MLB and the owners have declared their ultimatum. If no new Collective Bargaining Agreement is agreed to by Monday the 28th, games will start to be lost from the regular season and, most importantly, will not be made up. What does this mean for the Phillies?
The owners and the MLBPA remain far apart number-wise on several topics including a pre-arbitration bonus pool, the luxury tax threshold, and league minimum salary. Both sides continue the eternal stare-down until one side blinks.
With just days until MLB’s self-imposed deadline, the loss of regular-season games is getting closer and closer to reality. Any loss of games would be a critical blow to the sport of baseball, but could benefit the Phillies schedule-wise.
The ideal situation would be for baseball to lose the first 3 games of the season. If the season started on time, the Phillies would open in Houston against the Astros for a 3-game set.
Last season, the Astros were World Series runners-up and had a 95-67 record. If the Phillies went against the American League Champs, they’d face some fearsome offense powered by Jose Altuve, Yuli Gurriel, Kyle Tucker, and Yordan Alvarez. Pitching-wise, the Astros might not start the season at full strength. Lance McCullers Jr. has admitted he’s behind on his rehab and Justin Verlander hasn’t pitched since July of 2020.
But if the Phillies are missing games, missing the Astros wouldn’t hurt.
The next 5 games for the Phillies would be against the Nationals (who’ll most likely finish last in the NL East) and the A’s (who are rumored to be heading into a rebuild). They wouldn’t want to miss these series as they look like wins on paper.
Before things get drastic, the next moment that the Phillies would be ok in missing games is through April 13th (missing 11 games). Missing out on the Nats and A’s would be balanced out by missing said Astros and a revamped Mets team.
The Mets have already added Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar this offseason. It’d be best to avoid the Mets.
Missing 15 games would also be acceptable as it would mean a missed 4-game road trip to Miami. The Phillies have had their problem with the fish, especially away from home.
The next moment that’d be advantageous for the Phillies is 54 games into the season. They’d miss their entire season series against the Dodgers, 13 total against the Mets, and a big 4-game series in Atlanta.
Missing that many games would be utterly catastrophic for the sport.
Hopefully, the sides with come to an agreement before Monday. If not, let’s pray the damage to the season is minimal.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire