This will be the strangest trade market ever, yet look to some degree like a continuation of the offseason with questions about just how far the Cubs and Red Sox will go to prioritize the future and just how badly Cleveland wants to deal Francisco Lindor.
The complications, though, are many to forming this bizarre bazaar:
- With the season set to begin July 23, clubs will have barely more than a month to assess if they are buyers or sellers by the Aug. 31 deadline.
- With ticket/attendance-related revenue curtailed and perhaps obliterated, more teams could look to get out of contracts, but fewer might be positioned to take on money this year or next, when there is no sure things about crowds in 2021 either.
- Teams will be particularly reluctant to give up prospects, especially for walk-year players, when the COVID-19 pandemic can shut the game down at any point. Think of the Dodgers giving up prospects for Mookie Betts in the offseason and now — at maximum — having him for 60 regular season games before he can be a free agent. Imagine trading for a player Tuesday and having the season shut down for good on Wednesday. Plus, prospects translate into inexpensive labor in a…