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OC Register: Angels Q&A: Will financial questions be solved in order to start the season?

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This week we asked fans for their questions about the Angels and baseball on Twitter. You came through with nearly 100 of them, so apologies to those we didn’t answer here.

Q: Do u think the season will be delayed because of the revenue split issue between the players and owners? — @andyyllee

A: This is of course the big question on everyone’s mind right now. Although there are certainly some health-related issues that the players and owners need to negotiate, the most public debate has centered around finances.

It comes down to this: When the two sides agreed in March that the players would be paid their normal salaries on a pro-rated basis, the owners contend that deal was contingent on the games being played with fans, which obviously isn’t going to be possible for a while. The players believe the issue was settled, regardless of fans, and it shouldn’t be negotiated again.

Lawyers are going to figure out this one, but I’d like to believe it’s in the best interest of both sides to come to agreement, even if it’s one that isn’t ideal for either.

A: IF season starts in July, what is plan by MLB for playoffs? Just half season and same rules? — @irishzorro2010

Q: Reports of proposal the owners submitted to the players this week were that the playoff format would be altered somewhat. Instead of one wild card game, the team with the best record in each league would advance to the division series, while six other teams (the other two division winners and the next four best records) would meet in best-of-three series to determine who advances to the division series.

After that, the playoffs would proceed normally, with a best-of-five round, a best-of-seven League Championship series and the best-of-seven World Series.

Q: I’m a glass half full kinda guy. Does all this mean Shohei (Ohtani) is good to go both hitting and pitching out of the gate whenever we start? —@ILLWi117

A: Ohtani is currently throwing bullpen sessions, gradually increasing his intensity and volume. As long as he doesn’t have a setback at some point from the increase, he should be available as a pitcher and hitter whenever the season starts.

Q: If there is universal DH do you expect Ohtani to hit at most of away Interleague games? Maybe at the Dodger Stadium? — @slkz918

A: If there is a universal DH, the rules will be the same in all ballparks. There won’t be any pitchers hitting.

The question is whether the Angels would forfeit the use of the DH in the games he’s pitching so he can also hit. The tricky part of that is that they would also have their pitcher in the lineup after Ohtani is done pitching.

That’s a little easier to do with the expanded rosters this season is expected to feature because there would be more pinch-hitters and relievers available.

Still, I wouldn’t expect the Angels to do that with Ohtani very often. He rarely did it in Japan, and I don’t think the Angels want to put too much on his plate in his first year after Tommy John surgery.

Q: I’ve read if there is no season players won’t get paid this year. My question is will there be more money to spend next off season — @JLeppelman

A: If there is no season, there will also be no revenue, so I can’t imagine that being a good thing for future spending. Teams may also have to budget planning on reduced attendance in 2021, simply because the economy is likely to affect a lot of fans ability to afford tickets.

Q: How does a 5 round draft affect angels? Any advantages / disadvantages to them or other teams? — @slkz918

A: A five-round draft is going to mean there will be tons of players signed as non-drafted free agents with a limit of $20,000 for their bonus. That means that money likely isn’t going to be able to sway the best available players, so it will be up to the teams to distinguish themselves in some other way.

This is just a guess on my part, but it’s possible that the Angels and the other California teams may have an advantage simply because they are located in one of the areas where there will be the most players. If a kid from Southern California is weighing the same $20,000 from teams in different parts of the country, he may opt to pick his hometown team.

Q: Any thought to limited capacity in stadiums to address payroll concerns, drive revenue and be able to enjoy live baseball with social distance in place? — @cldgin2

A: They would also have to figure out a way to manage the fans coming in and out of the ballpark, going to the restroom, going to the concession stands, etc. But if they can make more money than simply playing in empty ballparks, I expect them to consider it.

This is also something that local governments will determine before the owners even get a shot to consider.

Q: What do the Angels do with Adell this year? If the season is played, is he on the team since no minor league season to help his development? Or does he join the Angels for the short season and have to start his service time? Thanks. — @escalera008

Q: If the mlb season were to start, would jo Adell be apart of the 20 man reserves? — @XxBiglayxX

Q: Does the time of service change for Adell with the league shut down? — @greg_sugden

A: We’ll combine all these Jo Adell questions. Shortly before spring training ended, it certainly seemed as if Adell had some development left to do before he would be ready for the majors. Since he hasn’t played since, that hasn’t happened. Once spring training 2.0 starts, he’ll have a chance to show where is, but he still may not get many games.

If teams keep minor leaguers back in Arizona or Florida to essentially have instructional leagues, it’s possible the Angels would prefer Adell get some game action there than just working out as a member of the major league taxi squad.

As for the service time question, players will receive pro-rated service time for as much as they are in the majors this season. If they are up for half of whatever season there is, they would be credited with half of a full season.

Q: David Fletcher or Tommy La Stella , who’s starting at 2nd? — @kylegkenn14

A: Manager Joe Maddon said he wanted La Stella to start at second against right-handed pitchers, which leaves Fletcher to start against lefties. Against righties, Fletcher’s playing time was likely to come either in right field or when Anthony Rendon or Andrelton Simmons got a day off.

Q: Look back on how the free agent signings went this winter, was the move to trade Will Wilson to free up salary worth it? — @BaseballYoY

A: It’s hard to say what was worth it until you know how good of a player Wilson ends up being and how much value the Angels get from the players they signed. However, their 2020 payroll was still set to be higher than 2019, even without the $12.7 million they unloaded by moving Zack Cozart in that trade. And the proposed deal for Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling probably could not even been broached if they didn’t have more payroll space.

Q:  So the angels are getting relief in a way of Albert Pujols contract right ? — @luisvallin2

A: Players are getting paid about 4 percent of their total salaries in April and May, and beyond that they only get paid for games that are played. So, the Angels will not pay Pujols — or any of their players — anything close to their full salary in 2020.

Q: Do we extend Simmons? Or use his value to get some pitching ? — @Auggzslll_

A: The latter is not really an option any more. Simmons is going to be a free agent after the 2020 season, whether it’s played or not. At this point it looks like the best-case scenario is half a season, so unless the Angels are going to give up after one month and trade Simmons, they will have him through this season. We don’t even know what the rules and deadlines will be to allow trades in a shortened season.

Whether they sign him beyond this season is a fair question, but one the Angels won’t likely consider until after this season.

Q: If the team doesn’t re-sign Simmons, who do you think is the next man up in house? Or will they have to look outside the organization? — @mrplow17

A: David Fletcher and Luis Rengifo would be the top options to be the everyday shortstop in 2021 and probably 2022. After that, the Angels could be just about to ready to see if Jeremiah Jackson, 20, or Kyren Paris, 18, are ready for the big leagues. Arol Vera, 17, is also a top prospect who plays shortstop, although he’s even younger than Jackson and Paris.

Q: Do I get a refund on my opening day tickets ? — @cheesieplays

A: The Angels have asked fans to contact them directly for information on refunds. Call 714-4-ANGELS.

For more questions and some additional answers, see Jeff Fletcher’s twitter feed or the OC Register Angels Facebook page.

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