Jeff Passan's MLB offseason preview: Answering 20 uniquely 2020 hot stove questions

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Jeff PassanESPN

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ESPN MLB insider
Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”

Technically, free agency in Major League Baseball began Sunday evening. There was no deluge of activity like the NBA or NFL offer, no dopamine hit of excitement and activity and possibility to start the MLB offseason. Nothing then. Nothing since. And, team officials, agents and players say, nothing particularly substantive anytime soon, either.

There may be the odd free-agent signing or a trade that comes together out of necessity converging with impatience, but this is a perfect storm of transactional paralysis. It’s all here, clear as day. The march toward it began long ago, even before the pandemic hit, though that has exacerbated it. Consider the convergence of the following.

– A tempestuous relationship between players and owners

– Teams finding success in squeezing salaries by waiting out free agents

– The consistent (but unverified) claim that owners lost billions of dollars playing games in 2020

– The unknown financial future caused by the coronavirus

– Last week

What happened last week?

This is the part where you’re supposed to say this

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