Angels News: Comissioner Rob Manfred planning for 162-game season

The Angels can begin making aggressive transactions following Commissioner Rob Manfred’s announcement of a full 162-game season.

One of baseball’s biggest questions was answered on Monday when Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred told teams to prepare for spring training to start on time next month along with a full 162-game season.

The league’s original plan was to delay the season for at least one month, allowing more time for players and fans to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. The MLB Players Association voted against this idea, emphasizing they would not accept anything less than 100% pay for the upcoming season. Last summer saw players take a 37 percent prorated cut of their salaries for the 60-game season.

This announcement is a lot bigger than some people might think. It assures teams that a full regular season will be played in 2021, allowing them to budget accordingly when signing-free agents, making blockbuster trades, etc. Not every team has been cautious so far this offseason (Padres and Mets, we’re looking at you), but the majority of the league has been hesitant in an offseason that has moved at a three-toed Sloth’s pace.

Other factors go into the upcoming decisions for General Manager Perry Minasian, but knowing you could get a full season out of a pitcher like Trevor Bauer could make the organization more willing to spend big money.

Some other questions that need answers sooner than later are fans (real human beings) in attendance, a universal designated hitter, and expanded playoffs to name a few.

As of yesterday, roughly 88 percent of free agents remained unsigned. Considering pitchers and catchers report to camp in less than one month (Feb 17) that is a pretty astounding number. The clock is ticking on teams to make moves.

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If Manfred announced the regular season and spring training to begin as scheduled, he should have the answers to the other looming questions quickly after. He wouldn’t wait until the last minute and leave organizations in the dark, would he? Then again, we’re talking about the same guy who called the World Series trophy a “piece of metal”, so who knows?