If Major League Baseball returns for only a 50-game season, several Los Angeles Dodgers players have incentive to skip the season.
As the NBA and NHL continue to finalize their plans for resuming their seasons in the dark shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, Major League Baseball remains stuck in neutral. It seems possible, at best, MLB plays a shortened, 50-game schedule, which could give incentive for several players on the Los Angeles Dodgers to skip the season.
Skip the season? Would players really do that?
Well, we know that the player’s union made a recent proposal to MLB that included a 114-game schedule with the option for players to opt-out of the season due to health concerns.
Blake Snell, now somewhat infamously, made his thoughts known about potentially playing amid the pandemic without receiving proper pay. Clayton Kershaw didn’t agree with the harshness of Snell’s comments, but also has concerns with certain return-to-play proposals.
Essentially, players might not be willing to put their health at risk to return to the diamond if the owners are going to dramatically cut their salaries to the point it almost doesn’t make sense for them to play.
MLB insider Buster Olney thinks many players will decide not to participate in a shortened season.
"“I think there’s an excellent chance that you’re going to have a lot of players who are going to choose not to participate,” Olney said during an interview with 105.4 KNBR in San Francisco on Thursday (h/t 247 Sports). “Either because of legitimate health concerns, maybe family underlying health issues, people they don’t want to expose to coronavirus. But you also might have some guys who are eligible for free agency in the fall who, like college football players don’t play in bowl games, might say, ‘Not worth it.’"
There are a variety of factors for players to consider in deciding whether it is worthwhile to play if the worst case scenario of a 50-game season is their only option. Each player must make a personal choice, based on income, health, and family factors, while considering their commitment to the team and their fans.
Let’s review which players on the Dodgers roster would have incentive to skip a 50-game season.