Updating our earlier story regarding the impending return of Major League Baseball, Commissioner Rob Manfred has checked in with an update on the negotiations:
Here’s Commissioner Manfred. With deal at hand he’s suggesting everyone start planning for a season. https://t.co/woLtyBNQFF
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 17, 2020
“I am encouraging the clubs to move forward” is the money line from this news release. Though Jon Heyman’s initial report that an agreement is in place jumped the gun a bit, the two sides are nearing the completion of a deal that would start the season in roughly five weeks.
What will that season look like? Reports indicate the final number will likely settle somewhere in neighborhood of 60-65 games. In case you were wondering, the 2019 Phillies were in first place at 33-27 through 60 games.
Of course, this doesn’t reveal much about the team’s current playoffs prospects. However, such a short season does increase the likelihood of parity and chaos, particularly with an expanded playoff format.
Reports are that postseason play will expand to 16 total teams. Assuming each league sends eight teams to the tournament, the 2020 Phillies should be a postseason factor. I mean, they better be.
That’s a conversation for a different day (one not too far in the distant future), but here’s how the Phillies would have fared with a 16-team postseason dating back to 2012–the start of their playoff drought:
Here’s what 8 NL teams qualifying for the postseason would’ve meant for the Phillies dating back to 2012.
2019: Missed playoffs (9th)
2018: Missed (10th)
2017: Missed (13th)
2016: Missed (11th)
2015: Missed (15th)
2014: Missed (T-12th)
2013: Missed (13th)
2012: Maybe (T-8th)
— Bob Wankel (@BobWankelCB) June 17, 2020
They’re due, baby. They’re due.