Red Sox: Dombrowski seeks change to offseason schedule
In baseball there’s no rest for the wicked, that includes Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski. The way the offseason is currently structured it gives no time to breathe once the season ends.
The Winter Meetings have come and gone and now the long wait until Spring Training begins. As per usual there was some news that came out of the meetings but nothing earth-shattering. During the week the Red Sox were able to re-sign Nathan Eovaldi while also losing Joe Kelly to the Dodgers.
Dave Dombrowski was very active this week not only attending events but speaking to the press. One of the topics he spoke about was the fact that the season never truly seems to end. The second the World Series ends, it’s right back to work to prepare for the next season. This is especially rough on the teams that are competing in the World Series.
"“The reality is that if you’re a general manager or an assistant general manager, there is no downtime for people.”"
Dombrowski, who has had a vast career in Major League Baseball spoke on how there used to be more urgency during the offseason. Years ago there used to be a deadline for dealings in the offseason. Any trades or deals had to be completed by the close of the final day of the Winter Meetings. Now it seems as if there isn’t an actual offseason.
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Teams go play from March through September, then have the playoffs in October, and then go right into preparing for the next season. By having a deadline for deals, it created an urgency for not only teams but the players in free agency. Everything needed to be locked up and this would then allow for a break before preparations needed to begin.
Dombrowski would speak on how there isn’t any time to unwind and relax because there is always something that needs to be done. The Red Sox front office man proposed that things needed to change to allow teams to have a true break from the business.
"“Everybody needs a break at some point,” he said. “They need to change the rules or something where there’s some downtime. Every other sport has it other than ours. It goes longer and longer.”"
The man has a point. Every other major league has some sort of window within which everything needs to be conducted. In professional soccer, there are specific periods within the year that players can be bought/sold. The NBA and NFL also have deadlines for trades and free agent signings. So why not baseball? Why can’t things go back to how they were?
If the deadline to sign free agents and complete trades was moved back to the end of the Winter Meetings, personnel and players alike would be able to go into the holidays knowing what their 2019 will look like. Everyone would be able to enjoy the holidays with their families without having the stress of either offering or being offered a contract.
Dombrowski would continue to speak on the need for a deadline to be created to further increase urgency in the league. I can’t argue against that sentiment at all. We have had the game monitored to speed up the rate of play over the years so why not do something to speed up free agency? I for one would much rather have some sort of window from mid-November to mid-December. Get everything sewn up and locked in before the end of the year.
It’s hard to deny the arguments being made by Dombrowski. The MLB is currently a 365-day business. Yeah, the players may get a break during the offseason but for those that work in the front office, it never ends. So I’m in favor of a set time frame in order to get things accomplished. It would not only force the clubs to make their moves but also put some heat on the players to not play the “game” as much. The baseball season is long and arduous enough, there’s no need to make it any longer.