Did you miss anything that happened around the baseball world yesterday? Well that's alright, because I've taken the biggest stories and compiled them all here, so you can get caught up.
Bryce Harper wants to play in the Olympics
This might be the first time I've ever agreed with Bryce Harper on anything. The Phillies outfielder was on the Starting 9 podcast yesterday, and among the topics they discusses was baseball at the Olympics.
“It is such a tragedy to me that you are seeing - and I’m not saying this as any disrespect to any minor leaguers or anything like that - the 2020 Olympics in Japan, in Tokyo, and you’re not sending big league guys?" Harper said on the podcast. "Are you kidding me? You want to grow the game as much as possible and you’re not going to let us play in the Olympics because you don’t want to cut out on money for a two-week period? Like, OK, that’s dumb.”
Currently, players on a 40-man roster who are not on the active MLB roster are eligible for the Olympics and any qualifying tournaments. Players in the Major Leagues are not eligible.
Personally, I agree with Harper. The Olympics are the epitome of sports to me, and allowing the biggest stars in baseball to compete would only help grow the game at home and abroad.
MLB finalizing plans to return
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported on Wednesday evening that MLB is finalizing plans to get the 2020 season under way, with multiple sources saying that a second spring training will begin in mid-June and the season will start in early July.
The rumored plans of having players quarantined in hubs have reportedly been dismissed as MLB looks more likely to play games at teams' home stadiums.
Passan points out there are still plenty of issues, such as players' health, pay and the 2020 amateur draft, but at this time it looks as if baseball is on the path to returning.
Javier Baez extension talks come to a halt
Cubs shortstop Javier Baez told ESPN's Marly Rivera that although he has had multiple "really good" conversations with the Cubs regarding a contract extension, those talks are on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Obviously, we want to reach an agreement, but right now everything is on hiatus. Just like it happened with baseball, we decided to leave it there. We haven't talked about it anymore," Baez told Rivera. "I'm very happy in Chicago. I believe it's one of the best organizations in the major leagues," Baez added. "We had several conversations but never focused on a deadline. They were very amicable conversations where we communicated well with each other."
Baez is currently under contract with the Cubs through the 2021 season. He has been one of the biggest contributors for the team over the past few seasons, earning two All-Star selections and finishing second in the MVP race in 2018.