton of trade or signing activity this week either. I hope I’m wrong on both counts, because I’d love to have some fun. But I suppose I just wanted to prepare others as I’ve prepared myself.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.