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A side effect of the lockout imposed by Major League Baseball is we’re not able to get regular updates on players rehabbing from major injuries.
One of those players coming back from injury is Max Muncy. On Monday, Muncy was interviewed by David Vassegh of Dodger Talk on AM 570 and gave some updates on his recovery from a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
“Hopefully it's ready for Opening Day,” Muncy said. “That was the plan and we were on track for that. Hopefully it is not going to affect me too much but I can't answer that until we get out there. I want to be ready for it and I think I will be.”
Muncy added that while a torn UCL can often lead to Tommy John surgery, the operation was “never really on the table for me” after multiple doctors told him it wasn’t necessary.
The slugger noted that while the lockout means he’s “getting more time to get healthy,” he admitted he’d “probably be getting better treatment if I was getting worked” on by Dodgers team doctors. Team employees are not allowed to contact players at all during the lockout.
Muncy noted that he has been cleared to resume swinging a bat and is “progressing well.” Setbacks are certainly possible – if not likely – when it comes to a player working their way back from UCL damage. That said, for the time being it would appear the 31-year-old is trending in the right direction.
With this relatively good news, it’s possible Muncy’s Average Draft Position will tick up a bit.
Currently, Muncy is being selected outside the top-100 picks on most platforms. This is a guy who posted a .895 OPS with 36 home runs, 94 RBI and 95 runs scored last season. Since the start of the 2018 campaign, Muncy has clubbed 118 home runs. Only Eugenio Suarez, Nelson Cruz and Nolan Arenado have hit more over that span.
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MLB Makes New Proposals, New Deadline
Another day, another deadline.
MLB presented multiple proposals to the MLBPA on Monday as the two sides look to reach a deal on a Collective Bargaining Agreement. The offers centered around the Competitive Balance Tax.
According to Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the league offered to begin the CBT thresholds at $228 million for 2021, which is up from their last offer of $220 million. The figure would increase to $238 million by the end of a five-year CBA.
It’s a nice little bump, sure, until you remember that $238 million is what the players want to start the threshold at, with it rising to $263 million by the end of the deal.
But wait, there’s more.
Drellich and Rosenthal report that while MLB agreed to increase their CBT offer, it “is said to have major strings attached.” What exactly that entails isn’t clear at this juncture, but it could be related to the tax rates for exceeding the thresholds. MLB initially proposed big tax hikes at the outset of negotiations before eventually seeming to back off that a bit.
With the proposals from the league also came another deadline. They relayed to the union that, in order to have a 162-game schedule as well as players receiving full pay and service time, a deal would need to be struck by Tuesday night. If that doesn’t happen, MLB plans to cancel another week of games.
Since MLB already announced the canceling of two series but now apparently isn’t ruling out still playing a full 162-game schedule, it would seem they don’t know the difference between canceling and postponing. The league also can’t make unilateral decisions when it comes to the schedule, player pay and service time. That all needs to be negotiated.
Still, while the league’s tough-guy act continues to ring hollow, it does seem like we’ll get some more news on Tuesday, whether good or bad. Based on what a couple players told Rosenthal regarding MLB’s offer, it would seem the latter is more likely.
Quick Hits: Kwang Hyun Kim is headed back to Korea after signing a four-year, $12.3 million contract with the SSG Landers of the Korean Baseball Organization. … Jon Heyman of MLB Network has reported that the Rays made an offer to free agent first baseman Freddie Freeman prior to the lockout. … Justin Williams has signed a minor league contract with the Phillies.