These guys should have opted out of baseball's 2020 season

These guys should have opted out of baseball's 2020 season

It was a rough year for Max Scherzer and the reigning champ Nats.
It was a rough year for Max Scherzer and the reigning champ Nats.
Image: (Getty Images)

It was a strange and crazy baseball season, and one might wonder if any of this was worth it. Maybe it was, if you’re a San Diego Padres fan, or you just like seeing the Yankees tee off for 5 or 6 home runs a night.

But for some guys, the 2020 coronavirus-shortened baseball season was a miserable failure. Here’s a list of guys who would have been better off had they just cancelled the whole thing.

Managing editor. Former N.Y. Daily Newser. Former broke poker player.

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2 / 10

Jose Altuve

Jose Altuve

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Altuve was on a clear path for Cooperstown, winning three batting titles and putting up four straight 200-hit seasons, making him a solid candidate to reach 3,000 hits. He stole bases, hit home runs and won a Gold Glove and an MVP. Then the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal rocked baseball, and then 2020 happened. He hit .219 with an OPS+ of 71, giving his detractors plenty of ammunition. He’ll almost assuredly bounce back, but he’s on the wrong side of 30 and if he doesn’t get back to his former MVP level, there will always be questions of how much he was helped by sign-stealing. That said, Altuve and the Astros made it to the postseason, winning their wild-card series with the Twins, and they could be the sport’s ultimate villains (redemption story?) if they somehow manage to win again.

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3 / 10

Carlos Correa

Carlos Correa

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Altuve’s teammate and double-play partner didn’t fare much better this season. Correa has been plagued by injuries, seemingly the only thing holding him back from joining the game’s elite stars. Last season, he played just 75 games while hitting 21 home runs. This year, he played all but two of Houston’s games but hit only 5 home runs.

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4 / 10

Jo Adell

Jo Adell

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The can’t-miss prospect for the Los Angeles Angels sure did miss a lot at the plate. He struck out 55 times in 124 at-bats and had a 33 OPS+, which is good if you’re a pitcher (remember when pitchers hit?). It’s unfortunate for Adell that there was no minor league season as he surely needs at least a full season at Triple-A.

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5 / 10

Tanner Roark

Tanner Roark

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Like Bryce Harper, Roark was a longtime Washington National who left the team in 2019 just to see them become World Champions. It’s been a steady downhill climb for Roark ever since, and in 2020 he resembled a batting practice pitcher, giving up 14 home runs in just 47⅔ innings and a 6.80 ERA. Ouch.

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6 / 10

J.D. Martinez

J.D. Martinez

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Two years ago Martinez was the toast of Boston as it looked like he was the spiritual successor to Big Papi as beloved DH for the Red Sox, who won the World Series. This year he hit .213 with 7 home runs and the Red Sox finished dead last.

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7 / 10

Joe Girardi

Joe Girardi

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Gabe Kapler took a lot of grief for his bullpen management, but the 2018 Phillies actually led the NL in pitching WAR. It’s unlikely that Kapler could have turned the Phillies’ lemon of a bullpen into lemonade, but Girardi managed it into a historically awful season. Suddenly the Phillies are a team that’s neither young nor good enough to win, and are clearly behind a young and good Atlanta Braves team, not to mention the surprising Marlins and a Nationals team that’s likely to rebound in 2020.

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8 / 10

Washington Nationals (the entire team)

Washington Nationals (the entire team)

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Speaking of which, the entire Washington team probably would have been better off if the 2020 season had been canceled. Ian Desmond looks like the smart guy here, opting out. Stephen Strasburg pitched just 5 innings this year, at about $7 million per. The good news is that Juan Soto took the step from young phenom to legitimate superstar, hitting .351/.490/.695, all tops in the league, and the team should rebound from a tied-for-last-place finish.

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9 / 10

Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani

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The Angels have failed to surround Mike Trout, the greatest player of his generation, with enough talent to be winners. You can’t blame them for going all-in on Ohtani, who had the talent to be that help on the mound and at the plate. But maybe there’s a reason why major league teams have stopped asking their young hitting stars to try to be mound aces as well ever since the days of Babe Ruth. There’s a real chance Ohtani will never pitch again, especially if the Angels want to keep his bat around. This year, he didn’t hit either (.190 in 44 games).

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10 / 10

Managing editor. Former N.Y. Daily Newser. Former broke poker player.